Only dead fish swim with the stream

Only dead fish swim with the stream

In the ghetto

In the ghetto.

I have an old but still functional Minolta Dîmage Scan Dual 35mm scanner. I’ve been using this again recently to work my way through my old 35mm negatives. I have a few old 120mm medium format negs and slides that I’ve wanted to scan too. I keep an eye on ebay for a proper 120mm scanner or flatbed that would do it but they’re too expensive. Medium format scanners are ludicrous prices. Today I did a bit of research on making my own “ghetto scanner”.

Minolta Dîmage Scan Dual

I Googled some sites on DIY neg scanning and had a go with my trusty Canon Powershot S95 compact. A compact may not be the most obvious choice but it has a macro setting for close focussing. Handily I had all the required items laying around. iPad as a light box, 2 bits of picture frame glass, a mini tripod and a piece of white plastic bag as a diffuser. This diffuser goes between the iPad screen and the lower piece of glass, otherwise the screen pixels show up in the photo. The negative itself goes between the two glass plates to keep it flat.

Ghetto scanning rig

Best done in a dark or dimly lit room to reduce any glare on the glass. I used auto focus and set the exposure manually according to the cameras metering. This worked out to approx 1/2 second at F8. The camera was set to self timer to avoid camera shake as well.


They shots need to be inverted afterward as it’s a picture of a negative. They also need a bit of post work on levels, curves and contrast but apart from that I’m pretty pleased with how they came out. Not really good enough to print from but to post on the web they’re not too bad. Especially as they were taken with a compact. What do ya think?

Shrinking Violet demo cassette photo

Monument Valley

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