DIY Diaper Scanner

Why would you want to scan diapers? Well you wouldn’t of course, but when you’re in Paris for 3 months without a scanner and a boatload of film cameras producing roll after roll of film that you can’t afford to scan, you get crafty!

I’d seen a few ideas for diy scanners on Feeling Negative?, all were quite amazing, but some were either more work than I was up for, or I’d need materials that I didn’t have around.  The only tools I brought with me to Paris is a Leatherman and a roll of duct tape!  The simplest scanner seemed to be just taking a negative sleeve and hanging it in front of a white screen on my macbook pro and taking a picture with a macro lens (sigma 105).  While this worked in practice, once you looked at the picture full size on the computer, you could see all the individual pixels that made up the white colour, a neat effect, but not what I was going for.

I searched around for something to use as a diffuser, then one day our baguette came with some tissue paper.  I thought this would be perfect, but the paper had creases and made the light from the screen too dim.  Finally I decided the solution would be to bring the film away from the screen and set the lens to a shallow depth of field (2.8), thus eliminating the pixels showing through.  To do this I constructed a box the size of the screen with a depth of about 5cm.  I then cut a hole in the centre slightly larger than a standard 6×6 negative and duct taped the negative sleeve to the front over top of the hole.

As you can see from this xpan pic, it worked quite well for something that took a couple of minutes to make.  The image isn’t as sharp as a high end scanner, and it took a few minutes in photo shop to get it to look right, but for web posting on our Paris blog it’s more than adequate. I can always re-scan the best ones when I get home on my Epson v700.


Of Cameras and Paris…

This is a re-post from 99 days in Paris.  With our recent move to Paris I spent the day exploring the film possibilities of this city.  Read on to see my results.

I didn’t bother buying any more film before we left as I had discovered that it was much cheaper in Paris.  Roger had suggested Prophot as an excellent place to buy film, and he wasn’t joking!  While the camera stores in Calgary have a very limited selection, this store sold ONLY film and photo papers and chemicals, that’s it.  The selection was astonishing, I didn’t have to buy the only film they had, I actually had a choice.

They were even selling black and white slide film, although I didn’t get any as I wasn’t sure where it could be developed.  I did however pick up a roll of PX100 Impossible Project film (for polaroid).  This is the new polaroid film that has just reached the market and is now in black and white!

I then headed over to Negatif+, a store that specializes in pro film developing.  While in line I was chatting with the man behind me.  I told him how great the film selection was in Paris and that you could get nothing like this in Canada.  He told me that this was only common in Paris, and was getting worse and worse.  Too bad, I thought maybe Paris was reversing the trend!

Should have some pics back in a couple of days to post on the blog…