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08-19-2019, 12:02 PM   #1
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What bellows and slide copier to get?

Hi everyone. I've only recently gotten into film in the last year or so but my slides and negatives collection keeps growing, a lot of which have not yet even been fully appreciated on my screen or printed. I'm very interested in scanning them with my KP and a macro lens, and the bellows+slide copier method was the one that most caught my attention due to the overall footprint of the setup while being very high quality.

My problem is there's so many options, and I have no clue which ones to get that would be simplest to employ for the best results. Help would be much appreciated.

08-19-2019, 03:59 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
I'm very interested in scanning them with my KP and a macro lens, and the bellows+slide copier method was the one that most caught my attention due to the overall footprint of the setup while being very high quality.
The main issue is that most bellows+slide copier setups are designed for use with a 50mm lens to copy a 35mm film frame 1:1. APS-C will work fine except that the crop requires greater copier bellows length than most copiers are designed to support. the total distance from sensor to subject remains about the same, but how it is carved up changes. IIRC, @Swift1 managed a setup that actually works with APS-C. Perhaps he will drop in.


Steve

Note: I edited this fairly severely for accuracy...sorry

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-19-2019 at 04:36 PM. Reason: accuracy
08-19-2019, 04:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
I have no clue which ones to get that would be simplest to employ for the best results.
For copying 35mm film to 24x46mm FF, the main bellows should be able to support 1:1 reproduction. What this normally means is about 1x the focal length extension from the mount flange on the rear standard to the flange on the front standard. Example: for 50mm, extend the bellows for a distance of 50mm flange to flange. Focus is then attained by changing the distance to the slide/negative by moving its standard. One would then mark or record these positions for future sessions; they will be very close to correct. It helps to have geared movements for at least the bellows front standard and the slide/negative holder standard.

Of course, for 35mm film to APS-C, we actually want 1:1.5 meaning an extension of 33mm with a 50mm lens (39mm for 58mm). Most bellows with slide copiers are not able to manage that short an extension.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-19-2019 at 04:55 PM.
08-19-2019, 05:25 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The main issue is that most bellows+slide copier setups are designed for use with a 50mm lens to copy a 35mm film frame 1:1. APS-C will work fine except that the crop requires greater copier bellows length than most copiers are designed to support. the total distance from sensor to subject remains about the same, but how it is carved up changes. IIRC, @Swift1 managed a setup that actually works with APS-C. Perhaps he will drop in.


Steve

Note: I edited this fairly severely for accuracy...sorry
Mm that's not something I considered. Maybe I can do a little digging, hopefully Swift drops in to give me some insight on this.

08-19-2019, 06:11 PM   #5
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Here is my bellows unit with the K-1. I bought an old Pentax M42 bellows unit from the local camera shop before he got out of the hardware end of the business. Due to the K-1's protruding viewfinder, I needed to use an old deglassed teleconverter on the back standard to provide the necessary clearance. I use a Super-Takumar 55/1.8 lens on the front standard to provide the optics. It took a bit of fiddling to find the right positions for the two standards but once I did all I had to do was mark the front standard position with a bit of post-it note. Then adjusting the back standard so it butted up against the front standard was the perfect focus position. I use a 3rd-party 4P type flash cord to connect an old AF280T to the K-1 to provide the illumination. The K-1 is set for X-sync of 1/200s and the lens is set to f/11 and infinity focus. The flash is handheld at about a foot ahead of the slide carrier and the flash is set for its weakest manual setting. This results in excellent exposures and allows the flash batteries to last a long time.

Note that you may be able to do away with the back standard extension with a teleconverter depending on your camera's viewfinder forward protrusion. If so, you may be able to set up an APS-C camera using the increased back standard extension.

I have begun the arduous process of going through my 42 years of 35mm slides but the effort is totally worth it. The hardest part is remembering dates and places if the slide was not labelled.

08-19-2019, 07:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
for 35mm film to APS-C, we actually want 1:1.5 meaning an extension of 33mm with a 50mm lens
The Pentax K Auto Tube set
Will get you to 32mm, with tubes 1+2. Other brand tube sets will likely get you in the range too.

You will need a lens you can directly control aperture with; an A or older.

Still need a rig to keep the slide or neg a constant distance and square to the end of your lens. That tends to be the tricky part, if you're not square you can't get focus across the film.
Perhaps something like this?
amazon.com : Nikon ES-1 52mm Slide Copy Adapter : Camera Lens Adapters : Camera & Photo?tag=pentaxforums-20&

I have the Pentax tube set, can vouch for them, no experience with the Nikon gadget though,
Let us know what you come up with, I keep seeing this come up, and don't think I've seen a good solution,
Lord knows I have the same problem, just not motivated to deal with it yet.
08-19-2019, 07:48 PM   #7
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I have the Pentax Auto Bellows A and associated slide copier that I use with a K-5. I replaced the stock bar with a longer 1-inch diameter aluminum bar. Ten-inch long, 1-inch diameter aluminum bars are readily available online. Moving the bracket that attaches the copier to the bellows to a longer bar is not too difficult if you have some experience and enjoy doing such things. It does require drilling and tapping a #2 screw hole in the bar and a short #2 screw to replace the presumably metric original. I use a cardboard tube to extend the bellows.
08-19-2019, 08:18 PM   #8
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Some years ago I used this setup to digitize my collection of negative film and slide pictures. I used most Pentax equipment to do it:

1) Pentax *ist DL camera
2) Pentax Auto Extension Tube K number 3 (26 mm extension)*
3) SMC Pentax M 50/1.7 lens*
4) Asahi Pentax Slide Copier

I used also an aluminium tube and a flash bracket to mount everything.

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08-19-2019, 08:26 PM - 1 Like   #9
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The Auto Extension Tube #3 and the 50/1.7 M lens give 0.65x to 0.70x magnification, depending on the focus position of the lens, so it is adequated to the crop factor of the APS-C sensor (1/1.53x=0.65).
08-19-2019, 09:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MadBill Quote
I replaced the stock bar with a longer 1-inch diameter aluminum bar.
I am trouble visualizing what you have done here. Do you have a photo? Were you using a longer focal length lens to require a longer bar?


Steve
08-20-2019, 12:04 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I am trouble visualizing what you have done here. Do you have a photo? Were you using a longer focal length lens to require a longer bar?
Shown along side the stock copier bar. The bellows on the copier is too short to reach the lens with the longer bar, I made a cardboard tube just the right length to bridge the gap from the lens to the slide holder. The Pentax bellows/copier manual calls for a 50mm lens to get a magnification of 1.0 using the slide copier. I use an SMC 100mm F4 Bellows lens which, with the longer bar, provides the 0.66 magnification needed for the K-5.

Our friends eat B&H have an article on digitizing film that might help the OP.

Scanning without a Scanner: Digitizing Your Film with a DSLR | B&H Explora
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08-20-2019, 01:01 AM   #12
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Plenty of APS-C solutions - take a look at these threads:

how to - auto bellows slide copier K & dSLR - PentaxForums.com
Bellows II + Slide Copier - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com
08-20-2019, 08:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
There are some nice setups on those two threads. One that caught my eye involved use of a longer focal length and a stack of extension tubes reversed onto the lens as a bridge to the slide copier bellows...clever! While most any of the Pentax bellows + slide copier kits have difficulty providing 1:1.5 reproduction with available bellows extension used with a 50mm lens (too tight), something around 70-75mm might work nicely.

Another that I found intriguing used a reversed enlarger lens. One of the concerns for slide copying is flatness of field. Enlarger lenses are designed for this task. Figuring out the distances and focal lengths to use may be a little more challenging, but likely worth the trouble.


Steve
08-20-2019, 08:33 AM   #14
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Other options might include T-mount bellows + slide copier setups. There is a fairly recent thread here about one from Vivitar...

Macro Bellows & Slide Bellows - PentaxForums.com


Steve
08-20-2019, 10:48 AM   #15
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Replacing the rod would be the easiest solution. You could fabricate a telescoping tube easy enough from cardboard/foam core. It doesn't have to be round. The original rod has chords cut off on the "top" and "bottom" so the slide attachment will be squared off. If you have the tools to do this you only need the bottom cut away. Or even a slot for the set screw to follow would work. I suppose you could even get someone to 3D print a longer rod with the flat top and bottom.

As I recall reading from probably Modern or Popular Photography in the 80s a flat field lens works best with glass mount slides. Otherwise slides in cardboard or plastic mounts tend to be slightly curved, bulging out from the center.
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