Film holder options and setups

hi, i’m new to using a digital camera to scan, but not new to scanning film on scanners.

i’m figuring out my setup, for:

  • scanning full rolls
  • uncut preferred
  • without cropping
  • efficiently on a regular basis
  • 2-4 rolls a week
  • compact space, small apt

in short:
is there a good 35mm film holder that doesn’t crop?
is there an affordable solid copy stand? or just use tripod and bubble levels

further details:

nikon es-2

  • it crops
  • i’m getting a weird halo glow on the edge, which would prob go away w/ different holder.
  • only good for 60mm lens, i prefer to use 105mm lens

anyone know good adapters or method to extend distance from lens to holder?

film holders i haven’t tried
has anyone tried these?
any other to consider?
enlarger negative carriers?

negative solutions

lomography film holder

imacon film holder
i already own a filed out one, but only fits 4 frames, not super fun to mount

film holder skier

negative supply
expensive but conveniently feeds the film w/o moving the holder.


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I’m not guaranteeing this would work for you, but it works really well for me. Alignment is automatic, there’s no stray light leakage, and it works fine with uncut film as long as you have enough counter space:

If you’d rather have a negative-carrier option, I sometimes use a Beseler Negatrans made for Beseler enlargers. It transports the film by turning a knob. I paid about $40 for a used one on eBay.

thanks, i’m not sure i was getting light leakage, cause the entire frame in my viewfinder was dark, since i was using the nikon es-2 film holder. also if light was leaking in, it would show up as darker, not brighter, after inversion.

i’m leaning towards the skier film holder, to use on my existing lightbox.
i’d like the negative supply one, but the price is pretty high.

by the time i buy NLP, lens, skier film holder, and copy stand, i’m at almost $600.

re: the video, i was thinking about something similar in place of a copy stand, like a long lens hood, or some other kind of tube to hold the camera up. it would be top heavy but be much more compact.

ah, i figured out the halo glow, it’s shining through from the other side of the holder,
this is the nikon es-2 film holder w/o film mounted. see black strip on inside of frame, coming from far side of holder:

another reason why 105mm would be better than 60mm lens.

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Film holders… I like the Skier holders; they will sell the holder w/o the copy box, but the copy box is nice.

I also like the expensive Negative Supply gadget. I think both will be pretty safe vs. scratching.

I don’t like the Negatrans. Yes, awfully convenient, but in my test did not hold the film as flat as the two above. A plain vanilla Beseler negative carrier is excellent, but not set up for sliding film easily to next frame.


yeah i’m leaning towards skier holder and box, but what about using flash as light source vs light box…

I have had good results with the Lomo products - both 35mm and 120. They are good enough to mean that the quality of lighting, camera settings and macro lens quality become far more important. The certainly don’t crop, in fact you get half of the sprocket holes in 35mm film. They also get the film pretty well 100% flat which is critical, especially on 120 film. Well worth it if you can find them for reasonable money - I got mine in Hong Kong a couple of years back.