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Jessop Zoom Slide Duplicator

Reviews Views Date of last review
1 163 Sat June 5, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $35.00 8.00
Jessop Zoom Slide Duplicator

Film era slide and film duplicator with T-2 mount, for fitting directly to a camera body via the appropriate adaptor (eg T-2 to K). Comes with holders for 2" (50mm) square slide mounts (two frames), 35mm film strips (6 frames) and 110 film strips (9 frames). Has a 1-2.5 zoom range. Not self-illuminated, uses translucent window. Seems identical to an Aico model.

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Registered: September, 2017
Location: South Wales
Posts: 1,312
Review Date: June 5, 2021 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Can adjust focus (unlike some others)
Cons: Restricted copy area with APS-C cameras. Juddery focusing. Film holders not indexed.

Dissatisfied with copying old slides and negs with a light box, I thought I would try a duplicator, and I prefer it. I chose this Jessop's one after learning that some duplicators have no focus adjustment, while this one does. The logic of the focus-free type is that the slide or film is always at the same distance, but this overlooks the range of slide holder thicknesses which have changed considerably over the period of the ones I have. The duplicator has a small fixed aperture, around F16 I believe.

Technically, despite the name, it does not have a zoom lens but rather a variable focal length lens. Zoom lenses maintain their focus while changing focal length, and this does not. There is therefore a separate focus adjustment, which I consider an advantage as I mentioned above. The "zoom" adjustment is by a smoothly turning ring, but the focussing is rather clunky, a straight telescopic in-and-out with a locking thumbscrew. This is unfortunate because focussing is a more critical operation than zooming, and in fact I have no use for zooming because I shall do my copying 1:1 with any cropping in post-processing. I guess the "zoom" function was the marketing headline and focussing was taken fror granted*, so the zoom control got the better treatment.

Being designed for film cameras, ie full frame, an APS-C or MFT camera will crop the image. The zoom function only crops the image further. You therefore need to use this device with a full-frame digital camera or its usefulness is rather resticted. There would be no problem copying 110 format film or slides of course.

The resulting images seem sharp enough for the old pictures I shall be copying. So far I have copied some slides and the results have a slightly faded or discoloured look (unedited samples below) but that is probably because of their age. I shall try to brighten them up in PP. I have not done any formal testing.

My copying set up is to place a flash unit at low manual power (GN 8 metres) about half a metre away on the far side of the duplicator. and I get the right exposure for the session by varying the camera sensitivity by trial and error - typically around ISO 400. While the film holders have six or nine frames, the film does not need to be cut to that length. Unfortunately the film and slide holders have no indexing - ie there is no click when a frame is aligned so you have to adjust each one for the shot with the help of the camera viewfinder or live view.

* Or even considered a down-side - in the late film era some very basic point-and-shoot cameras were trumpeted as "Focus Free!"

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