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6x6 film "scanning" with the Sony A7rII | by Graham Gibson
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6x6 film "scanning" with the Sony A7rII

A few people have asked about how I'm digitizing my Hasselblad film, so here's a pic of the setup. There are many articles out there about scanning film with a DSLR, so I thought I'd give it a whirl before spending money on a scanner or paying a lab to have it done.


The film sits on the glass from a basic picture frame, with an iPad positioned about 2" below as a backlight/lightbox. The iPad needs to sit a bit back from the film so that the camera doesn't capture the RBG pixel pattern. In the shot above, I have another piece of glass on top used to flatten the film, but unfortunately this introduced some strange moire and added more dust/dirt to remove no matter how much I tried to clean things. A better solution has been to flatten the film without adding the layer on top of the film itself (I'm just weighing down the edges to keep it as flat as possible). Dealing with dust is still an issue though.


The camera is a Sony A7rII with the Sony Zeiss 55/1.8 and a Sigma AML-2 close-up lens. This provides about a 1:3 magnification ratio, and the 6x6 film covers about 80% of the full frame sensor. After cropping, that is around 4000x4000. Going much closer would require image stitching and a lot more time processing (not something I want to do at this point).


So what's the verdict? Well, I have no basis for comparison yet, so I'll have to have some lab scans done next before I can really say, but I'm pretty satisfied with the results so far. I'd imagine it's more time-intensive than using a scanner with Digital ICE (at least for color) to clean things up. Dust, dirt, and scratches are definitely a pain, and you can see I've posted many images without taking the time to correct. As-is, these are great as a digital contact sheet and record. For printing those special images, it might be worth getting a professional scan done. Alternatively, using a darkroom for prints of my black and white images is something I'll plan to do as well!

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Taken on January 7, 2019