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On Wired’s How-to Wiki, they decided to try their hand at building Mike Golembewski’s Scanner Camera project, featured in MAKE Volume 14 and in the Sept 19th episode of Make: Weekend Project (see both below). Charlie Sorrel, author of the piece, did what looks like a nice job with the build, but the results look like something from a questionable episode of Ghost Hunters (if that’s not redundant).

We asked Kip Kay of Weekend Projects for any tips he can offer Charlie:

Here is what I discovered about focusing. You have to really play with the
focusing elements and the distance to the object. I got some pretty good
results as seen in the video from about 4 feet away. But the results were
nothing like what the original author, Mike Golembewski achieved. I think he
had an actual lens on his rather than a magnifying glass for the pictures in
the article. (He did mention he had built a better one)

Before taping the camera to the scanner, you should tape on a piece of
tracing paper over the back which allows you to see the image and get it
focused properly.

Wired’s How-To Wiki: Make a Scanner Camera

More:

Weekend Project: Scanner Camera

Weekend Project: Scanner Camera (PDF)

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Mod a flatbed scanner to take photos that decontruct time and motion with wild results!
Thanks go to Mike Golembewski for the original article in Make Volume 14
View the PDF

Scanner cam portraits at American Maker

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I built a scanner camera last month and had pretty good results with it. I used a Cannon CanoScan LiDE 60 and the focusing lens from a Projecta Scope image projector. There are a couple of test scans here at http://www.flickr.com/photos/shygantic/tags/scannercamera/

    I think the problem Charlie Sorrel had was probably his lens was focusing a few inches in front of the scanner bed. If I hold the lens I have under a light source I can focus an inverted image of the light at a little over seven inches. http://www.flickr.com/photos/shygantic/3062341133/ shows what I’m talking about. If the magnifying glass he used is the same as one I looked at at the education supply store, it focuses closer to four inches. All he needs to do is shorten his boxes and it should work.

    I have big plans to take my setup out over the holidays and see what it can do.