ALL QUESTIONS ARE AUTHENTIC ONLINE INQUIRES
Q. Will mirrorless cameras work with this instrument?
A. Absolutely. Attach any macro lens with 49, 52, 58mm' 62mm threads, plus if needed, extension tube, to front plate and away you go. In order to achieve focus beyond 3 and 7 inches, an extension tube or closeup attachments may be needed.
Q. What support is available before and after purchase?
A. Passionate support is available by calling 803-531-1662.
Q. What settings are typical for 35mm Black and White film negatives.
A. With 200 ISO, aperture will be about f8 and shutter speed 1/25. It might be wise to experiment with manual, (S) shutter, and (A) aperture.
Q. Why is this product so expensive especially since I must use my own camera and a macro lens?
A. Expensive compared to what? A high quality top-of-the-line, comparable drum scanner is $20,000; a well known dedicated film scanner is $1,800. Cost of FilmToaster is influenced by keystone markup. Most importantly, how much is your time worth? FilmToaster transforms your DSLR into a rapid film scanner 60 times faster than flatbed scanners and 100 times faster than dedicated film scanners. FilmToaster is also not mass produced but rather custom made in small numbers. FilmToaster is manufactured with 16 gauge metal and except for film holders, virtually no plastic used.
Q. What kind of results can be expected with color negative film with orange cast?
A. Everything is sharp and process is fast but more post processing adjustments are necessary. No longer is color negative film a challenging matter with all camera scanning techniques. Now, there is a Lightroom plug in solution that directly corrects the problem easily. We have found a blue filter helpful as well as ColorPerfect plugins. We are advising laboratories who have film collections in jeopardy to proceed with camera scanning because the remedy will always be post production solution.
Q. Why are no returns allowed?
A. Returns are not allowed because this is a highly custom made precision product dependent on DIY techniques. The no return policy is comparable with some specialty products purchased from large camera box stores.
Q. Is the FilmToaster faster in loading and preparing films to scan?
A. No. Loading, preparing, cleaning, and sorting of films is time-consuming with this and ALL scanning solutions including bulk loading systems. It will be boring and repetitive back and forth handling is not an option likely to become faster. However, once film is loaded, expect captures of 1/60 second compared to one or two minutes among all competitors. Also, camera scans will reveal more dust, scratches, fingerprints because it is so much sharper. But, wouldn't you want sharper and more accurate scans?
Q. Are instructions and examples included?
A. Yes, a 24-page Instruction Guide (always being updated until time of shipping) is included explaining usage, components, and ideal setting for various formats.
Q. The expensive box you are selling; can't I make one myself?
A. Sure. One of the inventor's first camera scanning setups was merely a back lighted window pane. On the resources pages where our product is being slammed as being expensive, individuals talk about how to make a scanner out of a shoebox. Compared to say, transportation, you can move fast with a pair of roller skates but an automobile offers a better and intelligent solution. The FilmToaster is a professional solution for scanning film. It integrates film, lighting, and your camera; all in a perfect environment!
Q. As a professional with tons of wedding negatives, I presume a good use of the FilmToaster would be to aid in digitizing my old wedding and event images for the 80s and 90s?
A. Very pleased you raised that; recently, someone wrote: "After 21 years ****** and I have agreed on getting our wedding picture album. (Yeah some things just take longer). Anyway, we were hoping you still have the proofs and we could put something together.
Our wedding date was April 29, 19?? and was in ********. We are the former ***** and ******* ********. Thanks so much and we look forward hearing from you."
The above message illustrates a valid point about the treasures that may reside in your negative files. I proofed the medium format color negatives, converted to positives and emailed them to client for their album choices.
Q. I am looking for a device to produce quality film scans and considering your product.
1. As digital camera, I have a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with 60mm lens. This has a 39mm filter and a maximum magnification of 1:2. Would I be able to use this lens/camera with the film toaster?
Q. How long on average would it take to digitize a roll of film (36-39 frames)?
A. Thank you for your question. Very pleased to learn you are considering the FilmToaster. If I don't have to convince you advantages of camera scanning over any other type of film scanner, flatbed, or drum scanner, then you are on the right path for a professional solution.
Let me say from the start, if you only have a small amount of film, there are many make-shift methods that will work and a lot cheaper than a FilmToaster at $1499. But, if you want a proven and fastest product in the world, this is it.
That being said, any mirrrorless camera including the Fuji X Pro 2 will work fine and if you also have the FUJI X-F 60MM Macro F2.4 LENS, you will also need a set of extension tubes plus a 39mm to 52mm adapter especially to focus in tightly on 35mm film. Also, remember a format like the Fuji X Pro 2 will have a 1.5 crop factor which will help achieve the 3-9 inch focusing parameters needed for various film formats. From a similar format I have experienced, it will probably take a combination of your 60mm lens and one 20mm extension tube.
Regarding speed, you're going to love the FilmToaster because it will enable scanning 60 faster than anything else.
I'll going to guess and say that once you become familiar with the FilmToaster, it will take 3 to 6 minutes to scan 36 exposure.
You will also love the handles on the FilmToaster which will help manage long roll film. The "see saw" 35mm glass film carrier, only one in the world like this, will also make film scanning less painful.
Q. Recently, I attended a workshop where you digitized incredibly sharp high resolution files from film using a Nikon D600 and the FilmToaster. On your monitor and prints as well, it appeared your digital files were higher resolution than even the film; or at least they looked that way. How is this possible when you said the film was taken 30 years ago and to begin with, only so sharp?
A. Mainly, two things contribute to what you observed; the first being scientifically very well researched absolutes and the other, an opinion that I have observed, but lack the technical expertise to back it up with.
Technically, film doesn't have a resolution in the sense that a digital display or capture device does. Also, film has no actual pixel number and no orderly arrangement of thousands of markers on a grid. Film has grain and composed on a transport medium for a chemical emulsion that, when exposed to light under controlled conditions, captures subject in great detail. However, because film and digital are not analogous it is impossible to classify different sizes resolution.
Secondly, my opinion about why sharpness from an otherwise normal looking negative become"sharper," can be attributed to the amazing LED Light Pad bundled with FilmToaster. Back-light traveling from the LED through the film negative is traveling in very straight lines, rather than as in the case of flatbeds and dedicated film scanners, small patterns of light which pyramid up to a larger size. Hope this answers your question and please follow up with telephone support as well.
Q. Can you finance a FilmToaster at reasonable rates?
A. Please call us at 803-531-1662 for info how to "lease" a FilmToaster. Also, it may be possible to set up purchases composed of three payments. Education and industrial clients, our largest user segment, may authorize a purchase order.
Q. How do I get rid of the orange mask on color negatives? I thought the amount of orange masking was dependent on the original colors in the scene and the density (brightness) of various parts of the scene. Therefore, does a one size fits all blue filter really get rid of the mask?
When I scan, what I consider pristine and well preservered, 35mm color negaitves using a Plustek 8200i scanner, I am amazed that there are still tiny dust particles and tiny scratches that show up even after using the Plustek/Silverfast IR scan process (that supposedly gets rid of these problems). Will your process yield even more issues with dust/scratches (that are almost invisible under a 10x magnifier). These negatives originally were used to produce very nice 11x14 chemically made prints but seem to yield a lot of dust and scratches when making a comparable 11x14 ink jet print.
I am looking for a better approach to saving my 5000 negatives than what I can achieve with my Plustek/Silverfast process yields. How can I be convinced that your equipment/process will be the answer?
A. Your letter is ideally the kind we like to receive. You raise some important considerations.
The FilmToaster is built to optimize your camera for speed and extremely ultra sharp high quality camera scanning, approaching, and many cases depending on your camera's sensor, surpassing drum scanners. This being said, in gaining sharper and more normal looking images, you will actually see additional detail present with dust and scratches. To specifically respond to your question, yes, the FilmToaster may reveal even more issues.
However, the solution must take in account what are you trying to do and also how much your time worth. Typically, a FilmToaster scans each image at 1/60 second versus 2 - 4 minutes per scan with flatbed and dedicated scanners. Although I am not a software programmer, or engineer, it is my understanding that all software solutions made for getting rid of scratches and dust, will actually soften the image and other degradation as well.
Unfortunately, regarding the orange mask, without post processing procedures, the FilmToaster will not yield pleasing and accuarate out-of-the-box results, nor will any other camera scanning technique. However, with blue filter, Photoshop and Lightroom with a new plug in, I personally have no major problems achieving great results with color negative films.
Additionally, the ideal placement for the FilmToaster is for professional photographers industrial photographic requirements which approaches the film-to-digital conversion from the perspective of wanting to receive the fastest and maximum potential for a one-time scan, from each and every film.
Q. Do you have any high res sample files that we can look at? We are interested in buying a unit with all of the film holders and an extra set of holders as well. We have a very large project we are working late this summer and were dreading the thought of transporting scanners, computers, ect to Arizona from Atlanta to do the work.
A. I am very pleased you stopped for a moment to ask questions. On this website, there are two samples but your are invited to send one of your negatives or slides to digitize.
After receiving, compare your sample with any scanner on the market including $28,000 drum scanners. You may always purchase additional carriers.
Traveling (weight only 6 pounds) poses no problems.
Q. I wanted to know if you have some sort of instruction manual, or images or perhaps an instructional video on how to operate your digitizer? I guess your device is rather new, eh, as I haven't been able to find any technical reviews on line, if there are any.
I will most likely have to get a new camera, too, so any recommendations would be appreciated. I doubt I'll want to enlarge my 35
stuff any bigger than 12 or 13" long, but I do have some 120 stuff that is good enough I'd want to get it up to, say 15-16" square if at all possible.
In a previous life I was a serious photo student but after a career in the Navy and retirement doing just about anything besides
photography, I've decided to return to this work and, naturally, now have to find ways to digitize all my archive of negatives. Being retired, I can't have them done professionally and your gizmo sounds just PERFECT!
A. It was nice speaking with you earlier today. A 24-page instructional manual is included. Currently, there are many reviews underway.
Any DSLR will work but we recommend macro lenses 60-90mm focal length.
You will find the FilmToaster unlike any other product available on the market for fast digitizing at high quality.
Q. I am amazed by your FilmToaster and wonder why it had not been invented way back when we all went digital. We left our film behind. But, I'm on a fixed income and only have a few thousand films (mostly 35mm slides from vacation in Europe) I need to digitize. Do you have a plan I can rent the FilmToaster?
A. Yes, call 803-531-1662 for weekly rates or we can scan your film as well.
Q. The 50,000 image collection we are digitizing is from ••••••••••• •••• There are three facilities plus the family that has the archive. From what I understand there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 50,000 images. We also need to purchase additional carriers. The need for additional holders wold allow one to be loaded while one is captured.
A. Wow! Your project with 50,000 images sounds like what inspired the invention the FilmToaster. The inventor started in photography at age 9, and had approximately one million negatives.
Have you thought about purchasing more than one additional holders while scarce, will be made available upon your purchase.
Please permit us to offer the following information:
All file scanning techniques/equipment are time consuming. Whether using a flatbed, dedicated film scanner or drum scanner, each strip of film must be manually loaded in a film carrier. One of our carriers accepts strips of 6 or 4 slides. Another included carrier accepts 35mm rolls of 20, 36, or long bulk (and we have the only one in the world that does this). After feeding the leader through a small slit on the end of the carrier and manually moving it after each scan, the remaining portion can be rapidly scanned in a "see-saw" movement which usually takes only about 5 minutes for an entire roll. It would take a large format flatbed around 30-50 minutes for the same task even using a batch mode
Camera scanning of color negative film with the FilmToaster will require additional post production in Photoshop and Lightroom.
Currently, we are experimenting with various blue filters to speed up the process. Bulk scanning with flatbeds which have a built-in software solution to digitize color negative film.
Q. Thanks for sending the instruction manual. It answered several questions about the lens setup. I think I may be able to use the lens with my existing setup. I am using a Vivitar slide copier bellows on double rails with an El Nikkor 63mm f2.8 enlarging lens reversed. My focusing distance from the camera to the slide is 9 inches. I get about 90% of the image. Removing one rail and using the single rail, I have bellows extension for 8 inches with the camera mounted. So with the lens plate on the toaster I can attach the lens with the camera and bellows. That will give me enough adjustment to focus to near 1:1 in different slots? I have had excellent results with the lens setup and bellows but the Toaster would make it faster and a better light source with the option for other formats. Thoughts?
A. We once tried using my Nikon bellows with the FilmToaster and ran into a problem with vignetting so I’m not quite sure if you will also have a problem. I highly suggest a good set of extension tubes with standard lenses, and with macro lenses, tubes will allow so many additional distance solutions.
I camera scanned lots of images with my Nikon bellows along the route in inventing the FilmToaster but you will find it makes things so much easier. You will grow to love the included LED light and marvel with the pristine captures you will achieve using it. I have some customers removing the LED and using diffused electronic flash through the acrylic base as well.
One final but important point is, when attaching any lenses to the Lens Plate, always remove the plate first and firmly screw the lens into the front adapters. After this attachment is made, reconnect the lens plate/lens back to the camera body.
As you see from the website, a one week rental is $350 which includes shipping both ways; plus if you purchase, $150 of your rental fee is applicable towards purchase. If you wish to transact the rental by telephone, just give us a call at 803-531-1662.
Q. One of my coworkers sent me a link to your product. We are doing some research on some film scanners and considering your product. Do you have any resellers in New York City (where I'm based)? Or do you know of any museum or library that might be using your product? We would love to see the product in action, but also to compare the quality of the scan versus other products? Would you be into scanning some samples for us? Thanks for your response.
A. Yes, would love to scan your film. See client's list for museums around the world using our product.