Best Nikon Lens for Slide copying???

Started Oct 15, 2007 | Discussions
tcwave
New MemberPosts: 18
Like?
Best Nikon Lens for Slide copying???
Oct 15, 2007

Hi all,

What would be the best Nikon lens to be used on a D300 for slide copying? I plan on using a nikon slide copying attachment.

Do I need the 60 or 105 or 200 "micro" lens?

I appreciate all your feedback.

Best regards,

tcwave

WFulton
Senior MemberPosts: 2,607
Like?
Re: Best Nikon Lens for Slide copying???
In reply to tcwave, Oct 15, 2007

tcwave wrote:

Hi all,

What would be the best Nikon lens to be used on a D300 for slide
copying? I plan on using a nikon slide copying attachment.

Do I need the 60 or 105 or 200 "micro" lens?

What would vary with those lens choices is the working distance between slide and front of lens. Any choice would work, but the longer lens will be much farther away from the slide. If you were mounting the slide externally somehow, this wouldnt matter, you would just space it as necessary.

If using the bellows slide copy attachment with the longer lens, maybe (???) you could add an extender to have more range, but I suspect results would be very experimental. I have no clue about those details.

However, if using the Nikon ES-1 slide coping attachment, then you need to realize that it is designed for a film camera frame size, and a 55 mm lens. Therefore, for the digital DSLR, instead of wanting a 1:1 copy, you will want about 1:1.5 - putting the slide farther away to fill the smaller sensor. Any of those lenses can easily do 1:1.5, but the issue is that the ES-1 is designed for a 55mm lens and a film body. You need the 1:1.5 size to occur at the exact distance that fills the smaller digital frame with the larger slide frame. There are few options at these close distances. So, to fill the frame with the slide, the slide must be farther from the lens than the 1:1 design ES-1 understands (due to the smaller digital sensor frame size).

However, I do use the ES-1 copier very successfully with a D70S (same sensor size) and Nikon 60mm micro lens, by adding a 20mm long K5 tube (from an ancient K extension tube set) and it works just fine then. However, you would need a very much longer extension for a longer lens.

See http://www.scantips.com/es-1.html for more.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Gary J Jensen
Senior MemberPosts: 2,204
Like?
60mm Micro - But, which attachment...
In reply to tcwave, Oct 15, 2007

tcwave wrote:

What would be the best Nikon lens to be used on a D300 for slide
copying? I plan on using a nikon slide copying attachment.

Do I need the 60 or 105 or 200 "micro" lens?

The 60mm Micro is ideal for slide copying. I've used it with the D1X and D2X bodies to copy slides when I didn't need full film scanner resolution and needed to do them quickly. [I use a copystand and a flash panel for this setup.]

But, to which "Nikon Slide Copying Attachment" are you referring?

If you're talking about the slide holder for the Nikon bellows/rail macro focusing system, then the 60mm will work fine.

If you're talking about the "attach to the lens" slide copy attachment, that won't work with the DX format DSLRs. That particular slide copy attachment was designed specifically for full-frame 35mm film cameras and for specific use with the old [now discontinued] 55mm Micro lens. Using that attachment with a DX format DSLR will only allow you to capture a "cropped" image of the slide.

Hope this helps.

[EDIT: WFulton posted his reply while I was typing mine. See his response which is similar in content to mine, but with a little more detail about the ES-1.]

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Matt F
Senior MemberPosts: 1,638
Like?
Re: Best Nikon Lens for Slide copying???
In reply to tcwave, Oct 15, 2007

I have had good results with the Nikkor 60mm macro, just putting the slides on a light table, and setting up the camera on a tripod pointing straight down at it.

-- hide signature --

-- Pmatt
Gallery - http://www.silentcolor.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tcwave
New MemberPosts: 18
Like?
Re: Best Nikon Lens for Slide copying???
In reply to Matt F, Oct 15, 2007

Great...thanks for the feedback

1. If I use the lightbox approach with a 60mm on d300, would I still get cropping do to the sensor size?

2. Idealy, I would like to make the most of my lens and after copying my slides, I would like to get into macro photography. What is a more versitale lens, the 60mm or 105mm on a d300? I have seen some really nice images with a 105mm, but I am not sure if they were on a full frame sensor.

Best regards,
tcwave

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Gary J Jensen
Senior MemberPosts: 2,204
Like?
Re: Additional Questions...
In reply to tcwave, Oct 15, 2007

tcwave wrote:

Great...thanks for the feedback

1. If I use the lightbox approach with a 60mm on d300, would I still
get cropping do to the sensor size?

No, not if you adjust your distance from the slide to fill the DX frame with the entire film area. [It helps if you use a copystand as I mentioned in my earlier post.]

2. Idealy, I would like to make the most of my lens and after
copying my slides, I would like to get into macro photography. What
is a more versitale lens, the 60mm or 105mm on a d300? I have seen
some really nice images with a 105mm, but I am not sure if they were
on a full frame sensor.

Well, I can't say which is "more" versatile; that depends on the kind of photography you do.

I find the 60mm/f2.8D Micro extremely useful for what I do. It's got a really flat-field that makes it ideal for copy work [documents, photo-prints, etc.]. It's also ideal if you want to use extension tubes/bellows [since it has an aperature ring].

The 105/2.8G VR, on the other hand, is also versatile in "different" ways. It's got a bit more "reach" and it has VR [which isn't of any use on a tripod for real "macro" work]. BUT, since it's a "G" lens you can't use it with bellows or the Nikon extension tubes. [The Kenko extension tubes will work, but they're not as mechanically sturdy as the Nikon tubes.]

By the way, I have both the 60mm/2.8D Micro [two] and the 105/2.8G VR Micro [one]. I like both, but I use the 60mm more for the kinds of work I usually do.

Finally, any of the 105mm sample images that you've seen on the forums here were done with DX sensors [or with 35mm film]. Nikon full-frame sensor cameras [D3] aren't available yet [except for a limited number of pre-production evaluation copies].
Hope this helps.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Matt F
Senior MemberPosts: 1,638
Like?
Re: Additional Questions...
In reply to Gary J Jensen, Oct 15, 2007

Gary J Jensen wrote:

Well, I can't say which is "more" versatile; that depends on the kind
of photography you do.
I find the 60mm/f2.8D Micro extremely useful for what I do. It's got
a really flat-field that makes it ideal for copy work [documents,
photo-prints, etc.]. It's also ideal if you want to use extension
tubes/bellows [since it has an aperature ring].
The 105/2.8G VR, on the other hand, is also versatile in "different"
ways. It's got a bit more "reach" and it has VR [which isn't of any
use on a tripod for real "macro" work]. BUT, since it's a "G" lens
you can't use it with bellows or the Nikon extension tubes. [The
Kenko extension tubes will work, but they're not as mechanically
sturdy as the Nikon tubes.]

I agree completely -- I have both lenses as well. The 60mm is very handy for copy work because of its shorter working distance, but is kind of annoying for chasing insects and flowers etc. for exactly the same reason.

The 105VR is much easier to use in the field, especially hand-held, because of the working distance, the faster focusing, and the VR, which helps a lot for framing hand-held, though does not really help with lowering your usable shutter speed at macro distances. In fact, I can get sharper images at lower shutter speeds with the 60, because of its shorter focal length.
--
-- Pmatt
Gallery - http://www.silentcolor.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Tom Monego
Senior MemberPosts: 2,944
Like?
Re: Additional Questions...
In reply to Matt F, Oct 15, 2007

As everyone else is saying the 60 or 55 micros excell as copy lenses. The 105 is a better field lens. Though copying slides you need a 1:2 magnification and a 105 wouldn't have too much working distance.

Shooting off a light table is the best "seat of the pants' way to do this. A copystand, even a cheap one will help alot, if you are using a tripod make sure you use a level to keep things in line. Masking around the slide with black paper or aluminum foil also helps, especially with exposure.

If you are going to do this often then look for a used slide copier, Bowns Illumitrans or a Bessler Slide Duplicator. These generally take enlarging lenses, a little long 60 or 80mm. Schneider made an 80 f4 Componon that was specificly made for slide duplicating. They make digitizing slides really easy.

Now for the bad news, a scanner, even an Epson V700, will do better, more res and better dynamic range.

Tom

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Slough
Senior MemberPosts: 1,809
Like?
Re: Additional Questions...
In reply to Tom Monego, Oct 15, 2007

Tom Monego wrote:

As everyone else is saying the 60 or 55 micros excell as copy lenses.
The 105 is a better field lens. Though copying slides you need a 1:2
magnification and a 105 wouldn't have too much working distance.
Shooting off a light table is the best "seat of the pants' way to do
this. A copystand, even a cheap one will help alot, if you are using
a tripod make sure you use a level to keep things in line. Masking
around the slide with black paper or aluminum foil also helps,
especially with exposure.
If you are going to do this often then look for a used slide copier,
Bowns Illumitrans or a Bessler Slide Duplicator. These generally take
enlarging lenses, a little long 60 or 80mm. Schneider made an 80 f4
Componon that was specificly made for slide duplicating. They make
digitizing slides really easy.
Now for the bad news, a scanner, even an Epson V700, will do better,
more res and better dynamic range.

Tom

I'm not sure I agree with that last statement. A D200 + 60mm lens used to duplicate Provia 100F slides seems to get all the real information out of the slide, at least compared to a Minolta 5400 scanner. Maybe a drum scanner would get more.

I used a D200 + 60mm micro lens to copy some slides.

Method 1: Place slide on light box, and take a picture. It works fine, though setting up the correct slide to camera distance is a pain. You also need a dark room.

Method 2: Use the ES1 device with a 60mm micro lens. If using a DX camera, add extension between the lens and the ES1. About 4 filters, glass removed, will do the trick. It works okay, but the slide holder is badly designed and positioning the slide accurately is very hard.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KenEis
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,948
Like?
No question the 60mm
In reply to tcwave, Oct 15, 2007

THe discussion about focal length is not the issue. The 60mm macro is the only macro of the ones you are considering that is a copy lens. Most lenses have focal distances that are spherical ie the in focus distance is along a radius measured from the front center element of the lens. What you want is a lens the focuses not on a spherical surface but a plane surface. The 60mm does that so if you focus on a spot at the middle of an object that is flat and perpendicular to the lens axis the entire plane within the field of view will be in focus....at all f stops. This is perfect for slide copying.
--
Ken Eis

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
monte12345
Senior MemberPosts: 2,671
Like?
The 105 Micro is also flat feild.
In reply to KenEis, Oct 15, 2007

However, it may require a longer front end bellows than Nikon's standard slide copying atachment. Not having ever used one I can't say. I do know that the standard rig when slide copying was common was the 55mm Micro mounted on a 1:1 extension tube with the slide bellows attached to the front of the 55. So, all in all, I agree with your recomendation of the 60mm.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tcwave
New MemberPosts: 18
Like?
Re: The 105 Micro is also flat feild.
In reply to monte12345, Oct 16, 2007

I appreciate all the feedback and recommendations.

If I go with a 60mm lens, very sturdy tripod, lightbox, is it safe to assume the following will be true?

1. It will be a much faster workflow then using a scanner. Maybe I could do 7-10 slides in the time it would take a scanner to do 1?

2. Resolution and overall quality will be slightly less than if I had scanned the image. It will still be an generally acceptable image.

Thanks,
tcwave

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Gary J Jensen
Senior MemberPosts: 2,204
Like?
Re: Workflow with DSLR...
In reply to tcwave, Oct 16, 2007

tcwave wrote:

If I go with a 60mm lens, very sturdy tripod, lightbox, is it safe to
assume the following will be true?

1. It will be a much faster workflow then using a scanner. Maybe I
could do 7-10 slides in the time it would take a scanner to do 1?

Yes, it can be faster than a film scanner. Having a slide holder/masked area on the lightbox to facilitate accurate slide positioning will also speed things up. Also, use manual settings with your camera and take a few "test shots" to get your exposures/focus/white-balance correct before copying the batch of slides.

2. Resolution and overall quality will be slightly less than if I
had scanned the image. It will still be an generally acceptable
image.

Yes. Image quality, of course, will depend on your camera resolution and your exposure [and focus] settings.

Hope this helps.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Tom Monego
Senior MemberPosts: 2,944
Like?
Re: Additional Questions...
In reply to Tom Monego, Oct 16, 2007

I tested slide duping, have done a lot of it, wasn't hard to adapt what I knew to digital, to scanning. The scanned slides, using a Nikon LS2000 and an Epson V700 were better, not by a lot but better. One of the main things I had to do was a lot of post processing on the slides, with the duped ones, admittedly they were old and dirty. One of the few times I turned on digital ice on the scanner. With a couple of hundred to do, the initial time was much shorter with duping (on a Bessler Slide Duplicator) but the working on the dust was a killer. So this may have jaded me against the duping. One thing for sure the scanner can do higher res, not the LS2000 but the Epson is effective to 3200ppi of 4000ppi giving a much bigger file. Same with your Minolta. I wanted to find a use for my old duplicator, but scanning turned out, for me to be better and more convenient. Other experiences may be different.

Tom

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Slough
Senior MemberPosts: 1,809
Like?
Re: The 105 Micro is also flat feild.
In reply to tcwave, Oct 16, 2007

tcwave wrote:

I appreciate all the feedback and recommendations.

If I go with a 60mm lens, very sturdy tripod, lightbox, is it safe to
assume the following will be true?

1. It will be a much faster workflow then using a scanner. Maybe I
could do 7-10 slides in the time it would take a scanner to do 1?

That is my experience. And scans often need lots of post processing, and produce larger files which are harder to manipulate.

2. Resolution and overall quality will be slightly less than if I
had scanned the image.

Not necessarily. It depends on the film and the DSLR. Also bear in mind that your DSLR will be using a first rate micro lens and it has a sensor with the latest technology, whereas the scanner will have a mediocre lens, and most probably older sensor technology.

It will still be an generally acceptable
image.

Thanks,
tcwave

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
richinnj
Regular MemberPosts: 349
Like?
Kodak slide viewer
In reply to tcwave, Oct 16, 2007

I have an old Kodak slide viewer. This is a large box which you put the slide carosel on top of. It projects onto a frosted glass screenI have thousands of old Kodachrome slides which I copied digitally just by putting the D80 on a tripod and using a 50mm lens. Once you set the focus, all you have to do is adjust the meter for each shot. They came out beautifully - exactly as the slides showed.
Here is a sample of a 40 year old slide -

The 'noise' you see in this photo is dust and possibly mildew from the long storage time. The emulsion from these old slides seems to also be decaying.

rich

-- hide signature --

http://www.pbase.com/rbreitz

'I've have never killed a man, but I've read many obituaries with a lot of pleasure.' Clarence Darrow

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
KenEis
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,948
Like?
WOrkflow
In reply to tcwave, Oct 18, 2007

Just remember you will have far more problems with dust then your equipment.
--
Ken Eis

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dzunglv
New MemberPosts: 4
Like?
Re: Best Nikon Lens for Slide copying???
In reply to WFulton, 2 months ago

WFulton wrote:

tcwave wrote:

Hi all,

What would be the best Nikon lens to be used on a D300 for slide
copying? I plan on using a nikon slide copying attachment.

Do I need the 60 or 105 or 200 "micro" lens?

What would vary with those lens choices is the working distance between slide and front of lens. Any choice would work, but the longer lens will be much farther away from the slide. If you were mounting the slide externally somehow, this wouldnt matter, you would just space it as necessary.

If using the bellows slide copy attachment with the longer lens, maybe (???) you could add an extender to have more range, but I suspect results would be very experimental. I have no clue about those details.

However, if using the Nikon ES-1 slide coping attachment, then you need to realize that it is designed for a film camera frame size, and a 55 mm lens. Therefore, for the digital DSLR, instead of wanting a 1:1 copy, you will want about 1:1.5 - putting the slide farther away to fill the smaller sensor. Any of those lenses can easily do 1:1.5, but the issue is that the ES-1 is designed for a 55mm lens and a film body. You need the 1:1.5 size to occur at the exact distance that fills the smaller digital frame with the larger slide frame. There are few options at these close distances. So, to fill the frame with the slide, the slide must be farther from the lens than the 1:1 design ES-1 understands (due to the smaller digital sensor frame size).

However, I do use the ES-1 copier very successfully with a D70S (same sensor size) and Nikon 60mm micro lens, by adding a 20mm long K5 tube (from an ancient K extension tube set) and it works just fine then. However, you would need a very much longer extension for a longer lens.

See http://www.scantips.com/es-1.html for more.

Can I use this setup (Micro 55mm + PK-13+ES-1) for 120 film? Or only 35mm film?
I have Canon 6D, can I use Ni-Ca adapter and use: Micro 55mm + ES-1 + PK-13?
Can I use Nikon ES-1 on Canon lens + extension tube?
Which option is the cheapest for me to scan film on Canon 6D?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Barlowephoto
Forum MemberPosts: 60Gear list
Like?
Re: Best Nikon Lens for Slide copying???
In reply to dzunglv, 2 months ago

Here's my best lens for slide copying.......None!!!

If you're using a full frame Nikon or Canon camera here's a great way to shoot 35 negs and slides. Requires no special macro lenses, jury rigged film holders, tripods and such. I copy my 35mm originals with the camera handheld!!! And there's no special lighting setup involved. And no elaborate  bellows or extension rings. And if you have Photoshop, you're in for a most enjoyable ride!!!

OK, here's my best kept secret in using a digital camera to "scan" 35 mm originals. Anybody older than 50 years of age will remember a number of  budget Japanese accessories, like Spiratone, Samigon etc. Well, back in the day 35mm photographers found it advantageous to "rephotograph" their 35mm slides. They would load up their cameras with slide film if they wanted duplicates, or negative film if they wanted prints.

Using filters, they could attempt to color correct off color originals. What was the devise that allowed this miracle??? It was a small tube, attached to the camera via a T-mount adapter. Inside was a dedicated fully corrected optical unit that threw a pretty sharp image to the film without tedious focus!  Problem was there was no correction for originals that were incorrectly exposed. Well guess what? If you go on Ebay, these units called duplicators or reversers can be had for $15 or $20. You just insert a slide in the front, turn your camera-mounted electronic flash on, and aim it at any white surface ( I like doors in my house ).

The result is instant success! The flash ( set on TTL ) corrects for slides of varying density automatically! And you can setup for copying in as little time as it takes to bayonet this device onto your camera! If you have photoshop, you can correct color easily. And reverse B&W negs in a jiffy! You can "scan" hundreds of slides in an evening instead of waiting for a dedicated film scanner to go through it's elaborate dance of time wasting motions! I compared the sharpness of my Samigon Reverser to my Nikon 55mm f2.8 micro lens in a "proper" slide duping set-up. I could detect no difference at all! And there's NO FOCUSSING! I do find that the images with the reverser are sharpest when the emulsion is facing the camera. This does reverse images, but Photoshop reverses them back again in just a few seconds. Your mileage may vary, and various brands differ in quality.

Another thing, there are many of these units for sale that are Zoom models. Stay away from these! The optics were not very good. Stick with the simple cheap units. And make sure they measure about 5 or 6 inches in length. The short 2 and 3 inch models have no optical system, and rely on your macro lenses and filter thread adapters. You want the self contained units, but without zoom or variable magnification knobs. And, of course you must use a full frame ( no APS-C ) digital camera! ...Jeff Barlowe

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Barlowephoto
Forum MemberPosts: 60Gear list
Like?
Re: Best Nikon Lens for Slide copying???
In reply to Barlowephoto, 2 months ago

If you're copying 120 size originals, you will unfortunately need a proper macro setup. I use a 55mm Micro Nikkor lens. I put my 6x6cm original in an old negative holder from an enlarger. With a Bogen Super Clamp, I attach it to a light stand. I try to assure that it is upright and perpendicular to the lens axis as i can. My camera is on a tripod only inches away from the original. A flash in a lightbox is positioned several feet away from the setup pointed directly at the camera. I shoot at f11 or so to cover myself if the original is not perfectly perpendicular.

I use a flash that is manual power and make corrections for originals of varying density. I don't have many medium format originals, so this tedious setup is not required often. For 35mm originals I use the Samigon Reverser.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads