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04-14-2014, 12:19 PM   #1
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Slide dup/scanning. Did research. Some insight. Some questions. A bit lengthy.

My head is going to explode right after my brain melts. I also don't know whether to post this here, in the film forum, or in the equipment forum because it relates to technique, gear, and film. I shall defer to admin and ask forgiveness.

I've read a lot about digitizing 35mm slides. Much of the info is a bit dated. Some suggest a dedicated 35mm scanner. There are many of those at myriad price points but the one that seem to be universally lauded and considered the only suitable solution is too expensive for me. It is also a discontinued product with no support.

There are mixed reviews about flatbeds. The general consensus is they are unsuitable for 35mm and only adequate for medium format. The V700/750 are indicated to be the standouts here but it would be the V600 that's in my price range. None of them, however, have received glowing reviews for 35mm and there are some that say any flatbed will turn grain into “porridge” even, I am given to understand, with wet scans. The focusing issue also troubles me. I don't want to have to buy and return a bunch of scanners until I find one with accurate focus nor do I want to endlessly experiment with shims. I don't mind doing the work required but I do mind when poor design leads to additional, unnecessary, labor.

That brings me to camera duplication and “camera scanning”. Both would require reverse mounting a lens I already have, purchasing another macro lens (my current 28mm is too wide), or purchasing an enlarger lens. Choices already in my kit for reverse mounting are 50mm, 100mm, 135mm, 18-55mm, and 55-300mm. If I do need to buy another lens then purchasing an enlarger lens would be more economical (although, a used 6-element Schneider Componon 2.8 still can't be considered “cheap”) and better suited for the task when compared to purchasing and using another macro camera lens. If I choose this route (which I am inclined to do) I will have to figure into the budget either a copy stand or bellows.

A suitable, sturdy, copy stand is inexpensive and may or may not work with one of my zoom lenses mounted in reverse. A compact, color corrected, lightbox to set on the base is required as is, it seems to me, some sort of guide rail with x/y adjustment for actually scanning the slide with the camera. Even with straight up duplication there seems the need for an adjustable guide to accurately insure proper focal plane alignment to the slide/lightbox on the base. A copy stand setup is also large enough to require a bit of set up and break down, in addition to storage space when not in use; not a deal breaker.

Used bellows prices are all over the map on Ebay as are their conditions. Quite a few appear to be almost new, others, not so much and detecting a light leak in a bellows requires real inspection. Most don't have all the attachments such as the slide holder attachment and rulers; finding a suitable slide holder attachment for a bellows bought separately could be a problem. Then there is the elephant that comes into the room with the bellows, the 1.5 crop factor. The problem here seems to be the bellows not extending far enough to compensate for the 1.5 crop factor, they are all designed for 35mm film cameras. Perhaps adding an extension tube can fix this?

You've now reached the point where I admit being a “bear of very little brain”. I suck at math. There, I said it. Doing the calculations to determine an appropriate lens focal length and extention tube size for using a bellows with an enlarger lens or a copy stand with a reversed prime or zoom is beyond me.

As you can see, I've done a bit of research. Clearly, however, I am still unsure of the best way to accomplish my goal of copying 35mm slides.

EDIT FOR ADMIN:
Upon re-reading this it seems there would be more folks in the film forum section who would have experience and insight into this matter. If you agree, could I trouble you to move it? I would be much obliged and sorry for the inconvenience.


Last edited by MD Optofonik; 04-14-2014 at 12:35 PM.
04-14-2014, 12:36 PM   #2
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So, what are your reproduction requirements?

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04-14-2014, 12:39 PM   #3
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Pentax recently announced the new negative/slide dupe system designed specifically for the APS-C system we have currently. It should have the camera mount, lens bellows, and slide/neg holders included. It should roll out this year, and is profiled on the forums here.
04-14-2014, 12:52 PM   #4
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I am just starting out shooting slides with a Yashica rangefinder and Provia 100F so the lens is the determining factor until and unless I decide to upgrade to a better rangefinder The basic Provia scans I received with the processed and mounted slides from Swan rendered colors with a smooth dynamic range like I've never seen using digital. The transitions were so smooth and natural looking and even the overexposed highlights (as I stated, I'm just starting out with slides) didn't appear as distracting as does digital clipping. When I viewed the slides with a loupe the colors were even more amazing and many of the images had an almost 3D quality to them. I realize this isn't a very technical description of my requirements but it's something to go on, perhaps?

---------- Post added 04-14-2014 at 12:52 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by KGH Quote
Pentax recently announced the new negative/slide dupe system designed specifically for the APS-C system we have currently. It should have the camera mount, lens bellows, and slide/neg holders included. It should roll out this year, and is profiled on the forums here.
Found it. Looks to be just the ticket. What lens did they use? Any idea on price? Considering that film era ones are selling on Ebay start anywhere from $10-350...


Last edited by MD Optofonik; 04-14-2014 at 01:02 PM.
04-14-2014, 01:06 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
I realize this isn't a very technical description of my requirements but it's something to go on, perhaps?
Well, it's a start. I was not looking for the technical; rather--what do you want to do with your scanned image files? If you want to post the image only on the web, then that's a different level of resolution and accuracy than if you wanted to create 36-inch wide prints for exhibition. So, what's happening?

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04-14-2014, 01:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Well, it's a start. I was not looking for the technical; rather--what do you want to do with your scanned image files? If you want to post the image only on the web, then that's a different level of resolution and accuracy than if you wanted to create 36-inch wide prints for exhibition. So, what's happening?

M
Ahh, okay. Prints no larger than 16x20 @ 4ft viewing distance (a bit ambitious perhaps with a 16MP APS-C K-30) and posting on the web.
04-14-2014, 08:45 PM   #7
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Before committing dollars to one path or the other--why not use the cheapest approach to see if slide duplication w/ digital camera will give you a workable image. Resolution is not critical, but color/method of handling the digital image is. If you have a light box, put black paper around the slide, and (with a tripod is better) take a picture as close as your lens can focus and try working with the digital file. It will be low resolution (as your lens does not focus close) but is it workable? If so the resolution/better working arrangement comes next. If you don't have light box a milky glass and incandescent light behind it should be doable.

04-15-2014, 08:06 AM   #8
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I use the V600 for scanning 135, 120, and 110 negatives.
Getting the settings right takes some practice, but it is capable of output that fulfills all my needs.
If I ever needed anything better, I would send it out for a drum scan.

While I haven't scanned a framed slide yet, it seems like it would be less fussy than curled-up strips of film.
04-15-2014, 10:07 PM   #9
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So I did the light box test and it's a bit cumbersome. Back to the bellows idea.

If I were to get an old Pentax slide copying bellows system, what lens would I need to use to avoid cropping?
04-16-2014, 10:27 AM   #10
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I had in mind that using a light box/etc. you could see if the image is acceptable--meaning using a regular digital capture and if your planned work flow (raw?) gives a good result.

Yes it would be (more) cumbersome, and likely subject to flare if you don't mask around the slide, etc.; but it tests the use of your dslr vs. a dedicated scanner.
04-16-2014, 02:34 PM   #11
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Based on review samples I can tell that a scanner is not for me. I'm researching enlarging lenses now, trying to determine the appropriate focal length. It would be nice if there was a formula that I could plug values into, i.e., min/max bellows range, subject size, aps-c value, focal length, etc..
04-16-2014, 02:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
It would be nice if there was a formula that I could plug values into, i.e., min/max bellows range, subject size, aps-c value, focal length, etc..
You could look at my DIY thread, i think I put links to my geometric optics diagrams there.
04-16-2014, 06:30 PM   #13
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As your Pentax dslr has a 1.5 cropped sensor, the bellows/etc. will be required to act as though it was magnification of 2/3 [1/(3/2) = 2/3=0.67] on a FF film camera. [As the film image, to fill the smaller sensor, cannot be full size on the sensor--unless you want to crop it.]
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