People have asked me what I use to do all my photography work on the iPad.
Well, here’s a quick inventory of the stuff I cobbled together…. and some wishful thinking of where I’d like to go from here.
First item is the iPad Air 2, three generations old and well, it still holds up nicely for what I do. The iPad is protected by an Apple smart case that allows me to work with it at a shallow angle or standing upright like a notebook screen.
Then, for stationary use I have the older Apple bluetooth keyboard that works really well. It offers any keyboard shortcuts etc. On the road i use the onscreen keyboard… not as good but it works. This one comes from my Mac Mini.
An Apple SD card dongle (29€) transfers my ‘scans’ from the camera to the iPad. Alternately I use a USB hub with an SD card reader and a USB dongle at my desk.
The last ‘computer’ item is a Bamboo stylus that allows me to brush in some adjustments on photos and navigate the iPad screen without leaving unsightly greasy fingerprints – my only real gripe with the iPad. But that’s my fault… (12€)
On the photography side, here’s my ‘scanning’ setup.
An ageing but still great Fujifilm X-E1 that outputs 16 megapixel files. Plenty for film scanning! (190€)
An M42 to Fuji X mount adapter from K&F (18€)
A Pentax Takumar 50mm f:4 macro lens (65€). A standard lens with close up rings might work but a real macro lens really makes a difference!
A Huion LED lightpad from Amazon (45€) – nice uniform lighting, very bright!
A beautiful piece of cardboard with a 35mm negative sized hole cut into it and a negative holder from my scanner (not pictured). And a rough cardboard tube to shield the lens/negative from light. I also darken the room to do my magic.
And finally my cheap chinese tripod (29€)
Now you might already own a digital camera so this will not go into the total count. Just as well as you certainly have a tripod and perhaps a macro lens. So this might even be less expensive!
In total this gear cost me about 198 Euros (not counting the camera). This setup works fine but is not very glamorous. And it was the price of my Plustek scanner…
Now what would I change or improve?
Obviously, the gorgeous cardboard will have to go. I’ll replace it with a custom made setup I’ll have to engineer somehow…. I’ll let you know when it’s done.
Then there’s the tripod. It’s a bit of a hassle to set it up, adjust camera height and focus to get a format filling image of the negatives. And it’s not that solid. A nice repro-stand or repurposed enlarger would be nice.
As for the iPad Air 2 it still works fine but let’s be honest, the new 2018 iPad is great, faster and it has Apple Pencil support… that’s going to be unavoidable. In fact the Apple Pencil is more than a gadget and it beats the large, clumsy Bamboo stylus any time.
Let me just state that in my opinion an iPad Pro is NOT necessary! Unless you are a real professional and want to pay twice as much for an iPad.
Honestly, I could not be happier with my new setup. The results are really good and the time involved is much shorter than with my scanner. And will get shorter still with some experience!
Thanks for reading!