A new Kickstarter campaign for VALOI 360 promises to deliver an affordable, high-quality way to digitize rolls of 35mm and medium format film.
VALOI 360, which is over halfway toward its roughly $74,000 USD goal, is a system of modular physical components you can use to digitize 35mm and 120mm film negatives using a digital camera. There are three main components in the 360 system. There is the VALOI 360 35mm Holder. The holder keeps 35mm film flat while allowing for a backlight to shine through. It is constructed of injection-molded plastic and has an S-curve film path to flatten the film without touching the image area.
|Prototype VALOI 35mm Holder|
The other holder, the VALOI 360 120 Holder, holds 120 medium format film up to 6 x 9cm frames. Like the 35mm holder, it allows light to shine through, is made of injection-molded plastic, and has an S-curve film path. Both holders also include rubber dome feet to make sure the holder sits flat on the light source underneath.
|Prototype VALOI 120 Holder|
The third component is the VALOI 360 Film Advancer upgrade. You place a film holder inside the Film Advancer and the advancer allows you to quickly forward to the next frame by rotating a knob. The frame and axle are made of steel and the rollers are rubber. It comes with screw-in rubber feet with long threads which can be used for leveling. As part of the Kickstarter campaign, the Film Advancer upgrade is only available alongside holders, but VALOI plans to sell it separately later.
To use the VALOI 360, you must have a digital camera (or, in a pinch, even a smartphone) and a light source. An ideal setup involves a digital camera, tripod, and a stable, color-consistent light source. The VALOI 360 holds your film flat, you capture an image of the film and if you’re digitizing a negative, you use a computer to invert and process it. There is additional information about digitizing best practices on the Kickstarter page.
|Prototype VALOI 360 Film Advancer|
The primary challenge that VALOI hopes to overcome with its 360 system is how to hold film flat and stable in front of a light source. This is the problem that VALOI founder, Arild, first tried to address with various prototypes. Arild used plywood, acrylics, LEGO components and more in pursuit of building something affordable and easy to use when digitizing film. He even learned how to build 3D CAD designs. Mechanical engineer Wicher van Lambalgen, VALOI co-founder, came on board to turn Arild’s ideas and early designs into a commercially viable prototype.
Assuming the campaign reaches its funding goal, by pledging €19 backers will receive the VALOI 35mm Holder. For €29, you can select the 120 Holder. The €44 pledge includes the VALOI Holder Pack, which includes both the 35mm and 120 film holders. For photographers wanting the VALOI 360 Film Advancer, you must step up to the VALOI 35mm Kit at €129 (the €139 kit includes the 120 Holder instead). A full kit with all three components is also available for €179. All pledge options include a scanning tutorial to help beginners learn how to best use the VALOI 360 system to scan their film. Products are expected to begin shipping to backers in April 2021. For full details about the VALOI 360 system and the available backer options, click here.
Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.