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Thread: Duplicating your precious Slide films using a SLR/DSLR

  1. #1
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    Default Duplicating your precious Slide films using a SLR/DSLR

    Saw this thread which spurs me on to have a go myself at duplicating a slide film using a Slide Duplicator (with Nikon T2 mount adapter), a little gadget which I have never put to practical use.

    Under normal circumstances, I would have used a 35mm film SLR body to copy a slide but for illustrating purposes, I toyed with and realised the idea by using a 35mm digital SLR body to copy a slide...


    Setup and equipment required:

    1) SLR or DSLR body
    2) Slide Duplicator at fixed f8 aperture (and with the correct T2 mount adapter for Nikon or Canon body)
    3) Light Panel or box
    4) A mounted slide film



    Slot the mounted slide film into the slide holder of the Slide Duplicator and point it towards a suitable light source (daylight or a colour corrected light panel/box) as shown below:



    Lastly, for a DSLR body, set your camera shutter speed to best effect (1 sec shutter speed was used for iso 200 at fixed f8 aperture) and for a SLR film body, rely on the camera metering (my Nikon FM3a gave the same shutter speed reading of 1 sec for the same iso).

    Bracket your shot if necessary especially when you cannot preview your duplicated shots with a film SLR body.


    I foresee there will be a problem with film SLR bodies like a Nikon F80, F75 etc which will disable metering when used with a Slide Duplicator. Anyway, it is simple to get around with this problem by adopting a trial & error method:

    Use a slide/negative film, say at iso 100. With aperture fixed at f8, you can play around with the single variable, the shutter speed, assuming you also fixed the use of the light source. Bracket your shots, say plus minus 3 stops, from a good guess of the CORRECT shutter speed, me say at 1 sec. So, you exposed for 7 different exposures: 8sec, 4sec, 2sec, 1sec , 1/2sec, 1/4sec, 1/8sec. One of these 7 exposures is bound to be right!!! I bet my head on it

    Use the above experimented & correct shutter speed for your future slide duplication. Remember to adjust your shutter speed accordingly to the iso speed value you used.



    Duplicated slide sample and quality assessment:

    The below pictures depict the duplicated slide sample and its duplicated quality was compared with the traditional slide scan using a Nikon LS 40 slide scanner:


    Duplicated slide using the Slide Copier:


    Scanned slide using the Slide Scanner:


    Due to the used of a non full-framed DSLR body, the 1.5x cropping factor means the effective duplicated area will be discounted. But, if you have or are going to invest on a full-framed DSLR, you will retain 100% effective duplicating area!


    Selective area (green box) from the duplicated slide using the Slide Copier:


    Selective area (green box) from the scanned slide using the Slide Scanner:



    Quality assessment of the selective cropped area (green box) at 100% from the duplicated slide using the Slide Copier:


    Quality assessment of the selective cropped area (green box) at 100% from the scanned slide using the Slide Scanner:




    Verdict:

    It surprises me even until now, this minute, that the quality of the duplicated slide is on par with the scanned slide using a dedicated 35mm film scanner, both of which were unedited and no sharpening tool was applied.

    Which method is marginally inferior or superior than the other is up to you to decide...

    So, with a Slide Duplicator, you can duplicate colour slides, black and white or colour negatives from your original colour transparencies also known as slides.

    Last note: A slide film, whether duplicated or scanned, is never better than or 100% of the original.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for sharing. My limited experience with this (using Nikon ES-E28 slide copying adaptor and a Coolpix) was that it doesn't handle high contrast slides very well. A good slide scanner might be able to do that better.

    Nevertheless, this is rather surprising results. I'd have thought the differences would be much greater than this.

    Regards
    CK

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckiang
    Thanks for sharing. My limited experience with this (using Nikon ES-E28 slide copying adaptor and a Coolpix) was that it doesn't handle high contrast slides very well. A good slide scanner might be able to do that better.

    Nevertheless, this is rather surprising results. I'd have thought the differences would be much greater than this.

    Regards
    CK
    yeah, me too...

    As shown, the scanned version edges the duplicate's in terms of quality/clarity. In comparison, the wordings on the stonework for the duplicated slide appears to be smudgging and less defined.

    All said, I won't say the above results are conclusive. Now that I remember for the cemetry picture, my point of focus wasn't locked onto the stonework. In fact, this picture isn't all that sharp, front to back, back to front. So, the comparison above may not be very credible.

    Once I got the time again, I will post another comparison result using a tack-sharp image.

  4. #4

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    WOW you da man!!!! hope this thread becomes a sticky! This is really useful info, I"ve tried looking for info like this on the net but to no avail.

    too bad my cam is a minolta! how much did the slide duplicator cost? where did you buy it from?

    Really appreciate your posting this thread japs!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoppinghippo
    WOW you da man!!!! hope this thread becomes a sticky! This is really useful info, I"ve tried looking for info like this on the net but to no avail.

    too bad my cam is a minolta! how much did the slide duplicator cost? where did you buy it from?

    Really appreciate your posting this thread japs!
    huh, I don't deserve to be called a "japs" right for all the work I have done?

    I am jas or jasp, not japs !!!

    Anyway, have PMed you where to get the slide duplicator...

  6. #6

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    oh no!!! lol... my bad.... awfully sorry about that!!

    ********** JASPHOTOGRAPHY *********

    tah dah!!!

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    Another test (unedited and no sharpening tool applied) using a sharper slide film:

    Selective area (green box) from the duplicated slide using the Slide Copier and a 6MP DSLR:


    Selective area (green box) from the scanned slide using the Slide Scanner:



    Quality assessment of the selective cropped area (green box) at 100% from the duplicated slide using the Slide Copier and a 6MP DSLR:


    Quality assessment of the selective cropped area (green box) at 100% from the scanned slide using the Slide Scanner:



    The scanned slide fares much better than the duplicated slide in this test, which isn't too big a surprise I guess. My slide duplicator isn't the best around or has the best glass element. We are also sort of comparing, pixel wise, a 6MP Nikon DSLR (or loosely called a 6MP Nikon Scanner...) with a 10MP Nikon LS40 Scanner.

    So, I wonder how well the duplicated slide can compete if I were to use a 10MP full frame DSLR... till I get to buy/borrow one, I'll post another comparison test again.

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    How about scanning at half the resolution? The 6mp DSLR output still look pretty decent to me though. Perhaps a better slide duplicator or shooting it through something like the 105mm Micro might give better results?

    Regards
    CK

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckiang
    How about scanning at half the resolution?
    huh, why I didn't think of that?

    Looks like I got more job ahead of me...


    Quote Originally Posted by ckiang
    The 6mp DSLR output still look pretty decent to me though. Perhaps a better slide duplicator or shooting it through something like the 105mm Micro might give better results?
    Regards
    CK
    yeah, the quality is still pretty decent... I wonder how it stands if I were to print it to A4 ?!?! Anyway, I won't be too bothered to do just that, not until I got the full frame in.

    A 105mm micro should be way better than my slide duplicator but there are few really good duplicators around to contend with. Main reason for using a duplicator is ease of use as compared to using a micro lens that involves tripod setup and ambient lighting control.

    If a DSLR can be used instead of a SLR and yet gives good reproduction result with a duplicator and able to print it to A4/A3, it would be a bonus and less hassle than using a slide scanner which could take a couple of minutes, if not, more precious minutes to scan 1 slide.

    With a full frame DSLR and a slide duplicator, all I need is 1 or 2 sec of exposure time!!! Cool ehhh... but of course, you won't have ICE dust/scratch removal function.

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