A Versatile Panoramic Scanner



ScanCam Mark 2



ScanCam Mark 2 takes high resolution panoramas using SLR camera lenses on an M42 (“Pentax screw”) mount.   I can tilt the lens about 40 degrees up or down to put the “horizon line” pretty much anywhere I want in the image.


The electronics are from a 1200 DPI Umax Astra 5470 scanner.  The CCD is 42mm long – almost the diagonal of a 35mm film frame -- and has 10,600 pixels, giving an effective resolution of 48 megapixels per 35mm frame.  I usually scan at one-half, one-third or one-quarter of that resolution – 12, 5 or 3 Mpixel / frame.


The lens fork turns on a ball bearing hub driven by a homemade plastic worm gear.  The ribbon cable wraps 3 times around the hub at home position and 2 times around after a full turn of the lens. 


One revolution of the lens is 29,430 motor steps. This allows scanning at full resolution with my longest lens, a 55mm Takumar that covers 42 degrees vertically.   I also use a 28mm Takumar covering 74 degrees, and a 16mm Zenitar fisheye covering 150 degrees.


The CCD board sits on a plastic cone that was once part of the scanner, under a light tight sheet metal cover.  Inside the cone are an infrared blocking filter and a simple flap shutter, used to calibrate the CCD dark signal before each scan.