Scanning with a digital camera
Old 05-06-2017   #1
Huss
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Scanning with a digital camera

I'm getting much better results using my DSLR (D750) than I have from anything bar a drum scan. These would be even better with a higher rez digi cam like a A7Rii, D810 etc.
For 120 film I use the D750 + Micro Nikkor 60 2.8 D, + light pad + copy stand + an old enlarger film holder to hold the film flat.

Here is an example using the most unforgiving lighting for this - a heavily back lit shot in the middle of the day. Shot using a Rolleiflex 3.5 MX-EVS and Fuji 160NPS expired in July 2000.




And 1:1 crop showing the detail and the grain. Yes, the AF system of the camera in Live View is able to focus on the grain.



It takes me about 10 minutes to create a profile in LR for the film type - which of course I then save so I can reuse it and not have to deal with this part again. The big thing in creating the profile is to take a photo of the clear film strip, and use the dropper tool in LR to get the white balance. Once I have the profile, it takes about 20 seconds to get a full rez scan of each image. The AF works perfectly and takes the worry out of not nailing the focus. A lot of dedicated scanners are known to have focus issues.
And that's it. No messing with buggy scanning software. No dealing with a temperamental machine. And the 'scanner' also has use as a camera!
You really can use any digital camera for this, the important part is having a lens (or extension tubes) that allow you 1:1 macro focus.

It is just as good with 35mm film. Same outfit, but instead of the light pad, and copy stand I use the Nikon ES-1 slide copying adapter, a slide mount and a slave flash which I point at the camera. You don't need a slave flash, just a bright light source (sky or direct flash against a white wall would do)
This shot was taken with Portra 400:



This one with Arista 400:



Black and white film is even easier to deal with as there is no balancing colour tones. Just invert the image and adjust a few sliders for tone. Do this once, save as a profile, then you don't have to do it again for that film.
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Old 05-06-2017   #2
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I do this as well, with an EM5-II and the high res mode. The only difference is I use MakeTiff and ColorPerfect (even for black and white). It makes the color correction part extremely easy. I love the results I get - cleaner than the Pakon, faster than the Plustek.

First two are M2 and either HP5 or EK5222, second two are Rolleiflex 2.8f and Portra 400.

P3010050-Edit.jpg by jkjod, on Flickr

P3150044-Edit.jpg by jkjod, on Flickr

P9080004-Edit-Edit.jpg by jkjod, on Flickr

P9080003-Edit.jpg by jkjod, on Flickr
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Old 05-06-2017   #3
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While I continue to use a film scanner for 35mm most of the time, I've switched over to using the Leica SL in the same way as you do with the Nikon for medium format.

However, for the Leica (M-bayonet), there's the excellent Leica BEOON table top macro stand which has settings for 1:1, 1:1.5, 1:2, and 1:3 reproduction ratio which makes setting up to copy 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7, and 6x9 very very easy and repeatable. I've created a small card-stock jig that makes capturing and holding the film in the correct position extremely easy. I use the SL body with it, using the same M Adapter T that I use to mount M lenses (or R lenses with the R Adapter M stacked onto it).

A 6x6 neg becomes about a 16 MPixel image. I found it easiest to create a customized Lightroom camera calibration profile to do the B&W or Color inversion, the latter with automated crossover mask removal. Read in the raw files, apply the profile, do minor tweaking, and export with automatic import to 16-bit TIFF for final rendering finish.

This is a quickie capture from a Rolleiflex roll (just shooting off a couple of waste exposures before sending that camera off to be serviced last Fall) with very little other than the basic inversion and a little curve tweaking in TIFF format.


Not a particualarly great neg ... I'd forgotten all about the roll and found it thrashing about in the bottom of a drawer full of junk. But I had fun with it anyway. :-)

G
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Old 05-06-2017   #4
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I used a digital camera for a few years that was mounted on a plastic base with a Pentax slide copier(35mm) and home made 120 negative holder. The most important part for success is what you said: use a macro lens.
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Old 05-06-2017   #5
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I plan to do this too in the near future. As much as I love my local lab, paying $16 for processing + CD gets expensive after awhile. I am gathering up what I need to do some Stand Developing and I'll make my "scans" with my D750 (I've copied slides this way for years).
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Old 05-06-2017   #6
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I have been looking for a BEOON for a long wile now - can't seem to find them affordably.

The other thing I have found that makes scanning in this manner much more enjoyable is a "negatrans" enlarger carrier. It has a knob on it that lets me go from frame to frame with out removing the film strip. I'm thinking of getting one for 120 also because its been working so well with 35mm.

And I agree, a Macro lens is essential - I use an old Micro Nikkor 55/2.8. The other thing that is very important is to use some sort of light box. I used to use an iPad or my iPhone as the light source, and you can actually see the pixels through the negatives.
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Looking for a little help with camera scanning
Old 05-06-2017   #7
Tim Murphy
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Looking for a little help with camera scanning

Dear Board,

I have an interest in doing digital camera scans but I honestly do not know where to begin to look for a simple guide to the process?

If anyone has a link to a guide that shows what is involved in setting something up from start to finish I'd appreciate it of you could post it here.

Thank you,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 05-06-2017   #8
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I found it difficult to focus the negative accurately, and now use a dedicated scanner.
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Old 05-06-2017   #9
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It would be helpful to see examples of a camera scanned image together with the same image scanned with a dedicated film scanner image done by those familiar with both ways of scanning.
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Old 05-06-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I found it difficult to focus the negative accurately, and now use a dedicated scanner.
Using the auto focus in Live View with my D750 did it instantly. And perfectly. Should be the same for other digi cams w/ af.
Funny thing is I was doing the focus manually to start off with, with this same set up. I had forgotten all about the AF in Live View mode, as my normal usage with the camera is taking shots through the optical viewfinder in regular AF mode. Regular AF does not work at all for taking shots of the film. At least it does not w my camera.
I find using Live View Af focus more accurate than my mf attempts.
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Old 05-06-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
Dear Board,

I have an interest in doing digital camera scans but I honestly do not know where to begin to look for a simple guide to the process?

If anyone has a link to a guide that shows what is involved in setting something up from start to finish I'd appreciate it of you could post it here.

Thank you,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
This link got me started:

http://jamiemphoto.com/blog/2013/12/...t-film-scanner
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Old 05-06-2017   #12
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Quote:
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I find using Live View Af focus more accurate than my mf attempts.
Don't you need a dedicated macro lens capable of 1:1 to take advantage of AF?
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Old 05-06-2017   #13
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Don't you need a dedicated macro lens capable of 1:1 to take advantage of AF?
I use the Micro Nikkor 60mm 2.8 D lens. That is an af lens that can do 1:1.
Works perfectly.
Just make sure to do the AF in Live View mode.
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Old 05-06-2017   #14
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Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
I plan to do this too in the near future. As much as I love my local lab, paying $16 for processing + CD gets expensive after awhile. I am gathering up what I need to do some Stand Developing and I'll make my "scans" with my D750 (I've copied slides this way for years).
That's one of the things that got me to do this. I was paying $20 for dev and high rez scans per roll. Plus shipping both ways. Plus the 2 week wait.

I already had the camera, already had the lens and initially was skeptical. But when I saw my results were better than what I was paying big bux for, that clinched it. As well as the immense satisfaction of doing it myself.

What if you don't have a digi cam? Easy answer is get one! I would never waste money on buying a scanner now, the camera functions as a better scanner and a much better camera! And oh so much quicker.

I saw that the Pacific Images 120 scanner is $1600, discounted to $1300 at some places. My D750 was $1100 (used). The lens was $250 used.
I'd get the same results with a D610 which are about $800 used. Or pretty much any other digi cam with a 1:1 lens.
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Old 05-06-2017   #15
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I use the Micro Nikkor 60mm 2.8 D lens. That is an af lens that can do 1:1.
Works perfectly.
Just make sure to do the AF in Live View mode.
The Micro Nikkor 60mm 2.8 D lens ($516.50) costs more than my dedicated film scanner (PacificImage PrimeScan XE $329), so unless you happen to already have the lens, it doesn't seem like a very viable alternative.
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Old 05-06-2017   #16
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The other thing that is very important is to use some sort of light box. I used to use an iPad or my iPhone as the light source, and you can actually see the pixels through the negatives.
Yup I first tried an ipad and it was awful. Pixel city. I use one of these, which is also great to view your negs/slides too.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Slim_Edge.html
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Old 05-06-2017   #17
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The Micro Nikkor 60mm 2.8 D lens costs more than my dedicated film scanner, so unless you happen to already have the lens, it doesn't seem like a very viable alternative.

I paid $250 for mine, used. And you can use it as a regular lens too. It is quite spectacular.
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Old 05-06-2017   #18
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Yup I first tried an ipad and it was awful. Pixel city. I use one of these, which is also great to view your negs/slides too.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Slim_Edge.html
So even if you buy the lens used for $250, add another $85 to the cost, and its still more expensive than a dedicated film scanner. Well, at least there are options.
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Old 05-06-2017   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
Dear Board,

I have an interest in doing digital camera scans but I honestly do not know where to begin to look for a simple guide to the process?

If anyone has a link to a guide that shows what is involved in setting something up from start to finish I'd appreciate it of you could post it here.

Thank you,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
Here is what I did. It worked great.

Untitled by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 05-06-2017   #20
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
So even if you buy the lens used for $250, add another $85 to the cost, and its still more expensive than a dedicated film scanner. Well, at least there are options.
Yes. But for the extra money I get perfect scans in literally seconds.
Your scanner will take minutes at the 'high rez' mode (someone had written over 10 minutes for one scan), and then you have to deal with possible banding and all the rest of the complaints other users have posted on that model.
I've read reviews of your scanner, and frankly it's what turned me off these consumer scanners.
Cheap means nothing to me if the quality is lacking. Unfortunately with these consumer scanners expensive means nothing too.
With the DSLR you get fantastic quality in seconds with normal file sizes.
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Old 05-06-2017   #21
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I use an Epson V700 for B&W negs but I use a Nikon D90 with the 85mm macro, a tripod, and little light table to do slides. Set the slide on the light table, tilt the ball head over the slide, compose, and shoot.

This slide was from 1981, taken in northern Arizona with my old OM-1.

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Old 05-06-2017   #22
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I use a BEOON and Sony A7. The BEOON cost a little more than $200. I use an EL-Nikkor 50/2.8 that cost about $50. My light source is a light pad that cost about $40. I don't count the camera as an expense because it's something I already had for taking pictures. The A7's zoom focus assist for manual focus lenses makes focussing super easy. The whole scanning/inverting process is very quick, especially for b&w. And most of all, the results leave nothing to be desired. I would never consider switching to a dedicated scanner.
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Old 05-06-2017   #23
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I've read reviews of your scanner, and frankly it's what turned me off these consumer scanners.
I am happy with the performance. It obviously doesn't meet it's claimed resolution, but does achieve 4100, which is a nose ahead of the industry standard Nikon Coolscan 5000ED. Most importantly, it resolves the grain, unlike flat-bed scanners like the V850. Sure, it takes 3 minutes a scan, but I only scan a few frames per roll so it is not really an issue. If money were no object, I might go your route, but I don't think I have given up quality opting for a lower cost solution. Generally, I am wet printing.
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Could go into more depth on this?
Old 05-06-2017   #24
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Could go into more depth on this?

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Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Here is what I did. It worked great.

Untitled by John Carter, on Flickr
Dear John,

That certainly looks like something I could rig up using wood instead of the acrylic. However, I'll admit that I not entirely familiar with everything you show in the picture? It looks like you have a bellows and rail and slide copying attachment but I'm not sure?

If it's not too much trouble a description from the camera to the light source would help me, and probably others like me, who are less intuitive.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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I viewed the link and still need help
Old 05-06-2017   #25
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I viewed the link and still need help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Dear Huss,

I understand the idea behind this but like I said to John above a picture of your set up and a description of the items used would be a big help.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 05-06-2017   #26
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Dear Huss,

I understand the idea behind this but like I said to John above a picture of your set up and a description of the items used would be a big help.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
I'll do that when I get home from the gallery tonight Tim. It's actually much simpler than John's! His look very professional compared to mine.
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Old 05-06-2017   #27
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If money were no object, I might go your route, but I don't think I have given up quality opting for a lower cost solution. Generally, I am wet printing.
I get that. What spurred me to do this is that, like many, I already had the gear as it is part of my regular photo gear. I just enlisted it for scanning, which is perfect as I shoot film far more than digital.
I was almost going to sell the lens as I wasn't using it. Glad I procrastinated on that.
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Old 05-06-2017   #28
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Yes. But for the extra money I get perfect scans in literally seconds.
Your scanner will take minutes at the 'high rez' mode (someone had written over 10 minutes for one scan), and then you have to deal with possible banding and all the rest of the complaints other users have posted on that model.
I've read reviews of your scanner, and frankly it's what turned me off these consumer scanners.
Cheap means nothing to me if the quality is lacking. Unfortunately with these consumer scanners expensive means nothing too.
With the DSLR you get fantastic quality in seconds with normal file sizes.
I wouldn't use junky scanners. I use a Nikon Coolscan V ED (or Super Coolscan 9000 ED, but that's going up for sale now). Junky scanners give junky results. Pro-grade scanners cost a bunch now and there are only a couple still being made.

G
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Old 05-06-2017   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
Dear John,

That certainly looks like something I could rig up using wood instead of the acrylic. However, I'll admit that I not entirely familiar with everything you show in the picture? It looks like you have a bellows and rail and slide copying attachment but I'm not sure?

If it's not too much trouble a description from the camera to the light source would help me, and probably others like me, who are less intuitive.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
Sure, from the camera: adapter from Pentax K mount to M-42 screw mount, then a Pentax 50mm Macro lens (screw mount), then a Pentax slide copier. In the slide copier you can put negatives strips or slides. Or you can make a 120 holder with you also see in the photo..

Now (today) you can use a remote to fire the camera and Wi-Fi or blue tooth or what ever straight to your computer for editing.
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Old 05-06-2017   #30
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I use a BEOON too. With a Fuji X-E2 and 50/2.8 Componon S. It took me less than 10 minutes to "scan" a 36-exposure roll of HP5 this morning. And another 15 minutes to batch convert the files to DGN with Iridient X-Transformer, batch invert and adjust levels with Affinity Photo and make a "contact" print with MakePDF.
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Old 05-06-2017   #31
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For 35mm film/slides I've started using a Sony A7r2 with a Nikon bellows and a LED light array. It gives me about the same dpi output as a Nikon Coolscan 4000 - just significantly faster. Plus the Sony has greater headroom for shadow areas.
Originally I was using a Leica 60/2.8 lens but recently switched to an OM 80/4 auto macro. Looks like it gives better IQ than the Leica and curiously less degradation of the corners but I need to investigate more as it doesn;t make sense to me.
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Thank you!
Old 05-06-2017   #32
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Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Sure, from the camera: adapter from Pentax K mount to M-42 screw mount, then a Pentax 50mm Macro lens (screw mount), then a Pentax slide copier. In the slide copier you can put negatives strips or slides. Or you can make a 120 holder with you also see in the photo..

Now (today) you can use a remote to fire the camera and Wi-Fi or blue tooth or what ever straight to your computer for editing.
Dear John,

So I need a Nikon macro lens and a slide copier since I'll be scanning with a D300.

I can figure out the rest by trial and error. What is WI-FI though? ;-)

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 05-06-2017   #33
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I use a BEOON with an APS-C Sony NEX-5T, and use a Nikkor 50mm f/2.8 enlarging lens as the taking lens. Here are a few links with example photos of similar setups that got me started:
http://lamlux.net/2016/02/23/digitiz...igital-camera/
https://blog.redcentphotography.com/...e-leica-beoon/
https://sculptingwithlight.blogspot....ica-beoon.html

I use this light pad from Amazon for my BEOON setup. It's inexpensive, very slim, with a large well lit surface. I can plug it into any USB power bank:
https://www.amazon.com/Huion-L4S-Por.../dp/B00J3NRAV2
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Old 05-06-2017   #34
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Quote:
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Dear John,

So I need a Nikon macro lens and a slide copier since I'll be scanning with a D300.

I can figure out the rest by trial and error. What is WI-FI though? ;-)

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
Nikon probably made a slide copier way back, so you can pick one up cheap (I hope). Be sure the macro lens you pick will fit the slide copier. Pentax was great with back forwards use, but Nikon might not be; so check. I don't really understand Wi-Fi but you can send files from your digital camera (a new one) to your computer. It saves running around the house and loading them into your computer. That is why I stopped using my copier. If I get a new digital camera I'll learn how to stream to my computer.
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Old 05-06-2017   #35
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Dear Huss,

I understand the idea behind this but like I said to John above a picture of your set up and a description of the items used would be a big help.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
Here you go Tim:

Camera, lens, a step down adapter 62-52mm (the lens' filter thread is 62mm, the Es-1 is 52mm), the Nikon ES-1 slide copier, and a film holder:



And here is it all together. Very simple:



You point this set up at a light source and take a pic. I use a flash as I want to use minimum ISO 100 and f8 for maximum quality. You can either have the flash on camera and take a shot of a white wall. The light reflecting back will be sufficient. Or you can have a slave flash with diffuser pointed at the camera.
This outfit is handheld, no need for any type of rails, supports etc.

You can get the slide holder from here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/35-mm-film-h...vip=true&rt=nc
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Old 05-07-2017   #36
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The most important part for success is what you said: use a macro lens.[/quote]

Is it good too use non-macro lens with macro tubes?
I tried to do scanning with Fuji X-E1 and found the results lacked dynamic range and less sharp compared to Lab scan. Wondering where I did things wrong..
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Old 05-07-2017   #37
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Quote:
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Here you go Tim:

Camera, lens, a step down adapter 62-52mm (the lens' filter thread is 62mm, the Es-1 is 52mm), the Nikon ES-1 slide copier, and a film holder:



Lots of people place the camera on a tripod and place the slide or negative on the light box or light table... But that allows for the possibility of the camera not being perfectly straight on with the film, thus one side or corner could be soft. Your method looks like its foolproof!
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Old 05-07-2017   #38
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The most important part for success is what you said: use a macro lens.
Quote:
Is it good too use non-macro lens with macro tubes?
I tried to do scanning with Fuji X-E1 and found the results lacked dynamic range and less sharp compared to Lab scan. Wondering where I did things wrong..
All that matters is that you get a 1:1 ratio. You have to shoot in raw format so the camera does not make any processing changes to the image. That will effect DR as it has already processed the file. Lack of sharpness could be a focus issue. When I was focusing manually it took me a while to get the image just right. It actually got to be a bit frustrating but still do-able as long as you get the grain sharp so use near to max magnification.
When I realized that I could use AF, it became a snap.
Also.. make sure you are shooting at base ISO for max quality, and stop down the lens to at least f8 for the same reason. If your light source is not bright enough then you will need to use a flash, which actually is extremely easy. Just mount flash on camera and shoot at a white wall that is a few feet away.
Or use a slave flash firing directly at the camera.
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Old 05-07-2017   #39
Huss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
Lots of people place the camera on a tripod and place the slide or negative on the light box or light table... But that allows for the possibility of the camera not being perfectly straight on with the film, thus one side or corner could be soft. Your method looks like its foolproof!
The get up with the slide copier only works with 35mm film. But as you can see, it is a breeze to use. Using a copy stand instead of a tripod makes things super easy when using a light pad and 120 film. As that is what it is designed for! When I first tried this with a tripod I could never get it as sharp as a lab scan. I'm thinking it must have been alignment issues.

I use this copy stand for 120 film:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/120907732706...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Old 05-07-2017   #40
Doug A
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I scan 35mm b&w negatives with an X-E2 in a Leitz BEOON copy stand. The BEOON only works with LTM or M mount lenses so I couldn't try it with a Fuji macro lens. I used it with a 50/2.8 Elmar on the BEOON extension tubes at first and my results were better than my V700 scans and at least as good as my Plustek 7100 scans. When I replaced the Elmar with my old Componon enlarging lens the results were noticeably better than the Plustek.

Unless you can get RAW scans from the lab the files will likely be heavily sharpened. You can do that with your own scans too, but a more gentle approach to sharpening will pay dividends.

I'm not sure what you mean about dynamic range. I have yet to scan a 35mm b&w negative with the X-E2 and not had the entire dynamic range of the negative captured by the scan. Before processing, many of them look very flat but I correct the black and white points in post processing and the image on the screen, and more importantly the print, show the entire dynamic range in the negative.
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