Best Lens For Copying Slides?

snegron

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Curious to know if anyone can recommend a macro lens for copying old 35mm slides with my GX85? I have a flatbed scanner, but it is excruciatingly time consuming. I was hoping to find a quicker method.

If I were using a full frame sensor, the focal length I would need would be either a 55mm or 60mm lens. Not sure which m4/3 lens would be equal in terms of focal length.

Also, my plan is to adapt a slide holder to the front of whatever macro lens I get, so most likely I'll have to get a step up ring to fit it onto the filter thread of the lens.

I'm assuming that the proportion of old 35mm frames of old slides would equal the length/width of m4/3 (smaller in scale though on m4/3).
 

snegron

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Thanks for the links! Hopefully my workflow will improve (took me over a month to scan 4000 slides last year using a flatbed scanner).
 

junkyardsparkle

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I'm assuming that the proportion of old 35mm frames of old slides would equal the length/width of m4/3 (smaller in scale though on m4/3).
Well, the sensor is a 4:3 aspect ratio, so assuming the slides are 3:2, you'll have a little extra width after lining up the narrower ends. Between this, and the fact that the sensor is half the diagonal of a 135 frame, plus any margins of safety you want to leave, you end up not needing more than 1:2 (0.5x) magnification for the task. This can broaden your choices for viable legacy lenses somewhat, I suppose.
 

junkyardsparkle

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Flat field of the Olympus macro 60 would be ideal.
It's what I used for mine. The only thing to keep in mind is that between the long-ish focal length and the "half-macro" magnification requirement mentioned above, you'll be holding the slides a bit of a distance from the front of the lens, which an off-the-shelf holder may or may not easily allow for (I made my own).
 

snegron

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It's what I used for mine. The only thing to keep in mind is that between the long-ish focal length and the "half-macro" magnification requirement mentioned above, you'll be holding the slides a bit of a distance from the front of the lens, which an off-the-shelf holder may or may not easily allow for (I made my own).

I was wondering that very same thing! I'm assuming tgat I'm going to need a 30mm focal length macro lens to hook up with a standard slide copying rig.
 

junkyardsparkle

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I'm assuming tgat I'm going to need a 30mm focal length macro lens to hook up with a standard slide copying rig.
Probably in that ballpark, but also depends on how much a modern internal-focus lens shortens from its nominal FL at macro(ish) magnifications... I can tell you that the Oly 60mm wants a working distance of around 130mm for a 36mm field of view, you might be able to find similar information about other lenses. The desire for some adjustability is part of the reason I went the DIY route (I had a mixture of full and half-frame slides to "scan"). Given the aspect ratio mismatch, your workflow will probably involve a cropping step no matter how well you frame, so erring on the side of a little margin makes sense.
 
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It might be worth considering buying an old but good 3:2 ratio body (e.g. Nikon D90) with the Nikon slide copying adapter and appropriate lens for it.

A major part of this process is recording the image file number on each slide scanned, as you will want to scan your 'killer' slides using a 'proper' scanner. To do this, you need to be able to find that slide or negative again. I cannot stress this enough.

e.g. my Konica-Minolta 5400 will give a far better scan than any camera will, for all sorts of reasons, but it's SLOW!
 

snegron

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Thanks! Last year I purchased a Nikon 55mm f2.8 AiS Micro for copying slides. That lens did not work well on my D750, so I ended up returning it.

The reason I am looking into doing this with m4/3 is because of file size, portability, lighting asvantages and overall ease of use. I did notice that the Panasonic 30mm seems to be scarce and costs around the same as that 55mm Nikon lens I returned.
 

JensM

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I have copied the set-up in the last link relic posted above, and have tried it somewhat. Ordered the Nikon ES-2 as an upgrade for the ES-1 that is described in the link and that is based on experiences I have after the trials.

The ES-2 with its frame system is hopefully quicker and less cumbersome to get the pictures lined up the sensor than the ES-1 is. I will report back when I have some hands-on with the combo. I have also ordered a small Godox Led Video light to have a proper light source and hopefully more correct WB than what I got from the tungsten lamp I used for trial purposes.

If you want avoid the rings and run a straight forward mount directly on the front of the lens, I would haphazard a guess that the Oly 30 Macro is the ways to go for a compact set-up, given that Nikon touts a 60mm as its prefered lens for the system. I`ll include a quite horrible phone pic of my set-up.

Slideduplicating.jpg
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And a couple of results, these are not great, and somewhat emphasises the need for proper dusting beforehand, something I forgot to do, just to get on with it. Originals are about 40 years old and Fujichrome, at least the portrait is it
20200729-P1001252.jpg
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20200729-P1001279.jpg
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They have gotten the autotune button in LR and the top one is also cropped to a 1X1 format.
 
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Dave Black

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Curious to know if anyone can recommend a macro lens for copying old 35mm slides with my GX85? I have a flatbed scanner, but it is excruciatingly time consuming. I was hoping to find a quicker method.

If I were using a full frame sensor, the focal length I would need would be either a 55mm or 60mm lens. Not sure which m4/3 lens would be equal in terms of focal length.

Also, my plan is to adapt a slide holder to the front of whatever macro lens I get, so most likely I'll have to get a step up ring to fit it onto the filter thread of the lens.

I'm assuming that the proportion of old 35mm frames of old slides would equal the length/width of m4/3 (smaller in scale though on m4/3).
Any of the true macro lens will be good. I use the Olympus 30 Macro because the Nikon slide duplicate slide holder can fit on the lens with just a step-up ring. Then place a LED light panel in front.
 
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The Olympus 60 is excellent for 35mm. Here is one of Larry Doby made in 1988 from a negative shot with it on a G9 in hi-res mode...

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Dave Black

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good for positives and negatives or for positives only? I have an itch for film lately
Tme older Nikon slide holder (ES1) was slide only. The new holder (ES2) is for both slides and film strips. I thought about upgrading to the newer holder but I am too thrifty.
 

ralf-11

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Thanks! Last year I purchased a Nikon 55mm f2.8 AiS Micro for copying slides. That lens did not work well on my D750, so I ended up returning it.

The reason I am looking into doing this with m4/3 is because of file size, portability, lighting asvantages and overall ease of use. I did notice that the Panasonic 30mm seems to be scarce and costs around the same as that 55mm Nikon lens I returned.
what was wrong with the Nikon setup??


and BTW, a flat-field lens is not very helpful as the slides are not flat
 
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Slides aren't flat, but even a modest f-stop like 5.6 on the Olympus 60 seems to do the trick...
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snegron

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what was wrong with the Nikon setup??


and BTW, a flat-field lens is not very helpful as the slides are not flat
The lens was not focusing well with my D750 (all my other AiS manual focus lenses worked well, but the 55 copy I got did not). I ended up returning it and buying other stuff I needed at the time.
 
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