Digitizing Your photos - a guide to photo scanning with a digital cameraThis page contains links to film scanning equipment shown in the book Digitizing Your Photos. The books describes a method to rapidly scan photographic prints and negatives using a digital camera.

In the book

I demonstrate several systems in the book, as shown below. Rail and bellows systems are well-suited for 35mm slides and negatives. Bench systems can accommodate other film sizes more easily. Lens-attached systems can also work for some readers. Here are some links to specific solutions.

Bench Systems

The Beseler Dual Mode Slide Duplicator is shown in the book. Originally used for traditional film copying, they are excellent for film scanning with a digital camera. They are available on Ebay and other reseller networks. Here’s a saved search.

Rail System

I have a limited number of rail systems for sale or rent. These can be used with any camera or lens combination and provide fast workflow, high quality, and a true black-border scan that looks like a natural darkroom print. More info here.

Film toaster for camera scanning of negatives and transparencies

The Film Toaster was designed by Cecil Williams after he saw one of my presentations at PhotoPlus Expo. I have not tested yet, but it’s on my list. Here’s the link.

Rail Systems

The Nikon bellows/copier system has been recently discontinued, but there are a lot of used units available on Ebay. These will work with the company full frame Nikon bodies like the D810, D800. D750, etc. You’ll also need a Nikon mount macro lens like the 55mm 2.8 or 60mm 2.8. I tested mine with D800 and both of these lenses. Here’s an Ebay search.  These should work with Sony and Canon cameras if you use an adapter.

The Novoflex Castle system offers a rail and slide stage. Not tested. It does not shield extraneous light from coming around the slide and hitting the lens, which means you’ll probably still need to do some DIY work.

Rail System Rentals – I have the parts to make about a dozen kits that I expect to offer for rent. Read about it here.

DIY Rails

I made mine from Nikon Slide Copiers (Nikon F original, PS-4 and PS-5). The PS- and PS-5 require a bit of metal work to fit to a rail. The rail parts are available from Really Right Stuff or from other Arca-compatible  manufacturers found on B&H, Amazon, etc..

Here are the most economical options I’ve found for the rail parts.

Main rail with integrated endclamp


Desmond DVC-220 $40 – I also have one of these. It is 220mm long,  and it works fine for my full frame camera with 60mm lens.

Sunwayphoto DMC-285R – $90 I have bought and tested these units. It is 285mm long, which is gives you a little more length than the 220 mentioned above.

Sliding Clamp
Here’s the clamp assembly that slides along the rail. The Desmond 50mm DPLEX-50 Twin. $30 on Amazon.



Sunway Photo MCP-01 This one is in-stock at B&H for $50

Plate for Slide copier

Here’s the piece that you attach the Nikon slide copier to (after you have modified the Nikon PS-4, PS-5. Desmond DPL-100 $17. It’s just a generic Arca style plate.

Lens-attached systems

Nikon ES-1 can be used with a full-frame camera body, a Nikon 55mm lens and PK-13 extension tube. Can be used with other full frame cameras with adapter.

Just so you know:

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