Suggested backlight sources for scanning film with DSLR

I use AL-MX and run it with 50% power most of the time to keep things cool. Blenti of light output even in half power. Also CRI is really high on MX model, tested it with CRI measuring stuff. Also TLCI values were high, what means they don’t cheat (or don’t cheat so much) on CRI values.

Thank you, @MorroW. What is your exposure (f-stop, time, iso) and the distance between the light and the film? Do you use any additional diffusor, apart from the one that comes with the device?

Rought numbers, I don’t have machines on hand right now (built for customers).
I use 5mm cap between light and original diffuuser (magnets!) and after that ca 50mm cap before film plane (custom holder).

F8, ISO 100, shutter around 1/25-1/100 depends on neg.

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You asked about flash vs phone and use of flash. Sorry to be slow.

Current iPhone and iPad have excellent light quality for camera-scan. I have no info or experience with Pixel phones. You’ll have longer exposures (~1/3 sec).

Flash is terrific but harder to rig. I have flash… 2" space… diffuser… another 2" space… another diffuser… 1/2"… film. Hope this is helpful. Stacking bamboo drawer organizers are useful to positioning all this.

Hi… For the light source locate an old shading enlarger head and flip around it. My old Omega worked truly well. The bulb is shading amended and the glass ingests heat and has hostile to Newton ring capacity. Simply ensure the bulb is acceptable. I wound up requesting another one on ebay that wasn’t vulgarly expensive and has endured pleasantly.


it seems to me that Solux 4700k bulb is discontinued. At least I couldn’t find on in EU. But I’ve found this “FilmGrade” high CRI bulb, would this be a good alternative?

Thanks in advance!

The specified CRI of 95 means that this bulb should allow decent colour rendering. The power equiv. of a 60 Watt bulb seems low. Be prepared for longish exposure times.

I purchased the Skier Copy Box III after reading this thread. Got it last week. Tuned it on, made about 10 scans, light suddenly goes very dim. Turn off power at wall, dim light remains on inside the box fo a a couple minutes than eventually turns off. Tried the box again a bit later, light came on at full power again, made a few scans, same thing happened, lights went dim. Looks like this box I got is faulty. I’m in Australia and have tested on two different adapters.

Pretty disappointing. Looking at the price (279usd) you are mostly paying for the film holders if like me you go for the 135+120 option. Now trying to decide weather I should just keep it for the film holders and use them on an ipad or get an exchange so that I can use the film holders in the neat little grooves that come with the copy box and get that nice amount of seperation from the light source. Using the Skier film holder on my ipad there will be very little seperation. Shame, was really hoping this box would be my film scanning solution.

Looks like it - unless the light has some kind of overheating protection.
Iˋd get in touch with the seller and ask for a replacement.

That’s a shame indeed. As Digitizer is speculating, it sounds almost like an overheat protection issue. Any chance of testing a fan in front of the ventilation holes to see if the problem remains?
I have the V1 Skier box and it gets quite hot, so now I’m curious to see how the V3 which is supposed to arrive here today will work… :-/

Thanks I will try this in the morning, I wondered if maybe it was a safety or precaution thing happening. The v3 apparently has three power light modes that increase in brightness but came with no instructions on exactly how to change the light settings. What I’m finding is the box will start very dim, if I toggle the the small switch attached to the power cable off and on again it will get slightly brighter, then I toggle It again but it doesn’t change. When the light was at its brightest I was shooting at f8 iso200 and between 250-400 shutter speed, it was very bright.

I am beginning the scanning of 700 slides.
I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
From what you are saying, I can “just” place the slides on my Galaxy, focus, and shoot?
Do I need an app to give the lighting needed?

Im in Ontario, Canada, north of Toronto.
How, and where, do I order a Skier Copy Box?

Hi @MorroW …Glad to hear the shutter speeds you’re getting with the AL-MX - I’m also looking at using this light for a direct-diffused source. It seems to have a dense array of LED’s compared to most of the compact lights, so I figure this will provide a more even source and won’t require as much diffusion. With my film holder, I’ll also end up with about 5cm minimum between the light and the film plane. Do need an extra layer of diffusion between the light’s own magnetic diffuser and the film?

I would say no to extra layer if you can space out original diffuser at least 5mm or so.
I do use cilindrical shape magnet for that 5mm cap - helps a lot.

I’m wondering how even this light is out of the box. Is it edge lit and smooth like a Savage LED light panel or a Kaiser Plano? Or is it a lot of dots? How much diffusion is needed?

I tried a Kaiser because wanted slim light box for previewing and copying, but found it uneven and dimmer than my old portable florescent light table (the latter, of course, isn’t suitable for copy work, but the brightness makes for easy slide sorting and previewing). So I was hoping that some light panel for video might be brighter than the Kaiser and do double duty as a kludge as a bright light table. A Savage edge lit LED panel would work, but they are rather over priced.

I digitized the 35mm slide film using the Neewer Advanced 2.4G 480 LED Video Light($75.49. CRI:≥96)(I bought it for a hobby earlier this year) and Perspex Spectrum Opal 1TL2 Acrylic Plastic Sheet, and I was very satisfied.
I also have a Kaiser Slimlite Plano lightbox(10.5 x 15.5"). However, I had to shoot with a slow shutter speed of close to 1 second. :neutral_face:

I guess if I buy a video panel I’m going have to count on needing additional video diffusion. I bought some edge lit video panels, but they weren’t even at all. I was hoping that being edge light (as the Kaiser light table is) that they’d be even.

Hello everyone, does some of you have experience with these light panels?

currently i can only afford aliexpress gear, so if anyone of you have any recommendation of light panel in aliexpress. I’ll be very greatful.