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12-50: Which adapter for copying slides?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Pecos, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I picked up a 12-50 recently to copy some old slides, as several have mentioned doing. I got the Polaroid Adapter, which functions well, but I am unable to fill the frame with the 35mm slide - I think the distance from screw-on lens adapter to the slide holder is a bit too much.

    I end up cropping the image resulting in only10 megapixels. I think this is enough to capture the vast majority of the detail of these old slides, few of which are really good - those were scanned years ago; but I want to image and save the rest for sentimental reasons.

    The corners aren't acceptable with the 12-50 until I go to about f/11, but that's where the center begins to deteriorate.
    So two questions:
    1. Have any of you who've done this used the Polaroid adapter? Would I be better ditching it for the Nikon (unavailable when I ordered).
    2. Would you recommend just getting the 60mm macro? I know it's a better lens, no question. Would it fill the frame while using the Polaroid adapter, or should I get the Nikon?
    It is a pretty versatile lens, all things considered.
    Thanks for any input.
  2. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    I use the nikon with the 4:3 35mm macro. A perfect fit. The 12-50 is a macro at 43mm so extension might make it worse but you might try extension with the lens in normal mode zoomed to ~35mm or wider. Or try another lens with extension.
  3. The 12-50 is good for moderate closeup but not so great for flat field reproduction...
  4. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    I can't comment on the Polaroid slide copier, but I use the Nikon ES-1 adapter. I posted earlier about using it with an old Nikon 55mm/3.5 macro lens. I've since switched to using an Olympus 60mm/2.8 lens so I can autofocus on the slides. The ES-1 was designed to fit on a 52mm filter ring, and the Oly 60 has a 46mm filter ring, so I use a 46-to-52mm step-up ring on the lens. To compensate for the Micro Four Thirds crop factor, I push the ES-1 out with two filter extensions, each 28mm deep. I haven't noticed any problem with field flatness using either the Nikon or the Olympus.
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    Before you go and blow even more money on a macro lens and more adapters, how about a reasonably priced scanner with a slide holder?


    V370 or v550 should both work well for slides. With a scanner, you'll get even lighting, framing and sharpness with little guesswork involved. Usually you get software to help with the conversion, too.

    Also have a refurb outlet if you like those kind of deals: http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/BuyEpson/ccProductCategory.jsp?UseCookie=yes&oid=-13268
  6. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Using a macro lens to copy slides will be faster, however a scanner generally gives 'better' results.

    I have both setups, an enlarging lens on a macro bellows with slide holder and a dedicated film scanner. If you're interested in a macro lens the Olympus OM 50mm f3.5 is generally below $50 for a multicoated version, it's almost universally sharp due to a modest optical design and good coating.
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  7. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I'm a bit disappointed in the 12-50, though others like it fine for noncritical work. I may get a used 60mm macro and keep it if I like it, sell it otherwise. And the ES-1 sounds like it may work better than the Polaroid, as it has variable distance from lens to slide.
    So here are 5 shots taken w/varying apertures: f/6, 8, 11, 16, 22 of the same slide. Looks like the edges are pretty awful until f/11, when they're just bad, f/16 not too bad overall, f/22 the center blurs
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