Consumer film scanners don’t provide enough detail, and professional models require too much money and pampering. What’s a dedicated film nerd to do? For Peter De Smidt, the answer was to build his own high-res scanner using the Nikon D600 and 50mm Micro lens he already had on hand, a bit of lumber and a lot of patience.
The basic idea is that a DSLR can capture a super-detailed scan of a negative or slide if it takes the sit-and-stitch route, capturing the image one little piece at a time and later stitching the results together to produce a final composite. De Smidt’s basic rig consisted of a backlit holder for the film and a sliding piece to hold the camera above it.