This Film Scanning Method Requires LEGOs

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All images by Zachary Antell. Used with permission.

Zack Antell recently designed a super cool method to scanning film images by using LEGOs, his camera, a lens and lighting. He doesn’t call himself a photographer, but he loves to shoot film. But at this time, he doesn’t have a film scanner, so he improvised with what he had.

“I would normally try to be modern and model/3D print this, since I am home from school I thought I would have to wait. I went to my friend’s house and saw his little brother had a massive lego collection, and couldn’t believe I didn’t think of using legos originally.” Zacl tells us. “I had been trying to follow tutorials using cardboard boxes and tape and it was just too frustrating. Plus, legos are so much easier to modify, especially for different film sizes.”

Of course, this requires doing all of this at the right distance and some photoshop work. Zack built the rig to fit his iPhone 6, which when using a white background, yields pretty good results. After manually exposing and focusing his camera and lens combo, he exposes as far to the right as possible as to not clip the highlights, or what will ultimately become the shadows once inverted. Then he hops into Adobe Camera RAW and does adjustments and crops. He even sometimes uses Photoshop’s Auto Tune.

So are there any problems with this method? “I’ve actually been warned that the legos will cast a color reflection, but I don’t think I’ve picked up anything yet. Using black or white legos only may help with that.” says Zack.

Check out how he did it after the jump.

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100% lego

Slot for phone.  Phone is set to a white image, full screen, full brightness

Slot for phone. Phone is set to a white image, full screen, full brightness

Holds negative between gaps, easy to modify (obviously)

Holds negative between gaps, easy to modify (obviously)

rokinon 35mm.  Set to 2second timer so you can do long exposures (1 second is usually good for an iphone 6 screen)

rokinon 35mm. Set to 2second timer so you can do long exposures (1 second is usually good for an iphone 6 screen)

Processing.

Processing.

This is a shot of 35mm fuji taken on a Lubitel 1.  All images can be seen here (scanned with this setup) https://www.reddit.com/r/analog/comments/39r709/35mm_loaded_in_a_lubitel_1_fuji_200/ This is image itself kind of sucks. Can't fix a bad picture

This is a shot of 35mm fuji taken on a Lubitel 1. All images can be seen here (scanned with this setup)
https://www.reddit.com/r/analog/comments/39r709/35mm_loaded_in_a_lubitel_1_fuji_200/
This is image itself kind of sucks. Can’t fix a bad picture

I have a frame of my friend's 35mm motion picture film.

I have a frame of my friend’s 35mm motion picture film.

Not bad

Not bad

Image from last semester

Image from last semester

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Corrected, my version. 1473×964

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The scan I got from the lab. “Large Jpeg” something like 4k size. Obviously sharper but they always over sharpen and contrast. They also crop. My method is fine until I get a scanner.