DSLR scanning with Negative Supply at the Silvergrain Academy Fashion Week Workshop
by Doug B. Richardson
“After just one demonstration of the DSLR scanning with Negative Supply process, our workshop participants were able to jump in and scan their own films”.
In January of this year, Silvergrain Academy teamed up with Kodak, Negative Supply, and the Leica Gallery Frankfurt to conduct a fashion workshop highlighting wearable avant-guard art provided by Bartholomäus Wischnewski. Shooting mainly on Leica M and R systems, we posed our three models throughout the Leica Gallery utilizing the space as backdrops for our attendees to direct and photograph the models. The attendee’s films were immediately developed onsite and digitized using the DSLR scanning equipment provided by Negative Supply. This allowed participants to not only see results immediately, but also provided a base for informative discussions and the sharing of everyone’s experiences.
Negative supply had generously provided us with their Pro Kit for 35mm, 120, and 4×5 scanning. Since image sharing on social media platforms is almost a given, even for film-based photos, we were excited to show our clients this new option for digitizing their work. Once on location, set-up was easy and only took a few minutes. Shooting (as a scanning substitute) tethered to a computer allows for instant import and viewing and shooting to a card and transferring only takes minutes more.
The Negative Supply kit included the Pro Riser MK2 stand. We like that the unit has adjustable feet which makes it nice for leveling the unit on any surface. The precise build quality is robust which allows for smooth actuations that makes mounting and adjustments very easy. The system also came with their 99 CRI 5×7 light source. The light was bright and even, leaving no artifacts from the light source as in some other makeshift light sources. Being in Germany, it was nice to see that they provided a dual voltage power adapter to make the system as flexible as possible. The Pro Kit also includes all the masks to prevent extra light from contaminating the scans.
The film holders for 35mm, 120 were also included, as well as 4×5 sheet film holders. We used the 35mm holder during the workshop and were impressed with the solid feel and build. The film holders utilize either magnets or register feet to prevent the holders from migrating during use which we found nice while loading or advancing the films. Once the film has been inserted, the rubber rollers for the transport system pull the film through almost effortlessly. Once we had practiced the process, we were able to get scans from an entire roll of 35mm film in less than a minute! Not bad when you consider the time other scanning processes can take.
Scanning the film with a digital camera shooting in the RAW format allows for a file that gives a greater flexibility for manipulating the image compared to a JPEG or TIFF file produced by most common flatbed scanners. There are several different programs offered on the market that allow a simplified conversion from negative to positive and have pre-loaded film profiles, but the images here were just converted and color graded using Adobe’s Lightroom program allowing us to fine tune the look and feel of the images to our taste.
After just one demonstration of the film loading and scanning process, our workshop participants were able to jump in and scan their own films. The excitement on their faces at seeing the results of their efforts was great to witness. This buzz is exactly the reason why companies like Negative Supply and SilvergrainClassics do the things we do, spread the beauty and wonder of shooting analog films.
The Silvergrain Academy team want to give a big thank you to our workshop participants as well as our sponsors; the Leica Gallery Frankfurt, Kodak, and Negative Supply for making this workshop a reality. If you are interested in attending future workshops, please visit our Eventbrite site to see our offerings and to sign up.
You might also be interested in this article on Negmaster scanning software: https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/2021/04/andre-eikmeyer-and-negmaster-friday-focus/