Excellent lens for digitizing images from slides and film.

Started 8 months ago | User reviews
(unknown member) New Member • Posts: 23
Excellent lens for digitizing images from slides and film.
1

I bought this lens specifically for digitizing old slides and film. I use it on my Nikon D850. With my home brew scan setup, this lens beats probably any high priced film scanner on the market and it's waaay faster to produce an image. It's nice to archive slides that were shot in the 1950s, 60s and 70s that my relatives shot as well as all of the images I've captured using slide film.

This lens is worth it just for this one purpose.

Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR
Telephoto macro prime lens • Nikon F (FX) • 1455
Announced: Feb 21, 2006
TheNikonKnight's score
5.0
Average community score
4.9
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Nikon D850
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Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Forum Pro • Posts: 18,360
Re: Excellent lens for digitizing images from slides and film.

TheNikonKnight wrote:

I bought this lens specifically for digitizing old slides and film. I use it on my Nikon D850. With my home brew scan setup, this lens beats probably any high priced film scanner on the market and it's waaay faster to produce an image. It's nice to archive slides that were shot in the 1950s, 60s and 70s that my relatives shot as well as all of the images I've captured using slide film.

This lens is worth it just for this one purpose.

I have the Sigma 105 OS HSM Macro and which is also an outstanding lens. For slides, I use an AF-S 40/2.8, a much more compact setup.

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 Tord S Eriksson's gear list:Tord S Eriksson's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Ricoh GR Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D600 Nikon D3300 +24 more
bjn70 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,302
Re: Excellent lens for digitizing images from slides and film.

It is probably as good as any macro lens you can buy in similar focal length range.

I've read that Nikon/Sigma/Tamron/Tokina are all very good.  I bought a Nikon 105mm f4 AI to digitize some slides, using it on extension tubes to get closer to 1:1.  I've since bought an old used Sigma 90mm f2.8 that I'll use next time.

rscott900ss
rscott900ss Regular Member • Posts: 496
Re: Excellent lens for digitizing images from slides and film.

Would you describe your home-brew scanning set-up?

I have the old Nikkor slide scanning attachment for my PB-4 bellows but I'm looking for a home-brew set-up to use with my Z 7II and Z MC 105mm f/2.8 S.

 rscott900ss's gear list:rscott900ss's gear list
Nikon Z7 II Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR +22 more
bjn70 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,302
Re: Excellent lens for digitizing images from slides and film.
1

Mine is completely DIY, and I made mine to operate horizontally.  I've seen a lot of people build something to operate vertically, similar to the old copy stands.  They put a light panel on the base and set their negative/transparency on it.  I made a holder by laminating cardboard strips to hold the mounted slide.  I put an angled piece of white paper behind it with a strobe aimed at it connected to the camera with an extension cable.  The paper reflector, slide holder and camera are all mounted to a board a couple of feet long.  I was using a D7200 and 105mm f4 AI lens.  I could photo a lot of slides in a short period of time- put the slide in the holder, press the shutter release, put the next slide in the holder...

Ricosuavefoto Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: Excellent lens for digitizing images from slides and film.
2

I'm also using a simple setup. Inverted tripod pointed straight down at a cheap light panel from Amazon. It's magnetic, and I use the magnets to hold down the edges of the negative strip. I just slide the whole light panel over to get to the next frame. You can get a frame to hold the.negatives, but that just seems to slow things down

I would like to get this 105 (or a 60) to use on my Z5, but for now I am using the D7500 with the AF-S dx 40mm macro. The 40 sits pretty close to the negative (very close when I do the photos from my half-frame olympus pen f) but this helps avoid glare. The 60 or 105 lenses will sit higher. I have also had good results with a 50mm and macro tubes on the full frame Z5, but it's much harder to find the sweet spot where focus and framing meet with the correct size.

Oh, and a three dollar bubble level to make sure it's aimed straight down. I already had the tripod and the lens, and the rest was about $50 total.

The process:

  • Use the brightest level on the blacklight
  • Use manual mode
  • Set to f8 for best clarity
  • Set shutter speed so the histogram is pushed as far to the right as possible 
  • Blow off dust with a bulb blower...do this as much as possible 
  • Frame up the image and focus
  • Use self timer or remote to avoid camera shake
  • Move to the next frame...focus and exposure are probably still ok for the whole strip

I use Darktable with negadoctor to process and get great results. I mostly do black and white, but color works well, too.

 Ricosuavefoto's gear list:Ricosuavefoto's gear list
Nikon D7500 Nikon Z5 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G +6 more
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