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Whilst in the process of copying some of my slides I had a thought, is there a correct side of the slide that should face the camera? I am sure that someone will help me with this conundrum.    

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The way you'd view them, base side to camera. Usually the side with the date and number, if process paid. The maker's name is usually emulsion side.

Otherwise you'll have to flop them in editing.

Edited by spacecadet

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Been a while since you had the projector out, at a guess.

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I would suggest putting the emulsion side towards the camera and flopping the image in Photoshop, then you will be photographing the image directly rather than through the base. This is the usual arrangement when placing film in a scanner or enlarger. 

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10 minutes ago, Sprocket said:

I would suggest putting the emulsion side towards the camera and flopping the image in Photoshop, then you will be photographing the image directly rather than through the base. This is the usual arrangement when placing film in a scanner or enlarger. 

What? Never heard of this before. The light still has to pass through the base so what's the difference? The base is transparent. You still focus on the grain.

Of course the emulsion faces the lens in projection, as it does in photography- if it didn't the image would be flopped.

 

Edited by spacecadet

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1 hour ago, Sprocket said:

I would suggest putting the emulsion side towards the camera and flopping the image in Photoshop, then you will be photographing the image directly rather than through the base. This is the usual arrangement when placing film in a scanner or enlarger. 

 

Simply not true. Emulsion side (matte side) is always down (closest to the paper) in an enlarger and shiny side up. Otherwise you would be looking at or printing an inverted image. Same in any slide (film) scanner I have ever used or if copying slides by photographing them - emulsion side down or faces away from the camera, shiny side up or towards the camera. I don't know about flatbed adapters as I have never used one - perhaps that is different.

Edited by MDM

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

Emulsion side (matte side) is always down (closest to the paper) in an enlarger and shiny side up.

 

Err, I think you'll find that agrees with what I wrote: the emulsion side should face towards the lens.

 

1 hour ago, MDM said:

Same in any slide (film) scanner I have ever used

 

OK, I shouldn't have mentioned scanners as there are so many variations. I use the Minolta Dimage MultiPro, in which the film is normally placed in the holder emulsion side down. The lamp passes above the holder and the lens is focused on the underside so it is scanning the emulsion side. Here's a video of one in action

 

 

2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

The light still has to pass through the base so what's the difference? The base is transparent. You still focus on the grain.

 

Why photograph through a layer of acetate/polyester if you don't need to? Anyway, it was only a suggestion, the op is free to try it or ignore it. 

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57 minutes ago, Sprocket said:

 

Err, I think you'll find that agrees with what I wrote: the emulsion side should face towards the lens.

 

 

OK, I shouldn't have mentioned scanners as there are so many variations. I use the Minolta Dimage MultiPro, in which the film is normally placed in the holder emulsion side down. The lamp passes above the holder and the lens is focused on the underside so it is scanning the emulsion side. Here's a video of one in action

 

 

Why photograph through a layer of acetate/polyester if you don't need to? Anyway, it was only a suggestion, the op is free to try it or ignore it. 

 

Ok apologies you are correct. I misread what you said about enlargers. 

 

I‘ve had 2 Nikon and one Minolta scanner (way back around the turn of the century) all 35mm and all had emulsion facing down (including the Minolta think). I wonder if copying on the emulsion side and inverting is really any different. I will test this later with my Nikon ES1 slide copier which I finally put into action this week.

 

My LS4000 died almost simultaneously after years of disuse. It started up, did a preview scan and then apparently gave up. The computer is not seeing a scanner connected.

Edited by MDM

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4 hours ago, Sprocket said:

 

Why photograph through a layer of acetate/polyester if you don't need to? Anyway, it was only a suggestion, the op is free to try it or ignore it. 

 

That's interesting, I'm in the middle of copying a whole pile of 35mm transparencies at the moment using a lightbox + DSLR + macro lens. I'll try turning some slides over to see if it makes any noticeable difference.

 

While we're on the subject, does anyone have any suggestions for the LR settings to get the best from 35mm Velvia slides copied using the above method? Velvia is very contrasty and saturated. How would you handle white balance in LR? At the moment I'm shooting in camera jpgs with contrast and saturation turned down and a custom white balance taken from the light source, but I'd rather shoot raw. Ideally I'd have taken a photo of a colour test chart when I still had a film camera and some Velvia, then I could have built a profile for Velvia, the light-box and camera in combination. 

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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This topic got me wondering (and googling) to understand just why it might be better to copy slides with the emulsion towards the lens, I've seen the advice too many times to think that there might not be some truth in it. The good news is that a simple test with your own setup should settle the argument and I think the answer will be that in most cases it won't matter. Of course when printing with an enlarger or copying slides with a film camera there was no option, the image had to be the right way round but with digital it doesn't have to be.

 

Sprocket's got a point, you are shooting through the base if the emulsion is away from the camera. Although the light passes through the film base whichever way around you put the negative I think the difference is that with the emulsion away from the lens it is the focussed image that could just possibly be affected by halation in a film base that is cloudy with age. With the film base away from the lens then it is just unfocussed light passing through the film base and I can't see that affecting things unduly (still not 100% sure I''m seeing this as clearly as I might be though).

 

The second point that I've seen I think might make more of a difference. The slide or negative is unlikely to be absolutely flat. Similarly even with an expensive macro lens the plane of focus may not be completely flat either, and the cheaper the lens the more likely this is to be true. It therefore makes sense to mount the slide or negative so that the curve of the film is away from the lens and so is more likely to match the curve of the plane of focus of the lens. Again, a simple test will tell if this is a factor.

 

If all this sounds absurdly pedantic then I think that anyone who does this method of 'scanning' will know that you are dealing with very fine tolerances and a lack of edge to edge sharpness, or a slight wooliness to the highlights is all too noticeable at 1:1 in Lightroom and if a slight adjustment to technique can fix these problems, even if it's only on the odd roque tranny, then it is worth doing. It doesn't cost anything after all.

 

 

 

 

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....regarding Velvia, surely RAW is pretty much a must just to get the maximum dynamic range, then bring it into Lightroom and play with the highlight and shadow sliders to get an optimum treatment of highlights and shadows, you can then save this as a setup, or better still save several at different levels.

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4 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

That's interesting, I'm in the middle of copying a whole pile of 35mm transparencies at the moment using a lightbox + DSLR + macro lens. I'll try turning some slides over to see if it makes any noticeable difference.

 

While we're on the subject, does anyone have any suggestions for the LR settings to get the best from 35mm Velvia slides copied using the above method? Velvia is very contrasty and saturated. How would you handle white balance in LR? At the moment I'm shooting in camera jpgs with contrast and saturation turned down and a custom white balance taken from the light source, but I'd rather shoot raw. Ideally I'd have taken a photo of a colour test chart when I still had a film camera and some Velvia, then I could have built a profile for Velvia, the light-box and camera in combination. 

 

Mark


Why are you not shooting raw? Echo everything Harry says and it's not just for Velvia but any slide film, indeed any film. I am just setting white balance in Lightroom by eye and experience based on the type of LED light I am using. I  think the simplest approach is to set import defaults or presets and just take it from there. Creating camera profiles for a set up like that would probably be pointless.

 

As for my recent dabbling with the  Nikon ES1 adapter with extension ring and old manual focus 55 Nikkor Micro on a D810, I am impressed with the results I am getting. When downsized to 3000 x 2000 the images would almost certainly pass Alamy QC which my images scanned on the LS4000 almost certainly would not. I am amazed at the ability to recover highlights and shadows and to generally process the raw file in Lightroom - I definitely recommend you shoot raw. 

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

This topic got me wondering (and googling) to understand just why it might be better to copy slides with the emulsion towards the lens, I've seen the advice too many times to think that there might not be some truth in it. The good news is that a simple test with your own setup should settle the argument and I think the answer will be that in most cases it won't matter. Of course when printing with an enlarger or copying slides with a film camera there was no option, the image had to be the right way round but with digital it doesn't have to be.

 

Sprocket's got a point, you are shooting through the base if the emulsion is away from the camera. Although the light passes through the film base whichever way around you put the negative I think the difference is that with the emulsion away from the lens it is the focussed image that could just possibly be affected by halation in a film base that is cloudy with age. With the film base away from the lens then it is just unfocussed light passing through the film base and I can't see that affecting things unduly (still not 100% sure I''m seeing this as clearly as I might be though).

 

The second point that I've seen I think might make more of a difference. The slide or negative is unlikely to be absolutely flat. Similarly even with an expensive macro lens the plane of focus may not be completely flat either, and the cheaper the lens the more likely this is to be true. It therefore makes sense to mount the slide or negative so that the curve of the film is away from the lens and so is more likely to match the curve of the plane of focus of the lens. Again, a simple test will tell if this is a factor.

 

If all this sounds absurdly pedantic then I think that anyone who does this method of 'scanning' will know that you are dealing with very fine tolerances and a lack of edge to edge sharpness, or a slight wooliness to the highlights is all too noticeable at 1:1 in Lightroom and if a slight adjustment to technique can fix these problems, even if it's only on the odd roque tranny, then it is worth doing. It doesn't cost anything after all.

 

 

 

I ran a brief test on turning the slide and flipping it and there is no difference that I can discern whatsoever with my setup when both files are processed with the same raw parameters. Given that I am looking at some seriously large files shot with a super old lens, then anything ought to show up. Happy to post high res files for downloading if anyone would like to see. So yes I think it is probably absurdly pedantic - nothing wrong with that of course.

 

 

 

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Guilty as charged! Glad that ES1 setup is working with the Micro-Nikkor, it looks like a nice simple setup and if I hadn't already got the copystand/lightbox etc. I probably would have gone for it. I'm actually quite surprised that you're not losing any detail by downsizing to 3000 x 2000 but I guess if you don't need any more than that for Alamy then that's fair enough. Still, I'm diverting from the original post. I still think that for a 'popped' slide it might be worth trying with the 'pop' away from the camera.

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12 hours ago, Harry Harrison said:

The second point that I've seen I think might make more of a difference. The slide or negative is unlikely to be absolutely flat. Similarly even with an expensive macro lens the plane of focus may not be completely flat either, and the cheaper the lens the more likely this is to be true. It therefore makes sense to mount the slide or negative so that the curve of the film is away from the lens and so is more likely to match the curve of the plane of focus of the lens. Again, a simple test will tell if this is a factor.

Some good points by all

The set up that I have is with my rx100 on a copy stand and i have noticed that some of the images have been drifting out of focus around the edges, as i don't have a macro lens for my A6500 this seemed to be the better option.    

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14 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

That's interesting, I'm in the middle of copying a whole pile of 35mm transparencies at the moment using a lightbox + DSLR + macro lens. I'll try turning some slides over to see if it makes any noticeable difference.

 

While we're on the subject, does anyone have any suggestions for the LR settings to get the best from 35mm Velvia slides copied using the above method? Velvia is very contrasty and saturated. How would you handle white balance in LR? At the moment I'm shooting in camera jpgs with contrast and saturation turned down and a custom white balance taken from the light source, but I'd rather shoot raw. Ideally I'd have taken a photo of a colour test chart when I still had a film camera and some Velvia, then I could have built a profile for Velvia, the light-box and camera in combination. 

 

Mark

In RAW the EB isn't baked-in-  as a convenience I have it set to flash using the Illumitran, but I usually take a WB with the eyedropper off a neutral midtone. Even Auto WB in LR can work quite well.

I have an import preset with a "medium contrast" curve and a bit of saturation on it but that can be a bit much for Kodachrome. Try linear to start with. And definitely RAW.

I also let LR set Auto Tone, but I know that's not popular with everyone.

Edited by spacecadet

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9 hours ago, MDM said:

Why are you not shooting raw? Echo everything Harry says and it's not just for Velvia but any slide film, indeed any film. I am just setting white balance in Lightroom by eye and experience based on the type of LED light I am using. I  think the simplest approach is to set import defaults or presets and just take it from there. Creating camera profiles for a set up like that would probably be pointless.

 

I'm currently digitising a large quantity of slides (500) containing what can largely be described as "my family and holiday snaps", the objective being to make them available for viewing on our devices. As such speed is taking priority over absolute quality. Hence the in camera jpeg & WB route. 

 

I'll then be selecting a much smaller number of them for "enhanced treatment" where the image or content merits it. I'll do this in by shooting in RAW followed by LR and PS CC processing. It's remotely possible some of them might be submitted to Alamy, although the IQ of the (mostly zoom) lenses I was using at the time probably won't make the grade, even if downsized to 3000x2000.

 

Judging WB by eye is difficult for me (I'm red/green colour deficient) so I tend to rely heavily on hardware and software tools.

 

Mark

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Perhaps I should start another topic but do scanned slides have to be submitted in a special category, historic perhaps, or if the quality is fine (resolution, sharpness, spotting etc.) are they just uploaded as normal? I wondered about the dates when perhaps only the year is known, sometimes frankly only the decade unless they were Kodachromes.

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40 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

It's remotely possible some of them might be submitted to Alamy, although the IQ of the (mostly zoom) lenses I was using at the time probably won't make the grade, even if downsized to 3000x2000.

 

17 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Perhaps I should start another topic but do scanned slides have to be submitted in a special category, historic perhaps, or if the quality is fine (resolution, sharpness, spotting etc.) are they just uploaded as normal? I wondered about the dates when perhaps only the year is known, sometimes frankly only the decade unless they were Kodachromes.

Mine probably wouldn't pass QC so I go the archival route- I don't know if you still have to apply for this, but if the box appears on your web upload page, then these images bypass QC.

It should only be used for images that actually have some historical or archival value, not if they're just old. My own rule is that if the scene would look different today (buildings demolished, vehicles, etc) then it's archival. A picture of the Dunes in Las Vegas would qualify (demolished 1993), an image of Buckingham Palace in 1993 probably wouldn't.

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Thanks for that. I can see the check-boxes but they're greyed out so I'd need to apply. I can see also that these images have the public-facing warning:

 

"This image could have imperfections as it’s either historical or reportage."

 

It doesn't seem to encourage anyone to take much effort over the quality of the scans if they bypass QC altogether but that probably is something for a new topic if I get around to it.

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13 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Thanks for that. I can see the check-boxes but they're greyed out so I'd need to apply. I can see also that these images have the public-facing warning:

 

"This image could have imperfections as it’s either historical or reportage."

 

It doesn't seem to encourage anyone to take much effort over the quality of the scans if they bypass QC altogether but that probably is something for a new topic if I get around to it.

You will need to demonstrate that the images have some historical merit.

Some images simply couldn't pass QC- copies of old prints, for example- but archival is a way of allowing images that are of interest to be offered on Alamy even if they don't meet the usual standards. I doubt that an image on, for example, pushed HP5 could ever pass QC.

No-one, I'm sure, uses archival as an excuse not to get the best scan they can. Scanning can also show up technical flaws that were always present in the images. My archival images license regularly,  so it would be a disservice to Alamy's clients to exclude them by applying an unnecessarily strict standard.

Edited by spacecadet

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On 20/01/2019 at 01:02, MDM said:

I ran a brief test on turning the slide and flipping it and there is no difference that I can discern whatsoever with my setup when both files are processed with the same raw parameters. Given that I am looking at some seriously large files shot with a super old lens, then anything ought to show up. Happy to post high res files for downloading if anyone would like to see. So yes I think it is probably absurdly pedantic - nothing wrong with that of course.

 

I ran a quick test too, and also couldn't see any difference.

 

Mark

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20 hours ago, spacecadet said:

In RAW the EB isn't baked-in-  as a convenience I have it set to flash using the Illumitran, but I usually take a WB with the eyedropper off a neutral midtone. Even Auto WB in LR can work quite well.

I have an import preset with a "medium contrast" curve and a bit of saturation on it but that can be a bit much for Kodachrome. Try linear to start with. And definitely RAW.

I also let LR set Auto Tone, but I know that's not popular with everyone.

 

Thanks. I'll try setting up a preset with some settings based on an "average" slide and then applying at as a starting point for others.

 

Mark

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I've been scanning 35mm chromes since the old KODAK scanner days.  Currently using a CanoScan FS 4000 and about 70% of the

images I have on Alamy were FUJIchrome or Kodachrome 35mm's using the FS 4000.  About three years ago I was able to find a perfect

Bowens Illumitran with three lenses and I've never been able to make it work for me, I even added a NIKKOR 105 Micro for my D800.  With the

CanoScan I take the chrome out of the mount, clean it with PEC-12 and scan without using any of the auto retouching.  Then I spend

hours, days, weeks hand spotting the scan.  In the end I get a 5500 by at 300DPI 16bit aRGB TIFF image that I save as a JPEG for upload. 

In ten years I have not had one QC failure (actually I did have one because I cropped the image and the file became to small.) 

Obviously if I am going to make that investment of time, I select the images that I am going to scan very carefully.

 

A couple of notes on the CanoScan FS 4000:  I don't use the USB connection,  I have an old 16bit Adaptec PCMCIA card that I connect to

an "old" LENOVO T-62 laptop running Windows XP.  If anyone reads this and thinks they can pickup a cheap CanoScan FS 4000, which you

can, but without film holders, DO NOT DO IT,  I've been looking for 35mm film holders for the FS 4000 for years and have never been able

to find them.  The only way I think you could get one is to find someone to 3D print one...

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