DAM Useful creates solutions for scanning negatives and slides with a camera. These are produced in limited quantities. If an item is sold out, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the waiting list for the next batch.
We have three different varieties of camera scanning rails, each one is made from old Nikon parts. Peter describes them in this video:
- Each of these kits can be used to copy both mounted slides and unmounted 35mm film.
- Each of these kits can be used with nearly any kind of camera, from mirrorless, to DSLR to medium format. They work with any brand of camera.
- Each kit contains a film stage, a rail, and a camera mount carriage, that is used to attach your camera to the rail.
- The standard 220mm rail is suitable for full frame digital camera using lenses of 60mm or shorter.
- A longer rail option (adds $25) is available for use with longer lenses.
- Each of these is made from used parts and will show signs of use. However, each one is fully functional.
- Each of these has had some modifications done to produce better results for full frame copying. This modification leaves some additional scars on the metal, but all metal in the film transport path has been smoothed down.
What you provide:
- Your camera and macro lens
- An Arca-compatible camera plate to attach your camera to the carriage. We strongly suggest that you get a plate that is designed for your particular camera to ensure trouble-free alignment of the camera and the film stage. Here are some options (link to page)
- Your own tripod to support the rail
- A light source (if you do not choose to buy our light kit)
We offer three different film stages:
1. Nikon F film stage
This kit has support arms for strip film, which makes it an ideal candidate for people with unmounted negative or positive film to scan. This film stage also accommodates mounted slides in cardboard or plastic mounts.
Note: The slot for slides does not accommodate some thicker slide mounts, such as Glass Mounts and some other custom mounts
Ideal for: This kit is ideal for collections that contain unmounted 35mm film, as well as lab-mounted slides.
2. Nikon PS-5
This kit accommodates wider slides than the Nikon F kit. It accommodates unmounted film, but does not have the support arms found on the two other units.
Ideal for: This kit is best for collections that primarily contain mounted slides. You can also use it to copy unmounted film, but it’s less convenient than the other options due to the lack of support arms.
3. Nikon PS-4
This kit has the best of both worlds - a wide slot for mounted slides and support arms to make unmounted film easier to scan.
Ideal for: This kit is ideal for collections containing slides and negatives , including a lot of slides that are in thicker custom slide mounts.
Optional Long Rail
If you are using a lens longer than 60mm on a full frame camera, or longer than 40mm on an APSC sensor, your need to upgrade your kit to include the longer rail. Our typical rail upgrade is 350mm, which will comfortably allow the use of 105mm lenses on full frame cameras, or 90mm on APSC cameras.
If you need lights, Peter describes how our lighting system works and what you need to look for if you have similar gear at your home or studio.