What is Camera Scanning

Camera scanning is the process of photographing a piece of film using a digital camera. This is a great alternative to scanning using a traditional scanner because you take advantage of advances in modern digital imaging technology.

Photographing film using a camera has been done since the advent of photography to reproduce originals, it is often called reproduction or just repro. When done right, the results using a digital camera are very comparable to traditional scanners because scanners are, in essence, cameras with lenses.

Scanning using a camera requires some set-up: In addition to a film holder, you need:

  • Camera
  • Lens (we recommend a macro-lens or enlarger lens -
  • Light Source
  • Camera stand: Copystand or tripod

Finally, negatives also need to be converted from a negative to a positive. This is not a direct inversion, and additional software such as Negative Lab Pro or FilmLab, is very useful.

VALOI has a Gear Guide that can help you find the right supporting accessories, and a Technique Guide that will help you get started.