What seemed a long while ago, I pledged on Kickstarter a simple device for using your camera to ‘scan’ negatives by Hamish at 35mmc. I have a scanner but it takes time to set up and to scan the images and sometimes (often) I could use a simple and quick method for digitizing negatives and this seemed the ideal solution.

The day has finally arrived when the pixl-latr is here and ready for me to try out and I wanted to do a quick review.

Packaging-wise Hamish has gone for an all cardboard (no polluting plastic) approach which is appreciated and it made it over to the US in good shape; some of the pieces moved around inside but that’s not an issue.

Instructions are simple and clear and the device is pretty instinctive to use anyway.

I didn’t have time on the day it came for a ‘serious’ test but did do a quick setup with the camera handheld, just to try it out

Not a bad start so a few days later I decided to do a proper test albeit still short.

For this second ‘proper’ test I used my Olympus Pen-F with the kilfitt makro kilar lens attached. I grabbed the nearest (mini) tripod and also my little battery powered Aputure light to provide illumination.

True kitchen table scanning…
Aputure portable light source

Negative-wise I chose a few images from a roll of Fomapan I took earlier this year. I chose this as firstly it was close to hand and secondly, I have always been unsatisfied with the images from this film and I wanted to try to see if it was more a scanning issue.

The results (uncropped)..

Considering this was a setup thrown together in less than 10 minutes between start and first image captured I am very happy. The results are good enough for me to start editing and if needed select frames for a more involved scan.

I need to do a better job of lining up to minimise cropping but overall I think this is going to work for me.

Here’s a cropped version of the first image above

And just to compare with one of these that was scanned by the developing service…

I am much happier now, there are mid-tones and details that were lost in the professional scans and I will consider that going forward.

Thanks Hamish, a great idea and well executed