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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


  1. eastmoe


    yeah..very nice.

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  2. halfawakehaiku


    great idea

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  3. weechonghooi


    very very useful~!!!

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  4. boredbone


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

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  5. kylewis


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

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  6. 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

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  7. stouf


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

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  8. oldskool_rider


    this could even be quicker than scanning!!

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  9. sumlom


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

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  10. redbohemia


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

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  11. 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...

    almost 6 years ago · report as spam
  12. arsenic



    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  13. prince_p

    mine didnt worked! please help did the set up prefectly right but still the images are poor, nothing like the example above
    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  14. daylightsecretsyells


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

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  15. obungen


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

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  16. zj2009

    do you think this same technique can be used with a non dslr, like a g10 or something?
    almost 5 years ago · report as spam
  17. maralcvb


    I dont get how this will get the negative to be a positive picture... does it somehow make it a positive?
    almost 5 years ago · report as spam
  18. 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!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam