Scanning negs, saving Daguerreotypes and building cameras

29 June 2018

SIG: Analogue


Here is a round-up of some recent analogue-related news encouraging you to scan your negatives, save your Daguerreotypes and build your own camera:



New negative holder and diffuser

In this digitised world, it can be a challenge to get your carefully crafted analogue images converted into digital files, not to mention expensive, but Pixl-Latr aims to ease the process with its simple holder and diffuser so that you can scan your negs through the use of a digital camera. Pixl-Latr holds 35mm, 120 or 5x4 negs in place using an optional stand, a frame, a light diffuser with locator pins according to the size of film you’re using, a three ‘gates’. The Pixl-latr is then placed on a light-box or another light source such as a tablet or computer and digitally photographed. The device is using Kickstarter and has raised over £48,555 - £38,715 more than its required pledge. Find out more here.


X-rays salvage Daguerreotypes

The University of Western Ontario has discovered a technique which may recover lost photographs extensively damaged over time. Explained in further detail in this scientific report, special X-ray imaging has been able to identify the location of mercury on Daguerreotype plates, which was used in the development of the photographs. The location of the mercury traces was then used to recover the images that were no longer visible to the naked eye. The research team at Western Ontario have used plates supplied by the National Gallery of Canada to experiment with, recovering 19th-century images with remarkable effect. You can view the images in this quick YouTube video supplied by Western University.


Open source 3D-printed camera

If you’re the sort who likes to get entirely hands-on with the photographic process and wish to build your own analogue camera there are increasingly easier and easier ways to do so, such as the LEGO-built Hasselblad, and the Goodman One 3D-printed camera. Not only does the Goodman One allow for further play to adapt to different backs (such as wet plate or even digital), it is open source allowing for anybody to download and build the camera by requesting the instructions and plans on the website of the designer and builder Dora Goodman:

’I have already designed a rollfilm and sheetfilm back, viewfinders, cold flash mount and a couple of other accessories to attach, but would like to challenge all of you makers out there to go ahead and develop the camera even further. The Goodman One could therefore be a device that is free yet professional tool allowing creative freedom for any experimental photographer. You can request various files, finetuned printer settings and a detailed notes on both the necessary particles and procedure needed to put the camera together. I truly hope it will reach as many of you out there as humanly possible and will open up new opportunities in the path of photography.’ 

Find out more about the camera here.

- Amy-Fern Nuttall  


Image copyright © Pixl-Latr