For serious film photographers, getting a proper film scanner is just as important as getting the right gear. It’s an investment (a pretty expensive one at that) but if you don’t do your research properly you might end up just throwing your money away on a model that produces substandard results.
Getting a film scanner all depends on your budget and even on how frequent you plan on using it. Online alone, there is a myriad of handheld, standalone, and flatbed scanners to choose from that come in different prices.
Or if you prefer the DIY route, you can scan your negatives with a DSLR instead. Many photographers have actually been doing this since they already have the equipment for it. Without going into detail (a quick Google search will have you covered) what they do is put the negative atop a light box, take a DSLR equipped with a macro lens, use it to shoot the backlit negative, upload it, and use editing software like Photoshop to do some edits and invert the negative.
If you’re among those who scan with a DSLR or are just simply looking for an alternate way to scan your negatives, then this latest prototype of a film digitizer by Yancheng Xu and collaborator Zhuang Kang might tickle your fancy. It’s currently on Kickstarter and looking for backers to help reach its £5,000 goal, or US $6,454.
According to information we gleaned from the campaign’s description and accompanying video, this curious looking product is called the G&X 35mm film digitizer and is an improved version of another “film duplicator” that they’ve previously produced. To use it, one would need to put the negative on one end and the camera on the other of this accordion-like contraption. Then, they can easily adjust the distance between the camera and the negative by pushing and pulling it up to 25cm, before taking a photo of the negative with a DSLR.
“We are trying to solve the issue of digitizing film photos, and we are confident to figure out an approach better than scanners,” its makers proudly wrote on the digitizer’s Kickstarter page. We do hope, though, that they’ll reveal how the actual film scanner would look soon!
Would you be willing to back and try the G&X 35mm film? Head on to its Kickstarter page to find out more about it!
All images taken from the video on the product’s Kickstarter page.