Scanning using Sony A7R1 (looking for a bright light source)

Hi everyone,

I’m looking for a light source but with unique circumstances as I am using the Sony A7R1 which needs a very bright light source. This is becuase has shutter shake when the shutter is longer than ~1/250th and also performs fairly poorly at ISO>800. Using Canon 50mm Macro Fd 3.5 which has some vignetting too. Tried using the Huion L4S but that was not birght enough. (using the lomography film holders which are great)

For these reasons I’m looking for the brightest light source possible.

I’ve done a little research and ruled out the following:

  • Kaiser Slimlite (not bright enough)
  • Raleno video light (uneven)
  • Portra trace (uneven)
  • Skier Coopy Box (too expensive)
  • Artograph (not bright enough)

Any suggestions on bright alternatives?

Thanks in Advance

I use a Kaiser panel and as you say, it is not very bright, which might not be that big an issue after all: If your exposure is long enough (several seconds), the shake might not be visible. If you have a 10s exposure and a shake that fades within 1/100, the relation of shake to exposure is 1/1000 or almost 10 stops… you could try this effect by simply taking a shot lit by a household lamp reflecting off a sheet of paper.

If you really want a bright light, use a flash. Flashes usually have short burn times and shake does not matter then.

Budget in dollars?
And maybe show your setup also…I have never shot anything faster than 1/100, usually it’s around 1/10.
So “shake” sounds weird.

I might try the longer exposure idea.

I haven’t looked into flashes yet but I imagine the challenge on that front would be to create an even plane of light (diffusion) without overexposing in the centre.

The shutter shake is a fault specific to the Sony A7R1 and is only apparent in macro situations and with shutter speeds slower than 1/250th.

Wouldn’t want to spend much more than $100 USD (I’m in Australia and everything is more expensive after conversion)

Two solutions: 1) a bright video light. There are many options, I’ve tested several, all good. Perhaps up to $100. If you can get it shipped to you these days, find CN-T96 on AliExpress or eBay (not Amazon) for an excellent cheap, bright video light.

  1. Electronic flash.

With either you’ll have to be crafty to rig a diffuser. I use matte finish drafting mylar, should be readily available in most any country. Brand here is Dura-Lar.

The other approach to shutter shake is a really long exposure (so the shake portion is a very small part of the exposure). ISO 100, f/8 might give 1-3 sec with your light panel.

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Although I am quite happy with my Kaiser panel, I am tempted to try a solution with flash. I have the following idea: Get a black container as used for electronic components because the containers are antistatic which helps reduce dust attraction. Get the corresponding lid and make a hole that is a bit larger than the negatives. Lay the flash (with a diffusor) in the box and add an white cardboard below the opening. Maybe spray the inside of the box white instead…

I use a Viltrox L116T. It has variable power and color temperature and is approximately 4.5x7 inches. It was about $40 on Amazon. It comes w/ a lithium battery and a charger, but I also purchased a plug-in power source for it for an extra $10. It’s been an excellent light source for my camera scans.

Excuse me, i’ve been looking that light source, and i wonder if the texture of the light panel is visible when you are scanning.

Just make sure that the evenly diffused light source is at a distance from the film to ensure it’s out of focus enough to not pick up any texture, or even minor marks or scratches on the diffuser. As far as I know, with a light panel like the Kaiser Plano, it’s even enough (with no texture) to place the film straight on the glass. But anything like dust or fibres between the film and the glass will show up of course, and be in focus. To be certain, distancing the film holder from the light source will rule out any nasties except for what’s on your film.

Does anyone know how bright (in numbers - lumen?) the kaiser panel really is?

Kaiser publishes this here:

I am using an A7R2 with a Kaiser Slimlite. With 100 ASA and F11 I get exposure times between 1/2 and 1 second. With normal shutter the camera is useless. The images look like double exposure/motion blur. I have to use the digital shutter.

Try a camera with a digital shutter first, before spending money on light sources.

For good results you should work at 100 ASA (no noise) and use F8 or F11. So in my case I would need a light source that is 128 times brighter than my slimlight to get a shutter speed of 1/250.