DSLR Scanning to Include Film Borders?

Hey all. I’m assembling my DSLR scanning rig and would like some advice.

I want to have the option of including film borders in my scans, and I don’t know of any film holders that allow this for medium format (Digitaliza holder does this only for 35mm), so I was thinking of sandwiching the film (emulsion side up) between two sheets of anti-newton ring glass. Is this a viable option? Will scanning through the ANR glass affect image quality since it is technically etched on one side? Should I instead use only one sheet of ANR glass to separate the film base from the light pad and then use a piece of regular or anti-reflective glass on top of the emulsion layer?

If anyone has any advice on this or suggestions on how I can otherwise have the option to include the borders for medium format please let me know! Thank you.

Highly interested in this as well. Commenting to follow along.

Hi! Here are few methods I’ve tried and my general takeaway:

  1. Sandwiching the film between two pieces of ANR glass --> you don’t want to do this. Shooting through the glass gives an unwanted texture to the final result.
  2. Taping the film directly to a light table --> not completely flat (but closer). Also prone to newton rings. Also, you will have a small piece of tape visible if you try to include the entirety of the film border.
  3. Taping the film to a piece of ANR glass that is resting on the light table --> similar to #2, but slightly better because less likely to produce newton rings.
  4. Wet-mounting the film using Epson Wet-mounting tray with kami fluid and optical mylar on top, then placing the wet-mounting tray a few inches above light tab --> Perfect flatness, perfect film borders, zero dust when done correctly.

If you have the time and patience, option #4 above really is the best. I’ve been using the Epson Fluid Mount Accessory and a kit from Aztec with the kami fluid and optical mylar. Happy with the results!

Here’s an example using method in #4.

(Note that this was two shots, stitched together using Lightroom’s panoramic photo merge feature, which introduced a bit of skew unfortunately! Still working on a better way to deal with that!)


@asyoubreak, this seams like a good set-up, check this out: http://www.filmwasters.com/forum/index.php?topic=3428.0

A sheet of ANR glass with vinyl dots in the corners to separate it from the light panel, and lightly tape the film on flat on the glass. I think the guy uses too much tape; I’d just tape the film at the very corners to make the film taut.

@nate Thank you for the breakdown! #4 does look great. I’d be inclined to give #3 a try first to see if the results are satisfactory. Maybe if I can get the film taut on the ANR glass, it’ll be flat enough like in the example @Skippy shared. In that thread as well, a user also showed this set up which I had a similar idea for just last night:


Two pieces of card stock/mount board with holes cut out for different formats, taped together like a book to separate the film from the light source. This should also hold the film flat on either side of the frame, and it exposes the border. I think this may also be a good option. I’m going to try this one first. I might even be able to get away with using only one piece of card stock on top since my light source has a textured, diffused surface which might not be prone to Newton Rings.

I had one other idea as well, where the base side of the film could lay on a piece of ANR glass, and instead of being sandwiched by ANR glass on top to keep it flat, it could be sandwiched on top by a photographic clear glass square filter or a piece of replacement lower glass from a flatbed scanner.

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@asyoubreak this is an interesting idea. I’d imagine you’d have to apply some weight on it too. Did it work out? I’m thinking to try something similar…

I ended up just cutting a mask out with room for the entire frame, placing that on top of my light table, placing my negatives on top of that, and putting a piece of museum glass on top of my negatives to keep them flat. Not an ideal solution, but it’s simple and works for now. However dust is a bit of an issue since there are many surfaces to keep clean.

I have 3d printed borderless holders for 35mm and 120 film - the two part film holder is held together with magnets, and slides into a copy system I 3d printed to hold the light and film parallel to the camera. There is a small amount of bow to the 120 film, but the lens depth of field covers this without any issues.