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Good morning all

 

I have received back from an Agency...(they are closing down)...a reasonable quantity of medium format, large format and some 35mm  Transparencies.

Work that I had about forgotten...but on examination with the benefits of lightroom some could be  very viable digital files for Alamy.

 

I no longer have scanners so that would need investment but is it financially worth it ...also the time involved....or is there a good scanning firm that produces quality scanned files.

 

I have been with Alamy for about 10 plus years so have seen the fortunes (?) of alamy and contributors fluctuate...mainly at the moment in a downward spiral...

 

So would appreciate your input to help me with decisions on where to go...

 

Much appreciated

 

Thanks

SPARKS

 

 

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Thanks!!....much appreciated....looking through the forums... does seem a note of despondency...so file

away under "PENDING"....

 

Take care all

 

Sparks

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The only factor that might justify changing "No" to "Maybe" is if a significant number of your transparencies are of something quite unique or difficult to recreate nowadays.

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17 hours ago, sparks said:

Good morning all

 

I have received back from an Agency...(they are closing down)...a reasonable quantity of medium format, large format and some 35mm  Transparencies.

Work that I had about forgotten...but on examination with the benefits of lightroom some could be  very viable digital files for Alamy.

 

I no longer have scanners so that would need investment but is it financially worth it ...also the time involved....or is there a good scanning firm that produces quality scanned files.

 

I have been with Alamy for about 10 plus years so have seen the fortunes (?) of alamy and contributors fluctuate...mainly at the moment in a downward spiral...

 

So would appreciate your input to help me with decisions on where to go...

 

Much appreciated

 

Thanks

SPARKS

 

 

If you have a lens that's good enough in the macro range, a copy setup with a sturdy tripod or copy stand and a cheap light source is all you need.

There are plenty how-to videos on youtube.

This one is very thorough: Peter Krogh for B&H.

You don't have to go whole hog.

For a nice overview of what people are actually using from micrometer adjusted stages to cardboard boxes: https://forums.negativelabpro.com/t/lets-see-your-dslr-film-scanning-setup/27

I use my old negative carriers from different enlargers underneath a medium heavy Manfrotto copy stand. As a light source I have a cheap Viltrox L116T video light with an extra diffusing piece of white acrylic because the front glass of the light has a slight pattern. The Viltrox is around 4.2x7 inches (11x18 cm). For 9x12 inch (24x30cm) sheets with negatives both 35mm and 6x9, I use a simple 60x60 cm led panel. Make sure it's flicker free. Mine was around 30 Euros. It's 4000K, but I have 6000K as well. Look for a high CRI value, like 95 or better. I use 60x60, because the 30x30cm ones were not even enough.

My main lens is a 90mm Sony/Zeiss macro, but I have tested many enlarging and process lenses and some are really excellent. However for the job I had to do, it was a lot faster to use a modern lens. Alignment is key. To cut out glare and reflections I use bellows between the lens and my slide holders so I can work in full daylight. For the body: the more megapixels the better.

BTW I still have my Nikon Coolscan 5000 film scanner and it's still functional as well thanks to Vuescan.

If you search for slide copy setup here on this forum, you'll find lots of discussions also, but mostly about copying 35mm slides.

 

wim

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, wiskerke said:

For a nice overview of what people are actually using from micrometer adjusted stages to cardboard boxes: https://forums.negativelabpro.com/t/lets-see-your-dslr-film-scanning-setup/27

 

Wow - I thought the Alamy thread on slide copying was extensive. This one's even more so. Some excellent setups and some rubbish too, but interesting to see the variety of solutions that are being "invented" out there.

 

As an aside, for a cheap light source (assuming you already have one) an iPhone or iPad + perspex diffuser (or a bit of separation to defocus the pixels) does pretty well. It's not the brightest, but it works very well for me.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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Posted (edited)

This gentleman has gone about as 'high-end' as I've seen, a Zig-align double mirror for alignment, a Stackshot for 2 micron incremental adjustments, an 80mm Schneider Apo-Digitar and a 60MP Sony A7R IV. Somewhat exceeds Alamy requirements I would think:

 

https://photopxl.com/digitizing-negatives-with-a-camera-revisited/

Edited by Harry Harrison
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Harry Harrison said:

This gentleman has gone about as 'high-end' as I've seen, a Zig-align double mirror for alignment, a Stackshot for 2 micron incremental adjustments, an 80mm Schneider Apo-Digitar and a 60MP Sony A7R IV. Somewhat exceeds Alamy requirements I would think:

 

https://photopxl.com/digitizing-negatives-with-a-camera-revisited/

 

As suspected, those Thorlab etched chrome on glass targets are much higher resolution than the Pixl-latr film based targets we've both been using and have allowed him to explore the limits of his setup which is very impressive (~160 lp/mm!!), although that's overkill for normal 35mm slide film digitising.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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35 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

This gentleman has gone about as 'high-end' as I've seen, a Zig-align double mirror for alignment, a a Stackshot for 2 micron incremental adjustments, an 80mm Schneider Apo-Digitar and a 60MP Sony A7R IV. Somewhat exceeds Alamy requirements I would think:

 

https://photopxl.com/digitizing-negatives-with-a-camera-revisited/

 

That's a good one. His setup has just too much flex I think, because his camera is too far off axis of the column. I can see the usefulness of the Stackshot. I have tried the A7RIV myself with the 16 shot super pixel-shift mode. And there is some gain, but not enough to justify buying one.

The need for the Stackshot can be somewhat remedied with a dedicated macro lens like the 90mm Sony/Zeiss by placing the focus point in different places. This is pure blasphemy in the macro church, but usually the Sony is accurate enough to my amazement. I do use magnets to augment the clamping force of the film carrier. 4 big magnets from an old hard drive sit on both sides of the 35mm negative. But only for very curved film. They're interfering with rapid advancement of the film strip obviously.

 

In the thread on the negativelabpro forum I was very impressed with the guy using the Z-Axis Manual Linear Stages.

 

The main things I'm doing wrong is not using the column of my Leica Reprovit in it's designated spot in the house. (It's now my in-house tool shed. And the Reprovit lies unused in parts.)

And picking that spot in the house that vibrates the most with any movement. (Just a very nice place to sit where I ended up wheeling my computer to.)

 

wim

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Posted (edited)

 

11 hours ago, wiskerke said:

That's a good one. His setup has just too much flex I think, because his camera is too far off axis of the column

 

Yes, that does look like a lot of weight to support from one side, in his case he's made sure that the end result is lined up but generally that wouldn't be a good idea. I find that the difference in weight between my Fuji X-T2 and Canon 5D Mk II has a noticeable effect on my much simpler and more compact setup even though it's pretty solid. Incidentally with the X-T2 (as with any mirrorless) I find that I can align it successfully with just a single mirror simply by whacking up the sensitivity, easier than when viewing through a normal DSLR:

 

https://forums.negativelabpro.com/t/how-to-adjust-for-low-distortion/1676

 

Those Z-Axis Linear Stages do indeed look very well made, that thread is a great resource, the whole forum is really. It is important to get the fundamentals right so alignment is crucial . A good lens optimised for 1:1 with a flat field (not true for all Macro lenses), an even high CRI light source and also a decent way of holding the negatives or transparencies. I also have various holders from old enlargers etc. and I've made a couple (also utilising those hard drive magnets!) but I see that a lot of those setups use the Essential Film Holder (EFH). Amazingly he's just reached 20,000 sales, an increase of 10,000 in just the last 11 months:

 

https://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/latest/photo-news/essential-film-holder-for-digitising-negatives-hits-20000-sales-164678

 

Most mounted slides are 'popped' to a degree but usually it's fair to say that detail around the edges is generally not so important. That same forum informed me that one particular brand, Wess, made a slide mount that stretched the slide flat but it is of course unobtainable now.

 

https://forums.negativelabpro.com/t/minolta-dedicated-35mm-scanners/1119/34

 

I see that Mr. Segal recommends a top layer of TruVue Museum glass, I may try and get hold of some of that, it seems that is is used by framers here in the UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Harry Harrison
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12 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

although that's overkill for normal 35mm slide film digitising.

Yes, I think we've both found that if you're going to downsize for Alamy to perhaps between 6 and 10MP then some of the finer differences in equipment become less important. For example once downsized I don't think I could see the difference in an actual slide between the results from any of my better quality enlarger lenses. However that test negative is extremely useful in making sure that you are getting the best from your own equipment (the optimum aperture for example) even though it can't quantify the peak resolution in absolute terms), and that's really his aim in producing it, there's nothing else like it for the price really.

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For 35mm originals, I use a 60mm macro and Nikon Film Digitising adapter ES-2, plus an LED NANlight video soft light. Then tethered shooting via Lightroom. Works a treat.

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On 30/04/2022 at 11:16, sparks said:

Thanks!!....much appreciated....looking through the forums... does seem a note of despondency...so file

away under "PENDING"....

 

Take care all

 

Sparks

It may be worth it for genuinely archival, rather than just old, images. My archive pseudo outperforms my main one vastly but it's very small, under 2% of my total.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Walrus said:

For 35mm originals, I use a 60mm macro and Nikon Film Digitising adapter ES-2, plus an LED NANlight video soft light. Then tethered shooting via Lightroom. Works a treat.

If you haven't read the two long threads on slide copying on here then I'm pleased to tell you that you don't need to! It was pretty much agreed that your setup was the easiest and most cost effective way to get into quality camera 'scanning' for Alamy, even (with certain limitations of course) if you don't use Nikon. I've read that the 60mm 2.8G is the one to get, no idea how much difference that might make though.

 

Edit: Actually the internal ultrasonic motor and no manual apertures must rule out the 2.8G for use on other cameras I suppose. Pity.

Edited by Harry Harrison
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On 30/04/2022 at 09:51, John Morrison said:

Just my opinion, but I would say "no": not worth the effort in time or $$$, given the parlous state of the stock industry...

It depends on the subjects. Purely using the forum pages as a reference, three figure sums do get reported and sometimes those are scanned slides. I myself have one image of just a handful of scans in my portfolio which has sold a number of times including for TV, which is a fair return on the effort. Perhaps choose a few of the best to test the water.

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On 03/05/2022 at 13:53, Harry Harrison said:

I've read that the 60mm 2.8G is the one to get, no idea how much difference that might make though.

 

Thanks. I did put together a heath-robinson rig using my 105mm macro but needed too much adjusting with each frame (I used the film strip from my Nikon film scanner to hold negs). Bit the bullet and bought the 60mm, 2.8 G ED. It covers the frame, whereas the 105mm is too long for the Nikon ES-2 holder. Works really smoothly.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Walrus said:

 

Thanks. I did put together a heath-robinson rig using my 105mm macro but needed too much adjusting with each frame (I used the film strip from my Nikon film scanner to hold negs). Bit the bullet and bought the 60mm, 2.8 G ED. It covers the frame, whereas the 105mm is too long for the Nikon ES-2 holder. Works really smoothly.

 

It's not that the 105mm Nikkor is too long, it's that it can't focus close enough with the ES-1 or ES-2 so you need to put an extender between the lens and the film which allows it to focus. These are available cheap on Amazon from various Chinese suppiers.

 

However, I was very disappointed with the 105 as it did not give a sharp image corner to corner which is vital for this job. The best lenses I found were the 55mm Micro Nikkor, which needs an extension tube behind the lens to get 1:1 magnification, and the Tamron 90mm which is also excellent, sharp corner to corner, and has the added benefit of perfect autofocus even at these tiny distances. I don't have the 60mm to compare.

Edited by MDM
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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Brian Yarvin said:

I don't believe it's worth it to scan and submit older work. The time you spend could be used to do something far more productive.

Not just older, no. Archive, yes. I minimised the time by going for the Illumitran method.

If something is otherwise missing from your collection it might be worthwhile.

I agree about actual scanning though. It doesn't sound viable for anyone except Chuck who has it to a T.

Edited by spacecadet
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On 06/05/2022 at 21:51, MDM said:

 

It's not that the 105mm Nikkor is too long, it's that it can't focus close enough with the ES-1 or ES-2 so you need to put an extender between the lens and the film which allows it to focus. These are available cheap on Amazon from various Chinese suppiers.

 

Surely an extender is the opposite of what's needed. Can you please link to what it is you are referring.

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43 minutes ago, Walrus said:

 

Surely an extender is the opposite of what's needed. Can you please link to what it is you are referring.

 

 

they are specific Macro Extension tubes. Quick search on your preferred photo gear provider should find some for your specific camera mount. 

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54 minutes ago, Walrus said:

 

Surely an extender is the opposite of what's needed. Can you please link to what it is you are referring.

 

They do not seem to be available on Amazon any more when I went into my previous orders but on eBay. Something like this.

 

They are not normal extension tubes that go behind the lens such as the Nikon PK-13 which enable a higher magnification and are much more expensive. These spacers are bits of cylindrical plastic or metal that go between the front of the lens and the ES-1 or ES-2  in order to create enough distance between the lens and the copier to allow it to focus. The 105mm Micro Nikkor F-Mount lens does not focus close enough so adding a few of these enables focusing. As I said, the 105mm Micro Nikkor was very disappointing in terms of sharpness across the field but the Tamron 90 was perfect. These spacer rings are cheap so it is worth buying a few as it is difficult to determine exactly what is required in advance. 

 

The lenses Nikon recommend such as the one you bought will work out of the box so that is the easiest way but I already had lenses. The 55 Micro Nikkor requires a proper extension ring such as the PK-13 behind the lens to bring it to 1:1 as it is only 1:2 max but that is also perfect. 

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