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Show your IQ150 film scans!


Hi everyone -

I'm just looking for some forum members to share any experiences with film scanning using either the IQ100 or IQ150 backs! What lenses are you using? :) How does it stack up to previous methods?

I've been a long-time drum scanner, though where I'm based it's no longer financially feasible to spend some hundreds each time to get my 6x6, 5x4 and 10x8" negatives scanned - may start doing it myself with my IQ100 if it's worth it!

Share your scans!


Workshop Member
You will be astonished how good they are if you do it right/well. They will beat a drum scan.

You do need to address the fundamental challenges/limitations of camera based scanning:
- Alignment (camera/film must be exactly parallel)
- Film flatness
- Focus accuracy and focus drift
- Light source CRI/CQS/spectral-smoothness

We've been making film scanning systems centered around Phase One Cameras for a decade now and is a sizable portion of our total business – museums, libraries, and archives mostly, with a smaller number of individual owners (mostly those, like yourself, that own the digital back already and only need the rest of the system). Our systems are used to scan the FSA collection (Migrant Mother by Dorthea Lange), Ansel Adams' archive, Edward Weston's Archive, Irving Penn's archive, Joel Meyerowitz's archive, the corporate archives of Disney, Pixar, and FOX Studios. This is the equipment you'd want if you want to beat a drum scanner in quality and/or have a large volume (more than a few thousand) pieces of film to scan. Google "Digital Transitions Film Scanning Kit" to read more; Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to post links since its not equipment made by the commercial sponsor of this website.

If you don't need to match drum scan quality, or you only have dozens or hundreds of pieces of film to scan per year, then our system is overkill. In that case you'll be surprised how decent you can do with just a MacGyver'd setup. A tripod, macro lens, bubble level, light source, and some reasonable effort to focus properly will quite easily exceed the quality you'd get from an Epson.

Bill Caulfeild-Browne

Well-known member
I have "scanned" quite a few transparencies with my IQ150. The results are so good that I sold my Nikon Coolscan 9000.

I use the XF with the BR120 Macro lens, my Gitzo tripod and Arca Cube set to point directly down, using a spirit level to ensure a flat plane of view. On a heavy, sturdy desk I set a Kaiser Slimlite Plano as the light source, with optically flat glass to hold the neg or transparency flat. It too is levelled accurately.

Next, use Vibration Delay and the leaf or electronic shutter. Apart from the quality, it's much faster than the scanner. I just lift the optically flat glass from over the Slimlite and put the next slide under it. Of course, like the scanner, dust is the enemy which must be vanquished first! Most of the time I set the lens at maximum focus - 1 to 1 image. I generally shoot at F5.6 or F8.

I'm not sure this will rival a drum scan because I've never used one, but it's pretty good set-up and not expensive - assuming you have the necessary camera and lens.
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Well-known member
I started using my 50mp backs a few years ago to digit-scan and use Negative Lab Pro instead of scanning software. My ALPA Schneider 120 macro is the lens, a Beseler CS copy stand and like Bill, a Kaiser slimline lightbox or a Skier Copy Box 3 depending on film format. I print up to 17x22” without issues, and other than that, web postings which this is really overkill for. Oh the wheels of technology move on!

My Epson V750 collects dust, and so does my Microtek film scanners. Thank goodness we have a quicker and IMO, a better alternative today than waiting for the scanner to finish and the carousel of upgrading them.


Thanks for the input, everyone!! I'm now inspired to start doing this very process with my own XF and IQ back - are there any particular lenses which would lend soundly to copying 5x4 and 10x8 negatives particularly? (in the ways of reproduction factor, i.e at a 1:2, 1:4 etc?).

Terrific work also, Bill! Very impressive!! The rendering is brilliant - I can't even tell whether that's shot on 64 or 400!


Workshop Member
The 120mm Macro is the only lens you'll want to bother with re the XF and flat-art reproduction of any size. Fortunately it's quite good!


Thanks Doug! I do have access to a MF 120mm Macro, which at least knowing it's quite good makes me very satisfied. Is there any inherent advantage to moving up to the Blue Ring 120mm? Or will the MF version do just as well?

I'm also tempted to wet-mount the negatives if in the event it creates for even greater quality "scans" in the same vain as a drum scan - is there any merit going down that road for a camera-based scan?


Active member
I use the 120 mm macro (non br) with xf and iq4 150 to scan.
I have stopped using my Minolta scanner for 120 film.
Experimenting with levels and curves I have some C1 styles that work for me. Individual colour curves for negatives.

If you really want dynamic range, you could use the dual exposure feature.


Good to know the non-BR 120 macro holds up well with the IQ4 150, did you have any samples to share?