Nikon F Rail System
The DAM Useful Camera Rail System turns your camera into a high-quality, high-volume scanner. These are built from vintage Nikon F slide duplicator film stages and Arca-compatible mounting hardware. They provide a perfectly aligned method for using your DSLR or mirrorless camera and macro lens for camera scanning.
This unit can accommodate mounted slides and unmounted film. It has “arms” to support film strips, which makes it an excellent choice for scanning film strips and rolls.
NOTE: the slot for mounted slides in this unit can only accept thinner slides, like the ones produced at commercial labs (cardboard and plastic mounts.
These units are modified in a couple of ways: I removed the diffusion glass so that it can produce even, full frame illumination against a light table or other diffuse light source. Additionally, I’ve filed out the corners of the negative stage so that you get a nice black border on negative scans. And finally, I’ve cut some slots in the film support arms to better support strip film as shown in this photo.
Here’s a sample image showing the black border effect. This is not added in Photoshop - it’s actually part of the scan. Note that each device will produce a slightly different black border.
This version is suitable for use with a full frame camera and 60mm lens (or shorter), or an APS-C camera with a 40mm lens (or shorter).
If you wish to use a longer macro lens, purchase the extended rail upgrade ($40).
- Nikon F film stage for mounted slides and unmounted 35mm film
- 220mm Rail with end clamp
- Dual clamp carriage to hold camera
Not included: Camera, Macro lens, Arca-compatible camera plate, tripod or light source. We suggest getting a plate that is dedicated for your particular camera to ensure perfect alignment.
Extended Rail Upgrade - $40
Dedicated Light Kit for this rail system - $200
If you aren't sure you need the Nikon F rail, review Peter's video.