Scanning your film using a DSLR isn’t exactly a new idea. For a long time, people have been rigging together DIY setups with a diffuse light behind a film, then taking a photo of it with their digital camera to record the image. It’s cheaper than a dedicated film scanner, but these methods require a substantial amount of time and effort. But the folks at Botsmedia in the Netherlands have figured out a way to automate the process for slide film, getting through a huge number of images in no time flat.
The process is explained pretty well in the video below, but it’s remarkably straight forward. A DSLR with a macro lens is focused on a modified slide projector, which has an automated advancer. Combine that with an intervalometer on the camera, and a photo is taken every time the slide rack advances. In just a manner of minutes, all the images are photographed, and ready for further editing if required.
Victor Kaijser Bots, who built the project, admits that he might have been able to get higher quality images with a dedicated scanning rig. But this way allowed him to scan 1500 images in one day—and if you’re just trying to digitize memories, and aren’t trying to get the best possible quality, that’s a pretty fantastic DIY project.