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Thread: Scanner Camera Revisited with Updated Information

  1. #1

    Scanner Camera Revisited with Updated Information

    The Scanner Photography Project fascinated a lot of people with the potential of constructing a large format digital camera from an inexpensive flatbed scanner. Michael Golembewski’s web site along with his explanations and excellent examples of photographs produced by his cameras inspired some of us to build our own cameras. It was a lot of fun and I have now adapted two of my view cameras to allow me to take photographs with this technique and technology.

    However there are some additional pieces to the puzzle of scanner photography, which were recently forwarded to me that I would like to share. One of the problems relative to these cameras is the digital artifacts and noise that appear in the photographs. That is why you can build your own camera for a couple hundred dollars or less vs. buying a large format digital back from Betterlight which works on basically the same principle for considerably more (Their latest and I believe highest resolution unit was recently introduced at $23,000.), or so it appeared.

    I have posted links to two papers, the first by Shuzhen Wang and Wolfgang Heidrich, The Design of an Inexpensive Very High Resolution Scan Camera System, and an earlier paper by Shuzhen Wang, An Inexpensive, High Resolution Scan Camera, that are very interesting along with some information on my latest camera conversion at:

    I hope you find this interesting and someone can indeed build an inexpensive large format scanner camera for all of us who can’t afford a professional unit.
    Attached files

  2. #2

    Scanner Camera Revisited with Updated Information

    Thanks for the link, John. I looked at the paper and the student's thesis and they got some VERY impressive results. Looks like you've been doing pretty well too. Now I want to try this, like I don't have enough projects.

    Beautiful camera, too. Korona?

  3. #3

    Scanner Camera Revisited with Updated Information

    Thanks for the additional info, John. Here are some images from my camera (I described a bit of the construction in the old thread):

    Attached files

  4. #4

    Scanner Camera Revisited with Updated Information

    moot, thank you and hope you get the time to try this. Not sure what make the camera is, I am at one place and camera at another - it was not a familar name to me. I have enjoyed playing the wooden cameras, it is fun to be able to make parts for your cameras!

    robbbo, hope you post some more info on your camera, looks like you are getting some good results.

  5. #5

    Scanner Camera Revisited with Updated Information

    The lens I am using is a 270mm Rodenstock APO-gerogon S, and the scanner is a (modified) Canon Lide 25. The body of the camera is foam core.

    This combination allows me to capture scans across the whole surface of the scanner - around 8.5" x 11.5". However, with the cluncky old laptop I'm using (a blisteringly slow 300mHz celeron, and no battery so I'm tied to a power point) I don't often scan the whole image at once.

    The images above, before they were scaled down and compressed, were around 1500 x 1750 pixels (above) and 800 x 2000 pixels (below). Scans utilising a larger area are around 130meg TIFFs, which tends to bring my laptop to its knees!!

    I have been reading with interest the documents jvh linked to - these are excellent in terms of clarifying exactly how to accurately calibrate the camera to eliminate the 'streaks' that result. My next task will be to implement some of the measures described.

    (Strictly speaking, my next task will be trying to repair the scanner which seems to have packed it in.)

    For those interested, I am running the wonderful Grafpup in Linux, and using Vuescan.

    If anyone else is playing around with these cameras, let us know!!

  6. #6

    Scanner Camera Revisited with Updated Information

    Here is another image, fresh off the laptop. I managed to fix the scanner - the problem was that I had it wedged in too tightly in the base of my camera, which must have been buckling the frame as it was upsetting the travel of the scan head: it was binding at the start of its travel. Frustrating, but I am glad that it is now fixed.

    The image is a simple composition in my kitchen. The original image was around 2000 pixels wide, whereas the one below has been reduced to 500 wide. Attached files

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