Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

Started Feb 11, 2016 | Questions
gkreth Veteran Member • Posts: 3,122
Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

To all,

I need to scan some old slides and negatives.

I've done some research into scanning, and even experimented some with my own 2400 dpi Canon scanner.

Not great results with the negatives, I must admit: Too much dust that I can't seem to successfully remove with my blower. And I can't seem to get the dynamic range that I got when printing. (Maybe I did a lot more dodging and burning in my darkroom days than I remember...)

Anyway, I had this crazy idea about using one of those old slide duplicator tubes with my Pentax DSLR, and using the built-in HDR processing, to see if I could coax more DR out of the negatives.

Something like this:

Anyone have any experience with these sorts of slide duplicators?

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Greg

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 24,049
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

I had one of those many years ago. I'm not sure whether the lens was any good. If you already have one, definitely try it.

Nowadays I use the Olympus OM 80mm macro lens, with a bellows.

I find the HDR of the Sony camera I have used to be very helpful for slides, which have high and often extreme contrast. Not sure it would be needed for colour negs, and for B&W only for a few very contrasty negs (Tech Pan perhaps).

ghohan422 Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

Hi Greg,

A while back I tried to "scan" some negatives using a Sony Nex-6, some macro extension tubes, and an LED light table: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OCIWFOK

I was pretty happy with the quality I got overall. And of course, it's very fast when compared to a film scanner.  The main issues were: keeping the negative flat and keeping the negative parallel to the focal plane. I guess a slide duplicator won't have those problems. But you may have problems with poor quality optics in a cheap converter that result in poor focus across the frame. That's why I didn't end up buying one myself. Plus, there was just too much dust to clone out on every image!

I ended up buying an open box film scanner (Pacific Image PrimeFilm 7250u) for $99 from Amazon.  I got this model because it was the cheapest thing I could find that had

  • Acceptable resolution (some older models are quite low-res)
  • Infrared Scanning for dust removal (an absolute must IMO)
  • USB so it can be attached to a modern PC (there are old models on ebay that would have been fine for me -- if I could get a SCSI interface working on my PC)

Most film scanners can be used with VueScan, so I just ignored the software it came with and used VueScan.  If I had to make a purchase again, I'd get something that could scan entire negative strips at once.  I have to manually position each negative over the imaging area, and that means you can't just tell it to scan an entire strip and then come back in a half hour.  And scanning is pretty slow.  But the dust removal works nicely, and the scans are high (enough) quality.  If you like, I'll post a scan or two so you can get an idea of what kind of quality you'd get from this kind of cheapie film scanner.  Then you can compare with what you're seeing from your DSLR.

I guess I'm recommending that you either make sure that you buy a slide duplicator that has decent optics or a larger contraption/copy stand that lets you just use a good macro lens.  Or skip the hassle and get a real film scanner.  The flatbed scanners just don't do a very good job, imo.

-greg

gkreth wrote:

To all,

I need to scan some old slides and negatives.

I've done some research into scanning, and even experimented some with my own 2400 dpi Canon scanner.

Not great results with the negatives, I must admit: Too much dust that I can't seem to successfully remove with my blower. And I can't seem to get the dynamic range that I got when printing. (Maybe I did a lot more dodging and burning in my darkroom days than I remember...)

Anyway, I had this crazy idea about using one of those old slide duplicator tubes with my Pentax DSLR, and using the built-in HDR processing, to see if I could coax more DR out of the negatives.

Something like this:

Anyone have any experience with these sorts of slide duplicators?

Thanks in advance for any advice,

Greg

Eduardo Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

Hi

I´ve done around 2000 slides + negatives using the device on the annex pictures.

It´s made of pvc home piping.

I´ve used a Canon T2i with the EF-S 60 mm macro lens.

The slides got very good, but the negatives are very difficult due to color balance. Anyway the job was worth, I had those pictures scanned from small prints and they got much better.

The length of the device has to meet the distance your system asks for, with a small length dedicated to adjustment (in my case the inner tube).

Best Regards
Eduardo

OP gkreth Veteran Member • Posts: 3,122
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

ghohan422 wrote:

Hi Greg,

A while back I tried to "scan" some negatives using a Sony Nex-6, some macro extension tubes, and an LED light table: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OCIWFOK

I was pretty happy with the quality I got overall. And of course, it's very fast when compared to a film scanner. The main issues were: keeping the negative flat and keeping the negative parallel to the focal plane. I guess a slide duplicator won't have those problems. But you may have problems with poor quality optics in a cheap converter that result in poor focus across the frame. That's why I didn't end up buying one myself. Plus, there was just too much dust to clone out on every image!

I ended up buying an open box film scanner (Pacific Image PrimeFilm 7250u) for $99 from Amazon.

Wow, $99 is a good price. That model appears to be discontinued, and newer models are twice that or more.

I got this model because it was the cheapest thing I could find that had

  • Acceptable resolution (some older models are quite low-res)
  • Infrared Scanning for dust removal (an absolute must IMO)
  • USB so it can be attached to a modern PC (there are old models on ebay that would have been fine for me -- if I could get a SCSI interface working on my PC)

Oh, shoot! That's right! I forgot about the infrared scanning! And i also read about Digital ICE; a lot of people said that's a must-have for removing dust.

Most film scanners can be used with VueScan, so I just ignored the software it came with and used VueScan. If I had to make a purchase again, I'd get something that could scan entire negative strips at once. I have to manually position each negative over the imaging area, and that means you can't just tell it to scan an entire strip and then come back in a half hour. And scanning is pretty slow. But the dust removal works nicely, and the scans are high (enough) quality. If you like, I'll post a scan or two so you can get an idea of what kind of quality you'd get from this kind of cheapie film scanner. Then you can compare with what you're seeing from your DSLR.

I guess I'm recommending that you either make sure that you buy a slide duplicator that has decent optics or a larger contraption/copy stand that lets you just use a good macro lens. Or skip the hassle and get a real film scanner. The flatbed scanners just don't do a very good job, imo.

-greg

I'm afraid you may be right; I'm no longer thinking that a DSLR + macro + some-kinda-contraption will do what I want. Sigh... OK, the search continues...

Thanks,

Greg

Eduardo Regular Member • Posts: 323
sample of a negative "scanned" by camera

One sample of a negative "scanned" by camera, full size, resaved as very low quality jpeg to decrease upload size :

Best Regards
Eduardo

OP gkreth Veteran Member • Posts: 3,122
Re: sample of a negative "scanned" by camera

Very nice! Thanks for posting!

Did you have problems with dust? When I tried scanning, I has SO much trouble with dust.

Greg

Eduardo wrote:

One sample of a negative "scanned" by camera, full size, resaved as very low quality jpeg to decrease upload size :

Best Regards
Eduardo

ghohan422 Forum Member • Posts: 57
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

When I was looking, I just kept checking eBay and Amazon for something with Digital ICE, a USB interface, and decent resolution. It took a week or two of checking before something good showed up in the listings.

I used this: https://www.hamrick.com/vuescan/supported-scanners.html

to help find out which models would meet my requirements since it has a spec list for each model that VueScan supports.

My scanner is slow and only does one frame at a time, but that was okay for me.  I see that eBay (US version) has a few PIE PrimeFilm 3650u models for ~$50-$70 used.  That's probably the lowest you can pay for something with 3600dpi and Digital ICE.  And it's not much more than the slide duplicators cost.  But I don't know about the quality from that particular model.  And I already had VueScan software to control the scanner.  You'd have to think about that sort of thing if you buy a cheap film scanner or an older scanner from Minolta/Epson.

But there are cheap devices out there if you go used.  Mintolta Scan Dual (I/II/II/ or IV) are very cheap as well, but most/all of the cheap ones don't have ICE.

gkreth wrote:

ghohan422 wrote:

Hi Greg,

A while back I tried to "scan" some negatives using a Sony Nex-6, some macro extension tubes, and an LED light table: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OCIWFOK

I was pretty happy with the quality I got overall. And of course, it's very fast when compared to a film scanner. The main issues were: keeping the negative flat and keeping the negative parallel to the focal plane. I guess a slide duplicator won't have those problems. But you may have problems with poor quality optics in a cheap converter that result in poor focus across the frame. That's why I didn't end up buying one myself. Plus, there was just too much dust to clone out on every image!

I ended up buying an open box film scanner (Pacific Image PrimeFilm 7250u) for $99 from Amazon.

Wow, $99 is a good price. That model appears to be discontinued, and newer models are twice that or more.

I got this model because it was the cheapest thing I could find that had

  • Acceptable resolution (some older models are quite low-res)
  • Infrared Scanning for dust removal (an absolute must IMO)
  • USB so it can be attached to a modern PC (there are old models on ebay that would have been fine for me -- if I could get a SCSI interface working on my PC)

Oh, shoot! That's right! I forgot about the infrared scanning! And i also read about Digital ICE; a lot of people said that's a must-have for removing dust.

Most film scanners can be used with VueScan, so I just ignored the software it came with and used VueScan. If I had to make a purchase again, I'd get something that could scan entire negative strips at once. I have to manually position each negative over the imaging area, and that means you can't just tell it to scan an entire strip and then come back in a half hour. And scanning is pretty slow. But the dust removal works nicely, and the scans are high (enough) quality. If you like, I'll post a scan or two so you can get an idea of what kind of quality you'd get from this kind of cheapie film scanner. Then you can compare with what you're seeing from your DSLR.

I guess I'm recommending that you either make sure that you buy a slide duplicator that has decent optics or a larger contraption/copy stand that lets you just use a good macro lens. Or skip the hassle and get a real film scanner. The flatbed scanners just don't do a very good job, imo.

-greg

I'm afraid you may be right; I'm no longer thinking that a DSLR + macro + some-kinda-contraption will do what I want. Sigh... OK, the search continues...

Thanks,

Greg

Eduardo Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: sample of a negative "scanned" by camera

Yes, lots of dust that has to be cleaned by Photoshop "spot heal" tool. It seems to take a long time, but is not soooo long.

I´ve done a prescan procedure of cleaning dust from negatives with isopropyl alcohol:

- blow the table with rocket blower

- clean the table with isopropyl

- blow the table with rocket blower again

- place 6 strips on top of an A4 paper. Pick one by one to clean.

- place the negative on the clean area of the table and do 2 or more passes of a tissue embedded with isopropyl, holding one negative end with the fingers, near the perforation area.

- turn the negative to the other side and repeat.

The place it inside the device. I pointed the camera to the sky to light the white plastic diffuser.

Later I used a home led bulb of 9 watts, at a distance of 5 cm, with the same results.

The sample I annexed was not of of the best, it was median. The annexed here is one of the good ones.

Best Regards
Eduardo

Bob Janes
Bob Janes Veteran Member • Posts: 3,183
At the mercy of the optics...

You are rather at the mercy of the optics in such a device - plus you will still have the problem with dust. The only way around the dust problem without casreful treatment and preparation of the negatives/slides is to use a film scanner with an infrared channel (digital ICE is best) - which could be expensive.

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Svein Eriksen Senior Member • Posts: 1,910
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

The one thing slide duplicater wont give you is automatic dust removal. ICE in good scanners works well on color negative film and slide (except for Kodachrome), but not for BW silverbased films.

Canon has a similar function to ICE called FARE. Sure you don't have that on your scanner?

Phil1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,773
Re: Slide duplicator: use a macro lens & slide holder

I have a Minolta Elite 5400 film scanner but while really excellent for a few shots it takes too long to do bulk slide copying.

So I bought a slide copier WITHOUT a lens i.e. just a slide holder (with a built-in diffuser) from the excellent UK firm SRB Griturn.*** This is used with my Tamron macro lens and gives really good IQ as the macro lens is designed especially for close up work.

***http://srb-photographic.co.uk/52mm-dslr-slide-copier-8879-p.asp

No extra close up lens is required, unlike many ordinary slide copiers, as the Tamron macro lens provides the necessary magnification.

I also bought the necessary spacers to go between the Tamron lens and the slide holder and filter the adaptor ring to go between the spacer (55mm die) and the Tamron (58mm die) again these were from SRB Griturn who advised me on the ones I needed. The items screw together and then screw into the Tamron’s filter thread.

(If you don’t have a macro lens they also sell duplicators with a built in lens and they are not at all expensive!).

As a lot of my slides are in slide trays, I project them onto a nearby wall so I can select those I want to copy.

The source of illumination is either another slide projector or a flashgun linked either by cable or by using a Yongnuo RF remote flash setup.

I use RAW files because of the extra leeway in making adjustments to the exposure and colour temperature etc etc and I realise from some of the above threads (many thanks guys!) that I can use the cameras DR settings to help tame the contrast where it is excessive.

Happy hunting!

Phil

PS I have no connection to SRB except being a satisfied customer who appreciates their friendly advice in assembling custom rigs like mine.

Francisco Miranda Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

Hi Eduardo, boa tarde.

Thanks for sharing your solution, it is exactly what I was looking for. I presume you bought these PVC parts in Brazil, they are quite different from the ones available in the U.S. I have one question though, how do you attach the tube to the lens? Do you use a filter ring and just glue it to the tube?

Thanks much in advance, obrigado.

Francisco.

 Francisco Miranda's gear list:Francisco Miranda's gear list
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pgb
pgb Senior Member • Posts: 2,109
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?
1

I've done several hundred slides using a lightbox with the camera on a small tripod. My lens didn't cover the whole frame so some cropping was needed. I don't think the lesser resolution made any difference when comparing the sharpness of the frame to the film, ymmv.

Using the clone tool in PS to remove dust and dirt is not that slow once you get into the swing and you can do them at your leisure once digitised.

If you find any stunning shots you could get those professionally scanned.

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 24,049
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?
2

This pair of images shows the advantage of in-camera HDR when digitizing slides. The extra shadow detail is well worth while.

The film is Velvia. Obviously the HDR version could be further improved in processing.

Eduardo Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

The pvc parts are common houseware pipe.

I´ve made some variants but I guess the easiest way is to use a "sliding coupling" 50 mm (2 in). It´s attached to the lens with a filter ring glued to the pvc with a glue which is called super-bonder (cyanoacrilate) in Brasil. Cyanoacrilate is not good to glue pvc but worked anyway.
Most rings have a texture on the surface that will be glued, which should better be sanded off to a plane surface, to easy the gluing. The diameters fit well. You can try a 58 mm filter, it fits outside the coupling, instead of aligned gluing.

Next, to allow adjusting of the magnification, you need to use a pipe 50 mm inside the sleeve. These sleeves come with a rubber insert which makes the pipe difficult to enter, so perhaps you´ll need to sand the pipe. You can also apply very little silicone grease to allow movement. I adjusted the distance and scanned all negatives 1 to 1, never cropped.

The most difficult part is to make a frame to hold negative strips. My first ones were 2 plastic slide mounts glued with spacers made of strips of credit cards. They already come with the square window. Later I used pieces of CD boxes and cut the rectangular holes and sanded and it´s hard to do, but that was the fun of doing it.

You´ll have to get a white piece of plastic diffuser to place in front of the negative.

I´ve tried with no diffuser but it didn´t work well.

If you have the macro lens, you can try with pipes made from cardboard, attach all with adhesive tape, place the ring inside it attach the same way, just for trying.

Good luck.
Eduardo

Eduardo Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

Francisco

You could also try to make the device like this one on the annex.

The 2 inch pipe fits almost exactly the inside of the filter ring, with some minor sanding, and to allow a small adjustment I attached a "pipe cap" that slides in and out. You have to cut a rectangle on the cap but it doesn´t need to be exact size, just a little larger than 36x24.

Remember you have to evaluate your lens 1:1 working distance to define the pipe length.

Best Regards
Eduardo

Francisco Miranda Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

Thanks much for all the info, Eduardo. I will try with the parts available here, if it doesn't work I can always get the parts next time I go to Rio. The thing is that here the PVC parts are thicker on the walls but I guess it is just a matter of measuring the outside diameter and choose a filter accordingly. I have a 100mm macro lens (this one uses 58 mm filters) that I am planning to use and the measured distance for the total length of the tube is around 7" (or 17.5 cm) if I don't want to crop. This is for am 1.6 crop sensor camera. So if I manage to get a coupler there is always a chance to slide one tube inside if I need to zoom (crop) the slide a bit.

Again thanks a lot, muito obrigado.

Francisco.

 Francisco Miranda's gear list:Francisco Miranda's gear list
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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 24,049
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

Eduardo wrote:

Francisco

You could also try to make the device like this one on the annex.

The 2 inch pipe fits almost exactly the inside of the filter ring, with some minor sanding, and to allow a small adjustment I attached a "pipe cap" that slides in and out. You have to cut a rectangle on the cap but it doesn´t need to be exact size, just a little larger than 36x24.

Remember you have to evaluate your lens 1:1 working distance to define the pipe length.

Best Regards
Eduardo

That looks neat.

How are you treating the inside of the tube to avoid reflections and stray light ?

Eduardo Regular Member • Posts: 323
Re: Slide duplicator (instead of scanning) with HDR?

Hi, thanks.

I used a piece of black adhesive paper, but it´s very hard to apply. I peeled off the protective layer, layered the adhesive outside on a deodorant bottle, put it inside the tube and rolled it as a wheel inside the tube. Sorry, my English is not sufficient to explain these details.

To Francisco: It seems you are Brazilian, are you? The pvc parts here are copy of American Standards, so they must be the same, except for the size, which are near, 50 mm is almost the same pipe as 2 inch. It´s very difficult to fit one pipe inside the other, so to allow varying length for cropping it is better to use a sliding coupling.

Best Regards
Eduardo

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