Digitizing Slides with my E-M5

MAubrey

Photographer
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Bellingham, WA
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Mike Aubrey
I'm working on a family project digitizing my grandfather's 50 years of 35mm slides from his travels across Central and South America. I've just finished the first set of 75 from a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico in 1980. I've got about 1000 slides to get. Using an E-M5 and a Olympus 35mm f/3.5 macro isn't the fastest way to do things, I'm sure. Nevertheless, it is extremely satisfying for me, particularly because of the personal nature of the project.

I know at one point he was shooting with an OM system, but he's also shot with Nikon and Minolta systems, too. I have no way of knowing what was used for any given trip.

Anyway, I've uploaded some of my favorites from this trip to Flickr. Here are some of the highlights:

<iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50635732@N02/13959559891/in/set-72157644193207711/player/" width="1024" height="683" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50635732@N02/13959848262/in/set-72157644193207711/player/" width="1024" height="683" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50635732@N02/13963418854/in/set-72157644193207711/player/" width="1024" height="683" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50635732@N02/13959701412/in/set-72157644193207711/player/" width="1024" height="683" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50635732@N02/13939699436/in/set-72157644193207711/player/" width="1024" height="683" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50635732@N02/13983219753/in/set-72157644193207711/player/" width="1024" height="683" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen></iframe>

Some slides were just about perfect (the first one didn't really need any editing at all), while others required extreme localized adjustments (the last one above was particularly difficult).

You can see the entire set here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/50635732@N02/sets/72157644193207711/
 

jpig

Mu-43 Regular
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Oct 21, 2011
Messages
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Nice photos, but one of them is of Mexico City, not Oaxaca. It's the one with the car in the foreground moving from left to right. The shot is of the Zocalo (main plaza) in Mexico City, taken from in front of the presidential palace looking west (I think) toward the Torre Latinoamericana, the skyscraper visible in the background. Great project. Having spent some time in the same areas in the 1980s, I'd love to see more of these photos, especially any from Central America.
 

MarkoPolo

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Mark Brown
I second peter124's question. I have a hard time finding a slide duplicater that would fit m4/3rds. Thanks
 

MAubrey

Photographer
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Messages
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Location
Bellingham, WA
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Mike Aubrey
Nice photos, but one of them is of Mexico City, not Oaxaca. It's the one with the car in the foreground moving from left to right. The shot is of the Zocalo (main plaza) in Mexico City, taken from in front of the presidential palace looking west (I think) toward the Torre Latinoamericana, the skyscraper visible in the background.
Yep, that's right. They're all from the same trip though.

Great project. Having spent some time in the same areas in the 1980s, I'd love to see more of these photos, especially any from Central America.
Well, I certainly have more to do. Most of the slides are still at my grandfather's place. I was only able to bring back maybe 300 hundred or so in my luggage the last time I visited. I do have an entire tray from Argentina waiting in the wings, though I need to get to some of the more personal family photos first...

I'd be interested to hear exactly how you are doing this. Slide holder, light source, etc. Thanks!
Right, so I'm using an E-M5 & 35mm f/3.5. I choose the 35mm rather than the native 60mm because of the closer focusing distance. In other situations its a liability, but here it makes things easier.

My set up:

- 72mm telephoto screw in lens hood (www.amazon.com/Desmond-Metal-72mm-Shade-Telephoto/dp/B00AOXA5EE/)
- A 67mm to 72mm step up ring this lets me simply set the camera and lens propped up on the hood.
- A Gepe Slim Light 5000 (e.g. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2054436.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xgepe+slim+lite+5000&_nkw=gepe+slim+lite+5000)

The hood with the step up ring sits on the slide illuminator and the camera sits on the hood. With this hood, the I get just under 1:2 magnification, which gives me some flexibility for straightening the frame in post. After cropping the edge out, I get about 11MP, which is perfectly fine for our needs. And the illumination is nice and even with the Gepe.

Here's what I mean about how so photos require more work than others. The left is the original image (through cropped) and the right is the final one after my adjustments:

Not much required here. I really just pulled back the highlights to get some texture in the building and clouds.
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


A lot of localized adjustments here with the brush in LR. I honestly have no idea how accurate the colors are, but at the very least, its an improvement and more or less believable.
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