Friday, March 9, 2012

Modify your scanner to scan transparencies

Today I will talk about a byproduct of the Caffenolcolor saga.

First of all, I bought a cheap film scanner, the Epson V330, that makes very good pictures of my 35 mm films and slides, but unfortunately can't scan other film formats. The bigger brother of this scanner, witch scans also medium format but only up to 6x9 (I think), the Epson V500, costs the double and I couldn't spend so much. I deal mainly with 35mm but I have a lot of old negatives I would like to scan, and I like medium format very much and I have the dream of purchasing a Mamiya or Hasselblad at ebay some of this days or even a Calumet or some thing in that direction.
Because now I have 3 scanners at home, I could take the risk of hacking one of them, the oldest one, an Epson DX-3800. Below is the scanner/printer I am talking about, not touched yet.



To start, I took the cover away from the scanner. That is very easy, just pull in one of the hinges, the other will be released too when one is removed..

The first screw you can remove is this one that sustains the scanner unit attached to the printer, together wit another one on the other side but with access from inside. It had to be broken there, like showed in another photo.

You need to remove 4 screws lying underneath the scanner unit. Access them like shown in the two pictures above:


Now, using a screwdriver, pull the bottom of the scanner unit to access the interior. The left part will be difficult because it is screwed in the hinge.
To great evils great remedies, I just broke the plastic, and that was not so difficult, it was a thin part of the cover.
First I intended to localize the wire that gives light to the bar and cut it. But it didn't look so easy physically to check wich one it is because the flat wire strip is very thin and would not resist the necessary tests. But while I was thinking on how to test the flat cable that I already disconnected from the scanner bar, I got the idea: Why not simply cover the bar light with something opaque? And what? Of course, I have aluminum tape that I use to deal with light leaks in my experimental cameras. So, the only operation necessary to modify the scanner is to cover the bar light with aluminum tape. Done!

Now, use the opportunity to clean the inner part of the glass of the scanner, so that your work will be more perfect. Put the glass cover back in place and enjoy now your new scanner unit for transparencies up to A4!!!

Clean the outer part of the class, clean your negatives as well and distribute them over the surface of the scanner.
Get an opaline glass at a glass and mirror shop, if you know any. Or use a frosted glass or a normal glass and white paper or tracing paper over the glass to distribute the outer environmental light over the negatives or slides.


Further, if the environmental light is still too strong, put some more sheets of paper to reduce luminosity, and start scanning.

Enjoy your new film scanner but you will find that it is relatively easy to scan B&W but this system didn't work well with color 35mm film. I don't know yet where the problem is, it should work but I have a feeling that maybe the system recognizes an attempt to hack and makes it more difficult with a kind of filter.


But I am working in another hack possibility for color 35 mm film, keep connected.

The negative bundle
One of the pictures

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