I never had the need for a DigitaLIZA in the past as none of my camera were capable of exposing the sprocket holes of 35mm negatives. That changed recently with the purchase of a Lomography Spinner 360 so I bought a DigitaLIZA and this is what I made of it.
If like me you’ve recently purchased a Spinner 360 or Sprocket Rocket you’re probably going to want to scan your negatives at home as many labs wont handle them. Unfortunately, the masks included with your scanner probably wont enable the sprocket holes to be scanned. Thankfully there is a solution in the Lomography DigitaLIZA 135.
Compatible with most scanners with a backlight unit the DigitaLIZA will handle 35mm film in an unpartitioned strip, making it ideal for single frames and continuous panoramas alike. Just as important though is the height of the mask and the mechanism used to hold the negative in place which enable the scanning of sprockets.
The DigitaLIZA comes in three parts all of which combine to enable the mounting of negatives with sprockets exposed. The process itself I found to be relatively simple and straightforward. Firstly, open the mask and place the metal plate underneath.Then, drop the negative in to the mask and lower the upper plate on top. Now close the lid and remove the plates. The whole width and height of the negative is now held in place and ready for scanning.
The process really is that simple and it’s difficult to find fault with the method. Within a couple of minutes I had the first negative mounted and ready to go. There were some issues when scanning but these were down to the scanning software and not the DigitaLIZAa as it takes the dark sprocket holes into account when balancing the exposure.
One problem I did encounter was the positioning of the mask. The mask that came with the scanner (EPSON Perfection V330) is custom designed to fit so sits in exactly the right place. The DigitaLIZA on the other hand is designed to be compatible with many scanners. This means positioning can include a bit of guesswork with trial and error to work out the best position.
Obviously, the core functionality of the DigitaLIZA is what really counts — the ability to scan sprocket holes and panoramas — and judged against these criteria it does not fail. All of the negatives I scanned were successfully held in place, straight and flat and of course with the sprocket holes showing.
To add this functionality to you current scanner for the current £29 RRP is in my opinion very good value, especially when adding up the savings from scanning from home rather than paying a lab willing to scan sprockets. Some would argue that you can effectively do the same job with a sheet of glass but personally I prefer the off-the-shelf, well built and safe to use DigitaLIZA.
One criticism I have held in the past of Lomography products has been the good but excessive packaging. In the case of the DigitaLIZA though this certainly is not the case as the packaging is small but perfectly formed.
If like me you were looking for a solution to scan sprocket holes and panoramas you wont go far wrong with the DigitaLIZA 135. With a clever method of holding the negatives in place whilst exposing the whole height and width of the negative and a reasonable RRP there isn’t a great deal not to like.
The DigitaLIZA 35mm Scanning Mask holds your 35mm negatives in place so you can scan them, sprocket holes and all! Be your own boss when it comes to scanning 35mm negatives, giving you ultimate control over your images! Visit the Shop and get your very own DigitaLIZA 35mm Scanning Mask.