Our new DigitaLIZA+ and DigitaLIZA Max allow you to scan any type of 35 mm, 120 or 127 negatives with a smartphone or digital camera, right in the comfort of your home. We’re talking standard frames as well as exposed sprocket holes or film borders, overlapping exposures, endless panoramas…the film world is yours to capture!
In our normal fashion, we wanted to get some reactions from Lomographers, so we sent some over for them to test out. Texas-based portrait photographer Jamie Maldonado shares his first impressions on the scanning kit and the stunning portraits that result. Check out our conversation with him below.
Hi Jamie, may you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello! My name is Jamie Maldonado and I am a professional photographer based in East Texas. I make interpretive portraits, and I primarily work on film. It’s how I learned, and after years of digital photography, it’s mostly what I care about most … except for scanning!
What did you first think of the DigitaLIZA+ and DigitaLIZA MAX when you received it?
I was impressed with the build quality and the variety of options it presents out of the box. I also love how Lomography will place little messages on their items.
How did you find the setup process?
The setup was very intuitive and it took me very little time to have it ready to use. I’m bad when it comes to reading directions, but thankfully my general preference for self-discovery did not cause any issues this time.
Which format(s) did you scan? How did you scan them (DSLR or smartphone)? And about how long did it take per roll?
I scanned 6x6 120, 35 mm, and even 35 mm panoramic. For 35 mm, when I attached a release cable, I was able to photograph an entire roll at a rapid pace … maybe just a few minutes for 36 shots? Click, turn, click, turn. I scan using a Sony A7R III, but I’ve used several different cameras and I am always trying to use phones for previews with limited success. On that note, this is one of the nicest phone setups I’ve seen, and I’m very curious how this will perform as phone sensors get larger and larger.
Are there features and abilities you’d like to highlight?
The ability to create a full frame including a little rebate border in 120 film is a major plus. I just love the natural frame rebate edges provide. Another great feature is the sliding base the gates mount on. This makes the panoramic scanning stitching method (photographing negatives in 2 or more pieces then assembling them with software to create a higher resolution scan) amazingly easy and fast, and it’s one of my favorite ways of doing 120 film scans. It also works wonderfully with 35 mm panoramic scans. This also helps make quick minor corrections as you go along. I also like how easy it is to run this off of a battery or USB power for ease of portability and a minimal footprint. I actually did not have this plugged into a wall once during my testing. Very liberating!
Does the DigitaLIZA+/MAX provide anything that traditional labs don’t? How do these scans differ?
I think camera scanning is as good as or the next best thing to proper lab scans. The resolution is only shy of an ultra expensive drum scan, and with the arrival of apps like Negative Lab Pro, the color correction has entered a space much closer to the vaunted Noritsu and Frontier. The speed and reliability of labs should never be overlooked, but scanning at home is no longer a compromise. The DigitaLIZA+ and DigitaLIZA MAX make a consistent and high-quality workflow easy.
Any tips or tricks you picked up with the scanner that you’d like to share?
Definitely get a release cable for your camera, it helps reduce camera shake, but it also helps create an incredibly fast scanning workflow with 35 mm. I fire the camera with my left hand, advance the film with my right. The panoramic stitch is another nice one for people looking to get extra impact on 120 scans, or those whose smaller sensors might be preventing them from making larger prints. Even a 12 megapixel sensor isn’t out of the question! You don’t need the latest and greatest digital cameras to make really wonderful scans of your film.
Would you recommend this system to anyone specifically?
I would recommend this to anyone looking to make the leap beyond flatbed scanning. Anyone who has almost any kind of DSLR or camera who wants to make their own film scans should use camera scanning as their method for creating digital copies of their film photographs, and the DigitaLIZA+/MAX is a great all-in-one kit to get you started.