I am considering buying Lomography DigitaLIZA film masks for both 35mm and 120 film to use within my digitisation process, however I am unsure of the best methods around the other areas of my process.

I struggle for back-lighting of the negatives mainly. I have an iPad in which I initially used, showing a blank white screen with my film negative on top and a glass/perspex sheet on top to flatten out. However, I found that upon inspecting the photos of my negatives, I could actually see the pixels of the Retina display in the whiter areas. I have gotten better results with no pixels in the background when lifting the negatives up, away from the screen and resting the setup on top of say a cardboard box, however this can sometimes lead into another problem... Making sure everything is level.

I have seen people use copy stands and film viewing light panels, but from what the products I have viewed this can start to incur great cost.

Does anybody have similar experience with digitising film negatives and a way to do it without breaking the bank?

  • 1
    Just a note - 120 film is just 120 film. It's not 120mm wide, only a little over 60mm wide. (Captures on it are approximately 60mm x 45, 60, 70 or 90mm, depending on the exact capture format.) 35mm is actually 35mm film (or 135 film, using the same code as 120), and actually is 35mm wide. – Jim MacKenzie Mar 25 '19 at 14:58
  • Whoops. Must have mis-typed there – physicsboy Mar 26 '19 at 17:00

If your budget will stretch to it, you might have a look at a secondhand Bowens Illumitran (seeBowens Illumitran or do a web search for more details - a quick ebay check shows prices around £90 to £120 ($120-$160) for used ones. They were designed for copying slides, with focusing and flash illumination, and an optional contrast control unit.

They handle various source sizes, from 35mm up to 5x4".

For colour negatives, you'd need to compensate for the orange mask in post processing.

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