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08-29-2018, 01:15 PM - 1 Like   #1
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5000 pixel "line camera"

I ran across an interesting flea bay listing for a DFA100mm macro attached to a Mitsubishi Rayon Camera MKS-5000-40 (I have absolutely no affiliation). The camera it's attached to is a 5000 pixel camera. Not megapixels, just pixels, all arranged in a straight line. It's also B&W.

I hadn't heard of this type of camera before, here's an article about "Line Cameras": Line scan cameras - Quality right down the line | STEMMER IMAGING. It's kinda interesting, you can aim it at a conveyor belt and watch stuff go by. Scientific and industrial applications await, but you start imaging all sorts of fun applications for it- attaching it to a motorized panorama head for a timelapse landscape panorama. Filming cars, people, birds, or anything else that wanders by going by. Aiming it out the side of a car and scanning a street as you drive by. Panning across someone while they mostly hold still but distort an arm or leg...etc. If I didn't already have a dfa100mm macro, I might be tempted.

I thought others might find it neat, and we could use a few more posts to hit the k1mkii giveaway so...

08-29-2018, 01:51 PM - 1 Like   #2
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People have been doing and making similar things for ages. Look up Flatdbed Scanner Cameras. I first ran across the concept of them when I was in college. I have seen people do them as a large format camera when the scan line moves and also as a line scanner. Here is one of the more definitive sources on making a scanner into a large format camera. I can't seem to find the article from several years back where an artist basically turned one into a slit camera and pointed it at the street but it was actually pretty interesting with all sorts of shots. I believe the artist called it temporal photography or some such thing.
08-29-2018, 01:55 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I hadn't heard of this type of camera before, here's an article about "Line Cameras": Line scan cameras - Quality right down the line | STEMMER IMAGING. It's kinda interesting, you can aim it at a conveyor belt and watch stuff go by. Scientific and industrial applications await, but you start imaging all sorts of fun applications for it- attaching it to a motorized panorama head for a timelapse landscape panorama. Filming cars, people, birds, or anything else that wanders by going by. Aiming it out the side of a car and scanning a street as you drive by. Panning across someone while they mostly hold still but distort an arm or leg...etc. If I didn't already have a dfa100mm macro, I might be tempted.
I have heard/read about medium format cameras built from a scanner, it is an interesting concept, especially for static objects but moving objects could certainly give interesting effects too.
I just don't think your idea with the panorama head would work this way (except you fixate your scanner-line in the middle and just rotate the camera + you have to read out the data differently) because the scanner is in your case 5000 pixels high and will move 7500 pixels to the side (3:2 Format) to create a 37.5 MP image.
08-29-2018, 01:57 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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I guess I should have kept searching for a bit longer before posting. I think I found the article from 2012 or at least one of them. It was a slit scan camera that he stopped the rotation on. So basically the same thing as having the scanning element from a scanner fixed in position. This should give you an idea of the types of images it captures. The left side is further back in time as it captures a single stripe continously.

08-29-2018, 02:15 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by othar Quote
I just don't think your idea with the panorama head would work this way (except you fixate your scanner-line in the middle and just rotate the camera + you have to read out the data differently) because the scanner is in your case 5000 pixels high and will move 7500 pixels to the side (3:2 Format) to create a 37.5 MP image.
What wouldn't work? You could rotate very slowly and read off the camera very slowly. No need to stop at a 3:2 format, spin right round and cover 360 degrees over the course of a day. Or keep spinning for a full year and make the worlds longest panorama timelapse. This could be done with any camera constantly clicking away and just take slices out of each image, but it has a little more charm if the camera hardware is more made for it.

QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
I guess I should have kept searching for a bit longer before posting. I think I found the article from 2012 or at least one of them. It was a slit scan camera that he stopped the rotation on. So basically the same thing as having the scanning element from a scanner fixed in position. This should give you an idea of the types of images it captures. The left side is further back in time as it captures a single stripe continously.
Nice link! I hadn't seen this fellows work before, but this is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind I had in mind. It's an interesting exploration in how you can capture a dynamic and changing scene onto a static 2-d image.

I've seen home made scanning backs before and have a scanner sitting around waiting for me to build up the drive to do something like this with. I have an app for my phone that simulates a slit-scan camera, but it's shockingly abysmal. I suppose it's about time I try to mimic a slit-scan with a dslr using a video capture*.

*edit- found some software I'm going to try http://www.slitcam.com/

Last edited by BrianR; 08-29-2018 at 03:33 PM.
08-29-2018, 02:21 PM   #6
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Wonder if Ricoh has something like this Mitsubishi camera? Seems almost inevitable with their other imaging businesses.
08-29-2018, 02:53 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
What wouldn't work? You could rotate very slowly and read off the camera very slowly. No need to stop at a 3:2 format, spin right round and cover 360 degrees over the course of a day. Or keep spinning for a full year and make the worlds longest panorama timelapse. This could be done with any camera constantly clicking away and just take slices out of each image, but it has a little more charm if the camera hardware is more made for it.
That's actually what I said in the brackets, you would have to make some changes to the camera
08-29-2018, 05:33 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I've seen home made scanning backs before and have a scanner sitting around waiting for me to build up the drive to do something like this with.
If hacking scanners to make them into a camera (large format scanner camera or slit camera) I would suggest that you be comfortable with linux. A Raspberry Pi is probably reasonable hardware to run the thing and should be powerful enough given where computers were in the late 90s and early 2000s. The key is that the scanner be supported by the SANE subsystem otherwise you will be setting your self up for failure unless you want to reverse engineer a driver for you scanner in Linux.

09-04-2018, 11:13 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I gave the Slit Cam program a quick try. This was a video of a Monarch caterpillar pupating, there's a still image on the right and the full video is below for reference. It's 5 minutes and not very exciting unless you've never seen this sort of thing before or just find insect metamorphosis fascinating. There's no cheery or uplifting music to keep you entertained. If you sit through it, you're not allowed to ask me for your 5 minutes back.



The top left is taking a vertical 'slit' running through the centre of the video (straight through the cremaster). The leftmost column of pixels is this slit at the first frame, the rightmost column is this slit at the last frame of the video. As time marches to the right, we can see how the last instar's larval skin is drawn upwards. There is much bobbing up and down during the process making the waves. It's kinda neat how it gives you a measure of the frequency of this bobbing during the transformation.

For the bottom left, I took a horizontal slit about 1/3 from the top of the video. This captures the skin from the last instar as it's sucked towards the top and passes by the 'slit'. Near the end, the pupa is bobbing up and down enough to get above the slit, and then it settles down. It's rotated sideways 90 degrees.

I have to say, this is a pretty fun way to represent a literal slice of a video into a single 2-d, static image.

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