Lomography’s Film Scanner is the perfect device. It makes scanning high quantities of 35mm film a quick and easy job. Given that it is not a professional scanner, the results are truly satisfying. But as we Lomographers like to modify things, there is always room for improvement.
Lomography’s Film Scanner relies on your smartphone to take make a digital image of your analogue film. As such, the outcome of your scanning attempts will largely be determined by your phone’s camera specifications. In particular, its shortest focusing distance is an important factor.
As indicated in the instruction manual, you will obtain better scanning results by using the appropriate number of spacers. Too much spacers and you will lose quality due to a larger distance resulting in a smaller image, not enough spacers and your camera won’t be able to focus. In my case using two spacers turns out to be the best fit (I use an iPhone 4S).
Scanning your film in this way will give you good results. But if you are anything like me, you like to push things to its limits. So I set out to find a way to get even better results, and as usual, the solution turned out to be very easy… close up filters!
Some of you may have read my “article”: http://www.lomography.com/magazine/tipster/2013/03/01/up-close-with-your-lc-a-plus on how to use close up filters with your LC-A+. The very same 37mm close up filters are a perfect fit for the film scanner! Simply take out the black foam insert, put a close up filter in its place, and you’re done!
With this simple adaptation you can get a lot closer to you negatives and as a results get larger images. Using the +10 filter allows me to remove an extra spacer and still get a focused image.
At first glance, the obtained images might not seem to differ much. The color difference is probably caused by getting closer to the light source, but has no significance here.
However, as soon as you zoom in on some details it becomes clear that using the close up filter does make a difference! Images on the left were taken without filter and as expected the result is fine. Images on the right were taken with a +10 filter and clearly show more detail (just look at the IRISH MUSIC BAR).
So if you’re looking for a quick way to get just a bit more details in those scans, just throw in a close-up filter!