95 or 99 CRI for high color accuracy
Tolex-wrapped exterior for increased durability
4.5x5.5 inch light area
2x brighter than many competitor options at similar price
Compact design to slide under Pro Mount MK2
Cost effective option to complete or start a Negative Supply system
Negative Supply exists to create tools for film photographers around the world that want to spend more time photographing and less time scanning. Their products allow you to digitize negatives using your digital camera and a macro lens in as little as 5 minutes (or less) with tools you may already have.
Good scans start with good light. While most of the systems currently on the market work OK, Negative Supply wanted to create something specifically for the camera scanning community. With a high CRI and brighter bulbs, the Negative Supply 4x5 Light Source Basic makes scanning film with a digital camera easy and straight forward. Additionally, with an aluminum frame and high end components, it fits within the Negative Supply design ethos.
HIGH CRI, ACCURATE COLOR
Accurate color starts with full spectrum light. The Light Source Basic has been designed using the latest LED bulbs with either 95 or 99 CRI, allowing for more accurate and true to life colors when capturing slide or negative film.
SUPER BRIGHT LIGHT FOR FAST CAPTURE
A brighter light source allows lower ISO settings and higher shutter speeds which contribute to sharper images and an overall faster workflow, so you can spend more time taking photos and less time scanning. The 4x5 Light Source Basic is up to 2x brighter than competitor options.
PART OF THE NEGATIVE SUPPLY FILM CARRIER ECOSYSTEM
The 4x5 Light Source Basic is tailor made for the entire Negative Supply Basic product line. The Basic Film Carrier 120 fits perfectly on top of the light source, masking off any excess/stray light, ensuring the highest quality scans. The Basic Film Carrier 35mm boasts the same capability when paired with the Stabilizing Mask.
Note: This unit runs on a standard USB cable for power, and plugs into your computer or a phone charging block or similar. Power block is not included- only the USB cable.
A quality film carrier is a critical component of the digital camera scanning workflow. The film needs to be completely flat for sharp photos. The Negative Supply Basic Film Carrier 35mm
are two great and affordable options and integrate seamlessly with the 4x5 Light Source Basic.
Similarly, a sturdy camera stand ensures that your digital camera and macro lens are held securely above the film holder and light source. The compact Negative Supply Basic Riser Mini combines innovative new construction methods with Negative Supply's proven functionality to deliver a sturdy platform for your digital camera that focuses on rigidity and easy adjustability for optimal scanning results, all at an affordable price.
Camera & Lens
Just about any semi-modern interchangeable camera will work great for camera scanning. There are many mirrorless or DSLR options to choose from, with the most convenient offering tethered live view capture to your computer. The Canon T2i is probably the cheapest option out there with tethering and large lens selection, and new cameras like the Sony A7 series are now very affordable with great IQ. High end setups may even use the new full frame Panasonic mirrorless cameras with pixel stitching.
For camera scanning, the one real requirement is that your lens focuses close enough to capture the entire frame, without having to digitally crop. For full frame cameras and capturing 35mm film, the term 1:1 designates a lens that will reproduce the 35mm frame exactly onto the full frame digital sensor. With crop bodies, 1:1 focus even closer. There are also options to use extension tubes for older macro lenses. We have had excellent results with an inexpensive Nikon 55mm macro from the film days, using a simple extension tube to get 1:1 on our full frame bodies. Higher end, yet affordable options include the excellent Sigma 70mm ART Macro. The Outside of reproduction factor (1:1), also look out for lenses that are sharp, have good color reproduction, limit internal reflections (modern coatings), and have very little vignetting. Finally, it’s generally best to use your lens stopped down 2-3 from wide open, as this gives a good combination between depth of field and brightness.
Software for Negative Conversion
There are a few plugins and standalone programs for converting negatives into positives. Some older and some newer, all of them try to harness the color science based in darkroom paper to various degrees. Many professional scanners have used LaserSoft applications or some proprietary/built-in software to emulate darkroom printing. After all, even a professional lab scanner is simply a digital camera and a light source. The applications below do the same thing for converting negatives captured with you digital camera rather than a digital camera built into a scanner. We recommend choosing the one that best suits your workflow.