Oly 12-50ez slide copying - manual focus in macro mode?

S28546

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I am finally moving towards copying old slides and film with my E-P5. I've just bought a used Oly 12-50ez lens and a new Nikon ES-2 film digitizing adaptor. This is the first time I am using either, and seem to be stumbling a bit in execution. I'm not sure how to tell if it is my inexperience or if it may be an equipment issue, and would appreciate any feedback from someone who may have used the same equipment.

The ES-2 adaptor has a 52mm mount size, and attaches easily to the 12-50 without a step up or down ring. I've got the lens in macro mode and S-AF + MF focus mode. All that I have read suggests that this should be all that is needed. However, all of my attempts result in very out of focus images. I can not tell that using the manual focus ring does anything. I can rotate the ring 5 full rotations in both directions and nothing seems to change as far as image focus. I've tried adjusting the length of the ES-2 by sliding it as close and as far as possible from the lens on the mounting sleeve.

I've tried the lens in macro mode without the ES-2 and it seems to be working appropriately, as I can see changes in image focus as well as focus peaking when using the manual focus ring. WIth the ES-2 on the lens, I do not see any suggestion that focus peaking is working. I'm wondering if maybe I need an extension tube for more distance between the lens and the ES-2?

The other variable may be the light source. With the ES-2, I'm testing with a light source I have (iPad displaying a white screen on full brightness). Maybe that isn't bright enough to create enough contrast?

Can anyone offer any tips or ideas of what to try? Or confirm that what I have "should" work?

Thanks

Jeff
 

exakta

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Maximum magnification of the 12-50 is 0.36x, that's not high enough for 35mm copying without cropping in post.

This thread discusses the working distance for the 12-50. Actual focus range in the macro mode is only 0.2m to 0.5m. I measured the distance from the front of the lens to the subject at max magnification as roughly 3". My guess is the film loaded into the ES-2 is closer than that.

Check the distance from the focal plane marking on your camera.
 
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exakta

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Here's a crappy handheld shot of a test strip at the closest I could focus with my 12-50.

EDIT: As expected the EXIF shows focus 0.21m.

_A050003.JPG
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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S28546

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Thanks for the reply. Without any extensions, the slide plane is only about 0.155m from the sensor. This definitely won't work as I hoped.

On to plan "B".
 

PakkyT

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I will also add that I believe you do not want to be using S-AF+MF since each time you press the shutter button it will refocus and then you need to be holding the half press in order to continue with MF. Is that what you intended? It seems to me you would want full MF and would only need to set the focus distance once for whatever fixed distance any slide holder will be presenting the slide to the camera. Unless I have misunderstood what you are doing.
 

RAH

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It seems to me you would want full MF and would only need to set the focus distance once for whatever fixed distance any slide holder will be presenting the slide to the camera. Unless I have misunderstood what you are doing.
Yes, I agree. It is much safer to establish your focus point at the start of the session (I'd usually use AF and make sure it focuses OK). Then switch to MF. It can easily happen if you leave it on AF that a particular slide will not have anything good to focus on at the focus point you have set, and you'll get a bad result on that slide.
 

S28546

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Sounds like all my next plans should include MF only. Thanks for that tip.

My final plan looks like it may be an OLY 30 3.5, but I'll probably spend some time waiting for that lens by playing with my MCON-PO2 on either my 45mm 1.8 or my 14-42ez, and start to figure out a workflow and if I really have any slides worth serious digitization effort.

I have hundreds of slides and negatives of building and trips I took long ago, but I find that if the image doesn't have family or friends in it, I'm very unlikely to want to keep it.
 

golftango

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The Oly 30 3.5 works great for copying slides. I experimented with one on an EM-10, and the results were very satisfactory. You might want to look at the 7artisans 60mm macro. I researched it for slide copying, and found it to have good reviews, too. And, it is 2/3 the price of the Oly, new. Good luck!
 
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