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Dusting off old 35mm slides and scanning


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18 hours ago, spacecadet said:

 

I bought a selection of 1/4x20 bolts and wingnuts to get the correct standoff for the camera body, but as you say a big body wouldn't work well.

As to adapters, if you go the macro lens route you eliminate the bellows altogether and the camera attaches directly to the column. I even use a kit zoom on the camera for scanning 6x6.

 

 

I found I could just get my Canon 5D2 to work with the bellows with the bottom of the camera pressed tight against the column, but I had difficulty finding the right focal length lens to get a 35mm slide in focus at full size. So eventually I went for your method. I attached the camera to the column and made a wooden spacer to get it to stand off at the right distance, and put an old Canon FD 100mm macro lens on the camera.

 

Mind you, I've been so busy I still haven't got round to copying any slides with it :(

 

Alan

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9 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

 Ah Mark the old FS 2710,  Have a really funny story about that scanner, was working for TIME magazine.

The FS 4000 is a way better machine, have two of them. Dual Scanners........

 

Chuck

Chuck does it in stereo:D

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9 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

 Ah Mark the old FS 2710,  Have a really funny story about that scanner, was working for TIME magazine.

The FS 4000 is a way better machine, have two of them. Dual Scanners........

 

Chuck

 

On 16/03/2022 at 02:34, Chuck Nacke said:

Jan,

 

It is, but when it all works it can be very good.  I am very careful selecting what I scan.  I do disagree with those who advocate photographing a 35mm chrome with 

a DSLR.  I prefer a CCD film scanner, my choice.

 

Chuck

 

 

Chuck - the following is intended as constructive criticism in relation to the topic of the thread (scanning slides). Your pictures from eastern Europe and Russia are amazing and really topical right now with the horrendous war in Ukraine. The picture of the Chechen woman and child is chilling and an amazing iconic reflection of the horror of war and the fear it engenders in the innocent civilians affected by it.  Given the recent deaths and serious injuries to photojournalists covering the war in Ukraine, I am full of admiration for anyone who risks their lives to obtain such images and I can only imagine the trauma that one experiences and probably carries forward in one's later life having borne witness to such horror. 

 

However, in relation to the topic of this thread (scanning slides), the white balance in some of these pictures is way off and I do mean way off. There are extremely strong magenta casts in many of your images including the last two - the Chechen woman and the street fighters in Bender - which show up very strongly in the skin tones as well as neutral areas of the images. I did point this out in previous discussions and I hope you don't mind me reminding you here but keep in mind that the topic is digitisation and you are advocating techniques where you are clearly having serious problems. There are no such casts in your more recent images taken on your D800s I presume. This clearly indicates a problem somewhere in your scanning and/or post processing. While the content is obviously far more important in these images than the quality of the scans, it is worth bearing in mind that there are serious white balance issues, moreover as you are advocating scanning over copying with a camera. As pointed out on several previous occasions, white balance is easily corrected with raw images but much more difficult with TIFFs.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Inchiquin said:

 

I found I could just get my Canon 5D2 to work with the bellows with the bottom of the camera pressed tight against the column, but I had difficulty finding the right focal length lens to get a 35mm slide in focus at full size. So eventually I went for your method. I attached the camera to the column and made a wooden spacer to get it to stand off at the right distance, and put an old Canon FD 100mm macro lens on the camera.

 

Mind you, I've been so busy I still haven't got round to copying any slides with it :(

 

Alan

 

The standard lens for copying 35mm on the Illumitran is a 60mm Rodenstock Rodagon.

 

wim

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1 hour ago, MDM said:

 

 

 

Chuck - the following is intended as constructive criticism in relation to the topic of the thread (scanning slides). Your pictures from eastern Europe and Russia are amazing and really topical right now with the horrendous war in Ukraine. The picture of the Chechen woman and child is chilling and an amazing iconic reflection of the horror of war and the fear it engenders in the innocent civilians affected by it.  Given the recent deaths and serious injuries to photojournalists covering the war in Ukraine, I am full of admiration for anyone who risks their lives to obtain such images and I can only imagine the trauma that one experiences and probably carries forward in one's later life having borne witness to such horror. 

 

However, in relation to the topic of this thread (scanning slides), the white balance in some of these pictures is way off and I do mean way off. There are extremely strong magenta casts in many of your images including the last two - the Chechen woman and the street fighters in Bender - which show up very strongly in the skin tones as well as neutral areas of the images. I did point this out in previous discussions and I hope you don't mind me reminding you here but keep in mind that the topic is digitisation and you are advocating techniques where you are clearly having serious problems. There are no such casts in your more recent images taken on your D800s I presume. This clearly indicates a problem somewhere in your scanning and/or post processing. While the content is obviously far more important in these images than the quality of the scans, it is worth bearing in mind that there are serious white balance issues, moreover as you are advocating scanning over copying with a camera. As pointed out on several previous occasions, white balance is easily corrected with raw images but much more difficult with TIFFs.

 

 

Michael,

 

Thank you for your kind words and I both appreciate your time in looking at the recent images I've put up on Alamy and your constructive comments about the color.

Part of the problem is that back then I was working with Kodak on test emulsions of their PKR-200 (200 ISO Kodachrome) Fujichrome purchased in Russia and Kodak E-6

(EPP) shipped in.  I've found that the EPP works the best for scanning on the FS4000 and ViewScan.  The Kodachrome test emulsions are a constant problem and if I was better in LightRoom I could go in and fix specific areas (skin tones), but keep in mind that most of my images on Alamy are shot on the fly and historical, needing to be what was

there.  I remember a winter in Moscow when I would fax my agent in NYC and just say " It is 10AM and F2.8 at 60th with RPD pushed 2 stops, no pictures today."

 

I do not intend to "highjack" this thread.  I have tried photographing 35 chromes, but I was not happy with the results.  I even bought a Repronar to do the work, but again

I was not happy with it.

 

Oh well, back to scanning.

 

Thanks,

 

Chuck

 

 

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4 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Michael,

 

Thank you for your kind words and I both appreciate your time in looking at the recent images I've put up on Alamy and your constructive comments about the color.

Part of the problem is that back then I was working with Kodak on test emulsions of their PKR-200 (200 ISO Kodachrome) Fujichrome purchased in Russia and Kodak E-6

(EPP) shipped in.  I've found that the EPP works the best for scanning on the FS4000 and ViewScan.  The Kodachrome test emulsions are a constant problem and if I was better in LightRoom I could go in and fix specific areas (skin tones), but keep in mind that most of my images on Alamy are shot on the fly and historical, needing to be what was

there.  I remember a winter in Moscow when I would fax my agent in NYC and just say " It is 10AM and F2.8 at 60th with RPD pushed 2 stops, no pictures today."

 

I do not intend to "highjack" this thread.  I have tried photographing 35 chromes, but I was not happy with the results.  I even bought a Repronar to do the work, but again

I was not happy with it.

 

Oh well, back to scanning.

 

Thanks,

 

Chuck

 

 

 

No worries Chuck. I'm glad you didn't mind my comment as I was worried about starting up another scanners v camera war and nobody needs that right now.

 

For what it's worth, it is pretty straightforward to colour correct in Lightroom using the White Balance sliders - just drag the Tint slider to the left to take out magenta and then maybe a touch of the Temp slider to the right to add some yellow. For local colour corrections on faces in Lightroom I use a radial mask with a large feather and the same thing with the Tint and Temp sliders. I prefer the radial mask to freehand brushes.

 

Anyway best of luck.

 

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7 hours ago, MDM said:

 

No worries Chuck. I'm glad you didn't mind my comment as I was worried about starting up another scanners v camera war and nobody needs that right now.

 

For what it's worth, it is pretty straightforward to colour correct in Lightroom using the White Balance sliders - just drag the Tint slider to the left to take out magenta and then maybe a touch of the Temp slider to the right to add some yellow. For local colour corrections on faces in Lightroom I use a radial mask with a large feather and the same thing with the Tint and Temp sliders. I prefer the radial mask to freehand brushes.

 

Anyway best of luck.

 

Michael,

 

Found a set of actions in PS that appear to solve my magenta scan problem,  make a layer, blur, invert, overlay, blend, adjust opacity.

According to my 14 year-old daughter, who has much better color perception than I, it works perfectly.  The sliders have never solved 

the problem.  Have a new scan going up in the morning, from RDP, and the color should be fine?

 

I do appreciate you making it known to me to find a solution to my magenta problem with scans.

 

Thank you again,

 

Chuck

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7 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Michael,

 

Found a set of actions in PS that appear to solve my magenta scan problem,  make a layer, blur, invert, overlay, blend, adjust opacity.

According to my 14 year-old daughter, who has much better color perception than I, it works perfectly.  The sliders have never solved 

the problem.  Have a new scan going up in the morning, from RDP, and the color should be fine?

 

I do appreciate you making it known to me to find a solution to my magenta problem with scans.

 

Thank you again,

 

Chuck

 

If you're using PS and working on a non-RAW file there's a way to get access to the tint and temp sliders available in ACR.

Top menu>Filter>Camera Raw Filter... 

 

Mark

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I'm probably laying myself open here and I am not claiming any expertise apart from quick and easy practicality.

 

I0000LkdMVnd3wwY.jpg

 

Auto Color 

 

I0000ca.6ygMdJjQ.jpg

 

Adjustments - Color balance - use sliders, ( I find Yellow particularly useful, also some Cyan)

 

I0000GOeFMmyBUm4.jpg

 

Not perfect, but certainly better.

 

This is a 1962 Kodachrome.

 

 

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21 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

The standard lens for copying 35mm on the Illumitran is a 60mm Rodenstock Rodagon.

 

 

That would make sense. The Illumitran came with a 75mm Rodenstock Ystragon and I tried replacing it with a 50mm Nikkor. Somewhere in the middle...

 

Alan

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22 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

The standard lens for copying 35mm on the Illumitran is a 60mm Rodenstock Rodagon.

 

wim

This would be for full-frame I assume. Those of us on APS-C need more stand-off and I was using a 105 as far up the column as I could get using the bellows clamp plate. It wobbled a bit. Now with the 90 I have a piece of batten the right length bolted to the column, with elongated holes for a bit of adjustment. I don't have a spare body but I can be up and running in a reasonably short time.

Edited by spacecadet
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11 hours ago, Chuck Nacke said:

Michael,

 

Found a set of actions in PS that appear to solve my magenta scan problem,  make a layer, blur, invert, overlay, blend, adjust opacity.

According to my 14 year-old daughter, who has much better color perception than I, it works perfectly.  The sliders have never solved 

the problem.  Have a new scan going up in the morning, from RDP, and the color should be fine?

 

I do appreciate you making it known to me to find a solution to my magenta problem with scans.

 

Thank you again,

 

Chuck


I can't see offhand how an action with no specific colour correction could remove a colour cast but maybe something is missing in your description of the action. As Mark says, you can use the ACR filter in Photoshop to colour correct using the WB sliders. It is nothing like as effective as working on a raw image but it does work reasonably well on Tiffs and Jpegs. One problem is that the casts are different in the shadows and the lit areas so without a lot of selective work it is not possible to match the casts in both shadows and lit areas. However, it is possible to greatly improve these images.

 

For example, looking at 2J04XH8, I would suggest something like the following with the ACR filter in Photoshop. If doing this it is best to work on a new layer as the ACR filter is not non-destructive,

 

Temperature: +8

Tint: -70

Exposure:+ 0.25

Saturation: -57

 

If I was to license this image say for website use, those are the approximate modifications I would make. This is far from exact as it always a balance between all the different parameters. Reducing the saturation significantly has a big effect as well and for portraits and war pictures low saturation levels can actually really suit the whole feeling of the image.

 

The bottom line of course is that the casts are secondary to the content as I said above and the content is powerful to say the least. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

This would be for full-frame I assume. Those of us on APS-C need more stand-off and I was using a 105 as far up the column as I could get using the bellows clamp plate. It wobbled a bit. Now with the 90 I have a piece of batten the right length bolted to the column, with elongated holes for a bit of adjustment. I don't have a spare body but I can be up and running in a reasonably short time.

 

I don't see the advantages of flash tbh. With a continuous light source a digital camera can do all it's magic like HDR. White balance is done on RAW using the eye dropper. High CRI is not that important with older probably discolored slide film. But I do use a cheap video light with an extra diffuser (piece of white perspex).

 

The only two critical things are that the film is absolutely flat and that the sensor is exactly parallel to it. For that I use 2 mirrors. One is a 99 cts small beauty mirror that happens to fit in a 67mm filter ring. The other an Ikea tile. The round beauty mirror (non enlarging) has a small part that's scratched blank exactly in the middle. The filter ring is painted white for better judging the alignment. The tile is where the negative or slide would be. This is how in the olden days camera technicians aligned process cameras in red (printers) darkrooms. Or how one would align the view camera. Linhof and Sinar had (expensive) kits for that.

 

Out of alignment.
 
In alignment. (via)
 
From own experience: not all Illumitrans are in perfect alignment. Nor are most enlargers.
IBIS - in body image stabilization? Keep that can of worms closed!
 
So I don't see any advantage using an Illumitran. There's a slightly battered one for sale here in Amsterdam for 100 Euros.
Mirrors by ZigAlign here. (In case you don't have a CVS; Rossmann; DM or a Boots).
 

wim

 

Edit: the images are not showing, because only https URLs are allowed. The links will work though.

 

Edited by wiskerke
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On 17/03/2022 at 10:00, Inchiquin said:

I found I could just get my Canon 5D2 to work with the bellows with the bottom of the camera pressed tight against the column, but I had difficulty finding the right focal length lens to get a 35mm slide in focus at full size.

Before I got the Fuji cameras I also used a Canon 5D MkII for slide copying on the Illumitran. I'd actually forgotten how I set it up so I've just tried it again to see. It's actually quite easy but you definitely need an 80mm enlarger lens, you certainly don't need to start making up wooden blocks & spacers etc. though.

 

The precise details will differ slightly according to which adapter you use to fit your camera to the Illumitran bellows but the spacing required will be very similar.  I use an Nikon F adapter on the bellows and obviously the 5D MkII isn't going to fit on the bellows rail but you get perfect 1:1 if you add a 15mm extension tube. I also use a Canon EOS to Nikon F adapter which is very slim, and also allows you to use any Nikon F lens on the Canon in manual mode, I liked using the 55mm Micro-Nikkor. This means that I can choose between Canon EOS or Nikon F extension rings, the Nikon rings are much cheaper. Note that you probably need only 15mm extension but more than that is fine, you can drop the camera on the bellows. That's it really. Exactly the same would work if you had a Nikon DSLR that won't fit on the rails.

 

As Spacecadet says, if you want to use an APS-C Canon DSLR (I have a 7D) then you need more extension as the lens has to be raised, but that is still easily accommodated without modifying the Illumitran itself, about 35mm extension should be fine, again just cheap manual extension tubes.

 

The 80mm lens will also work on the Illumtran with mirrorless APS-C and full frame in a similar manner. As Wim says, the 60mm lens was always standard for 35mm on the Illlumitran but these are a bit less common these days and won't work at all with bulky DSLRs that won't fit on the rail.

 

The Illumitran was designed for basic film cameras, you didn't need anything fancy, so Canon AE1, Olympus OM1, Nikon FM etc., all small and lightweight (around 500gms). Using the 5D MkII again made me realise just how well suited the lightweight Fuji X-T2 is with its tilting screen and focus peaking. I imagine the Sony mirrorless, both full-frame and APS-C would be equally good. I've seen with my own eyes that the Nikon full-frame sensors (also used by Sony) have better dynamic range than my Fuji but that only becomes a factor with the odd 'difficullt' slide and even then blending two exposures can work well.

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14 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

So I don't see any advantage using an Illumitran.

I paid about £30 and another £10 for the lens adapter but made my own film holders. That was the only advantage really, the low price. It is quick to set up though, just screw the camera on, test exposure and go, so it's worthwhile to pull a single neg from the files as I recently did for an obituary. Of course now I don't need the adapter, but the 90 was a gift so budget wasn't relevant.

The 'Tran has certainly justified its purchase in sales, but I wouldn't have paid €100. I wouldn't even recommend waiting for one to turn up if someone has a worthwhile archive.

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7 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

The Illumitran was designed for basic film cameras, you didn't need anything fancy, so Canon AE1, Olympus OM1, Nikon FM etc., all small and lightweight (around 500gms). Using the 5D MkII again made me realise just how well suited the lightweight Fuji X-T2 is with its tilting screen and focus peaking. I imagine the Sony mirrorless, both full-frame and APS-C would be equally good. I've seen with my own eyes that the Nikon full-frame sensors (also used by Sony) have better dynamic range than my Fuji but that only becomes a factor with the odd 'difficullt' slide and even then blending two exposures can work well.

 

I had a Nikon F with the waist-level Finder 2, which has a loupe, on the Illumitran. The almost mint F turned out to be a very low serial# and made at least as much as all the copying I did.

(Wanna make money with your camera son? Sell it!)

 

> Nikon full-frame sensors (also used by Sony)

Haha! Actually the other way around.

 

wim

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25 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

Haha! Actually the other way around.

Yes, sorry, I meant to write Nikon full frame cameras, who use the same Sony sensors, ah well. I would think that those Sonys are very good on the Ilumitran in fact. It's hard to recommend Illumitrans for slide copying just because the ones that come up are usually rubbish, or missing bits etc., however the electronics and flash side of things always seem to work. Also as you know, and I meant to say this above, do not connect the flash sync lead direct to your camera! Use a flash trigger instead or even a Wein SafeSync, or, as you say, don't use the flash at all. I agree with you that using continuous light source instead is much easier when it comes to bracketing etc. You change the brightness on the Illumitran by raising or lowering the flash stage and in these pixel-peaking days it's easy to see that this changes the evenness of illumination also, especially once it goes up above half way. I actually 'read the manual' the other day. The half-way 'red dot' position is actually so the evenness of illumination is acceptable for 6x6/6x7 or the 5"x4" light box accessory, but you need to use a copy stand or tripod for that anyway.

 

However the Illumitran is very good in that it is so compact and although it might not be in perfect alignment it's easy to fix that once and for all with a couple of shims. I did find that the 850 gms of the 5D MkII did make it it slump a bit, no such problems with the Fujis. Also it means that you don't need a copy stand, an expensive and hard to find item these days, at least a good sturdy one. So the Nikon ES-1/ES-2 option does win on many counts.

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

do not connect the flash sync lead direct to your camera!

The Illumitran is reputedly OK for voltage, but I did make up a Zener diode circuit to cut it to 5V just in case. But then the direct sync lead method stopped working (something to do with the lead acting as a capacitor, I think- not my deepartment though) so I use the £10 Chinese wireless special now.

Once you get the flash intensity down (OH worked for Ozalid so we have enough drafting film to paper the house) I find that the flash is fine.

They are bomb-proof as you say, but after 50 years most of the loose bits have got lost. A sharp knife and some card (or if you're an ex-modeller, plasticard), or the neg masks made years ago for a Gnome enlarger will do.

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1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

A sharp knife and some card (or if you're an ex-modeller, plasticard), or the neg masks made years ago for a Gnome enlarger will do.

Yes, I've used 3mm MDF to make one for negatives, oversize to include a bit of rebate. I did then get hold of the official plastic one for 35mm & APS (remember that?) but that would need filing out and I prefer the one I made.

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16 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

, oversize to include a bit of rebate.

Ah yes, a bit of sprocket hole and some rough edges for authenticity, I don't think;)

I'm just surprised 'Trans were still being made in the era of APS.

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I'm just surprised 'Trans were still being made in the era of APS.

You're absolutely right, APS would never work anyway as it stays in the cassette and it needs a special mechanism to feed it out. No, it's half-frame, my mistake. The standard 35mm Imacon negative holder is precisely 36 x 24 mm and I find it easier to align if I can see the rebate, works for the odd transparency also if the mount is concealing something significant, can't say that happens very often though.

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