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Bill Kuta

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Posts posted by Bill Kuta

  1. B&H has the a6000 body only now for $448. I have the a6000 and a6300. I don't see that any of the subsequent models were that big of an improvement, unless you wanted the in-body stabilization of the a6500. Heck, I'm still using my NEX-6 with kit 16-50mm--my recent non-archive shots were all taken with it. Just too handy a size.

  2. I've been wondering why Sigma stopped making the aps-c 60mm ART lens, which has been one of the sharpest e-mount lenses on photozone. I have it and it is very sharp, currently doing service digitizing old 6cm slides. It wouldn't necessarily have competed with the new 56mm--the 60mm cost less but was f2.8, neither is stabilized.

  3. For 35mm slides, I've been wiping with a lens cloth, then with a lens brush, then a blower. Shooting with an APS-C Canon SL1, extension tube, 50mm macro, spacer ring, and ES-1, shooting into a florescent studio light.


    For 120-size (6x6 cm) slides, I'm shooting with an APS-C Sony a3000 (great use for this odd model), extension tube, Sigma 60mm ART lens, and lightbox on a little copy stand. If the slide (all family shots from the 40's - 60's) is in a glass and metal mount, I remove it from the mount, wipe it with a PEC pad and 99% isopropyl, put it on the lightbox and cover (flatten) it with a piece of glass. Then I put it back in the mount. If it's in glass taped together with black tape, I don't disassemble that but wipe the glass and put it on the lightbox. 


    Both setups allow me to do a zoom focus using the lcd.


    I'll be doing test shots for both scenarios regarding apertures. The setup for the 120 slides assures flatness.

  4. I've shot about 3-400 slides, and am generally pleased with the results, but today I'm wondering what is the optimal aperture and why. A search of the forum topic we're in shows recommendations of 6.3 to 11. Googling on the internet doesn't show many specific recommendations, mostly f8 or 11.


    But one link was from someone shooting at f4.5 (full-frame) who claims that it makes the dust/scratches very out of focus. I'm skeptical of this. But I'm going to try some test shots with a variety of apertures.


    I realize the optimal aperture depends on whether you're shooting full-frame or APS-C. (I'm APS-C, and mostly shooting old family shots, but also some Alamy archival.)


    Edit:  I guess I'm mostly questioning why we need a lot of depth of field. Slides are flat. Maybe we want the shallowest depth of field that still has edge-to-edge sharpness.

  5. Ed, what I've been carrying for 2-3 years now is a bag with a6000/10-18mm, and a6300/18-105mm.


    The 18-105mm is a G lens, f4, with internal focus and zoom. Been working fine for Alamy purposes. It's $650 at most places; I see Walmart, of all places, has a few for $570.


    Downsides of the 18-105 are: it's zoom-by-wire, which doesn't bother me; and if it's idle for a few minutes, it reverts to widest-angle, which I find annoying.

  6. Thanks all, so far!   I might be trying a couple of free trials. Photoshelter is appealing--I know a lot of you use it, I'd have relative confidence in its long-term viability, and it looks like it includes a domain name. The Basic 4Gb should be ample for jpegs, for a family archive.  I used to have my own web site but let it lapse because I wasn't using it.

  7. As I've mentioned in another thread, I'm using some pandemic time to root through old slides/negatives/prints, and digitize selected images. I started off on a particular topic, but have expanded scope to try to digitize selected images from all pre-digital years. Our digital family collection starts in 2000; the old slides start about 1940, with prints going back to around 1900. I expect it will amount to a couple thousand images or perhaps a lot more. I'm curating with inclusion in mind.


    I'm shooting the 35mm slides and negatives and 6cm slides with DSLRs, and will be scanning prints with flatbeds, and am happy with those techniques and results. I'm not looking for advice on this aspect. I'm post-processing with Lightroom, and am pretty satisfied with restoring colors, removing color casts, etc.


    I'll be posting the results to some hosting site for family use, and will want search capabilities, so am trying to build in any metadata/keywords that will be needed. So far, I've put best-determined year-month in the keywords, added rudimentary captions, and changed the metadata capture dates.  I've decided to add to the keywords:  names of people in the image;  year;  location;  event;  maybe image source (family collection, medium). I want to avoid continually coming up with more types of keywords and repeatedly backfilling what I've already done, so any advice on keywords/metadata will be much appreciated. 


    For a hosting site, some suggestions have been Smugmug, Adobe Portfolio, and Google Photos. I'm looking for security, good search capabilities that will use my metadata/keywords, ease of adding more images, low cost, and a record of site permanence. Any discussion and suggestions are welcome.


    I also welcome discussion of everything I have not thought of for this project.



    Bill Kuta

  8. I don't know if it's been noted here yet, but clearly we are not the only people doing this during the pandemic. Equipment and supplies like the ES-1&2 are back-ordered and have been for some time (thankfully, since shortly after I received my ES-1). Some lightboxes in short supply too.


    I ordered the ES-2 as well, for the ease in digitizing negative filmstrips, but recently cancelled the back-ordered order when I figured I could just temporarily put a filmstrip in a fold-over cardboard slide mount and use the ES-1. I haven't tried this yet, as I haven't yet received said slide mounts, which I had to order from a crafts person on Etsy--slide mounts are scarce as well.


    Also copying some old 120 transparencies using a lightbox/cheap copy stand set-up.


    This is almost all for digitizing our large collection of family shots from two generations of two families, but I'm also pulling out archival-worthy shots as I go.

  9. 3 hours ago, wiskerke said:



    In the past, Hamrick has been quite accessible.



    Still very accessible. Recently I wanted to start using Vuescan again after about 15 years of non-use, but needed a new key for the updated version. I queried, and Ed Hamrick accommodated me.


    But after trying some scans with my Canon FS4000, I saw that my set-up shooting slides with a Canon dslr, Nikon ES-1, and various other tubes/rings/spacers was way faster and yielded better results.

  10. Back when I was still carrying a Canon 5D and a couple of lenses, I used a Lowepro Outback 200 (or maybe a predecessor model) modular belt pack. I really liked using that format--saved the shoulders from the bag weight--but apparently not enough other people did, as it's no longer available.


    I thought I had sold it, but recently came across it during a major Covid cleanup. Might try it with the Sony mirrorless.


    But if you're looking for discreet, it does scream "PHOTOGRAPHER".

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