Automate 35mm film scanning with Arduino and Python
September 24th, 2020—
While taking photos today is normally a digital affair, there is a wealth of visual information stored on film negatives. Digitization is possible, but it tends to be rather time-intensive, so photographer/hacker Seckin Sinan Isik decided to automate the process.
His setup uses a film carrier augmented with a stepper motor and belt drive to advance the 35mm film under a tripod-mounted digital camera. This is controlled by an Arduino Nano, with the camera’s view shown via a video capture device on a nearby computer.
In one mode, the user can adjust the film position semi-manually using pushbuttons, then scan the negative. The whole process can also be automated, with a Python computer vision routine.
More details on the project can ben found in Isik’s PetaPixel article here.