A digital camera as a scanner

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by il barbi, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. il barbi

    il barbi Guest

    In search of a quick and unexpensive way for digitalizing my many thousand
    of slides, I'm now trying to photograph them on the 8" screen of my slide
    viewer. Unbelievably, I get good results, namely they look like what I see
    on the screen of the viewer and they are surely better than what I got with
    a flatbed scanner with slide adapter (Epson Perfection 2400 photo).
    Someone has already tried this way? I don't use a good reflex camera (I've
    only a Nikon Coolpix L1), but if this method works I could buy one. It will
    be useful to settle some detail - I tried at daylight near the window with
    macro feature and without flash, then I think it will be useful some gear to
    hold tightly the screen and the camera at the right distance and slope
    il barbi
     
    il barbi, Oct 22, 2007
    #1
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  2. "il barbi" <> wrote in message
    news:ffisst$lfi$...
    > In search of a quick and unexpensive way for digitalizing my many thousand
    > of slides, I'm now trying to photograph them on the 8" screen of my slide
    > viewer. Unbelievably, I get good results, namely they look like what I see
    > on the screen of the viewer and they are surely better than what I got

    with
    > a flatbed scanner with slide adapter (Epson Perfection 2400 photo).
    > Someone has already tried this way? I don't use a good reflex camera (I've
    > only a Nikon Coolpix L1), but if this method works I could buy one. It

    will
    > be useful to settle some detail - I tried at daylight near the window with
    > macro feature and without flash, then I think it will be useful some gear

    to
    > hold tightly the screen and the camera at the right distance and slope
    > il barbi
    >

    Hello. I am interested in details of your slide viewer, as I have quite a
    collection of 35mm slides I would love to digitize. My camera is nothing
    fancy - just a little Fuji FinePix A340. The part I am not clear about is
    your viewer. Is it an up to the eye viewer, or an illuminated table top
    viewer, or what? I would really appreciate any further details as my funds
    are too limited to think about specialist slide scanners etc. and your post
    gives me hope that I can still do this.

    Many thanks,

    --
    Peter in New Zealand. (Pull the plug out to reply.)
    Collector of old cameras, tropical fish fancier, good coffee nutter, and
    compulsive computer fiddler.
     
    Peter in New Zealand, Oct 22, 2007
    #2
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  3. On Tue, 23 Oct 2007 08:52:25 +1300, "Peter in New Zealand"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"il barbi" <> wrote in message
    >news:ffisst$lfi$...
    >> In search of a quick and unexpensive way for digitalizing my many thousand
    >> of slides, I'm now trying to photograph them on the 8" screen of my slide
    >> viewer. Unbelievably, I get good results, namely they look like what I see
    >> on the screen of the viewer and they are surely better than what I got

    >with
    >> a flatbed scanner with slide adapter (Epson Perfection 2400 photo).
    >> Someone has already tried this way? I don't use a good reflex camera (I've
    >> only a Nikon Coolpix L1), but if this method works I could buy one. It

    >will
    >> be useful to settle some detail - I tried at daylight near the window with
    >> macro feature and without flash, then I think it will be useful some gear

    >to
    >> hold tightly the screen and the camera at the right distance and slope
    >> il barbi
    >>

    >Hello. I am interested in details of your slide viewer, as I have quite a
    >collection of 35mm slides I would love to digitize. My camera is nothing
    >fancy - just a little Fuji FinePix A340. The part I am not clear about is
    >your viewer. Is it an up to the eye viewer, or an illuminated table top
    >viewer, or what? I would really appreciate any further details as my funds
    >are too limited to think about specialist slide scanners etc. and your post
    >gives me hope that I can still do this.
    >
    >Many thanks,


    If wanting to use your camera to copy slides there are many readily available
    slide-copier/duplicator attachments for cameras. Hunt the net. There's about 3-5
    models from various companies out there, ranging from $30 to $70? or so, last
    time I checked. I keep meaning to copy all my old slides one day, so I keep
    looking at alternatives. As resolution goes up in cameras this becomes the
    faster and least expensive option for the same quality. The
    slide-copier/duplicator attachments usually come included with a close-up lens.
    Just attach them to the filter-threads on your lens or filter adapter. Some of
    the newer digital super-zoom cameras with their superior built-in macro lenses
    don't even require a close-up lens. Some of the super-zooms even having less
    barrel and pincushion distortion at some focal length ranges than the most
    expensive DSLR glass. Using a +7 diopter achromat close-up lens on mine I get
    virtually zero geometric distortions at the right distance and zoom setting to
    focus and frame a 35mm slide. You can usually get just as much resolution out of
    your camera doing it this way as a dedicated digital slide-scanner. You are
    still going to be limited by the weakest link in your original images--being the
    focus, slight motion blur, softness of original lens used, or film-grain. For
    example, there's really no reason to scan pushed-ISO/ASA200, ISO400, or ISO800
    film with a high resolution slide-scanner for $1000+. You'll just be getting
    $1000+ worth of film grain. You'll do just as well using just a less expensive
    but decent quality P&S camera.
     
    Taylor Thompkins, Oct 22, 2007
    #3
  4. "Taylor Thompkins" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Tue, 23 Oct 2007 08:52:25 +1300, "Peter in New Zealand"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"il barbi" <> wrote in message
    > >news:ffisst$lfi$...
    > >> In search of a quick and unexpensive way for digitalizing my many

    thousand
    > >> of slides, I'm now trying to photograph them on the 8" screen of my

    slide
    > >> viewer. Unbelievably, I get good results, namely they look like what I

    see
    > >> on the screen of the viewer and they are surely better than what I got

    > >with
    > >> a flatbed scanner with slide adapter (Epson Perfection 2400 photo).
    > >> Someone has already tried this way? I don't use a good reflex camera

    (I've
    > >> only a Nikon Coolpix L1), but if this method works I could buy one. It

    > >will
    > >> be useful to settle some detail - I tried at daylight near the window

    with
    > >> macro feature and without flash, then I think it will be useful some

    gear
    > >to
    > >> hold tightly the screen and the camera at the right distance and slope
    > >> il barbi
    > >>

    > >Hello. I am interested in details of your slide viewer, as I have quite a
    > >collection of 35mm slides I would love to digitize. My camera is nothing
    > >fancy - just a little Fuji FinePix A340. The part I am not clear about is
    > >your viewer. Is it an up to the eye viewer, or an illuminated table top
    > >viewer, or what? I would really appreciate any further details as my

    funds
    > >are too limited to think about specialist slide scanners etc. and your

    post
    > >gives me hope that I can still do this.
    > >
    > >Many thanks,

    >
    > If wanting to use your camera to copy slides there are many readily

    available
    > slide-copier/duplicator attachments for cameras. Hunt the net. There's

    about 3-5
    > models from various companies out there, ranging from $30 to $70? or so,

    last
    > time I checked. I keep meaning to copy all my old slides one day, so I

    keep
    > looking at alternatives. As resolution goes up in cameras this becomes the
    > faster and least expensive option for the same quality. The
    > slide-copier/duplicator attachments usually come included with a close-up

    lens.
    > Just attach them to the filter-threads on your lens or filter adapter.

    Some of
    > the newer digital super-zoom cameras with their superior built-in macro

    lenses
    > don't even require a close-up lens. Some of the super-zooms even having

    less
    > barrel and pincushion distortion at some focal length ranges than the most
    > expensive DSLR glass. Using a +7 diopter achromat close-up lens on mine I

    get
    > virtually zero geometric distortions at the right distance and zoom

    setting to
    > focus and frame a 35mm slide. You can usually get just as much resolution

    out of
    > your camera doing it this way as a dedicated digital slide-scanner. You

    are
    > still going to be limited by the weakest link in your original

    images--being the
    > focus, slight motion blur, softness of original lens used, or film-grain.

    For
    > example, there's really no reason to scan pushed-ISO/ASA200, ISO400, or

    ISO800
    > film with a high resolution slide-scanner for $1000+. You'll just be

    getting
    > $1000+ worth of film grain. You'll do just as well using just a less

    expensive
    > but decent quality P&S camera.



    Push processing! Now there's a term I haven't heard in a long time. Used to
    do it with b&w neg film and get some incredible results! Anyway, thanks so
    much for your detailed comments. I appreciate your time, and will be looking
    at a set up to do this very soon.

    --
    Peter in New Zealand. (Pull the plug out to reply.)
    Collector of old cameras, tropical fish fancier, good coffee nutter, and
    compulsive computer fiddler.
     
    Peter in New Zealand, Oct 22, 2007
    #4
  5. "il barbi" <> wrote in message
    news:ffisst$lfi$...
    > In search of a quick and unexpensive way for digitalizing my many thousand
    > of slides, I'm now trying to photograph them on the 8" screen of my slide
    > viewer. Unbelievably, I get good results, namely they look like what I see
    > on the screen of the viewer and they are surely better than what I got
    > with a flatbed scanner with slide adapter (Epson Perfection 2400 photo).
    > Someone has already tried this way? I don't use a good reflex camera (I've
    > only a Nikon Coolpix L1), but if this method works I could buy one. It
    > will be useful to settle some detail - I tried at daylight near the window
    > with macro feature and without flash, then I think it will be useful some
    > gear to hold tightly the screen and the camera at the right distance and
    > slope
    > il barbi


    I have had quite surprisingly good results by putting my camera on a tripod,
    and shooting the projected slides...

    /M
     
    Moro Grubb of Little Delving, Oct 23, 2007
    #5
  6. On Tue, 23 Oct 2007 04:55:18 GMT, "Moro Grubb of Little Delving"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"il barbi" <> wrote in message
    >news:ffisst$lfi$...
    >> In search of a quick and unexpensive way for digitalizing my many thousand
    >> of slides, I'm now trying to photograph them on the 8" screen of my slide
    >> viewer. Unbelievably, I get good results, namely they look like what I see
    >> on the screen of the viewer and they are surely better than what I got
    >> with a flatbed scanner with slide adapter (Epson Perfection 2400 photo).
    >> Someone has already tried this way? I don't use a good reflex camera (I've
    >> only a Nikon Coolpix L1), but if this method works I could buy one. It
    >> will be useful to settle some detail - I tried at daylight near the window
    >> with macro feature and without flash, then I think it will be useful some
    >> gear to hold tightly the screen and the camera at the right distance and
    >> slope
    >> il barbi

    >
    >I have had quite surprisingly good results by putting my camera on a tripod,
    >and shooting the projected slides...
    >
    >/M
    >


    Part of the problem with using projection or rear-projection methods will be the
    surface used in the path of the light. Not all reflective or frosted screens
    disperse the light rays evenly. Resulting in vignetting of one type or another.
    Dimmer corners, brighter centers, depending of course on how centrally your
    camera lens is aligned to the perpendicular axis from the center of your
    projection screen. One of the best surfaces to use (no lie) is just some plain
    white linen sheeting ironed smooth and held taught. I did some research on this
    in the distant past and that kept coming up as the most evenly lighted surface
    from a projected source. You won't get the brightness and contrast that is
    afforded by the old glass-beaded silvered screens or rear-projection screens,
    but the light is diffused more evenly in all directions at wider angles,
    preventing vignetting. You might want to hunt on the net about this, each
    surface type has been researched long ago during the slide-projection era for
    what surface works best for the width of your audience vs. image quality. (no
    diet-seminar jokes intended)

    You're still better off using a slide-copier attachment, but using a projection
    method with the right screen surface can still work quite well.
     
    howard_k_smith, Oct 23, 2007
    #6
  7. il barbi

    Bob Williams Guest

    il barbi wrote:
    > In search of a quick and unexpensive way for digitalizing my many thousand
    > of slides, I'm now trying to photograph them on the 8" screen of my slide
    > viewer. Unbelievably, I get good results, namely they look like what I see
    > on the screen of the viewer and they are surely better than what I got with
    > a flatbed scanner with slide adapter (Epson Perfection 2400 photo).
    > Someone has already tried this way? I don't use a good reflex camera (I've
    > only a Nikon Coolpix L1), but if this method works I could buy one. It will
    > be useful to settle some detail - I tried at daylight near the window with
    > macro feature and without flash, then I think it will be useful some gear to
    > hold tightly the screen and the camera at the right distance and slope
    > il barbi
    >
    >
    >


    I sent you a picture of a homemade slide copier that I built.(I don't
    have a photo website to link to). The message bounced.... Do you use an
    Anti-Spam address? Send me a working address and I will resend the pic.
    Bob Williams
     
    Bob Williams, Oct 23, 2007
    #7
  8. il barbi

    il barbi Guest

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Peter in New Zealand" <>
    Newsgroups: rec.photo.digital
    Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 9:52 PM
    Subject: Re: A digital camera as a scanner
    >>

    > Hello. I am interested in details of your slide viewer, as I have quite a
    > collection of 35mm slides I would love to digitize. My camera is nothing
    > fancy - just a little Fuji FinePix A340. The part I am not clear about is
    > your viewer. Is it an up to the eye viewer, or an illuminated table top
    > viewer, or what? I would really appreciate any further details as my funds
    > are too limited to think about specialist slide scanners etc. and your
    > post
    > gives me hope that I can still do this.
    >

    Hello Peter, my slide viewer is a german one, Braun's Novamat 515 AF-M
    the slides are projected towards a mirror (embedded in a folding wall of the
    viewer) reflecting them on the surface of the plastic screen that is the
    cover of the viewer and can be tilted at a suitable angle in order to view
    correctly the slides
    I can also project the slides by excluding the mirror on a wide white screen
    or on a white wall and perhaps you could photograph this enlarged images,
    but I found it is better the 20x20 cm. screen of my viewer
    Now I think our problem is widespread yet the scanner solution is expensive
    both in money and in time, that's why I thought of this one
    I hope you understand since english is not my mothertongue
    il barbi
     
    il barbi, Oct 23, 2007
    #8
  9. "il barbi" <> wrote in message
    news:fflefl$l42$...
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Peter in New Zealand" <>
    > Newsgroups: rec.photo.digital
    > Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 9:52 PM
    > Subject: Re: A digital camera as a scanner
    > >>

    > > Hello. I am interested in details of your slide viewer, as I have quite

    a
    > > collection of 35mm slides I would love to digitize. My camera is nothing
    > > fancy - just a little Fuji FinePix A340. The part I am not clear about

    is
    > > your viewer. Is it an up to the eye viewer, or an illuminated table top
    > > viewer, or what? I would really appreciate any further details as my

    funds
    > > are too limited to think about specialist slide scanners etc. and your
    > > post
    > > gives me hope that I can still do this.
    > >

    > Hello Peter, my slide viewer is a german one, Braun's Novamat 515 AF-M
    > the slides are projected towards a mirror (embedded in a folding wall of

    the
    > viewer) reflecting them on the surface of the plastic screen that is the
    > cover of the viewer and can be tilted at a suitable angle in order to view
    > correctly the slides
    > I can also project the slides by excluding the mirror on a wide white

    screen
    > or on a white wall and perhaps you could photograph this enlarged images,
    > but I found it is better the 20x20 cm. screen of my viewer
    > Now I think our problem is widespread yet the scanner solution is

    expensive
    > both in money and in time, that's why I thought of this one
    > I hope you understand since english is not my mothertongue
    > il barbi
    >

    Thank you - your description gives me a pretty good idea. And your English
    is great. The last time I was talking to someone from the UK they didn't
    think I was talking "proper" english. Just a rough colonial from down
    under - that's me! (grin)

    I actually came across a little "projector and screen in a box" I bought in
    about 1960. The box opens up to 180 degrees, the projector hinges up out of
    the bottom and a screen about 14 inches square folds up from the lid. The
    resulting image is bright and sharp so I am setting it up with the camera on
    a stand so that the zoom enables me to neatly frame the projected image.
    There's a very slight distortion of course because of the difference between
    the projector and camera angles to the screen, but it seems pretty good
    overall.

    This will do for me I think, but thank you for your description which was
    helpful.

    --
    Peter in New Zealand. (Pull the plug out to reply.)
    Collector of old cameras, tropical fish fancier, good coffee nutter, and
    compulsive computer fiddler.
     
    Peter in New Zealand, Oct 23, 2007
    #9
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