35mm Slide copying??

Started Feb 18, 2014 | Discussions thread
Richard Weisgrau Veteran Member • Posts: 3,530
Re: 35mm Slide copying??

Digital Dick wrote:

You will get better and faster results by using your digital camera with a macro lens to copy the slides. See http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51563633

Dick

I agree with the macro idea. I did it it that way when I had to copy slides to digital files when converting to all digital in 2002. I had to copy about 3500 slides that I culled from decades of pro shooting and that I thought I should add to my legacy file.

Many years ago I had a teaching hospital client. They asked to record about 1500 x-rays to slide film to be used for instructional purposes. I did it by getting a large sheet of opal (milk) glass and setting up a bank of tungsten lights behind it. I made a frame, dropped an x-ray in it and shot it. No changes in exposure needed because the light was constant. The results were amazing.

Recalling that, when I had to make digital files of my transparencies I followed the same procedure. I used a bank of compact fluorescent bulbs, milk glass, a frame to hold the slides, a tripod and a rented macro lens for my Nikon digital camera. I ran tests to get the right exposure and white balance, and to assure even backlighting. Once I had it right I gaffer taped the tripod in place, hard tightened the panhead, and affixed a shutter release cord. The I paid a high school student to come after school and do the work.

I did not use an electronic flash because the recycling after a lot of shots alters light output. The CF bulbs were a constant.  I shot in a Nikon D100 (6MP) with a rented Nikkor Macro. Renting the lens was a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a scanner, and it was faster than scanning. I have made numerous large prints from some of those files, and in 2007 I had an exhibit printed from those digital files.

The one caveat is that you need to dust off a slide moments before shooting it to avoid retouching dust marks in the digital file.

You can rent a macro lens on the Internet. Use a macro lens. Unlike a regular lens it is meant to photograph a flat field and that will give you better results than things like extension tubes and bellow with regular lenses.

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Richard Weisgrau
www.drawnwithlight.com
www.show-my-house.com
Author of:
The Real Business of Photography
The Photographers Guide to Negotiating
Licensing Photography
Selling Your Photography

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