Building a 16mm/35mm Scanner - Need Help

The “Want to Build a Scanner but where to Start” thread was the inspiration for this. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and am ready to finally create a thread concerning it. As I mentioned in my introductory post, my father studied electronics in the 1990s. When I brought up the topic of building a film scanner and explained it to him, he basically had a reaction that said, “this’ll be easy”. I can already envision how I want it to look, and honestly, it may look similar to Kinograph V2. I really like the design. I already know what camera to get, but a few things:

  • RGB or white LEDs? Should they constantly stay on or not? What kinds?
  • What film sensor will work best?
  • How to maintain constant speed? What motors?
  • Where to get 3D printed parts? I currently do not have a 3D printer.

I’ll try to think of a few more, but that’s all I have for now. My biggest fear: programming an Arduino. I have no clue what that is. :sweat_smile: My father is familiar with them, though. What exactly does it do? Do you use that to help tell the camera when to take a snapshot? How would I go about programming an Arduino to work with the camera, lights, etc. This is the main reason why I haven’t started my own build. Any answers will be very helpful.

RGB is better but they’re expensive, plus you need the software to control them to get the proper benefit. In the commercial machines the light gets calibrated to the base, but you won’t have the capture software that can do that for you, so you’d have to calibrate the RGB separately. For a white light you can use either a 50W or 100W YUJILED High CRI 95+ COB 5600K temp LED. You need to mount it to a heatsink and have diffusing material to make the light even. It’s probably best to start with a simple white light even if you intend to move to RGB later on. You could even start with a cheaper white light than a YUJI and buy one only when you feel you need it.

Flashing the light is best. That allows you to get a more precise exposure time, and I believe it also helps reduce motion-blur.

All great questions! I’ll be releasing the info on the RGB LEDs I’m using as well as the motor solution when I’ve had a chance to test them all together.

The question that ultimately decides much of what you’re asking is: what gauge film would you like to be able to scan? Just 8? 8 + 16? 35 or 70?

As you already know there are many ways to build a scanner, and no “right” way. But we can help answer those questions for you once you know what your design goals are.

Also, what kind of budget are you looking to stay under?

While my collection consists of a majority of 16mm, I do have some 35mm trailers, so 16mm and 35mm would be the gate sizes that I would need.

As for design goals, something simple would suffice. I do like the design of V2; nice and simple.

I want to try to stay under $2K if I can, but that may change.

For the record, I’m not sure if I’ll start this project or not. I know that the V2 deadline has been pushed back again toward the end of the year, so I may just wait for that. I’ve waited this long, I can wait another 2 and a half months or so. I’m really in no hurry.

Thanks @DPXTIF. That helps! I am not aware of any 35mm/16mm designs available in that price range but I’m hoping to get Kinograph somewhere near that for the mechanical kit. You’ll have to come up with something other than what I’m using for the camera, as this will likely push you over your budget limit. The Raspberry Pi camera will be your best bet. I will hope to have some tests with that before I am done with V2 but if not you will be able to rely on the trusty forums members for support there.

Here’s a spreadsheet where I track actual and estimated costs of V2. It hasn’t been updated in a while but it will be once I finalize more of the components in the coming months.

Oh! You meant total budget, not budget for building a frame. My total budget is about $5K, and like I said, that could go higher or lower.