Essential Film Holder

Hi all!

Hope everyone is doing okay out there!

Quick one but did anyone order a Essential Film Holder and was there a delay in getting yours sent out to you? Been two weeks now and still no word of any delivery date? :S

I ordered in mid-September.
And I received an email that it will be sent soon. :grinning:

Andrew is getting far more business that I think he expected. Also, there are all kinds of snags in the international shipping. I think mine took almost a month to get here to the States.

Exactly what @bags has said. He has been featured around in the internet and because of that he got way more orders. He sent a mail explaining his delay and process a while ago, while my order was still in the queue. He his a one man operation and he tests the whole assembly himself. Every single one of them, so currently he cannot offer the same shipping time he initially announced. For me it took 2.5 more weeks to reach the Netherlands.

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I payed the EFH (135 & 120) Sep 19 and received today the e-mail that the parcel is on its way to me :slight_smile:

Believe that in 4-5 days will be right in my hand here in Italy… so happy and a bit hectic to try the film holder

I ordered EFH (135 & 120) on September 13th, and I finally got an email saying it had been sent a few days ago. :grinning:

Today I finally got the Essential Film Holder(EFH-09-KIT & 120 Borders) here in South Korea.
It was a long journey over 40 days. :airplane:
Very well made, solid and beautiful.
Also, the quality of the plastic is very good.
I was impressed. :slightly_smiling_face:

Still waiting a month here… :slightly_frowning_face:

Mine arrived, around 4.5 weeks after ordering. Very nice piece of equipment. Works really well!!

I ordered mine at the end of December. Let’s see when will it be delivered

I ordered mine 9 weeks ago. I still have not heard anything.
If you need this thing now, go for something else.

Yeah mine has pretty much stopped updating as soon as it hit New York. Haven’t gotten an update through the post yet. I just assume it’ll show up one day. I’m glad Andrew got a lot of business, but the timing with the US Postal service was pretty bad. I ordered it sometime in November I think. Maybe October.

I ordered the EFH v3 on Feb 2 from Andrew based on his sales email. On March 4 I got a dispatch update, and received the EFH in SoCal on March 12th. For me, that met expectations, and I was fine/pleased with communication, packaging and delivery timeframe
I got the EFH-09-KIT… PLUS 35mm Slide Mask Bundle sale price of £95 instead of Normal Price of £90 GBP + £17 GBP = £107 GBP

My question - has anyone looked into using the EFH and camera in a horizontal setup?
I have an APS-C camera and APS-C 60mm macro lens that only needs just over 3" from front of lens to negative (just under 8in from camera tripod mount screw location to negative). So I was thinking of getting a focusing rail and mount my camera on one end, and the EFH to other (have to come up with L-bracket, or ??)

I’m thinking my options are

  • asking Andrew to custom make a lower metal panel/plate (the one below the top mask) that extends such that screw holes could be drilled to direct mounting to end of a focusing rail… but this seems too rail specific [and therefore not worth Andrew@EFH’s time]
  • or an L-bracket. then issue is attaching to EFH. I could see:
    • getting longer metal (vs original plastic) screws holding the entire EFH unit, and using the extra length as mounting points; or
    • trimming (or getting shorter) on the white spacers between the layers in the EFH (diffuser, middle, and top mask) and using the resulting space on the screws to attach a plate/bracket (with a central opening that obviously wouldn’t block the light source to negative to lens area)


This my compact horizontal DSLR scanning setup that I built recently using the EFH and a Raleno 116 video panel. The camera platform is fixed and the EFH/Raleno platform is adjustable vertically, and tilts left/right and front/back on springs using the black knobs; and slides forwards/backward along linear rods on ball bearing bushings.

It can accomodate my Nikon D850 (FF) and my Nikon D7000 (APS-C) with Sigma 105mm macro and Nikon 55mm macro lenses. With the D850 I can scan 35mm and 6x6 with the 105mm lens by moving the platform back and forth, and could scan 4x5 with the 55mm lens with the appropriate negative holder. With the D7000 I can scan 35mm with the 105mm lens and 6x6 and 4x5 with the 55mm lens. The tilting mechanism allows me to ensure the film plane is parallel with the sensor plane within a small fraction of a degree, confirmed with a digital level, and is square with the sensor frame with small adjustments of the knobs.

  • wwstewart

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I’m impressed! I got side-tracked and am narrowing in on a solution now (about to 3D print a prototype next week). I was inspired by the €35 T-Slot copy stand kit -, but as mentioned previously, looking at a horizontal setup. I’d have bought this kit, if it wasn’t + €55 to ship to me in SoCal.
After talking with a couple of local T-Slot vendors, one design specialist made an inspired suggestion, and I’m working on that at the moment (flat custom plate at end of T-Slot). As I will only be using a single camera, some of the flexibility in your rig (especially the tilt adjustment of the EFH) I won’t need (I hope, as I can do a one-time alignment (shim or file end of T-slot, or ??) and be done). My mount should handle Y&Z axis adjustment, and I was thinking of a XR linear stage trimming platform for the camera, with R possibly being unnecessary?? From lurking /reading last few months, the sensor to film distance (ie getting focus perfect) as well as alignment is key. Hence thinking a X-axis micrometer linear positioning stage / trimming platform would help. I’ll update once I have a working setup.
What did you use for aligning sensor to film? mirror, or ?? Sorry, I don’t see how a digital level would work for this? I came across a test negative using USAF calibration markings, and was wondering if that would come in handy, or is complete overkill

Thanks. It’s been a fun pandemic project that I’m still fine-tuning somewhat. I’m a retired geologist in Florida, so I’ve had lots of time to tinker.

My process for aligning the film and sensor is as follows:

  1. Ensure the film and sensor are essentially parallel by first making sure they are both within a fraction of a degree of vertical using a digital level. This is done by adjusting the knobs on the front of the target platform (EFH /light source) to move just the front up or down. This takes care of the alignment vertically. The horizontally alignment is pretty much ensured within a small fraction of a degree simply by the alignment of the brackets holding the EFH being perpendicular to the optical axis.

The EFH on my unit tilts backward about 1.5 degrees, so I lower the front of the platform by the same amount to compensate (I’m trying to come up with a more robust bracket). Also, my sensor is usually about 0.7 degree from vertical as well, so I factor that in. Andrew (the EFH guy) has indicated that if you are within a couple of degrees of parallel, it’s close enough anyway. But it doesn’t take much effort using the knobs to quickly get it within a small fraction of a degree. I haven’t tried it, but the mirror method should work as well.

  1. Move the EFH left or right within the brackets until the focused film frame fits within the live-view horizontally and move the target platform back and forth until the focused film frame fills the live-view frame. Obviously, different film sizes require this adjustment, or if a different focal length lens is used, or a different sensor size.

  2. If necessary, use the knobs on the target platform to level the film frame within the live-view image.

  3. If necessary, use the knobs on the target platform to raise or lower the film frame to fit within the live-view frame.

  4. Finally, I zoom in on the live-view to the largest magnification to focus manually. I turn off autofocus. I use a remote shutter release to make each image.

  5. Once these steps are completed, the film and sensor are parallel and framed properly on the sensor and focused. Once set, you are good to go for your scanning session or additonal sessions unless something is adjusted either intentionally or accidentally.

Early on in the process, I used a target with calibration markings to check focus (and therefore alignment) across the sensor frame and it consistently looked good, so I haven’t used it since. My scans are coming out very sharp across the frame as well. I’ve scanned old negatives going back to the late 1940’s and early 1950’s from my uncle’s old 6x6 ArgoFlex TLR, and from 35mm negatives and slides and 6x6 negatives from the late 1960’s during my high school days and I’m very pleased with the results.

Let me know if you have any other questions, or if I’ve missed something. I’m toying with the idea of trying to sell some units. Seems like a daunting task, though.

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