The Camera
I have had a number of inquires specific to how modifications were done in Michael Golembewski’s “The Scanner Photography Project”. Again, it is not my intention to reproduce his work, but at the same time I do want to assist anyone I can in playing with this fun technology and creative approach to digital photography. Below are some further notes specific to my own modifications following the documentation on "The Scanner Photography Project." I will take some photos of my next modification and build on this as I do my own work. Please realize that what has worked for me may not work for you, my interpretation of how modifications are done may differ from how they really should be done and I will assume no responsibility regarding damage done to equipment you are modifying or injury you may do to yourself or others.

Proceed at your own risk!

The Adventure Continues Camera 2007 Is Under Construction - Take a Look
Also New Links and References - this is really interesting!
John Van Horn Photo
The scanner I used was a Canon LIDE 20 (similar to models 25 and 30 - have not looked closely at other LIDE scanners.). This scanner is ideal since it gets power from usb port (so can work in field from laptop), does not have mirrors and lens (actually array is full width of the scanner under a row of pinholes) and can be used vertically.

The basic steps involved in the modification are:

Removal of the lid for use with a camera and the glass to access the scanner parts:

The lid is hinged with two small plastic fingers - I slid my as far is it could go to one side and pried with a screwdriver and it popped off. You could also cut one of the fingers off which might be safer.

Glass is held in place by two side pieces and cross piece at the front of the scanner. I carefully pried each side piece starting at the front at the oval shape - once that is up just work toward the back - side pieces are actually attached to glass with double sided tape - back end of side piece has a little piece that slides into the back of the housing which can slide out toward front when tape has released. Front piece of plastic is also held by tape and has a little flange that fits under the front of the housing. Once plastic pieces are off, slide glass toward the back until it will clear the front and remove.

Remove light source:

The glass rod that is the bar of light that moves as you scan is just that - a glass rod with three little glass blobs that hold it is place. It can be carefully pried out of the housing, It is not attached by any wires, the light source is in the block at one end of the rod and shines into the rod to illuminate it. The light source is simply covered now with a thick piece of electrical tape. Note, I have since removed the tape because of leaks and painted over light with black paint.

Once the light source is defeated, the scanner may not work with the standard software. If you are software savvy and want to experiment, try I am not very good with software manipulation so I am using VueScan software, I used trial version download until I was sure all my modifications worked before I purchased it. I tested each step with the insides and lens of an old box camera taped to a piece of mat board laid over the bed of the scanner (I put glass back in with each test to minimize dust getting into the scanner element.).

Remove pinhole lens strip:

It might be easier at this point to remove the sensor assembly which is hinged at each end. The assembly has a small plastic finger at each end which fits into a metal assembly that carries the electronics of the scanner (The electronics on later models may be housed in another part of the scanner.). I simply bent one of the metal ears that was holding one of the plastic fingers and lifted the assembly out and than pulled out the electrical strip connector at the end where the light source block is situated. Be as gentle as possible since the strip connector is not exactly heavy duty and the under side of the assembly contains the sensor. Now the pinhole lens strip can be removed. On my scanner it is actually just pressed into the assembly and I used a pair of needle noose pliers to pull it out.

Removing the sensor and widening the angle that light can enter:

With the pinhole lens strip gone you get a keyhole effect picture (see notes on previous page). Now the camera lens actually focuses light on the sensor and that focused light must reach the sensor at the bottom of a narrow valley. To widen the opening (I actually removed the trailing edge and angled the front edge.) you must remove the sensor and put it aside safely. This is the trickiest part, the sensor is very fragile and yes, I broke my first one. It does not bend!

The sensor is held in place on the bottom by a series of small plastic nibs. I carved these off with an Xacto knife until the sensor came free with virtually no force. I used both the knife and a Dremel tool to create a clear field for the sensor to receive light on its entire travel from one end of the scanner to the other. Remember the light is now going to all come from one point, the lens of the camera. Do your cutting and particularly the grinding away from the sensor and scanner, you do not want any dust on the sensor or in the scanner. Clean well before resembling, it has even been suggested to paint the plastic to lock in any residual dust.

Resemble the scanner with glass, without lid and fit it to the back of a camera (The camera can be a box with a lens mounted if the focal length is right.) and give it a try. I was lucky that my sensor fit back in without glue or tape, so am not much help there if it is loose on your unit.

That is the sum total of my knowledge at this time and I will add other information as I learn more.

Links to Other Scanner Photography Information and Photos
Steven Taft's notes located on
Steven Taft's gallery of Scanner photographs on
John's notes located on
Jacky's Scan Cam Success
Steven Taft's Website
The Scanner Photography Project - Looks like original content...
Camera 2007