Let's see your DSLR film scanning setup!

Yeah, I agree with all of your points about the ES-1/ES-2 set up. Nikon really knocked it out of the park. It’s about as simple and idiot-proof as you can get with this stuff, and it’s not like the results suffer for it.

I don’t quite know what you mean by film rebate? Regarding the diffuser on the ES-2, I did notice some dust that was visible on scans the first time I used it, but it was just a matter of wiping it down. Which I guess is fair, since I had just unpacked it after acquiring it secondhand.

The Micro-Nikkor is a perfectly serviceable lens. In terms of build quality and feel, I mean, it’s not the nicest lens I own, but it’s not bad or anything. Plus, it basically has one job (copy work) and the focus range I’m working in is very narrow. If I’m honest, I would’ve preferred to pick up an old Contax/Zeiss macro lens to add to my collection, but I wasn’t sure if they would work with the ES-2 or not. I could’ve chosen a 1:1 lens with a 67mm filter thread, or one with a 55mm filter thread but only a 1:2 magnification ratio. I’m not very familiar with macro lenses in general, so I just chose something that was pretty much guaranteed to work. Plus the Micro-Nikkor was quite cheap, around $180 I think.

Thanks, my 55mm Micro-Nikkor f2.8 is an all manual lens of course, very good quality though. I had read that the 60mm Micro-Nikkor f2.8 might be slightly better, especially in the corners but often AF lenses have a pretty unsatisfactory manual focusing ‘feel’. Sounds like yours is OK.

By rebate I mean the clear area around the frame so that you can be sure to capture the entire negative, and also print it to include that black frame if one so desires. Also useful for sampling with colour negative. I had a feeling that the Es-2 negative holder didn’t allow this.

Oh yeah, the ES-2 negative holder does mask off the edges, so you have to be pretty careful to get the film lined up just right and can’t, for example, scan in the sprocket holes (if that’s your thing). Ultimately though, it makes for quicker scanning because you can just click from one frame to the next while shooting - this wouldn’t be nearly as easy if the holder didn’t hold the negative in a very precise way, if that makes sense.

I just checked the Micro-Nikkor against some of my nicer lenses, and it definitely has a coarser focusing feel, but still not bad. Plus like I said, once I get focus nailed for the first frame, I’m making very tiny (if any) adjustments frame-to-frame, so it’s hardly bothersome. It does have an “MF-AF” switch and I think it was designed with at least occasional MF use in mind.

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Here’s a pic of my setup:
Camera: Sony A6100
Lens: Rodenstock Rodagon 50mm enlarger
And a few pics from that session:

Hi, can you let me know what is attached to tripod head? TY!

Hi this is mine with a 105 mm macro from Nikon on a D750. Light comes from a flash.
I used as well this set up for slides

I removed all the lens condensor and add several layers of white plastic.
The main issue was that I had to replace several times those layers because of the light heat

A card box with few old drivers license. The camera kit is X-T5 with XF 16-55 lens.

The whole setup is a proof of concept for me. The lens is terrible for this job because its max magnification is only x0.15, so I have to use the pixel shifting model in X-T5 to get a decent image. Because I only spent 5 mins on the card box film holder, I have to re-focus on every shot. But I am pretty surprised with what I got from this little experiment.

The left side is what I got from my X-T5, and the right side is the scan I got from a local lab. I would say in general the result is already pretty usable.

Now I am waiting for my Laowa 65mm 2x macro lens and some 3D print film holders, I am confident I will save a bunch of money and have a lot of fun by scanning by myself.

I posted this as a separate thread here with more detail, but in summary, this is a scanning bed that you send to a company like SendCutSend to laser cut the metal. It is designed to work with most copystands and light sources, as well as most film/slide holders. The cad file on GitHub is linked to in the original thread, and you are welcome to use it as it is public domain.




I’ve gone through many iterations of setups. My needs/requirements are:

  • Mostly black and white 35 mm
  • Must resolve grain corner to corner
  • Must have enough resolution for 16x20 prints
  • Must capture the unexposed border at the edges of the frame

Capture device is a Sony A7 RII with Sony 50mm macro F2.8. Negative Lab Pro for conversions.

Iterations and results:

  • Attempt 1: Camera/lens attached to old Canon auto bellows with duplicator attachment. Flash illumination.
    – this worked pretty well but I couldn’t get the frame edges with the duplicator

  • Attempt 2: Camera/lens attached to Nikon ES-2 duplicating attachment. Flash.
    – pretty great, but again no frame edges

  • Attempt 3: Negative Supply basic riser, CR 99 4X5 light panel, and basic 35mm carrier in a standard configuration with the light source on the baseboard and the camera on the riser.
    – I wanted to love it but despite using bidirectional levels and the Versalab Parallel laser level I could never get the images as sharp as when the film carrier is attached directly to the front of the lens. The Negative Supply products are going in the right direction but there are way too many points in the system where planes can get out of parallel.

  • Current solution: Negative Supply basic riser with a flash attached to the riser head. Camera sits on the baseboard and the basic 35mm carrier just sits freely on an old Canon MacroPhoto coupler pointing up toward the flash. The weight of the basic carrier doesn’t seem to bother the lens’s autofocus motor. I have an LED reading light on next to the flash head to provide illumination for autofocus. I have the camera hooked up to my mac via the Remote app that comes with Sony Imaging Edge Desktop. f8 at 1/200. At 1/200 the LED doesn’t impact exposure. It’s a little fiddly since I have to center each frame manually but as you can see on the 100% crops from a Tri-X frame, the corners and center are all very sharp.

Crop upper left

Crop lower left

I have just started shooting 4x5, and after trying my Epson V600, i’m back with using a digital camera even for 4x5. Setup:

  • Camera: Hasselblad X1D II
  • Lens: Hasselblad XCD 45P
  • Macro tube: Fotodiox 20mm Auto Macro Tube
  • Light source: Kaiser Slimlite Plano
  • Connection to copy stand: Leofoto G2 Geared 3D Leveler Pan/ Tilt Head
  • Software to shoot tethered: Phocus (Hasselblad)

This setup is the best way that I have found for me to get the best results in a consistent and “easy” way. The geared head helps immensely when making micro adjustments, to get the camera level with the negative. I place the negative between to sheets of glas, not ANR, and I have never experienced any issues with Newton rings.



I use a Sony A7 with a Sony 50mm f2.8 macro lens, and a custom integrating sphere RGB backlight.

I made a separate post here with all the details, but wanted to refer to it from here too in case anyone would feel inspired to do the same :wink:


I’ve spent the last few weeks putting together a simple setup using an old Durst enlarger, the Valoi film holder and the centerpiece, a Nikon Rayfact 80mm line scan lens on a Sony camera.
I wanted to simply bolt a tripod head to the Durst mechanism …
The most complicated thing was to get a 3/8 UNC threaded bolt, because German photo stores usually only have screws.
Thanks to Robert O’Toole’s great blog, I decided to go with a Nikon lens. The lenses have no color cast, no chromatic aberration and no vignetting. Best of all, it’s incredibly sharp and only costs 300 bugs.
After some initial difficulties, NLP works very well and now replaces my Isomet HR 405 drum scanner. Anyone who has ever owned a drum scanner knows that the beasts consume an incredible amount of life.


I use a copy stand with my Nikon F750, a Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro, and an Essential Film Holder. I recently bought the CS-Lite with the collimating sheets as a light source. The combination has allowed me to use auto exposure on the Nikon reliability. And it goes together quickly.
The ‘Rig’

The EFH and the CS-Lite with an ‘adapter’ The EFH does not sit solidly on the CS-Lite, so I created a foam-core adapter that keeps the two together. The adapter is two pieces of foam-core. One that fits inside the bezel of the CS-Liter, and one the size of the top of the CS-Lite. Two pair of 3/8inch ID washers are glued on top to locate the EFH.

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Recently upgraded from the Sony 90mm F2.8 macro to the 105mm Scanner-Nikkor from the Super Coolscan 8000. Added a Leica R mount to it via a Kipon T2-Leica R adapter, because I found some Leica Bellows R for pretty damn cheap, which is then adapted to E-mount for my A7 IV. Mounted on a Novoflex rail, which is attached to a home built copy stand with a Kaiser Slimlite Plano. Still need to figure out how to get a lens hood on this thing though.

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Cardboard tube, painted black?
black polypropylene tube?

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Build a new rig with a custom R,G, and B individually adjustable light source to mitigate the orange mask in color film using hardware, using what I learned in various NLP posts, online, and in using previous iterations of scanning rigs I built before:

Details on the rig and custom light source can be found here:


After many tries, this is the setup that has worked the best for me:

  • Viltrox L116T light, sitting on a diy fibreboard “box”.
  • Fuji XT3 with a 7Artisans 60mm Macro lens (+10$ rubber lens hood from Amazon)
  • Film holder was 3D printed at my local library using this model: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4672950
  • A couple of hot shoe levers to match the level of the camera and the film holder
  • A K&F ball head
  • All set up on the baseboard of a Durst M600 enlarger.
  • Thick black foam to block stray light and at the bottom to keep everything from moving.

I shoot using the Fuji app as trigger, so I don’t have to touch the camera at all.

Things to improve:

  • The film-moving mechanism of my holder is not totally smooth. Could be a rough print, or the o-rings that I use.

  • I’d like a better diffusion panel for my light, like thin white acrylic or something. Right now i’m using a couple of white translucent sheets, but they get scratched easily.

  • Find a way to attach the box to the baseboard so it doesn’t move at all. I thought velcro, but I use the enlarger for prints, so it has to be a removable solution.

  • I have to print a holder for 120, because so far I only have a setup for 35mm :smiley:

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I’m probaby going to put a 58mm to M77 clamp on the wider section and then screw in a threaded tube as my permanent solution, but I have some wide poster tubes I could cut & spray matte black as an interim solution.

Anyone with the Cassette Film setup from https://cassettefilm.net/ and can provide feedback? I’m looking at their custom setup as I want a slightly larger mask for scanning full borders with 135 and 120 (6x6 and 6x17). Thank you.

Apologies if someone already posted. I could not find through search.