The Nikon D850 is all over every photography blog and for good reason. One feature isn't getting too much spotlight though, the ability of the D850 to act as a super high-res 35mm film scanner, converting said image in-camera. Like many Nikon enthusiasts, I stayed awake for the highly anticipated official D850 press release from Nikon this past Thursday. Much akin to my reactions during most of the Game of Thrones season 7 finale, I let out a giddy squeal when I read this short line in the Nikon press release:
"Negative/Positive Scanning: With the optional ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter and compatible Micro-NIKKOR lens, the camera enables super high-resolution digitizing of 35mm slides or negatives and converts them in-camera to positives."
Scrolling a bit further down the press release, you'll even find their suggested MSRP, which again caused my glee to be expressed audibly:
"... the ES-2 film digitalizing adapter will have an SRP of $149.95*"
So how does this work? First of all, you'll need to have already shot your film and had it developed. For more info on developing your film, check out:
- New Ultimate Film Processing Price Guide to Decide Which Lab Is Right for You
Develop Your Own Color Film at Home
As far as gear, you'll need:
- Nikon D850
- Nikon AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED
- Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter
- I'll personally be picking up the Nikon FH-4 Six-Frame Strip Holder as well.
So far as exposure, I haven't found anything recommending any particular flash power outputs or settings, but it's safe to say you'll need some light on the other side of your film. On to the next fun fact: this Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter is being marketed for use with the D850 because of the camera's dedicated Negative Digitizer mode which will auto-convert the image into a JPG, but the adapter will most definitely work with any Nikon camera sporting this lens. For that matter, I will be taking my pre-ordered D850, shooting at 45.7-megapixel raw, and trying out the negative conversion process as highlighted in the video here by Anthony Morganti here.
My personal film camera is a 1998 Canon EOS 3 which sports 45 AF points, Eye Controlled Focus, 7 fps, EF mount, 30 sec to 1/8,000 sec shutter speed, and E-TTL flash support. Since I switched systems to Nikon earlier this year I haven't actually switched over my film camera yet but am now planning to pick up a used Nikon F5 to use with my Nikon lenses. Anyone who wants to dive back into film doesn't have to go hunting for used film cameras however as several manufacturers still produce them, the Leica M7 for instance.
So what are your thoughts? Film scanners are out there and some labs will even do the scanning for you, but with this level of convenience will you be breaking out your old 35mm film camera, or even purchasing a used or new one?