I Built My Own Medium Format Film Scanner from a Shoe Box


Unless you have the dough to get a lab scanner, it is a painful process to scan your own film. Luckily one day all the photo labs dumped their Pakon F-135 to the market, and I remember you could get one for ~$250 a pop.

It was the best thing happened to those who want to scan their 35mm film at 5 min each roll, and the quality was excellent. For anything larger than 35mm, the best you can do is probably something like an EPSON v700/800 or a dedicated Nikon 9000ED.

The long nights spent scanning with them was not particularly fun. Newton rings? You gotta purchase special glass for that (they are not cheap). Scans not sharp enough? You have to carefully carefully adjust the height of the film holder/glass with tape/paper or whatever and pray the next scan would nail the focus, but the result is usually a slap on the face.

With dedicated scanners like the Nikon 9000ED, it is simpler… but you still have to wait 2-3 mins for a single frame scan, and that’s without the IR dust removal. Did I mention how much a Nikon 9000ED costs?

Now it’s time to forget all that pain and suffering, because you can scan a roll of 120 film in less than 2 minutes with a shoebox scanner. I have proof!