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Has anyone used a slide copier?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by RSilva, May 7, 2012.

  1. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    This may sound silly but there used to be slide copiers to attach to a macro lens. Could this be a good and cheap replacement for a film scanner if used with a digital camera?
  2. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    You mean a contraption like this:

    I'd recommend a used slide scanner, or a flat bed with film/slide scanning capabilities. If you get it used, it would be fairly affordable. A used Epson 4490 can be had for under $70 if you look around.

    But I suppose it all depends on how well you want them copied vs cost etc. Here's a nice comparison I found of different ways to make digital copies of slides: Comparing Methods to Transfer Slides to Digital
  3. steve16823

    steve16823 Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2011
    Brookfield, IL
    I have a Nikon ES-1 that I've used with my 50mm f/2 Digital Zuiko for some quick and dirty slide scans of old family slides. At the time I was looking for speed over perfection and easily scanned 50-60 old family slides in 20 minutes. Results were acceptable to me, although I should have spent more time making sure the slides were clean.

    The ES-1 required an extension tube to achieve the proper framing with the 50mm but I understand it works well with the 35mm macro. I've sold all my 4/3 gear so at the moment I don't have a macro lens to use it with.

  4. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Don't even think about using a flatbed for scanning slides. Yes, you'll get images, but the resolution and DR will be terribly limiting.

    As for a slide scanner vs. an adapter like shown above, it's not at all clear a dedicated scanner is better. The good ones are pretty expensive, and DR is not likely to be as good as a modern digital camera. If you shoot raw and use a good raw converter (e.g., Lightroom), you'll also have much more control over the final output.

    This guy: Home - using a slide copier to do all his slide conversions, and from what I've seen the quality is excellent.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    I use a epson V700 to scan neg's and slides but the process is awfull!
    For medium format I get good results with both color neg's or positive film.

    But with 35mm film and mainly with black and white, the scanner just can't get all the detail I assume there is, out from my Contax G pics. The noise eat's up all of the detail - seems the v700 will produce more noise when the grain as a similar size/distribution has the pixel sensor matrix.

    Also, film flatness is very very difficult to deal with and wet mounting 35mm film is a joke.

    I will be using in the future only fine grain emulsions but for my old pics there's nothing to do about it.

    Any dedicated 35mm scanner recommendation?
  6. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    I would say from this image that the image retains detail but there's a lot of shadow loss. Did you try bracketing exposure?
  7. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    The original slide copiers used cheap close up lenses with your standard 50mm. My results with one were mediocre. If you have a good macro lens, you can use the slide hold part of the copier to make a rig that will work OK for well exposed slides. Not owning a macro, I used extension tubes and a 28mm or 35mm legacy lens. Poorly exposed slides or bright/dark slides don't copy.

    Dust/dirt is always a problem with any method. I've used the manual feed scanners and they are very tedious. I have a cheap Plustek, but not the better models that uses IR to detect/remove effects of dust. It still takes several minutes per slide, and is very grainy.

    Finally, I am happy with my Epson V500 flatbed for quick copies of either slides/film and it's the only thing I have for 620/120 roll film.
  8. steve16823

    steve16823 Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2011
    Brookfield, IL
    If I remember correctly, I did bracket the exposure and chose the best rendition. And I was shooting JPEG on an E-330. The source material was not very high quality, but I no longer have the originals, so I can't really comment on how much dynamic range was lost. I need to get a new macro lens so I can try it with some of my own slides.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    The reason why I was thinking about a slide copier is because I own two macro lenses, the 4/50 smc macro Takumar and the 4/100 macro Takumar being the 4/50 out of this world sharp.

    Here two scanned images with Epson V700 (2800dpi 48bit color) from Contax G + Zeiss 2.8/28mm and agfa APX 100:
    Agfa_APX100_020. Agfa_APX100_031.

    And the Olympus E-p1 + Olympus 1.8/45mm combo:
    E-P1    OLYMPUS M.45mm F1.8    45mm    f/2.8    1/640s    ISO 200

    What do you think?
  10. trondkj

    trondkj Mu-43 Rookie

    May 8, 2012
    I have an old slide copier that fits on the 12-50mm, and I can focus close enough to almost fill the image sensor. With better results than I got with the EOS 5DII and dedicated macro lenses. Pretty good for a kit lens, I believe :) 
  11. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    • Like Like x 1
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