Scanner, Macro, or kit lens for digitizing film?
Old 01-07-2017   #1
otium
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Scanner, Macro, or kit lens for digitizing film?

Hoping for some advice. I've read numerous threads about benefits of various methods of digitizing slides and, frankly, I'm stumped. I'm not a pro or even a heavy user, but I like my old IIIf and developing my own bw film but I want it stored electronically. After reading all the options on the forums, and not wanting to break the bank, I've narrowed it down and would appreciate wiser and more experienced advice:

1. Plustek 8100 since it's almost all bw film I'd be scanning and just over $200. Many seem to like it on the forum, though it isn't that well rated on B&H. I'd be more tempted by the 8200 but the batch processing apparently doesn't work consistently.
2. Use my Canon DSLR as a scanner with a macro lens which I would have to buy (but I don't use it very often favoring smaller cameras so it wouldn't get much use beyond scanning). Used $200-300 for decent lens.
3. Use DSLR with extension tubes with Canon kit lens. Cheapest option, though I've never tried it myself nor am I familiar with how it compares to a true macro lens.
4. Flatbed V600, $200. Not willing to spend more. Some people love them, but I see many comments that 35mm loses a lot on a flatbed scanner.

I would love to find a Pakon for a song or some older Nikon unit, but those are only going up in price and I don't trust older electronics. With some fiddling I think the DLSR option has the advantage of being faster than a scanner once it get a system down, but I have done that yet either.

Anyhow, I'd appreciate advice, tips or tricks from those who have been in this conundrum before me.
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Old 01-07-2017   #2
Fixcinater
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You could pick up a cheap 55/1.8 Takumar for $20-30 plus an M42 to EOS adapter for $6 plus a used third party extension tube set for $5 and be good to go. The 55/1.8 Tak is preferred for extension tube use over the 50/1.4 and would be a very good short tele without the tubes if you have a crop sensor EOS body. Basically any 50-55-58mm prime will beat the kit lens handily for true macro or near true macro ranges, even old ones like a Takumar. An early Micro-Nikkor like the 55/3.5 would also be cheap and usable with a Nikon AI:EOS adapter.

If you are just using 35mm, DSLR scanning (with some practice and possibly stitching multiple exposures) will beat the flatbeds. If you were trying to do medium format then it would be more of a contest.

You'll have to find:
-Something to illuminate the negatives consistently across the frame
-Stand for the EOS camera
-Block out all other light
-Keep the film flat and parallel to the camera sensor
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Old 01-08-2017   #3
WJJ3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otium View Post
Hoping for some advice. I've read numerous threads about benefits of various methods of digitizing slides and, frankly, I'm stumped. I'm not a pro or even a heavy user, but I like my old IIIf and developing my own bw film but I want it stored electronically. After reading all the options on the forums, and not wanting to break the bank, I've narrowed it down and would appreciate wiser and more experienced advice:

1. Plustek 8100 since it's almost all bw film I'd be scanning and just over $200. Many seem to like it on the forum, though it isn't that well rated on B&H. I'd be more tempted by the 8200 but the batch processing apparently doesn't work consistently.
2. Use my Canon DSLR as a scanner with a macro lens which I would have to buy (but I don't use it very often favoring smaller cameras so it wouldn't get much use beyond scanning). Used $200-300 for decent lens.
3. Use DSLR with extension tubes with Canon kit lens. Cheapest option, though I've never tried it myself nor am I familiar with how it compares to a true macro lens.
4. Flatbed V600, $200. Not willing to spend more. Some people love them, but I see many comments that 35mm loses a lot on a flatbed scanner.

I would love to find a Pakon for a song or some older Nikon unit, but those are only going up in price and I don't trust older electronics. With some fiddling I think the DLSR option has the advantage of being faster than a scanner once it get a system down, but I have done that yet either.

Anyhow, I'd appreciate advice, tips or tricks from those who have been in this conundrum before me.
#2. The 2.5/50mm macro works great for this purpose. I use that lens on a 40D to scan my film. I can use autofocus in live view and the whole process is relatively painless.
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Old 01-08-2017   #4
otium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJJ3 View Post
#2. The 2.5/50mm macro works great for this purpose. I use that lens on a 40D to scan my film. I can use autofocus in live view and the whole process is relatively painless.
Is the 1:2 ratio enough for 35mm slides with the APS-C sensor alone or would I need extension tubes? I like the idea of keeping the autofocus if possible. A bellows with a used 55mm lens isn't a bad option either. For backlighting I was just going to get a LCD lightpad and call it good. Overall though, I'm trying to keep the equipment footprint small.
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Old 01-08-2017   #5
Ko.Fe.
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I never used DSLRs for it. Even with 100L. Scanner is much more easy.
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