Let's see your DSLR film scanning setup!

I dig it. Makes rapid scanning a breeze. :slight_smile:

This is a bit of a Heath Robinson contraption but it worked.


The rig is currently dismantled. Eventually I’ll set it up again with a different film holder to tackle the 6x6 slides and negs, many of which date from the 1950s (my late mother’s not mine). Later still, there are some APS negs that it might be nice to digitise. For this I have a Leitz doublet close-up lens that I could slip in front of the Nikon macro lens to get just a little beyond 1:1…

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I use the Slidesnap Strip with a Canon 6DmkII and 100mm Macro. I can capture 110, APS, 35mm, 126, 127, and 120. For other sizes I use a copy stand with same camera and Kaiser Lightpad. For slides I use a modified Kodak Slide Projector by the same company.

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I use a Nikon D800, Nikon 60mm f/2.8 AF-S Macro, Nikon ES-2 slide copy adapter, two tripods, and a Raleno LED video light. With the film uncut, it is a very quick process to take the shots, move the six-frame bracket down the strip, take six more shots, etc.


I used to do high-end duplication and copy work using an animation stand similar to the ones used to make the first Star Wars movie. A Marron-Carrel MC1400. I’ve tried to emulate that setup here. I’ve got my Nikon D810 mounted to a studio stand. Two nice things about this:

  1. I can push/pull the horizontal arm so it’s centered over the table (or the lightbox). Here I was able to position it so I could sit in a chair and view through the eyepiece on the viewfinder.

  2. Since I also shoot flat art, I can raise the camera up and center the copy work and/or place the artwork low near the floor.

On the right is a 6’ electronic cable release which I’d like to turn into a footswitch.

The camera has a Nikkor 60mm with the Nikon ES-2 duplicator.

The black foam core is there for flat art, not necessary for use with the ES-2.

The light box is a 4" light box made by Logan.

The table it sits on, I made several years ago. It comes apart for easy storage. The table top can be tilted up so I can shoot flat art from more of a standing position instead of directly over top. I attached a metal lip to the front of it to keep art and glass from slipping off.

This photo shows my prep area with my notebook full of negatives, light table (similar to what some others are using), cleaning supplies, a Schneider 4x loupe (why is it so hard to find 4x loupes?) and a Harbor Freight air compressor (pretty quiet). It’s not in the best position though. When I worked on the Marron-Carrel, all I had to do was turn my chair around to get my next piece of film. I really need to put this set up on a folding table and position it behind my shooting position for better efficiency. The stuff on the Ikea cart below the table is just cleaning supplies and latex gloves I use for other types of product photography, not for this.

Oh, the negative holder is the standard one that comes with the ES-2. I cut the posts out of it and filed it down so I could capture full frame. I used this tool from Harbor Freight to sand it out: Rotary Took Kit


Here is my computer setup. Left to right: The stand on the left holds my iPad which plays music wirelessly to a pair of Hamon-Kardon speakers (essential for any type of photography). The obligatory jar of nuts, water bottle, two monitors. I’ve had two monitors for several years, and believe it or not, I don’t use the one on the left that often. Wacom tablet (for spotting images), iMac 28" which I do most of my work on. It is tethered to the camera.


@mgilvey You win. :neutral_face:

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LOL! I didn’t know we were competing.

I do not have a picture available, but the setup I used for digitising color slides was this

  • professional repro standard that I purchased 2nd hand
  • Nikon D90 (12 MP) with ML-L3 remote control to trigger the camera
  • Sigma 70mm/2.8 macro lens
  • Nikon PB400 flash unit connected to the camera using a SC-17 cable, used as a indirect lightsource
  • a piece of opal perspex, positioned about 20cm above the bottom plate of the reprostandard
  • white carton and paper on the bottom plate and three vertical sides used as a lightbox

The lens is set on F/11 or F/16 and focusing is done using the autofocus.
I used a piece of metal glued to the perspex to register the slides in the proper position. This way I could achieve up to 20 slides per minute.

NB Nikon has a ‘in-focus’ LED indicator, that light up once the object is in focus. This will also work if you put the camera on manual focusing, even with an older non-AF lens, such as this 55mm/2.8 Micr0-Nikkor, which is one of sharpest lenses ever built. Unfortunately, the LED indicator is visible in the viewfinder only, not on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. This makes it not really useful in a studio setup.

@HansE, how is the Sigma 70 macro? are you resolving film grain in the corners?

I have the 70mm/2.8 EX DG (right now, Sigma offers a newer model). It is really very sharp up into the corners (stopped down to F/5.6 or higher), no difference between center and corners. Did not try it wide open, also because the DOF is too narrow.

By the way: this lens is built for FX format, so with the DC format D90, you use only the center part of the image circle!
At the time, it was tested in a German photo magazine, ColorPhoto, and came out as the best in its class, both on Nikon (D300) and Canon (EOS450D). On Nikon, AF works only on cameras with AF motor built-in. Not on the D5300, for example.

Thanks, Hans. I have the 50mm f/2.8 Sigma EX DG Macro for Nikon and it is really excellent. I would expect that the 70mm would be similarly excellent.

Another Heath Robinson setup! Precise sub-millimeter focusing is easily achieved by adapting a Nikon Stereo Microscope rack-and-pinion system. Minor adjustment of the camera via a turnbuckle and copper wire enables absolutely accurate alignment of the camera and film planes using either an engineers level or a mirror. Either a Nikon Bellows unit or a simple wooden frame is used to position film over a Raleno light box. Nikon 810 with remote release, live view and HDMI to 32" TV for rapid and

accurate focussing on grain.

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thank you for this. Canon EOS utility with LiveView and autofocus is a real time saver. Much better than manual focus with the ring. Great tip!!!

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hi @Pbranly, what film holder attachment are you using? i’d like to use the 105mm as well, instead of the 60mm nikon recommends for their es-2 holder. also the es-2 holder crops 35mm more than i’d like it to…

This is what I use (with the lens cap off) with my negatives (24x36 and medium format)

  • Canon EOS M6 (raw+jpg) with Canon EF 100 f/2.8 Macro, coupled to iPad as remote control
  • Durst M605c enlarger

I’ve been trying with several filter setups to compensate some of the orange of color negative film. Results seem to NOT justify bothering with such a setting, NLP handles almost everything nicely.

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I built a copy stand out of 8020.net extruded aluminum.
I’m using a Manfrotto 410 tripod head along with a macro focus rail.
Canon 5D MIII, tethered to my desktop.
Small HD monitor in Live View so I can line up negatives without looking through the viewfinder.
The light source is a DIY using a 10" cake pan and a strip of LED lights wound around the side of the cake pan.
Holding the negatives are a FILM CARRIER MK1 + PRO MOUNT MK2 from Negative Supply LLC.

I’ve got hundreds of rolls of B&W which I’m working through now. Color slides and negatives next.


Hello Richard,

This is an excellent post and I love you’re setup!

I am trying to do the same thing with the Nikon PB6 bellows and slide copier.
I have the same lens, Sony A7R2 camera, and I cannot get the slide in focus.
Does the PB4 give more extension than the PB6?
I am totally stumped. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thank you very much,

Hmm… Assume you are talking about the 75mm f/4 APO Rodagon D 1x. Don’t know. Pull off the PS-6 and figure out where is the focus with the bellows extension about where I’ve shown it. It’s possible that you cannot get the slide far enough away from the lens. Nikon made an extension for the PB-6 rail.

It seems I will have to move the slide copying adapter to the point where it is about to fall off the end of the rail. NOT good!
I just looked into the coupler and extension for the rail and they cost more than the bellows. $130 - just for the coupler. My Mother used to call this “highway robbery”. Oh well.