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29 minutes ago, Alex Ramsay said:

Thanks for all your replies - I think I've now tried every possible combination of lens and bellows extension. The Illumitran bellows is simply not usable with a full-frame DSLR such as the D800, even with the top bellows mount removed. It can be made to work with a mirrorless body and a 50mm enlarger lens. I'll go  back to using it without the bellows, with a separate copy stand and a micro-Nikkor, which will also let me copy medium format trannys more easily.

A secondary problem is the very high flash intensity (designed for very slow copy film, somewhere around 6 ISO!) - fortunately this can be solved with the aid of a 75mm square gel filter, 3 stop ND, inserted under the opal diffuser.

 

Alex

 

So you now have an expensive light source under your copy stand. The gel filter will fade quite quickly so close to the flash tube. A double opal diffuser will probably do the trick as well.

Any light source will work of course. However flash is convenient because it is a continuous spectrum light source and it prevents blur from shutter slap or similar. Provided you black out ambient light or put a bellows between the lens and the slide.

I have sold my Illumitran many years ago. I do still have an even older one without a stand. It's a Beam - proudly made in Holland.

It has 2 flash tubes and has a half and a quarter intensity setting. Not sure how it achieves this. But the dimming to achieve the right stop works with two black metal masks that come in from each side underneath the diffuser until there's only a small slit at a right angle to the flash tubes..

That would be another route: just mask off the flash a bit.

I just manage to locate the Beam and connected it to the mains. It hums as if Frankenstein is to be resurrected. I have not dared to fire it yet. Probably best to let the thing format itself. I have totally forgotten how to do this. If there's a fireball over Holland later this evening you now know what it was. ;-)

 

wim

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Don't do it wim we don't want to lose you.:(

 

Allan

 

 

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While we're on the subject, any advice on a good cheap light source for slide copying? I want a source that's permanently on (i.e. not flash). I'm currently copying Velvia transparencies using my DSLR, a decent macro lens and a GePe light box and am getting reasonable results (fine for our family snaps). But now I want to get better results from some of the more saleable transparencies. I'm currently seeing a couple of problems.

  1. I'm using electronic shutter mode on my DSLR (to avoid any vibration) but this introduces a 1/10th sec rolling shutter effect, so even slight 50Hz flicker in the light source is noticeable. So ideally I need a flicker free source (ripple free DC powered?)
  2. Even after setting a WB based on the colour of the light source, (or on an individual slide) I'm not that happy with the colour rendition and often see a strong tint in the shadows and mid-tones which I'm struggling to remove. I suspect this could be due to the poor light spectrum of my GePe light source.

Mark

 

PS. I just checked and my GePe lightbox. It has a Cold Cathode light source and has a cheap 9V DC power adaptor, or can run from 6 x 1.5V AA batteries. I may see if the flicker goes if I use battery power. If so that will prove the flicker is coming from the cheap 9V dc adaptor (which looks like it might just be a transformer with full bridge rectifier and rather small capacitor, so lots of ripple). That could solve the first problem.

 

But I also notice the spectrum from CCFL is potentially pretty rubbish, compared to LED.

 

Light-spectral-distributions-of-the-cold

 

Edited by M.Chapman

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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

 

I just manage to locate the Beam and connected it to the mains. It hums as if Frankenstein is to be resurrected.

 

Definitely wise to be cautious with ancient electronics, the capacitors in my old amplifier oozed out and had to be replaced. When I plugged my Durst enlarger power supplier into the mains after a long period sitting idle (years) I came back into the room to find a perfect mushroom cloud of smoke filling the centre of the room, and I hadn't even turned it on yet! The capacitor again and fortunately easy to source and replace with no harm done, could have been very different though.

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2 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

While we're on the subject, any advice on a good cheap light source for slide copying?

 

I would have thought that LEDs would be worth investigating as per my post about the converted Illumitran, don't know how they'd fare flicker wise though. IKEA stock a good range if you're near to one. I still think flash is better because you can forget any possibility of camera shake and of course the spectrum is perfect, I fire two old SB-24 Nikons down into an old Hancocks lightbox, I switch the lightbox off for the actual exposure once focus is checked. 1/4 power is usually about right.

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21 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

While we're on the subject, any advice on a good cheap light source for slide copying? I want a source that's permanently on (i.e. not flash). I'm currently copying Velvia transparencies using my DSLR, a decent macro lens and a GePe light box and am getting reasonable results (fine for our family snaps). But now I want to get better results from some of the more saleable transparencies. I'm currently seeing a couple of problems.

  1. I'm using electronic shutter mode on my DSLR (to avoid any vibration) but this introduces a 1/10th sec rolling shutter effect, so even slight 50Hz flicker in the light source is noticeable. So ideally I need a flicker free source (ripple free DC powered?)
  2. Even after setting a WB based on the colour of the light source, (or on an individual slide) I'm not that happy with the colour rendition and often see a strong tint in the shadows and mid-tones which I'm struggling to remove. I suspect this maybe due to the poor light spectrum of my GePe light source.

Mark

 

 

 

Mark have a look at the DORR DVL-165 Ultra light. It has 165 LED's. Variable intensity, two diffusers (one of which is for shooting under tungsten lighting), can be run on batteries or via a mains adaptor. If you decide to go ahead I can give you details of mains adaptor.

 

Allan

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Mark have a look at the DORR DVL-165 Ultra light. It has 165 LED's. Variable intensity, two diffusers (one of which is for shooting under tungsten lighting), can be run on batteries or via a mains adaptor. If you decide to go ahead I can give you details of mains adaptor.

 

Allan

 

 

 

Thanks - That's somewhat larger than I need to illuminate a 35mm slide. But maybe something like this might work?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Godox-LED64-Camcorder-Interview-Macrophotography/dp/B014GSNPZS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548784996&sr=8-1&keywords=Godox-LED64

Or

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00SWIKYIU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=AV14KMDWH87JR&psc=1

 

It also runs from 5V DC (I've got plenty of 5V adaptors lying around) and is significantly cheaper. It can't have much flicker, or the video users would be complaining.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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1 hour ago, M.Chapman said:

While we're on the subject, any advice on a good cheap light source for slide copying? I want a source that's permanently on (i.e. not flash). I'm currently copying Velvia transparencies using my DSLR, a decent macro lens and a GePe light box and am getting reasonable results (fine for our family snaps). But now I want to get better results from some of the more saleable transparencies. I'm currently seeing a couple of problems.

  1. I'm using electronic shutter mode on my DSLR (to avoid any vibration) but this introduces a 1/10th sec rolling shutter effect, so even slight 50Hz flicker in the light source is noticeable. So ideally I need a flicker free source (ripple free DC powered?)
  2. Even after setting a WB based on the colour of the light source, (or on an individual slide) I'm not that happy with the colour rendition and often see a strong tint in the shadows and mid-tones which I'm struggling to remove. I suspect this could be due to the poor light spectrum of my GePe light source.

Mark

 

PS. I just checked and my GePe lightbox. It has a Cold Cathode light source and has a cheap 9V DC power adaptor, or can run from 6 x 1.5V AA batteries. I may see if the flicker goes if I use battery power. If so that will prove the flicker is coming from the cheap 9V dc adaptor (which looks like it might just be a transformer with full bridge rectifier and rather small capacitor, so lots of ripple). That could solve the first problem.

 

But I also notice the spectrum from CCFL is potentially pretty rubbish, compared to LED.

 

Light-spectral-distributions-of-the-cold

 

 

It may not be only about your light source. It may be the film, film batch, or the film lab at the time. 

Fujichrome has a green tint that you can adjust in the curves dialogue box in lightroom shadows highlights medium tones on individual R, G, B channels.

A colour balance light source should work fine if you want to duplicate the actual transparency colour. However film colour, even of the same brand, will vary between emulsion batches. So it you want to improve on the digital colour from film, you need to custom adjust almost every digital image away from your basic digital from film colour balance.

Professional film labs will have slightly different, but within tolerances, colour balance depending on the day etc.

Manufacturers have different colour balance approaches. Kodak Ektachrome was probably the most accurate, but boring.

So there is no dead on uniform colour balance for every film.

Best continuous light source would be very high quality LED designed for photo studios.

Here is a expensive professional slide transparency duplicator that uses LED source. Not that you would want to spend the money, but lots of ideas for building your own.

http://www.filmtoaster.photography

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Getting the WB set correctly in the first place saves a lot of time, but an eyedropper on a white midtone usually gets you there. I haven't had to do much with curves unless the slide was quite underexposed, or ORWO (rather green, but the eyedropper even fixes that quite well).

Speaking of that, it's surprising what you can dig out of the shadows- stuff you would hardly have seen on a screen.

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23 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

 

Ah the ones with the toilet roll holders. Honestly.

Stainless-Steel-Bathroom-Toilet-Paper-Holder-Tissue-Roll-Paper-Holder-Box-Hot
 

https://www.shutterbug.com/images/1016goods001.jpg

The problem is that even if this would be the best tool, there's no way to un-think $1695,- toilet roll holder. ;-)

 

wim

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2 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

Best continuous light source would be very high quality LED designed for photo studios.

 

 

Quite likely. I just tried a spare warm white LED under cabinet light https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B071JT8K91/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 as a light source, and after setting a WB based on that light source the mid tones in my reference slides are more neutral than they are when I follow the same sequence using my GePe lightbox as a light source with WB set from that.

 

I think I need to get a better LED source to replace my CCFL. It won't solve all the problems, but it will give me a better starting point. Unfortunately, being red/green colour deficient the closer I can get as a starting point the better.:) 

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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18 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Thanks - That's somewhat larger than I need to illuminate a 35mm slide. But maybe something like this might work?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Godox-LED64-Camcorder-Interview-Macrophotography/dp/B014GSNPZS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548784996&sr=8-1&keywords=Godox-LED64

Or

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00SWIKYIU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=AV14KMDWH87JR&psc=1

 

It also runs from 5V DC (I've got plenty of 5V adaptors lying around) and is significantly cheaper. It can't have much flicker, or the video users would be complaining.

 

Mark

 

There does not appear to be any flicker from the units I am using as described above.

 

Allan

 

 

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5 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

There does not appear to be any flicker from the units I am using as described above.

 

Allan

 

 

It's not flashing at a frequency you can see. A switch-mode PSU  can be a few kHz.

Edited by spacecadet

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On 1/29/2019 at 18:22, M.Chapman said:

While we're on the subject, any advice on a good cheap light source for slide copying?

 

I got a Viltrox L116t for the purpose. It is variable from 3300 to 5600 Kelvin, claims a CRI of 95, runs off mains or batteries,

and works on US, EU or whatever current. It also doubles as a shoe-mount light for video and an alternative to HSS for stills.

Edited by DDoug
grammar

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On 01/02/2019 at 06:27, DDoug said:

I got a Viltrox L116t for the purpose. It is variable from 3300 to 5600 Kelvin, claims a CRI of 95, runs off mains or batteries,

and works on US, EU or whatever current. It also doubles as a shoe-mount light for video and an alternative to HSS for stills.

 

Thanks. Out of curiosity I just tried one of these LED downlights from B&Q. Only £5 each.

https://www.diy.com/departments/colours-white-led-fixed-recessed-downlight-6-ip20/3663602770725_BQ.prd

Mains powered and supplied with a power supply to drive the LED 

Remarkably even and very bright light with no flicker with a built in white diffuser. 4000K 380 lumen. Gives significantly better slide copying results than my GePe CCFL lightbox.

In both cases I used in camera custom WB setting, but the GePe leaves a magenta tint in the mid-tones. The LED light is also more uniform than my GePe and there's no modulation visible in the copied results (the GePe CCFL has a slight 50Hz? flicker). The B&Q LED lamp doesn't.

 

Mark 

 

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3 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Thanks. Out of curiosity I just tried one of these LED downlights from B&Q. Only £5 each.

https://www.diy.com/departments/colours-white-led-fixed-recessed-downlight-6-ip20/3663602770725_BQ.prd

Mains powered and supplied with a power supply to drive the LED 

Remarkably even and very bright light with no flicker with a built in white diffuser. 4000K 380 lumen. Gives significantly better slide copying results than my GePe CCFL lightbox.

In both cases I used in camera custom WB setting, but the GePe leaves a magenta tint in the mid-tones. The LED light is also more uniform than my GePe and there's no modulation visible in the copied results (the GePe CCFL has a slight 50Hz? flicker). The B&Q LED lamp doesn't.

 

Mark 

 

How did you set it up, as a matter of interest?

Alex

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17 hours ago, Alex Ramsay said:

How did you set it up, as a matter of interest?

Alex

For test purposes only... (I'm not submitting the results to Alamy.... yet...)

  • Unclipped the two springs from rear and placed the light face up on a level table
  • Cut a mask out of black cardboard with circular outer edge (to locate in recessed light diffuser) and rectangular cutout (to illuminate the slide). This was done to limit stray light entering camera lens which could cause flare/loss of contrast. I also used thick card to move the plane of focus away from the diffuser surface.
  • Set camera with decent macro lens on tripod facing vertically down over light and adjusted position so transparencies will fill field of view
  • Turn down room lights to avoid stray light falling on topside of transparency
  • Placed overexposed transparency (total white-out) on light and set custom in camera white balance. This was done to record the colour of light source and any small effect of film base
  • Manually adjusted camera exposure so image of over-exposed slide is almost but not quite clipping (just less than 100% white) . Turned out to be 1/320th sec @ f/8
  • Replaced overexposed slide with a slide to be digitised.
  • Take photo (camera settings are RAW + JPG, auto-focus, electronic shutter, self timer 2 seconds, aperture f/8, shutter speed 1/320th)

Processed images in LR. I started from the "as shot" custom white balance (with this LED Light + flim base + my camera + lens, this was 3650K +8 tint). This served as a good starting point for further adjustment in LR, but seemed OK for my slides taken in daylight on Velvia 50 daylight film. I also set the profile to "Adobe neutral" as I found "Adobe standard" overcooked things (Velvia is already pretty saturated/punchy). Adjust exposure an boost shadows mid-tones and highlights in LR.

 

I'm reasonably happy with the results so far, so will now look to mount the light more permanently (the current set-up is decidedly "Heath Robinson").

 

Update - I also took this light apart to see how it manages to get such even illumination. Instead of being a panel of LEDs (like this https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00SWIKYIU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=AV14KMDWH87JR&psc=1) it has a thin strip of LEDs mounted all the way around the inside diameter of a thin cylinder, pointing towards the centre and there's a complex white diffuser with micro-prism finish on the back surface and matt surface on the front. It seems to work very well.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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On 2/2/2019 at 11:23, M.Chapman said:

 

Thanks. Out of curiosity I just tried one of these LED downlights from B&Q. Only £5 each.

https://www.diy.com/departments/colours-white-led-fixed-recessed-downlight-6-ip20/3663602770725_BQ.prd

Mains powered and supplied with a power supply to drive the LED 

Remarkably even and very bright light with no flicker with a built in white diffuser. 4000K 380 lumen. Gives significantly better slide copying results than my GePe CCFL lightbox.

In both cases I used in camera custom WB setting, but the GePe leaves a magenta tint in the mid-tones. The LED light is also more uniform than my GePe and there's no modulation visible in the copied results (the GePe CCFL has a slight 50Hz? flicker). The B&Q LED lamp doesn't.

 

Mark 

Hi Mark, just purchased one of your lights from B&Q just wondering how you wired it up to the mains? would short length of cable with an inline switch do the job, I am thinking of making a box to mount the whole thing in.

 

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5 hours ago, Nick Hatton said:

Mark 

Hi Mark, just purchased one of your lights from B&Q just wondering how you wired it up to the mains? would short length of cable with an inline switch do the job, I am thinking of making a box to mount the whole thing in.

 

I just used a 2m length of 2 core 5A lighting flex (the transformer is double insulated so there's no earth connection) and a 13A plug with 3A fuse inside. I didn't bother with an inline switch, I just plug it into a switched 13A socket when I need it. It seems to run quite cool, but I may add ventilation holes if needed.

 

With respect to a box I found that the lamp fits perfectly into the lid of a plastic box similar to this.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sistema-Storage-Container-Lunch-Clips/dp/B002DWAWJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1550176276&sr=8-1&keywords=systima+1.2L

 

I cut a large round hole in the lid and mounted the light through it and secured with the spring clips provided. I put the transformer in the base with the flex going out through a 6mm diameter hole. I then stuck 4 non-slip feet on the bottom and a stuck a weight inside to stop it sliding around. The slide mount was made from cut card.

 

I don't claim it's pretty, but it's cheap and effective.

 

IMG-0977.jpg

 

I hope to build a calibration (DCP) profile for Velvia slide film + my camera + lens + this light source on it sometime soon which I can then use with LR and PS CC, at least as a starting point. 

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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24 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

I just used a 2m length of 2 core 5A lighting flex (the transformer is double insulated so there's no earth connection) and a 13A plug with 3A fuse inside. I didn't bother with an inline switch, I just plug it into a switched 13A socket when I need it. It seems to run quite cool, but I may add ventilation holes if needed.

 

With respect to a box I found that the lamp fits perfectly into the lid of a plastic box similar to this.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sistema-Storage-Container-Lunch-Clips/dp/B002DWAWJW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1550176276&sr=8-1&keywords=systima+1.2L

 

I cut a large round hole in the lid and mounted the light through it and secured with the spring clips provided. I put the transformer in the base with the flex going out through a 6mm diameter hole. I then stuck 4 non-slip feet on the bottom and a stuck a weight inside to stop it sliding around. The slide mount was made from cut card.

 

I don't claim it's pretty, but it's cheap and effective.

 

IMG-0977.jpg

 

I hope to build a calibration (DCP) profile for Velvia slide film + my camera + lens + this light source on it sometime soon which I can then use with LR and PS CC, at least as a starting point. 

 

Mark

Thanks for that Mark, it has given me a few ideas!

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I used to do a lot of slide duplicating. Designated dupe film is a whole lot better than any other. Kodak had the nerve to sell film with a little sheet advising colour adjustment from batch to batch. Fuji sold a better film with standard colour from batch to batch. In the UK you had to buy it in bulk and load into cassettes. I had a pal in Japan ship me boxes of the same film factory loaded into 36 exposure cassettes. I have an idea they were also available in the US. No idea if they still make it. I've still got the Beseler unit over on a workbench which was basically an upside down enlarger with CMY filter dials. Heavy! really heavy which is a good thing. Makes the Illumitran look like a tin toy. It had a diffuse light panel about 6x8 cm so could handle my 6x7 trannies as well as 35mm. I used a 75mm Rodenstock enlarging lens which gave me a handy bit of space between lens and original bit of film. The lamp was ridiculously expensive to replace, but this was solved by running off a stabilized power source with the voltage turned down a little. These days I would certainly go for an LED source if cobbling something together. They run cool which reduces the chance of your original curling in the process

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Almost there Mark.

 

The only change I would make would be to use a opaque white box. Your present translucent box will send out a lot of extraneous light causing flair in the camera. The light illuminating the film will take on a green tint.

 

The colour balanced white light from the LED is not all direct. Some white LED light mixes within the box, That light will partially take up the colour of the box, before it illuminates the film. Box would be better white and opaque

 

If the box becomes hot enough to curl film, move the light source  and electronics out of the box and in front of the box with the light directed parallel to the benchtop through a hole in the front side of the box. Then reflect the light entering the box from the front side straight up through the film, by using a mirror below the film set at a 45 degree angle. Light >>>^^^/ mirror

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38 minutes ago, Bill Brooks said:

Almost there Mark.

 

The only change I would make would be to use a opaque white box. Your present translucent box will send out a lot of extraneous light causing flair in the camera. The light illuminating the film will take on a green tint.

 

The colour balanced white light from the LED is not all direct. Some white LED light mixes within the box, That light will partially take up the colour of the box, before it illuminates the film. Box would be better white and opaque

 

 

He's masked off the front with card and there's no light leak from the back of that panel.

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2 hours ago, Bill Brooks said:

Almost there Mark.

 

The only change I would make would be to use a opaque white box. Your present translucent box will send out a lot of extraneous light causing flair in the camera. The light illuminating the film will take on a green tint.

 

The colour balanced white light from the LED is not all direct. Some white LED light mixes within the box, That light will partially take up the colour of the box, before it illuminates the film. Box would be better white and opaque

 

If the box becomes hot enough to curl film, move the light source  and electronics out of the box and in front of the box with the light directed parallel to the benchtop through a hole in the front side of the box. Then reflect the light entering the box from the front side straight up through the film, by using a mirror below the film set at a 45 degree angle. Light >>>^^^/ mirror

 

There is no light leakage from the rear of the LED lamp into the box. The only emitted light goes through the slide. It also runs pretty cool. The LED lamp I chose is really well designed, very even light over a large area (big enough for medium format), no light leakage, cast Aluminium housing to dissipate heat.

 

Mark 

 

 

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