What aperture should I be using for Digital Camera Scanning?

I’m new to this and I haven’t really seen much info on the exposure settings for the setup. Can you share your exposure settings? I think I’ve been foolish using maximum aperture. Also have been on auto-iso and auto-ss.

I’m using a Fuji X-T4 with a rented XF 80/2.8 Macro. Digitaliza and Kaiser Slimlite plano.


Usually lenses give sharpest result somewhere near F8.
I haven’t seen any lens resolve well over F11, so max aputure does not make sense in my mind.

Use minimum ISO (or small reasonable ISO) and adjust shuttes as needed.
Kaiser is not very strong light, so you would need to go rather slow with shutter.


My particular lens gives me the best result at f/11. I would echo the general recommendation of best results usually falling around f/8, +/- 1 stop and to shoot at native ISO and adjust shutter speed for best results (unless you get into lengthy shutter speeds like 1/2 sec or longer where potential for camera shake would jeopardize sharpness). Pretty quick and easy to shoot a couple shots at different apertures with your own setup to compare for yourself.


F/8±1 is a good range. The risk of motion blur is greatly reduced with a sturdy setup, a remote control or self timer.

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Is it fine, though, to shoot ISO less than native? If by native you mean the film’s ISO. All of these negatives I’m digitizing are 23-35 years old, and I didn’t really pay attention to the film’s ISO. I just set the aperture less than 8 and ISO at 200. SS is 1/5 but it’s fine since I use a tripod and remote shutter.

Does the ISO matter, apart from obviously large number ISOs?

The recommendation to shoot at your digital camera’s native ISO is to achieve best overall performance with regard to both digital noise and sharpness as it is what your camera body is electronically optimized for. Expanded ISO settings below native usually require changes in the voltage your camera delivers to the sensor and possibly other software based simulations to adjust sensor sensitivity, which can cause unnatural changes in noise or reduced dynamic range

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As far as I see from X-T4 specs, native ISO is 160. 200 is just a third above that, so it should not really matter. The lens you use seems to be sharpest between f/2.8 and f/11 according to this page. Chromatic Aberrations seem to be well controlled too.

Top sharpness of your lens is at f/4, for DOF’s sake, I’d close the aperture nevertheless. You best take a series of shots at 160 ISO between f/4 and f/11 and see how they compare.