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35mm Roll Film Scanner

posted Oct 30, 2020, 3:10 AM by Tomas Svoboda   [ updated Nov 1, 2020, 9:59 AM ]
The world urgently needs a usable affordable scanner for 35mm films stored in rolls that have often been orphaned for decades.
In the past there had been usable though expensive products on the market namely from Nikon that could process the entire roll of 36 or more frames in a single batch. I have worked with those and got some good results from the though the software was far from perfect. These have been discontinued as well as the Kodak Pakon range that had a good reputation too.
It would seem that the commercial market is unable to support a reasonable roll scanner. Therefore the world needs an

Open Source Project to Create a Good Scanner for 35mm Film

This is a different task than scanning movies. Perhaps the same mechanism with different software could be repurposed for processing movies as well but that is a different task.

  • Scan a whole length of film in one batch
  • Allow manual intervention into the partitioning of frames
  • Facilitate cleaning of film on the input side e.g. by antistatic brushes
  • Export as one long raw image (whole roll including side strips with perforation) and/or as multiple frames
  • Output 16bit data
  • Give sturdy mechanical support for heavily curled material
  • Support should be included for scanning in infrared spectrum to reveal dust and scratches (with respect to related patents)
Some thoughts:
It would seems that the scanner should use a linear sensor to scan one row at a time and move to the next row using a stepper motor. This is better that using an area sensor (or a whole camera) because the position and size of frames is not exactly determined (as opposed to movie scanning where frames are positioned exactly in relationship to perforation).

If you have any ideas that could help move this endeavor forward please let me know at