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Camera Scanning

Photo: A. Båsmo, Scanned on VALOI

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 get to take advantage of modern digital technology.

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Photo: A. Båsmo, Scanned on VALOI

Did you know?

Camera scanning is closely based on the process of re-photographing images, a process that has been done since the very first photographs and that was very common until the onset of digital scanners.

It is commonly know as reproduction.

How does it work?

 

Setup 

Place our holder on-top of a light source. Point a camera from above, down onto the film.

Capture

Take a picture of your film, making a digital copy of it.

Film

Insert film into our holder. Keeping dust and stray light out.

Convert

If your film is negative, convert it using a tool like FilmLab or Negative Lab Pro.

Macro

Use a lens that can focus close and focus on the film. 

Save and Share

Save your precious images and share them with friends online. 

How does it compare to a flatbed?

Resolution

Resolution is not the most important part in film photography, but extracting as much of the film as you can will render an image more true to the film. 

Epson v850 Flatbed

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Camera Scanning

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Speed

Scanning is boring, so you don't want to spend hours scanning each roll of film. Scroll down to find out how long scanning takes.

"Before I started the idea of VALOI, I would spend hours at the University Library flatbed scanner, studying while waiting for just a couple of rolls. I almost gave up on film before I discovered camera scanning."

- Arild E. Båsmo, VALOI Co-Founder

Flatbed Scanner

One 35mm roll: 35min - 2 hours
- Source: Filmscanner.info

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Camera Scanning

One 35mm roll: 7-15min

Flexibility

Flatbed Scanners

  • Fixed quality

  • Limited number of formats

  • No upgrade-able parts

Camera Scanning

  • Near unlimited upgrade possibilities

  • Fully modular

  • Nearly any film format possible

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Want more details?

There are many good videos out there showing camera scanning. We recommend this one by Analog Resurgence, particularly because it takes the perspective of someone new to camera scanning. 

In this video Jahan Saber goes through the whole process in easy-to-follow terms, including setup, capturing and processing. A must-see if you want to get into camera scanning. 

What are the limits of camera scanning? Well, in this video Kyle McDougall explores that with his new setup that replaced one of the best film scanners in history, the Coolscan 9000 ED.

VALOI products will help you get the best results possible while being highly efficient, and without having to struggle with DIY solutions. They will hold your film flat and without scratching it, while also letting you move quickly to the next frame. The affordable holders are a great starting-point, and accessories like the Advancer will grant you more stability, speed and quality.

The VALOI 360 scanning system is the perfect modular tool for anyone either wanting to get into camera scanning or someone wanting to upgrade their setup to a professional solution.

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