Where to start with a life time of slides?

Minolta scanners, scanner support and replacement choices
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pakodominguez
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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:36 pm

alphaomega wrote:Reading through the comments above with plenty of good advice I suddenly remembered I have a Jessop Zoom Slide Duplicator in MD fit. Luckily I managed to find it and wonder if anyone has converted slides to digital images by fitting such a duplicator to a DSLR. I guess I could fit the duplicator to my A580 using the "lens not fitted" setting and shutter priority. I have a glassless MD to A-mount converter which should do the job. I must try this as an alternative to scanning each slide. Problem is I have lost the instruction booklet and will need to experiment with the two adjustment settings. It can do 1x to 2.5x so I can even crop when copying although with the A580 I will be better just copying 100% of the slide and crop in PS. Used to copy in daylight, but David's LED advice is sound.


At 1x, you will be already cropping because those slide duplicators were done for 35mm (what we call now FF...) and your A580 is APS size.

If you already have the 30mm macro or the 50mm Macro, you can try this Nikon adapter: http://www.adorama.com/NKES1.html
Image
It works perfect on the A850 with the 50mm and I think it can work on APS + 50mm (I can try it tonight or tomorrow at home)

I've duplicated slides this way with the A700 and print them up to 20x30 inches with a decent result. I want to go through my slides again, but now with the A850 or the NEX, and process them ( DAM them) on Lightroom, need some time and now I'm putting all my "free time" on find a new apartment -I can find time for a test anyway :-)

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby artington » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:06 pm

I have been lucky enough to find a mint, boxed set of Minolta bellows (AutoBellows I), focusing-rail, slide copier and macro-stand and after a lot of fiddling around to find a lens/camera combination to fit on the focusing rail with slide copier attached I have succeeded in a set up which works brilliantly. This set, the first of three by Minolta, was made for the Minolta SRT cameras but the focusing rail can be used with any camera although it needs to have about the same base to lens-centre dimension as the SRT if the lens is to centre with the slide copier. Unfortunately this rules out my a900 but the NEX-5 is perfect, along with a cheap alpha-NEX adapter and my trusty Minolta 50/3.5 AF macro lens. I have not bothered with a light and just pointed it at the window. The diffuser on the slide-copier does its job well and, surprisingly given the large lawn outside, there is no colour cast that I can see in Lightroom. Once focusing has been done the rail can be locked. I thought initially the new peak lighting option helped but after doing more i have decided its easier to focus by eye alone using MF Assist when doing this operation. I'm delighted with the results. And it's quick, too. Having used Minolta and Epson (flat bed) consumer-level scanners I can say that the slide-copying route gives better results in a tiny fraction of the time taken to scan.
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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby Birma » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:26 pm

Useful updates from artington and Pako.

Pako - only just noticed your post - hope you have you sorted out a new apartment. Did you get a chance to try the adapter with the Nex 5?
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby alphaomega » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:48 pm

Interesting suggestions artington and pakodominguez. I have been using my Minolta Dimage 5400 II and it works fine with Windows XP. I also have an old MD Jessops slide duplicator and I think I can probably use it with my NEX-5 through an MD to E-mount adapter. I think I will try that and will order a cheap adapter. No need for the Sony version for this exercise. I can probably also use it by removing the T2/MD adapter fitted and order a new T2/MD adapter on e-bay and use it on my A550 or A580. I think I will try that as using the Dimage is tedious. On reflection the T2/MA is probably preferable as adapters are reduced from two to one only.

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby artington » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:03 pm

More fiddling. The set-up I described earlier only filled about 2/3 of the sensor using the macro lens at 1:2. However, I have now inserted a 12mm extension tube between the A-mount to E-mount adapter and lens. This produces an over-sized image for the APS sensor but reducing the lens magnification factor to just under 1:3 fits it nicely. The use of the extension tube has also improved the resolution but I'm not clear why.

One further observation here. Focus is critical and I have found it very useful to have a test slide for this. As it happens I have one of an open book and have found it very straightforward to ascertain critical focus by using the MF assist at 14x, focusing on the lettering on the page. Any similar subject will be just as accurate.

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby alphaomega » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:32 am

Artington wrote:
The set-up I described earlier only filled about 2/3 of the sensor using the macro lens at 1:2.
I have the same Minolta MD 50mm F3.5 macro but also the extension taking the magnification to a full 1:1 so I should not have this problem with not filling the sensor on my NEX-5 if I purchase a Minolta slide duplicator set-up - if I can find one.

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:44 am

Birma wrote:Useful updates from artington and Pako.

Pako - only just noticed your post - hope you have you sorted out a new apartment. Did you get a chance to try the adapter with the Nex 5?

I won't tell you the whole story (because is boring) but at the end, girlfrind moved to my apartment, we still have to get get ride of all those boxes...

Brief: the Nikon ES-1 adapter won't make it on APS format, you'll get a cropped image of your slide. And if you are using the MD 50 mm f3.5, you will need the 1:2 to 1:1 extension tube.

In order to achieve the full frame of the slide on APS, you'll need a 60mm lens -I did try it on a Minolta bellows with a Rodenstock Rodagon 60mm f4

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:19 am

I am wondering if going to all the trouble and expense to buy bellows, extensions tubes, macro lenses, adapters, etc. is better than just getting a film scanner? I have an old Minolta Scan Elite with Digital ICE that I bought in 2000 for $1000, but now there are the Pacific Image scanners that are, I think, less than $500 and also have Digital ICE. Probably others too. I imagine used film scanners are even less. I don't know, but I would think that the quality of the image from a film scanner would be generally better -- also has Digital ICE, which is helpful. Is this wrong?

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:11 am

bakubo wrote:I am wondering if going to all the trouble and expense to buy bellows, extensions tubes, macro lenses, adapters, etc. is better than just getting a film scanner? I have an old Minolta Scan Elite with Digital ICE that I bought in 2000 for $1000, but now there are the Pacific Image scanners that are, I think, less than $500 and also have Digital ICE. Probably others too. I imagine used film scanners are even less. I don't know, but I would think that the quality of the image from a film scanner would be generally better -- also has Digital ICE, which is helpful. Is this wrong?

I agree ICE is a wonderful feature while you are scanning color slides/negatives.

Other than that, duplicating slides with a digital camera is just faster and, basically, as good as scanning them -I understand you enjoy the leisure of the free time, but for people like me than never have time for sleeping enough, a faster workflow is a must. And I already have all those macro lenses, enlarger lenses, bellows, etc. All for less than 500 $ (I bought them years ago, when no one even dreamed about a digital life for their manual focus equipment.

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:33 am

pakodominguez wrote:I agree ICE is a wonderful feature while you are scanning color slides/negatives.

Other than that, duplicating slides with a digital camera is just faster and, basically, as good as scanning them -I understand you enjoy the leisure of the free time, but for people like me than never have time for sleeping enough, a faster workflow is a must. And I already have all those macro lenses, enlarger lenses, bellows, etc. All for less than 500 $ (I bought them years ago, when no one even dreamed about a digital life for their manual focus equipment.


I have found that the time spent actually scanning the film is the smallest portion of the time spent getting a good image. Fixing dust spots and other imperfections and getting the color right, especially for negatives, are by far where the time is spent. Of course, it depends a lot on how good a result you want. As far as I know, photographing a slide/negative, rather than scanning it, will still require fixing dust spots and imperfections. I have some color negative scans that I someday will probably go back and work on the color some more -- won't require rescanning though. I dislike scanning, but tediously fixing dust spots is something I hate. Especially when in some cases it can take a really long time -- many, many, many times longer than the time spent scanning the film. If you only have slides then I suspect it will be easier for you than with color negatives.

Yeah, for those of you who already have all this gear you might as well use it for duplicating slides and negatives. Please post some because I am curious how well it works.

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby artington » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:54 am

As Pako says the main advantage is speed of turnaround. And, yes, as Bakubo points out, this is only the first step in the process if you want to progress each slide to print-ready quality.

However, my principal objective is to obtain digitised versions of my slides for archival purposes before they deteriorate. Some of them are 40 years old now. As it happens, the older ones are Kodachrome and this apparently has the greatest longevity of all film stock but even here 40 years may be approaching their maximum archival life. Archiving in RAW format gives me the option to do further processing at a later stage should I so desire, but right now cropping and exposure adjustment is as far as I am going.

As to cost, it will still be cheaper to buy macro kit to do this and you will have the added advantage of being able to use most of it (apart from the slide-holder itself) for macro photography. In this context, there is a splendid book, still in print after almost 25 years, called "Closeups in Nature" by John Shaw. This is well worth buying because it discusses the whole process of macro-photography and the kit involved (although curiously quiet on the use of reverse rings). Shaw suggests that bellows are awkward to use in the field and prefers the use of extension tubes. If you accept his premise you need only buy a focusing rail, ( which attaches to tripod and camera and allows fine focus adjustment), a matching slide-copier and a set of extension tubes. No need for bellows and much cheaper than a scanner. And if like me you are using a NEX you will need the appropriate adapter but any cheap one will do in this arrangement.

Of course, you can only use it for slides and not for negatives (as far as I know, unless PS has some sort of reversal gizmo).

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby artington » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:06 pm

bakubo wrote:Yeah, for those of you who already have all this gear you might as well use it for duplicating slides and negatives. Please post some because I am curious how well it works.


Right, here are three rather different ones, which illustrate the potential. I have adjusted exposure, reduced noise, sharpened a little and cropped. There has been no other manipulation, no spotting. All three pictures were taken over 30 years ago.Bearing in mind the limited dynamic range of slides I have included one very high contrast example, taken of an all male theatrical troupe. The beauty of being able to duplicate in RAW has meant I have exposure adjustment techniques available now which would have been a pipe-dream then.

By the way, these were taken with a Minolta SRT101b. The theatre scene used either a Soligor 135/2.8 or a Tokina 80-200 /4.5 macro-zoom; the other two were taken with a stock Minolta 50mm lens.
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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby artington » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:50 am

I have discovered you can also use the process - which I have described in some detail in a separate post (see link below) - for copying negatives. It is considerably more convoluted than for slides and I feel that use of a dedicated scanner would be better for these. Anyway, proceed as for slides, clamping the negative between the diffuser screen (which folds forwards on AutoBellows I) and the frame of the holder. Open the image in Lightroom and use the dropper tool to remove the cast of the film. Crop as necessary and the go to Edit in Photoshop (I use Elements). The negative image can be reversed by pressing Ctrl-I (Command-I on Mac). This produces a very bright positive image but Auto Adjust Levels sorts that out. Then sharpen as necessary and revert to LR. This is a long winded process and the end result has a lot of noise and the image is quite soft after NR but it's probably good enough up to A4 size. Anyway, it does work but as I said I feel a scanner would give better results although I haven't troubled to test this assertion.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=5319

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby alphaomega » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:55 am

Thanks for all the information, but I must confess I am kind of lost in all this. I scan slides using my Dimage 54 II and it works on XP. I would like to speed up the process and have been trying to understand how to do this with bellows and how to set it up. There is a Minolta bellows II offer with slide copier on ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MINOLTA-MACRO ... 3a67ab5aea but I can't figure out if it can be set up to copy full image 35mm slides on to either my A580 or NEX-5 and the seller cannot help. I also have the Minolta 50mm F3.5 macro lens with the extension tube to 1:1 magnification. Can any of you "in the know" people explain how I could set up this bellows/slide copier combination and what extra adapters etc. I would require. Any help would be appreciated.

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Re: Where to start with a life time of slides?

Unread postby artington » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:10 pm

alphaomega wrote:Thanks for all the information, but I must confess I am kind of lost in all this. I scan slides using my Dimage 54 II and it works on XP. I would like to speed up the process and have been trying to understand how to do this with bellows and how to set it up. There is a Minolta bellows II offer with slide copier on ebay http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MINOLTA-MACRO ... 3a67ab5aea but I can't figure out if it can be set up to copy full image 35mm slides on to either my A580 or NEX-5 and the seller cannot help. I also have the Minolta 50mm F3.5 macro lens with the extension tube to 1:1 magnification. Can any of you "in the know" people explain how I could set up this bellows/slide copier combination and what extra adapters etc. I would require. Any help would be appreciated.


The photos are disguising the issue. The slide copier cannot be attached to the bellows unit. It interfaces via a lens. I have not seen the AutoBellows II but I imagine, like the AB I, there is a male MD bayonet at one end of the bellows (which you can see in the photo) to which one would have attached the Camera (ie Minolta manual SLR) and a female bayonet opening at the other end (which is concealed in the photo) into which you would place the MD lens. The slide-copier has a ring clamp which tightens round the end of the lens (or a filter if on the lens). On the AB I slide copier this has a diameter of 55mm. You would need to check whether this is the size on this unit and, if so, whether it is the same size as the filter on your lens. Assuming all this surmise is correct you would have to attach your 50/3.5 macro (if it is MD fitting) to the female bayonet socket of the bellows and then clamp the slide copier to the lens. At the other end of the bellows unit you would need to attach your NEX-5 via a MD:E-mount adapter. Now if this gives insufficient magnification you would then need to interface an extension tube between the end of the bellows and the adapter but of course it would need to be an MD extension tube.

You do not say whether your 50/3.5 is MD or AF. I'm afraid this won't work if it's AF because you would then need an MD:AF adapter to interface between the bellows and the lens and you would introduce the added complication of the extra glass in such an adapter which may impair the ability to close focus.

My advice would be to look for a Minolta focusing-rail and use this in conjunction with the slide copier. This avoids the complication of the bellows with the MD bayonet fitment at either end and is actually superfluous here because the slide-copier has its own bellows as you can see on the photo I have appended to my earlier post (see below). Probably best to look for a matching slide copier and rail. Then you can use the more straight forward arrangement which I describe in the post linked below, where I include a photo of my own arrangement. It may help if you can picture it.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=5319


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