slide duplication w/ tube,experience anyone??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chuck Lorentzson, May 1, 2005.

  1. I am considering 'moving' a large amount of slides to my computer.
    I've check slide scanners, and wonder if there is a less expensive way
    to go. I am looking for 'reports' from those that have ''''traveled
    this road before me'''', and what their 'thoughts are'. Thanks in
    advance. cl.
    ps the slide duplicators/tubes with lens adapter are priced about
    60/80$ on ebay, I am thinking "in that direction.
    Chuck Lorentzson, May 1, 2005
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  2. Chuck Lorentzson

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Slide scanners are the best way to do it, but they are slow and the
    good ones are expensive. If you just want cheap fast crappy results,
    use a slide duplicating tube like you mention, or even just a light
    table and a macro-focusing digicam.
    Paul Rubin, May 2, 2005
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  3. Gene F. Rhodes, May 2, 2005
  4. Depends what you want to do with the images when you get them. If
    you're just looking for screen-resolution digital copies for viewing
    and sharing, you'll probably be perfectly happy with "slide

    Otherwise not. If you want to archive them for posterity, have copies
    you can make prints from comparable to the prints you'd make from the
    originals, etc., you need a good scanner and some skill in using it.
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 2, 2005
  5. Chuck Lorentzson

    paul Guest

    Yeah, I was hopeful for the tube thing but I tried it using a cardboard
    tube with lenses I had and the results were not sharp enough to go above
    computer screen size. It was difficult focusing and zooming carefully, I
    don't know if these kits were consistent enough to just drop in the next
    slide it would be useful for screen size dupes. My setup was way too
    paul, May 2, 2005
  6. I suspect that you could solve those problems using an actual
    slide-duplication setup, but with a digital camera instead of a film
    camera. However, we're now into as much money as a film scanner, and
    nearly as much time and effort too. And still only getting the
    digital camera resolution rather than the much higher scanner
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 2, 2005
  7. Chuck Lorentzson

    paul Guest

    I'm using a Nikon D70 with very good lenses. I really expected better,
    maybe I wasn't getting it focused perfectly, it is very difficult to
    focus at that scale! The colors are good and with a little tweaking, I
    can almost match the dynamic range but it's very soft (blurry). I can
    still use it for occasional needs for capturing slides for web use it is
    nice up to about 1024x768 but not easy or fast. The cardboard tube just
    blocks out reflections & holds the slide at the right distance. I assume
    a real duplicator (plastic tube?) would be less wobbly & stay centered
    properly though it really is hard to center without wasting the edge
    cropping because it's dark.
    paul, May 2, 2005
  8. When I say "actual slide-duplication setup", I mean something like the
    Besseler or Wess units, like this one on Ebay (not my auction, it's
    just the first *picture* I could find online)
    These things have dichroic filters, exposure control, contrast control
    sometimes, and are set up to mount an SLR camera to (with macro lens
    or bellows) and hold it precisely in position and aligned to the
    slide. A friend, then in Massachusetts, was seriously into slide
    duplicating back when I lived there and shortly after, and I got to
    see what could be done with sufficient time and effort (all
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 3, 2005
  9. I purchased the dedicated slide copier attachment for my old Nikon 950,
    and I thought it did an excellent job. Of course it wasn't as good as a
    good scanner, but on the computer screen and on data projection devices
    the slides look sharp and excellent overall. I used the manual white
    balance, and things went very fast; no refocusing was needed. I never
    had blurry images or poor color. If pictures were contrasty and had
    large dynamic range, it could be difficult to record the full range.
    However, my dedicated slide scanner is at least 10 times slower per slide.

    It was clear that a significant amount of very fine detail is missed
    with this 2 Mp camera. I now have an 8 Mp camera and am think of
    getting one of those EBay devices for it. A dedicated, well-made device
    works far better than home built ones. I know from experience. So, if
    you have a large Mp camera and want very good copies of a large number
    of slides, this could be a fast and inexpensive way to go. You will
    still have the slides, and if you ever need an ultimate digital version
    of one , you can have it scanned. I believe with a 6-8 Mp camera you
    could make quite satisfactory prints up to 5x7 or maybe even 8x10 using
    a camera slide copier.

    Joseph Miller, May 3, 2005
  10. Chuck Lorentzson

    Glenn jacobs Guest

    I have had good results using an old Nikon F slide duplicator. But that is
    real slow. I also use Minolta Dimage III. I would recomend the Minolta if
    you are going to do a lot of slides the Minolta is the way that I would go.
    It akes me on the average about 2.5 minutes per slide where as using the
    duplicator is is more.

    Glenn jacobs, May 4, 2005
  11. Chuck Lorentzson

    Bob Salomon Guest

    There is another way to do dupes with a camera, although it may be a bit
    more expensive. However parts of it have other uses for macro or 3D work.

    If you have a true macro lens that focuses to 1:1 then you could use a
    Novoflex macro rail and the new Novoflex Castel Cop Digi. This
    combination would let you copy any mounted or unmounted slide or
    negative up to 6x9cm in size. Glass or glassless mounts.
    Bob Salomon, May 4, 2005
  12. Chuck Lorentzson

    Paul Rubin Guest

    The issue is that camera dupes don't reach the quality level of scanning.
    Paul Rubin, May 4, 2005
  13. Chuck Lorentzson

    Bob Salomon Guest

    The issue really is that the OP did not want to invest in a scanner.
    Bob Salomon, May 4, 2005
  14. Chuck Lorentzson

    Paul Rubin Guest

    So you pitch a far more expensive Novoflex system instead? Are you joking?
    Paul Rubin, May 4, 2005
  15. Chuck Lorentzson

    Paul Furman Guest

    I tried again using auto focus & got much better results. The auto focus
    is finicky at that scale so I thought it wasn't working before.

    I don't know how great it is, you be the judge:
    Maybe not quite up to snuff at this resolution but close. Those are full
    pixel crops following each image. The slides were shot on a Canon AE1
    with a Tamron 28-70 f/3.5-4 so were not spectacularly sharp to begin
    with, I tried zooming in more & it didn't get any sharper. My cardboard
    tube setup is a D70 with 70-200 f/2.8 plus 2x teleconverter & a fancy
    2-element closeup diopter which is probably quite a bit better than a
    'real' $60 tube plus diopter setup on an average tele lens. I had to do
    some cropping as it's very tough to get full frame so these aren't quite
    the full 6MP.

    I'm sure scanning is better but this seems usable.
    Paul Furman, May 4, 2005
  16. It's hard to tell at this scale. They look fine for what it's worth.
    With my Nikon device I could do a slide in about 10-15 seconds or 4-6 a
    minute, unless they needed cleaning. Some of the EBay devices come with
    what looks to be a good close-up lens. It's important to zoom to
    maximum amount to make the most of your pixels.

    Joseph Miller, May 4, 2005
  17. Chuck Lorentzson

    Paul Furman Guest

    Each of the three pictures has a full pixel crop following it. They
    aren't quite as sharp as normal photos in the camera but pretty close
    and while a scanner would certainly be better, if it's almost as good as
    a full digital picture that's nothing to complain about.

    That's one of these tube/diopter setups?

    Yes, and avoid cropping, that would be very a very clean one shot
    workflow. I did shoot these in RAW & had to play with the settings to
    maintain the right dynamic range. I couldn't apply my normal amount of
    contrast enhancement without losing detail in highlights & shadows but
    with the right settings, I was able to capture the original dynamic
    range very closely.
    Paul Furman, May 5, 2005
  18. (some snipped)

    Somewhere in here it was mentioned that Auto focus gave the best
    results - to which I agree, for most situations.
    That's possibly correct, I won't argue. However, to support that
    "this seems usable" I will state that of all the 35mm slides I've
    attempted to digitize, most of the slides themselves were not worth
    spending the money to scan or buy a scanner. Many were taken by
    other members of our family, using rather cheap and low quality
    cameras and optics. But the subjects (family and unforgettable
    scenery) was the primary justification for preserving them digitally.
    So Macro copying did about all that was really warranted.

    The ideal camera for this sort of thing included the Nikon CoolPix 950
    and 995 and 4500 which had excellent Macro capability. With these
    cameras, tubes are not needed, they will focus down to less than an
    inch away and can fill the sensor with the area of a slide.

    Olin McDaniel
    Olin K. McDaniel, May 6, 2005
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