3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Started Apr 12, 2015 | Discussions
DJB77 New Member • Posts: 24
3000 slides copied in two afternoons
15

I have had this bunch of slides dating back to mid 1960's that haven't been looked at in at least 25 years. I have searched the internet as to a faster way of copying than using a scanner, and saw some people using old slide projectors. Since I had most of what was needed I set out to see what could be accomplished.

I had a Kodak Carousel 800, late 1960's vintage, a stack loader, K3 on tripod, camera remote, and a Tamron 90mm macro. All I needed was a diffuser to fit in the projector to lesson the light. After much searching I came upon the shown soap dish that I cut the bottom out of and it worked perfectly.

Setup consisted of removing the projector lens and inserting the diffuser in place of the condenser lens in the projector. The camera shot straight into it as shown below.

I then tried the setup and was really disappointed with the results. Color balance horrible, to dark and way to much contrast. After a couple hours experimenting my results were what I thought was much better. The camera settings I ended up with are listed next.

  1. Mode dial to Aperture Priority Av
  2. ISO 400
  3. Exposure compensation to +0.7
  4. Lens set to F8
  5. Whit balance to manual 3200K, will vary with different light sources
  6. Custom image to Natural
  7. Contrast set to lowest setting
  8. Sharpness was at +1 notch
  9. Instant review off, to speed things up
  10. Electronic level ON
  11. Shake reduction OFF
  12. JPEG setting to S (3072x2048)
  13. Jpeg quality to *** High
  14. Autofocus to ON

I leveled the projector with a level then used the level built into the K3 to level the camera. I kept the Jpeg setting lower to keep file size reasonable as I scanned slightly more than 3000 slides that resulted in 10.6gb of files. I could copy about 20 slides a minute, or about 500 an hour which includes changing slides in the stack loader. Auto focus kept everything in focus and you could see fine adjustments taking place on the slides had slightly different mounts.

I did not try to clean any as they mostly had been looked at once originally and stored properly. Below is a few examples of my results right out of the camera. One thing I learned is to copy all slides in landscape and rotate to portrait in the computer otherwise you will chop off some heads. I did all my flipping by batch operation in IrfanView. A few examples

Total time invested was 2 afternoons about 6 hours total.  The reason for doing this is to give the kids some pictures when they were young, as I only shot slides back then.  It sure brings back memories.

Don

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korat68
korat68 Senior Member • Posts: 1,717
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Great idea and great job.  Thanks for sharing.  The copies look sharp and crisp all thing considered.

Mike

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ozdean
ozdean Forum Pro • Posts: 26,339
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

I've never seen that done before, what a neat trick - thanks.

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brandrx Forum Pro • Posts: 28,337
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Outstanding work Don. You've done very, very well. Thanks for showing.

Ron

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Richard B.
Richard B. Veteran Member • Posts: 5,879
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Great idea! I had all my old color negatives scanned at Scan Cafe, but it looks like you have a really excellent process method set up there.

....and is that Arundel castle I see in one of the shots (I grew up in Sussex.)

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OP DJB77 New Member • Posts: 24
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Richard B. wrote:

Great idea! I had all my old color negatives scanned at Scan Cafe, but it looks like you have a really excellent process method set up there.

....and is that Arundel castle I see in one of the shots (I grew up in Sussex.)

Sorry, don't know what the name of the castle is, it has been a long time since we were there.

Don

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Gee Emm Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

That is a good result, VERY fast.  The quality looks good, hard to tell without comparing to the originals, but did you look at doing them in raw?  It might have slowed the speed a bit, and required more card memory, but would have given you a greater ability to work on those that might have more significance for you.

I used the Nik0n scanner for mine, it was slow, but (a) I didn't have your slide projector setup (mine is an old manual projector, good optics though) and (b) my slides were in varying stages of deterioration and I NEEDED the raw to do colour corrections as well as exposure correction.  Also I only had about 300 slides I actually scanned, on preview I skipped at least 75% of mine.

Thanks for posting, I am sure others will find it very helpful.

OP DJB77 New Member • Posts: 24
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Gee Emm wrote:

That is a good result, VERY fast. The quality looks good, hard to tell without comparing to the originals, but did you look at doing them in raw? It might have slowed the speed a bit, and required more card memory, but would have given you a greater ability to work on those that might have more significance for you.

I used the Nik0n scanner for mine, it was slow, but (a) I didn't have your slide projector setup (mine is an old manual projector, good optics though) and (b) my slides were in varying stages of deterioration and I NEEDED the raw to do colour corrections as well as exposure correction. Also I only had about 300 slides I actually scanned, on preview I skipped at least 75% of mine.

Thanks for posting, I am sure others will find it very helpful.

I never really thought about doing them in raw. Most of my slides were Kodachrome or Ektachrome and were in very good shape.  The only really bad slides were a roll of motion picture film that was sold in the 70's I believe it was called 5248 or something like that, it was completely deteriorated.  Other than that the rest was very useable.  I did this for family viewing, and the kids think a cell phone takes great pictures, so the Jpeg's off the camera are good enough.  The slides that need fixing are generally washed out and easily fixed.  Getting them digital was important, as there is now more than one copy.

Don

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Michael Perham Senior Member • Posts: 1,349
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

I've always thought that if I ever retire, this would be one of my first projects.  However, I have sold my slide scanner, did a good job but too slow and hadn't used it in years.  I think what I would do is get the Pentax duplicator, expensive, but I suspect does a really good job. I would use that for my best shots, landscapes etc..  For the family and event shots, I would sort them by year and have a commercial service scan them.  Cost about $1.00 a slide and the cost of the CD.  The commercail scans would be more than adequate for compiling a photo book.

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steephill Veteran Member • Posts: 9,861
Some critical comments but first and foremost congratulations
2

So now you have decent previews of your slides you can go back and do the job properly - only half kidding here. I think shooting at a reduced resolution is a false economy, after all 10GB of storage only costs about 0.25/$/£/€. It is a very small amount of storage and will seem miniscule in a few years time. I know that not all images will contain sufficient detail to benefit from the maximum resolution available but the added financial cost of storage is trivial.

Not sure why you would choose to shoot at ISO400 with a static setup like this. Would it not make more sense to shoot at base ISO and get the maximum dynamic range possible? Similarly I would have used a custom white balance for the setup together with RAW format to allow for the highest quality PP result at a later stage if required. The Retouching forum here routinely gets requests to rescue old images and the better the original the better the result.

However the most important thing is you now have electronic copies of your slides for future generations. Distributing these within the family will help ensure their longevity and guard against the potential loss through flood, fire or other disasters. I think the recent efforts by Ricoh to restore photos to tsunami survivors highlights the value we place on memories.

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Steve
www.pbase.com/steephill

Richard DK Senior Member • Posts: 1,102
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Wow! 3000 slides in 2 afternoons. I scanned and cleaned several 100 1950 era slides a few winters ago. Took me all winter, and we have long winters in Canada, using several different approaches. What worked best was a direct photo with camera on tripod and a bellows lense on an extender with slides held in a slide holder. Took a while to get the settings right but result were pretty good. And like you my kids, now all 6 grown ,most married and with families loved them. I posted many of these on this forum over 10 years ago to favourable reviews. But I still have 100's more and may modify my projector to try your approach, if I can find a replacement bulb for my Braun Paximat 1950 version. Thanks or explaining your method so clearly and thanks also to Steephill for his advice.

Regards, have nice spring and summer.

Dick K.

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Dick K.
http://rkirkley.zenfolio.com
''The main difference between a professional photographer and an amateur is that the pro has a bigger waste basket'
John Shaw

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KRG1953
KRG1953 Regular Member • Posts: 295
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Can you please post some more pics of the total construction. I mean the diffusor thing mostly.

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Steve Pruetz Senior Member • Posts: 1,015
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Great idea.  I have 2 projectors so I could do 3000 in half the time?  Lol.

Steve

OP DJB77 New Member • Posts: 24
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

KRG1953 wrote:

Can you please post some more pics of the total construction. I mean the diffusor thing mostly.

From the picture below you can see the condenser lens that I had to remove from the projector to get the diffuser to fit.  The diffuser is 3" x 2" and cut from the bottom of the soap dish shown.  The dish was made of smooth plastic.  If there is any texture on the diffuser the camera will pick it up and the results are horrible.  I tried various things before I came up with this.  I live in a small town, so getting a piece of plastic diffuser from a hobby shop was not an option.  I made do with what I could get.  The picture from the front of the projector, you can see the diffuser installed.  The slide sits directly in front of the diffuser and that is what you take the picture of.  The lens was removed from the projector for this operation.

Below you can see the bottom of the projector with the bulb and heat absorbing lens.  The condenser lens was about where the arrow is pointing to and the diffuser slid nicely in and was held in place by the small lip that happened to be there.  Once the door is closed everything was held in place and no melting was observed after copying the 3000 slides.  The most slides I did at once was about 800 which took about an hour.

Hope this helps.

Don

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dsneedmd Regular Member • Posts: 424
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

You can make good money doing this as a hobby for local people. I would pay well for someone to do this with my old slides.

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dsneed

KRG1953
KRG1953 Regular Member • Posts: 295
Re: 3000 slides copied in two afternoons

Thanks a lot for the explanation and the overview.  I will try this at home sometime.

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