The Camera
The above is a test to see if this really works. I used the insides of an antique box camera (same principle as described in "The Scanner Photography Project) which holds the lens. This assembly was taped to a piece of mat board with an area cut out the size of the camera back and then taped to the top of the scanner. It used black tape to make it as light tight as possible. No modifications are make to the scanner. The result is an image recorded that is directly though the lens.

Notes (this area is under construction and will be added to periodically)

The purpose of this section is to share with anyone interested some of the process in creating pictures with this unique set of hardware. As I stated in the Introduction, the prime source of my information and inspiration to play with this technology came from Michael Golembewski’s “The Scanner Photography Project”, and it is my intention not to duplicate the documentation provided there, but simply note what I have found in my particular work.

The photos and notes provided here describe my results using a Canon LIDE 20 scanner which is now obsolete, but which I purchased on eBay. Actually I purchased two, the second after I broke the first. So this is a good time to put in the disclaimer, what worked for me may not work for others, and I can not be held responsible for damage done to your equipment or person due to the information provide here. Even simple things can be dangerous, for example, optical lenses do focus light and can build up heat under certain circumstances. Read and experiment at your own risk!

The photo to left was taken after the light source and row of pinhole lens were removed. The next step is to increase the angle at which the light can reach the sensor.

This is probably a good time to mention that the choice of the Canon scanner has a number of advantages over other scanners that I am familar with. The first scanner I tried was one that used mirrors and a lens into the sensor which in my mind would be very difficult to modify for this application. The Canon LIDE can also be used in a verticle position and is powered through its USB connection.

Why is the picture round? A round lens projects a round image. A square or rectangular negative is formed by the shape of the frame in the camera. The size of the circle is designed into the lens, a 35 mm camera lens circle covers a 35 mm negative (roughly 1”x1.5”) but as a rule will not come close to covering the area of a 6x6 negative (2.25”x2.25”). In the picture a 135 mm lens designed for a 4”x5” camera was used, but the area of the scanner bed is 8.5”x14” and so the whole circle can be seen since it will not cover that larger area. The dark area in he middle of the lower half of the picture is caused by an internal reflection in the modified scanner and at this time makes that part of the image unusable.
The picture above is a photo prior to conversion to black and white. The photos taken by this system are in reality all black and white although when scanned as color there is a little color residual. I scan in color because there is more data to work with and hopefully more tonal detail. I usually convert using “channel mixer” in Adobe Photoshop. I am using Vuescan Professional Edition software and have been very pleased with it so far. This allows as mentioned in “The Scanner Photography Project” the ability to often run modified hardware that will no longer run with the manufacture’s software. You can test the software prior to purchase, in fact Vuescan suggests that you do, and than choose which version you want (I opted for the Professional Edition since it provides me with some features that I find very interesting for a number of applications.).
Go to notes specific to my interpretation of scanner modifications from Michael Golembewski’s “The Scanner Photography Project”.

Proceed at Your Own Risk

Additional Notes Added Periodically

John Van Horn Photo
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New 2007 Camera