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08-24-2013, 07:31 PM   #1
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K5 for digitising slides

I like many others wish to digitise a large number of old family colour slides, ideally without spending a lot of time (or money) on the process, as many of the slides have more sentimental than photographic value. I have experimented a little with using my K5 + 300mm prime lens tripod mounted to photograph the slide image projected using a quality projector onto a smooth white surface fixed to the wall, though the results are much less vibrant than the image viewed on the wall.

I am interested to hear whether there are particular camera settings that give the best images using this method.

Thanks, Andrew

08-24-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andrew Crouch Quote
I am interested to hear whether there are particular camera settings that give the best images using this method.
Well. don't use flash!
Try for mid range speed and aperture. I mounted my K5 just behind the projector to get the straightest angle. Watch for stray light.
Here are a couple of untouched examples from the sixties. Good enough for general viewing I think.
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08-24-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
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check it out on you tube they have a tone of info and how to videos on there
08-24-2013, 11:43 PM   #4
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Hi

Check out Slide dublicators with T-mount.

SLIDE DUPLICATOR | eBay

Greetings

08-25-2013, 12:41 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
Well. don't use flash!
Try for mid range speed and aperture. I mounted my K5 just behind the projector to get the straightest angle. Watch for stray light.
Here are a couple of untouched examples from the sixties. Good enough for general viewing I think.
Hi Arnold and thanks - actually your samples, particularly the bridge, illustrate precisely what I was referring to - seen on the projector screen, these slides of yours would be full of life and sharp, but the camera photo off the screen robs the colours (particularly the blacks and whites) of their vibrancy. I would be most interested to know if anyone has solved this, still using the projector method.

Andrew
08-25-2013, 09:40 AM   #6
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I tried this too, but a good scanner with a good software will do a better job...
I have an Epson V500 and VueScan. Scanning at 3200 dpi, my 645 photos have nearly 1.5x more pixels.
I used the internal flash to trigger the external in pttl, but I had to underexpose a lot because of the black border...
08-25-2013, 11:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andrew Crouch Quote
I would be most interested to know if anyone has solved this, still using the projector method.
One will never match a proper scan, as the light reflecting from the wall is some distance away. Results would improve with close in snaps. In the end, one needs to put this in context. I have over 2000 slides, and scanning all of them would be an ordeal. However, projecting them and getting results as shown above, allows one to at least see and enjoy what one has. Then, there is nothing to stop one selecting and scanning favorites.

Compare the scanned and the projected here as an example of doing just that.
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08-26-2013, 05:19 AM   #8
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Shooting a projected image means hyper-contrast, loss of detail, quirky white balance.

A good refurbished Epson V500 scanner is just as fast, probably doesn't cost more than the replacement cost of a projector light bulb, and is gentler on your slides than the heat from the projector. And for your top slides, find a K-Mount bellows unit with slide duplicator, and a 70mm lens with manual aperture.(the 70mm lens offsets the APS-C crop factor).

08-26-2013, 05:38 AM   #9
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If you have a Macro lens it's easier and results will be as good as a scan. Ideally set your slides on a white balance light box, you need the light to shine through them, not onto them. Camera on a tripod and shoot away. It would be easy to rig a cardboard frame to keep the slides in the same position every time.

Another option is to rig up a flash box, you direct the flash at a white card behind the slide and the light from the flash should be constrained to behind the slide too, contrast will decrease alarmingly if ANY light is on the slide from the camera side.

Like this

The other way to scan positive slides, or, why I kept my big DSLR by Stefan Schmidt | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

Results are as good as any scan, slides are simple as there are fewer white balance problems that you get with print negatives which can be a pain to colour correct. If you use a TTL flash connected with a TTL lead then exposure will be automatic and any varying lightness or darkness in the slides will be allowed for.

EDIT: Slide copiers off eBay tend to be for old film cameras and are designed for full frame, your APS sensor will crop just the centre and there's not enough adjustment to copy the full size, there are slide copiers around for digital cameras, but they are pricey as you are, in effect, buying a macro lens.

Bellows or extension tubes can be used instead of a dedicated macro lens with no loss of quality, close up lenses are also cheap to try, but results will not be as good.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisJ; 08-26-2013 at 05:45 AM.
08-26-2013, 06:02 AM   #10
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Here you can see, side by side, the difference...

Epson Scan V500 at 2400dpi from Pentax 645N with Arsat 30mm F3.5 on Agfachrome RSXII 50 ISO


Pentax K-5 with Tamron 90mm Macro on Durst M650 with Siriocam and Kayser Slimlite LED lightbox
08-27-2013, 03:48 AM   #11
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I tried this once and ended up putting the slide duplicator back on eBay and going back to scanning with my Canon FS4000US. Medium format I send out. But while even such a scanner, which is 2002 technology, is better than using a camera with a slide duplicator, I think the potential is there for the situation to reverse at some point. For instance, a camera with no AA filter would be a good start. Also, multiple bracketed shots recomposed in PhotoAcute might have enough of an increase in resolution and dynamic range to compete with scanners. I'm not a big fan of the Epson flatbeds that are adaptable to scanning transparencies. To me it's like having a sports car with a built-in washer and dryer in the trunk. It might limit the car's performance on the road, but if you want to do a load of laundry you're good to go. I'd take almost any dedicated film scanner over a flatbed with an adapter.
08-27-2013, 05:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DonDouglas Quote
I tried this once and ended up putting the slide duplicator back on eBay and going back to scanning with my Canon FS4000US.
Baby steps. Remember the OP is using a slide projector and photographing the screen. I can't arguing your thoughts - for your use. I don't think there is a willingness to invest in a dedicated film scanner at this point. A used Canon FS4000US is about double the cost of a refurbished Epson V500. And the V500 is several magnitudes of order better than taking snapshots of a projection screen. Plus it does double as a flatbed suitable for digitizing prints if you don't have the original film stock.

I like your comparison of a sports car with a washer and dryer - but hey, if you don't have the time and money to do it any other way .... I happen to like wearing clean clothes. Can we squeeze a shower into that sports car too?
08-28-2013, 02:29 AM   #13
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Thanks to all for suggestions. Since it looks like the projector mode I was using does not lend itself to major improvement, my next step will be to try the lightbox option. I don't have a macro lens currently, but if it looks promising using a normal camera lens I might invest in one. The time it takes for each individual slide is a significant factor for me.

Cheers,

Andrew
08-29-2013, 05:57 PM   #14
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I too am always looking for a way to duplicate and archive my old slides and negatives, I found a scanner part in a box of computer parts at a flee market and bought it for .25 cents. it is off of some kind of HP scanner, it will clamp slides and negatives and has a ground glass transparent light source that it clamps the slide/negative to, with some "MaxGuyvering" I managed to connect a power source to it to make the lamp light up and connected a power switch to it, (after I get done with my cross country move and unpacked I will post pics and a small write up on what I did"

anywho- I then slapped an old 35mm vivitar "close focus" lens to my K-5 and managed to do some test shots, I even tried my Pentax M50mm 1:1.4 lens as well, but it seams I got better results and usability with the Vivitar. I also took the shot handheld because I was actually about to pack all my toys away for my move, so I know for a fact that I can most likely get better shots once I get it all set up with a tripod. Here is the pic I practiced on, it is of a slide of my daughter I took back in 95 with a Pentax ME Super and same 50mm lens mentioned above, she is 22 now-

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