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The Mongoose scanner (Pic: Cameradactyl)
The Mongoose scanner (Pic: Cameradactyl)

Cameradactyl has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a new film scanner to use with DSLRs.

The Mongoose can be used with any DSLR which can accept a cable release, and includes three scanning modes, including a “Fast” mode which can scan an entire roll of film with the push of a button.

Cameradactyl is the brand created by US inventor Ethan Moses, who previously created the Brancopan 3D-printable 35mm panoramic camera.

According to the Mongoose Kickstarter, which launched on Tuesday (15 September), the scanner can scan an entire roll of 35mm film in around 40 seconds using Fast mode.

Here’s the scanner’s specs, taken from the Kickstarter page:

  • The Mongoose will trigger just about any camera that will accept a cable release.
  • The Mongoose has three scanning modes: Manual, Fast, and Automatic.
  • Manual mode allows a user to manually advance and retract a strip of film at high or low speed, and to trigger an attached camera though the control box.
  • Fast mode will advance a strip of film a fixed distance and then trigger an attached camera for an entire roll of film.  This mode only works with film that was originally shot on a camera that produces evenly spaced frames, and has less positional accuracy than automatic mode.  Fast mode can scan a roll of 36 standard sized exposures (24×36) in approximately 40 seconds.
  • Automatic mode uses edge detection of individual frames, which allows this mode to be used with evenly or unevenly spaced frames on a roll of film.  This mode has very high positional accuracy, and can scan a full roll of 36 frames in under a minute and a half.

Cameradactyl says the scanner can be used with black-and-white film, colour negative and colour slide film. The scanner comes with a 27x68mm film gate which means it can be used with half-frame rolls (24mmx20mm) up to Xpan-style panoramics (24mmx65mm).

It also says the scanner has a dual film path which ensures the film is kept flat as it passes through the film gate. The scanner only touches the film at the sprocket holes, which means it will not leave scratches on the images.

The campaign had already met nearly 90% of its $30,000 funding target in less than 18 hours. The Kickstarter campaign will end on 15 October.

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Stephen Dowling
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3 years ago

I love the idea of this but for the same money I could buy a turnkey scanner. I’d still need a light source and a camera for this solution.