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X-Y stage for film scanner Answered

I'm building a film scanner using a dlsr.

Here's a picture of the rig so far:

Basically there's a light source, negative stage, negative holder, camera support stage, camera and lens.  I put a negative in the negative holder and slide it using a guide such that I can take a bunch of pictures of the negative at 1:1.  For example, it takes 25 pictures to cover a 6x7cm negative.  The individual files are then combined into one file using stitching software. 

The system works very well, but it's a bit tedious.  I'd like to automate the negative movement using a diy motorized xy stage.  Many of the designs I've seen are for much bigger units, such as for a cnc machine, or units that require speedy movement.  That's not the case here.  Each movement would be only 10-20mm.

I'm fairly handy, and I can follow directions/recipes well, but I haven't worked with arduinos or stepper motors before.  Any advice or suggestions on a good way to accomplish my goal would be very welcome!


May I suggest you fabricate a jig/indexing system that is manually operated? It is easy to attach something to the side like a flat piece of pegboard that has a whole bunch of holes already in it. From there, just make some kind of arm from the camera to a pointer peg/pin to a hole in the pegboard. Move it around to mark your 25 positions on the board. Take you pictures systematically so you cover the entire 25 positions. Good luck.

We've made a little progress. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ_OrwB90CM

It's a good suggestion, but I have that already. I make have indexing marks along the jig, the pieces of ABS black plastic. That works ok for medium format, but for 4x5 or 8x10 film, it gets pretty tedious.