Patrick Preiner's first impressions of the DigitaLIZA Max scanning kit

Patrick Preiner is an amateur photographer based in Vienna and co-founding member of the viennese analogue photo-collective Die Rote Kammer. He started his photographic journey quite late in life and after a digital start, quickly switched to analogue. The most fascinating part of the analogue process to him, is being able to do everything by hand, from developing the film to getting the final picture in the dark room. Read more to find out what his thoughts on our new DigitaLIZA Max film scanning kit are.

© Patrick Preiner

Scanning with digital cameras has become a very popular way to scan films these days. One of its biggest perks being that this is a quite time saving method in comparison to flatbed scanning. I got on this train early on, because next to developing, I also wanted to scan the pictures myself, to be in full creative control over the entire process and also just for the heck of it.

© Patrick Preiner

First Impressions

  • surprisingly small, taking up minimum space
  • lightweight
  • quick assembly
  • optional battery operation (2x AA)

These attributes clearly speak for a perfect mobile system for scans on-the-go.


  • perfectly crafted materials, mainly plastic with a solid metal base plate
  • perfectly matched modules
  • detent partly by means of magnets or latching
  • 2D positioning slide, very flat and easily movable for precise positioning of the frame
  • removable 2-axis spirit level

Top workmanship with gimmicks!

© Patrick Preiner


  • Battery powered lightsource with very good homogeneous light, sufficiently bright
  • 120 Film – manual film advance
  • Slight adjustment possible by adjusting the base plate, but not by pushing the film forward or backward, since it is firmly clamped by the folding mechanism. This has the advantage that the film is clamped very flat and stable.
  • 35 mm scans possible, with or without sprockets
  • 35 mm film advance through knob

Special feature: an advance knob right next to the film loading slot! Unique and endlessly practical to advance the film; top design and gloriously thought through! However, the non-direct drive has the disadvantage that transporting the film back and forth involves a short idle time, which can be tedious when fine-tuning the image.

  • well dimensioned light cutout
© Patrick Preiner

Special feature: supports XPAN format!
It's a very welcome surprise, that this rather extravagant format was taken into consideration; hassle-free scanning of panoramic shots! GREAT!

  • Quick set-up switch between scanning 35 mm and 120 film

In direct comparison to other existing complete scanning kits, the compact size of the DigitaLIZA Max is noticeable – significantly smaller dimensions and considerably lighter. Stationary use as well as mobile use is thus possible. The aspect of mobility is new and quite innovative! This increases the variety of potential uses for this system.

© Patrick Preiner


The DigitaLIZA Max is a perfect companion for scanning on-the-go, that easily fits in any larger photobag or backpack, without adding much weight. For all the film-nerds, who want to scan their negatives whenever, wherever. In combination with a lab box, this is a very clever concept that allows you to travel on the road almost Weegee-like and carry your photo lab with you in your backpack (you don't even need the trunk of your 1940s Chevy). SHOOT - DEVELOP - SCAN - POST, on the spot. Mobile use on vacation, travel and simply on the road.

Although one question does come up: if you develop your films in a lab anyways, why go through the trouble of scanning yourself and not simply letting the lab scan them? Well, let's not forget about the sprockets, some photos just look better with their sprockets and you can simply scan those later on with your DigitaLIZA+ or DigitaLIZA Max! Purpose secured! Done!

© Patrick Preiner

Will this system replace my current one? No, since I mainly use scanning to archive my pictures and I do this in rounds of 20-30 color negative rolls or 15-20 b&w rolls at once. Scanning with your smartphone seems to me like more of an extra option for single scans on-the-go. So for me, the DigitaLIZA Max is probably more justified as an additional option to my scan station. The perks are clear, the assembly is done in no time, excellent! However, photo editing on a cell phone is much too tedious for me, and the necessary conversion of negatives to positives is far more time-consuming than batch processing using Lightroom and the like.

However, this little piece is a feast for the eyes, with great attention to detail, you'll enjoy all its nooks and crannies – its high-end looking materials and color design guarantees a joyful experience all around.

We're thanking Patrick for his in depth report, if you want to see more of him, follow him on Instagram or visit his Homepage.

written by permanent_vacation on 2022-04-15 #gear #tutorials #scanning #digitaliza #self-scanning #digitalizaplus #filmscanning #digitalizamax

Mentioned Product

DigitaLIZA 35 mm Scanning Mask

Hold your negatives in place through the innovative magnetic mechanism and easily scan special formats such as sprocket holes, endless panoramas and overlapping exposures.

View in Shop

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