Thursday, January 19, 2006

Turn and old scanner into a 115 megapixel camera (sample photos)

Turn and old scanner into a 115 megapixel camera (sample photos)
Building homemade digital cameras from low-end flatbed scanners.
Making new kinds of cameras to see the world in a new way...
Several years ago, I built my first homemade digital camera. The idea was simple - I would take an ordinary flatbed scanner, and use it in place of photo paper with a large format camera.
My first scanner camera was made from lots of duct tape, a cardboard box, and the cheapest flatbed scanner that I could find. I expected this to be a quick little art project, one that would take a week or two at the most. But when I got my first homemade digital camera to work, I noticed that some wonderful things were beginning to happen.
The objects in the scene that were stationary photographed normally, while the objects that were moving were twisted and distorted into wonderful shapes. At first, I thought that this was a mistake, that something was wrong with my new contraption. But I soon realized that the motion of the scanner was meshing with the motion of the recorded scene, creating unexpected, yet predictable, results. These motion distortions are similar to the effect created by moving a sheet on a photocopier mid-copy, except that they extend into three dimensions and only effect objects in motion.
I was tremendously excited by these developments. Instead of building a camera that mimicked the functionality of a traditional photographic camera, I had stumbled across a new tool for examining the relationships between time, motion, and image. What I though would be a two week art project has turned into one that has lasted for almost three years, and shows little sign of stopping. My cameras work a lot better now, although most of them still use a lot of duct tape, cardboard, and cheap flatbed scanners. I've begun to learn the vocabulary of the scanner camera, begun to be able to interpret and previsualize these strange new pictures. Some aspects of scanner photography are similar to traditional photography, and others are completely foreign.
Thanks for looking at my work... I hope you like it!
Mike Golembewski
P.S. Here's a little information about these photographs. The only software based manipulation of any of these images has been some slight adjustments of the curves and levels, in order to improve contrast and tone for print and screen display. They haven't been 'Photoshopped' in order to create these effects. All of the motion distortions are created entirely in camera.
© 2002-06 Michael Golembewski. Sponsored by the Audi Design Foundation, 2004-05. email

Most recent scanner camera...
The scanner camera that I'm using right now uses the frame of an old Horseman 450L monorail 4x5 camera, which I purchased secondhand with the support of the Audi Design Foundation. The scanning back is an extensively modified Canon LIDE 20, from which I have reomved the lamp, pinhole lens assembly, and CIS sensor housing. I've made the scanner light-tight using duct tape and putty, covered with a hefty dose of black spraypaint. It might look crude, but it works very nicely. I've attached a modified lens board directly onto the scanner, so it can easily be connected to the Horseman. The lens board attachment holds the scanner optics at the same level as a ground glass plate. This allows me to compose and focus shots on the ground glass, instead of with preview scans - it's much faster. I have two lenses that I use with this model - a Kompur lens from 1915, and a found 8x10 enlarger lens.

Here are a few technical specifications for this camera... I'll add a few more later on (once I get around to gathering the data...)
Maximum resolution:115,200,000 pixels per image (over 115 megapixels).
Scanning speed: 15 seconds to five minutes scan time, depending on resolution.
© 2002-06 Michael Golembewski. Sponsored by the Audi Design Foundation, 2004-05. email

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hasselblad Introduces its New 39 Megapixel H2D-39 Digital Camera

Hasselblad Introduces its New 39 Megapixel H2D-39 Digital Camera
Hasselblad's new H2D-39 D-SLR is the first true 39 megapixel digital camera in the world. It is based on Hasselblad's existing H2 digital camera and is compatible with the company's H System lenses and V camera lenses.

The camera's CCD sensor is more than twice the size of conventional 35mm camera sensors (36.7 x 49.0 mm). At maximum resolution, the images captured by the H2D-39 in Hasselblad's proprietary 3F RAW format are 78MB large (50MB with lossless compression).The camera features a 2.2? OLED display, a FireWire 800 interface, support for CF media and an optional Image Bank 80GB external hard drive. The H2D-39 is also expandable thanks to its i-Adapter interchangeable camera interface. The CF-39, CF-39MS and CFH-39 digital-back modules allow the user to tailor the camera to his or her shooting parameters. Also featured is the company's digital APO correction (DAC) which diminishes the effects of color abberations and provides a fuller, more life-like picture. The camera captures images in 16-bit formats and supports ISO ranges 50, 100, 200 and 400. More details can be found HERE Preliminary pricing for the different digital-backs are as follows (in US dollars): H2D-39 - $ 32,000 CF-39 - $ 33,000 CFH-39 - $ 33,000 CF-39MS - $ 40,000
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