Category Archives: Digitizing Your Photos

Rail System for copying film – DYP Movie of the Week

This video from Digitizing Your Photos  outlines two related types of film copying equipment – rail systems and bellows systems. I’ve been using these systems for more than a decade to digitize large amounts of my own film. They are fast to use and relatively easy to set up for a photographer experienced with lighting.

At the moment, these systems are do-it-yourself, but we’re working on finding someone to produce them commercially. In the meantime, we’re about to start renting ones I personally own. Click here to find out more.

Rail Systems for Rent

A lot of readers are asking how to get a rail system for 35mm slide and negative copying. I’m working on some sourcing options for this. In the meantime, we’re going to offer the units that I personally own as rental items.

What we can provide

The rental is for a rail, a film stage, a generic camera plate if needed, and step down ring to allow your lens to connect to the shade if needed (These units have a 52mm lens connection.)

These units have had the rounded corners filed down to show the full frame of the image. You’ll get a natural black border on standard 35mm film.

Here’s an example of a negative scanned with a rail system and turned positive with the techniques outlined in my new book. The black border is created in-camera and shows the entire frame of the image. Note that each different unit will produce a slightly different black border. 

Rail System Options

We have several styles of unit, all made from Nikon slide copy adapters. Some have the rear diffusion glass, and in some the glass has been removed.
• Without diffusion – this requires that you have a nice even light source such as a softbox or lightbox. Shooting without diffusion means there is no chance of dust particles sticking to the glass and appearing in every shot.
• With diffusion – This will make it easier for some people to make a smooth and even illumination across the frame.

Nikon PB-6 and PS-6

I also have a Nikon Bellows unit for rent. To use this, you need a full frame small body Nikon camera (e.g. D750, D800, D810, D600, D610, D700) and a 55mm or a 60mm Nikon Macro lens.

D1, D2, D3, D4, And D5 cameras do not fit on these units.

What you need

You’ll need your own camera and macro lens, as well as a light source (strobe or LED recommended). YOUR CAMERA DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A NIKON.

Camera – Rail systems can be used with any brand or model of camera.

Lens – In order to connect the lens shade, you’ll need to use a “normal” length macro lens. This means a 50mm-60mm range for full frame DSLR and 35mm range for APS-C or micro 4/3 camera.

Digitizing Your Photos – It is strongly recommended to have a copy of my most recent book in order to get the most out of your rental. Shown below is a video from the book.

Terms

Rental is $50/week, or $150/month. You pay shipping both ways (we prefer if you can provide a Fedex or UPS account number.) When we send the unit out, we need to take a credit card deposit for $500.

If you are interested in rental, drop us a line at support@theDAMbook.com or make a Facebook comment below. Let us know whether you want a Rail or bellows system, whether you want the diffuser or not, and how soon you’re losing to get started.

 

 

 

 

Film Copy Setup – DYP Movie of the Week

The easiest way to build a copy setup for film (slides, transparencies and negatives) is to lay a lightbox on the copy stand and then put a negative carrier on top of that. This video from Digitizing Your Photos shows you how set one of these up (including how to make sure that the camera and the film are parallel to each other.)

I cover several other setups for copying film in the book, but this one requires no special tools and can be made wth stuff that is commonly available at camera shops.

Remove Silvering – DYP Movie of the Week

This post kicks off a series of tips and techniques from Digitizing Your Photos. These posts will focus on  a particular technique from the multimedia eBook, and include one of the videos from the book.

It’s common for vintage prints to exhibit Silver Mirroring (or Silvering). The reflections caused by residual silver can obscure the shadow detail in the print. Fortunately, it’s easy to remove the mirroring in the copy photo through the use of simple cross-polarization. This video shows how to cross-polarize and what the effect looks like.

This video appears on page 48 of Digitizing Your Photos with Your Camera and Lightroom.