Scan Your Photos With a Digital Camera


Scanning 120 can get extremely expensive when you have it done at your lab, but there's always an alternative for it. Let me show you what I did!

I was so excited with my new Diana F+ Blackjack edition taking pictures, until i took my films back to the lab and noticed that scanning 120 negatives was surprisingly expensive.

Believe it or not, digital cameras are useful for what we Lomographers do! In addition to be known as the “analogue killers”, digital cameras could help you take your negatives to another dimension (digital). What am I trying to say? Digital cameras work perfectly as an enlarger for 120 slides/negatives.

Things you will need:

  • Digital Camera
  • Tripod
  • Lamp (white light bulb)
  • Transparent plastic bag/white acrylic
  • Black cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Tape

First you have to cut off a squared frame from the center of the cardboard where the images on the negative fit well (5.2cm x5.2cm i.e.).

Put your digital (SLR) camera on a tripod facing down. Then put the lamp under the camera. Cover the lamp with the transparent bag (for making a soft light effect) and tape it.

Turn the lamp on and put the black cardboard over the plastic bag. Put the slides between the cardboard and the plastic bag where you can see the image at the negative centered.

Finally take pictures for each image. I used Photoshop a little for making sure the edges were well cropped and voilá… your slides/negatives are now on a digital platform ready to be submitted at your favorite Lomo rumble! Happy non-expensive submissions!

written by comezone on 2009-04-10 in #gear #tipster #tipster #slides #saving-tip #scanning-120 #digital-scanning


  1. eastmoe
    eastmoe ·

    yeah..very nice.

  2. halfawakehaiku
    halfawakehaiku ·

    great idea

  3. weechonghooi
    weechonghooi ·

    very very useful~!!!

  4. boredbone
    boredbone ·

    coolest idea...negatives in raw format:) i will try this one out.

  5. kylewis
    kylewis ·

    Bloody marvellous idea! for us tight so 'n' so's!!!

  6. breakphreak
    breakphreak ·

    state of the digital art :P
    (on the other hand, good digital cam is not cheap as well)

    still liked how carefully you did that

  7. stouf
    stouf ·

    Excellent ! But I don't have a digital camera ; )

  8. oldskool_rider
    oldskool_rider ·

    this could even be quicker than scanning!!

  9. sumlom
    sumlom ·

    i think you might be right oldskool_rider. looks really quick to shoot and move to the next frame. great idea comezone!

  10. redbohemia
    redbohemia ·

    Wow!...must so give this a shot with my brother's old Nikon D70...

  11. ebolatheelectricmonk
    ebolatheelectricmonk ·

    Nice idea! I like it, when you guys come up with new solutions to old problems, keeps my brain working! I scan all 120's with a rather cheap flatbed scanner (Epson 4490).
    When you skip digital ICE (=scratch removal) it's fast and conveniant.

    Live long and prosper...

  12. arsenic
    arsenic ·


  13. prince_p
    prince_p ·

    mine didnt worked! please help did the set up prefectly right but still the images are poor, nothing like the example above

  14. daylightsecretsyells
    daylightsecretsyells ·

    so you dont have to get 120 film developed at a pro lab first?!?

  15. obungen
    obungen ·

    this is really clever! i'm going to try this!

  16. zj2009
    zj2009 ·

    do you think this same technique can be used with a non dslr, like a g10 or something?

  17. maralcvb
    maralcvb ·

    I dont get how this will get the negative to be a positive picture... does it somehow make it a positive?

  18. lageos
    lageos ·

    Works great!
    I tested it with my Digi-Cam (not SLR) and was able to get nice results (after setting up contrast and brightness). Not really fine grain in return for old school look!

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