Automated DSLR Film Scanning Device
Old 04-21-2019   #1
Nathan Skalsky
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Automated DSLR Film Scanning Device

Hi, I thought I'd share my latest addition to my goal of automating my personal film development and digitization.

I've used a lot of scanners and been quite disappointed with the colors and amount of effort & time required. I've grown quite fond of capturing my film/slides using a DSLR with a macro lens configuration and a color-temp adjustable light panel.

I had some downtime this week and roughed out this prototype (not a linear process - several iterations!). Video below.

Current Implemented Features;
1) Bluetooth connectivity (iOS app for selecting color profiles, exposure count, and DSLR/Smartphone device selection)
2) Stepper-based film advance & accurate frame positioning
Controllable color temperature backlight
3) Loader and Outfeed provisions for full rolls and film strips
4) Manual control for lining up the first frame or dealing with unusual frame sizes.
5) IR Camera control

Video of it in action > https://youtu.be/bssll8My03E

This is part of my broader effort to create an open source workflow library in support of 35mm photography, film development, and digitization (previous two projects below).
https://www.photrio.com/forum/threa....cessor.164871/
https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...d.php?t=167908

As always, any feedback or requests are appreciated!

Thanks!

-Nathan
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Old 04-21-2019   #2
Huss
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Very cool! I guess you make sure the film entrance is super smooth to insure no film scratching.
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Old 04-21-2019   #3
Nathan Skalsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Very cool! I guess you make sure the film entrance is super smooth to insure no film scratching.
Thanks! Yes, the film carrier is machined from HDPE and has silicon wipers.

-Nathan
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Old 04-21-2019   #4
JoeV
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Does the device automatically detect the edges of each frame, in case the spacing is erratic?
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Old 04-21-2019   #5
B-9
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That thing is sweet!

Very creative!
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Old 04-21-2019   #6
farlymac
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So, when do you go to market with this thing? Hint, hint...


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Old 04-21-2019   #7
Nathan Skalsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeV View Post
Does the device automatically detect the edges of each frame, in case the spacing is erratic?
No - it currently relies on relatively fixed spacing and gives the user a few seconds to manually override the alignment (using the control knob) and a couple of seconds after you stop fiddling with it it will resume its firing/advancing routine.

It also has a learning mode where you can adjust the spacing by lining up two adjacent frames.

I suspect it would be a challenging burden to accurately detect the frames (I think of the case where images are blown out).

Thoughts on that and how many cases of uneven frame placement you are aware of? If it is just +/- a bit and averages out consistently-ish it may be fine.

-Nathan
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Old 04-21-2019   #8
Nathan Skalsky
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Originally Posted by B-9 View Post
That thing is sweet!

Very creative!
Thank you!
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Old 04-21-2019   #9
Nathan Skalsky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farlymac View Post
So, when do you go to market with this thing? Hint, hint...
It largely depends on how well this serves the need for folks and general interest in this sort of thing.

Either way, I'll make sure it's published/open so that folks can make their own.

-Nathan
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Old 04-21-2019   #10
Solinar
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Wow - he even uses a Rondinax. Definitely an interesting design.
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Old 04-24-2019   #11
predicolous
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Stunning! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-02-2019   #12
ColSebastianMoran
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What's your light source behind the film?
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Old 05-03-2019   #13
Nathan Skalsky
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What's your light source behind the film?
Acrylic defused LED (commonly used for backlighting small display panels).

-Nathan
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Old 05-03-2019   #14
Siluro
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Wow, great proto type, looks very slick. I would be happy with a manually advanced version of this for my workflow.
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