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    iPhone (Smartphone) 120 Film Scanner, Version 2

    iPhone Scannner, Ver 2 in action.

     With Beseler negative carrier in place.

    White plastic diffuser in position.

    The 160 LED video light source  placed in the base.

    The iPhone Scanner , Ver 2.

    Each image is clickable to show a larger version.

    The second version of the iPhone 120 film scanner was completed today. It is the same basic design as the first, but I wanted two more things from this new design. Since most of my negatives are in 120 format, I wanted a dedicated platform that maximized the scan for that size. I also wanted an independent light source for the scanner because using a light table isn't very convenient, and sometimes there may be horizontal line patterning from fluorescent light tube flicker. 

     The scanner is built with a closed base. The closed base is the platform for an inexpensive 160 LED video light. Two levels of supports were added to the inside walls. The first one supports a piece of white translucent plastic that acts as a diffuser for the light. The second support is higher and is for the Beseler 23IIC negative carrier. The negative carrier is ideal to hold the negative flat, easily reposition the negative under the camera, and to be able to quickly switch to a new negative. In order to accomodate the negative carrier, a notch was cut into the side of one of the supports. The negative carrier handle that sticks out the side serves to reposition the negative without having to move the camera.

    Plans for iPhone Film Scanner, Version 3 are already in the works. As this version took shape. I noted places where slight changes could be made so that the scanner could be used for multiple formats. The goal is to be able to scan everything from 110 film to the 6x12 format of the Lomography Belair.

    The light panel is available on Amazon (about $30USD) and is the:

    Chromo Inc. 160 LED CI-160 Dimmable Ultra High Power Panel Digital Camera / Camcorder Video Light, LED Light



    Photos: Scanned with an iPhone


    I've been scanning lots of images in the past few days and I am very happy with the ease of scanning and converting. I will be posting some of these images as I continue to digitize my new and old negatives.

    The above images:

    Seattle, WA 2008

    Holga 120N, Plus-X 


    iPhone 120 Film Scanner or How I Made an iPhone Stand to Digitize Negatives


    Inspired by the upcoming Lomography 35mm scanner and based on the previous test I did for digitizing 120 film, I put together a simple wooden stand to hold my camera over a 120 film negative that has been placed on a light table. I made masks for the negatives to hold the film flat and to shield the camera from flare from the light table. I made the stand to shoot my 6-12 negatives from my Belair, but a shorter stand for 6x6 and 6x9 negatives will maximize the scan for the smaller negatives. It would be more elegant to make an adjustable stand, but for now, the fixed height stands are very easy to make.

    After shooting several negatives, I found I needed to cover up the sides and the lens opening in order to prevent reflections from the overhead light from showing on the scan. I just used the same black card stock I used to make the negative masks.

    I plan on making another stand specifically for 6x6 negatives in order to maximize the scan size and resolution.


    Using an iPhone (or phone camera) to Scan Your Negatives

    While I was shooting the negatives to illustrate my last post on the purple tint in my Tri-X negatives, I  decided to see if I could get usable digital images of my negatives using my iPhone. These were handheld, but they worked better than I imagined. I got the idea from the Lomography Smartphone Scanner for 35mm film that will be shipping a little later this year.

    I had my negatives on a light table and framed the negatives to maximize the size and took a few photos. I wasn't sure which IOS app could invert them, so I just emailed the photos to myself and then downloaded them on my desktop. I later discovered that Photoshop Express has an invert function. I am not sure if any of the other camera or special effect apps have that function. I know that Lomography will have an app for their 35mm smartphone scanner.

    I opened the negative images in Adobe Photoshop CS6 (although any version can handle the conversion to grayscale and inversion to positive) and converted the images to grayscale. After that, I inverted them. I added a slight curve for contrast and to deepen the blacks and open the highlights.

    I am mostly interested in previewing my images before enlarging them in the darkroom. Using my iPhone to make quick proof scans of a roll of film will also enable me to quickly put thumbnails of new photos into my image database, instead of waiting until I can make a proofsheet and scanning that. I am not planning to use this method for digital prints, but I think if I made a stand for the phone, and got a frosted piece of glass or plastic to place the negatives on, I could make decent digital scans for use here on the blog or perhaps for the 6x12 format Belair negatives which I can't print using my current enlarger. The maximum size I can print on my Beseler 23c are 6x9cm negatives.

    Below are a few examples. I am showing the negative image as they came off the phone, then the converted image. All are clickable to view a 800pixel wide image.




    Film Processing: Purple-Pink Negatives - 400 Tri X

    As I recently have been processing my film, I've noticed that the negatives have a distinct purple cast. I wasn't sure what the problem was, and searching for the problem and solution on the internet, I've seen lots of different theories about it. 

    What it reminded me of, is the cast that TMAX has. TMAX negatives have a similar cast, and the solution to the problem is vigorous agitation during the fixing process, and an extended fixing time (4-5 minutes).

    In the image above, the "new" 400 Tri X is the top negative, and the older (now discontinued) Tri X 320 is below. You can easily see the pinkish-purplish cast.

    The image is clickable to a higher res version, if you would like to take a closer look.

    I have modified my fixing process to continuously invert my processing tank for 5 minutes, and that seems to have reduced the problem. The negatives still have a slight purple tint, but it isn't as pronounced or uneven as before.

    I think that Kodak has tweaked Tri X to include some of the same physical characteristics as TMAX. The purple pink tint might be the anti-halation coating they use on the film backing.

    By the way, the wide negative above is the 6x12 negative from my Lomography Belair. It looks good and I look forward to getting the scan done, which I will do by using my iPhone, but more on that later!