I’m currently at a loss at to how to make DSLR scanning work. I started off with an old copy stand a friend gave me, which appeared to work well. Eventually, I noticed that the corner areas of my 35mm scans were soft (often it was two sharp corners and two soft ones). Not the pictures, but the negatives themselves; it’s clear both in live view and on inspection in Lightroom.
This started me off on my quest to get that fixed. I had been using an Essential film holder for both 120 and 35mm negatives (separate holders); I bought a Negative Supply 35mm holder, thinking that would solve the problem. It did not. Then I bought a copy stand from NS, hoping that would make things right. That didn’t work either, mostly because it was too short for 35mm scans.
Next up— a more expensive Kaiser copy stand. Despite being apparently sturdy, my results on 35mm are worse than ever. I could return it, but I feel like anything I get in its place wouldn’t bring me anything meaningfully different or better.
I’m using a Nikon D810 and Nikon 105mm 2.8D macro lens (with a Kaiser slimlite plano). I had one soft corner on a 120 scan on the Kaiser stand, while I can see on live view that the 35mm negatives are all very soft in each corner. Refocusing on a corner results in the center going soft. This is true with both my 35mm negative holders.
I’ve set the stand up properly so far as I can see. Things look flat and straight. Is the only solution to get a longer macro lens? Is this a common problem for people? The lens works correctly, and every individual part of my setup seems to be in order. The one thing I’ll say that I’m not sure about is that for 35mm negatives, I’ve been filling the frame as much as possible when photographing/scanning it. Naturally, I’m stopping down the lens while photographing, so I know that’s not the issue.
At any rate, any help would be much appreciated. I’ve gotten good results with 120 scans for the most part, but 35mm scans just aren’t working. I get the sense that a longer macro lens would probably solve my issues, but I’d like to think that there’s something I’m overlooking that can be adjusted. That would be a lot less expensive.