Saturday, June 01, 2013

Copy 120 Films Using an ILDC/DSLR with a Macro Lens

First inspired by Petapixel, this is what I have tried and done myself:-

1. These are the tools that I've used: A white fluorescent desklamp at 6000K, two 77mm UV multi-coated filters, a lens hood with outer diameter in 77mm, some "white" milky transparent paper:-

2. Turn on the lamp, mine is a Panasonic with invertor circuitry which enables the lamp operated at a high frequency:-

3. Put on the "diffuser", I have made three folds of the same plastic sheet:-

* Do the custom white balance at this point with your camera. Mine was measured to be at 4600K exactly, after adding the diffuser, which is yet somehow yellowish.

4. The 120 film is then put inside the two filters, which are in the same size of 77mm. The film fits just well with that filter size. The two filters are screwed tight and the film is sandwished inside (although it is not completely flat, though, but the final DoF should be enough to cover this unevenness):-

5. Align at the position and then put on the lens hood with proper length, so as to match the magnification of the whole film frame to fit in the digital image frame and size of the camera:-

6. Find a wide angle macro lens. I am using the Sony E30/3.5 Macro on a NEX. Experiment with the subject to camera distance. I found and added another lens hood so as to make it just right for the image magnification:-

7. Take the photo with steady hands. It is preferable that everything can be screwed together although my above setup doesn't. Adhesive tape may help but I did the following unfixed. Here is the raw result:-

(Above: Pentax 645N with FA645 45mm/2.8, Fuji Provia 100F. For original picture with full EXIF, click and download here. Warning: Large File!)

8. Crop the photo and here is a clean and "complete" scan of the film:-

(For original picture with full EXIF, click and download here. Warning: Large File!)

9. If you want to compare the result for a scan from a lab machine, here is what I got from the lab which scanned my film after the film development:-

(For original photo with full EXIF, click and download here. Warning: Very Large File!)

10. The above lab scan is in 17MPs originally and mine is less than 14MPs for what my NEX could deliver (as after cropping it is less). You may note some vignetting is introduced in my "scan" as my NEX is an old model which could not correct lens vignetting in-camera. But the advantage of scanning the film by oneself is that more things can be adjusted/controlled including the White Balance, Contrast and Colour Profile and etc., which is important IMO. Also, to get the best results, a higher pixel count camera with better image quality should be used and do shoot in RAW mode, which will give you the flexibility of further post-processing for higher image quality and better results.

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