New Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by iosif_astrukov, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. together with D850 they announce ES-2

    also there is some kind of auto option working on the camera, directly through the live mode, but only in JPEGs

    looks great although

    I am quite happy with the ES-1 for slides, but negatives are better on Coolscan for the moment
  2. The ES-2 appears to be very little different from the ES-1 that's been available for years. It's just a short tube with a slide-holder and opal diffuser on the end. Definitely not worth the asking price that's twice what an ES-1 sells for.

    Nikon have obviously spotted what they think is a marketing niche on the back of their new high-res camera. But don't be suckered, get an ES-1 instead. Or any similar 3rd party offering.

    In fact there's nothing new at all in using a DSLR to copy slides/negatives. It can be done with any camera with a megapixel count in excess of 20 plus a decent macro lens. Since most film is only capable of a resolution around 4000 pixels per inch, a 4000 x 6000 pixel DSLR (either DX or FX) will scrape all the detail off a 35mm frame that it's capable of holding.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
  3. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    He read it on the internet, so it must be true... :cool:
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  4. Oh dear, here we go again with the "film contains infinite detail" zealots.

    No, I did not read it on the internet.
    My conclusion comes from over 40 years experience of using film, and about 10 years of scanning it using a variety of levels of scanner, including copying with a high-res DSLR.

    So your next step is to wheel out 2D resolution charts shot with some obscure B&W copying film and developed in an obscure formulation - a combination that nobody in their right mind would use on a regular basis. And a subject matter that has no relevance to normal 3D photography.

    Why not accept the conclusion that most working and enthusiast photographers came to about 10 years ago? That film ain't that good, and a modern digital camera can easily blow the image quality of a 35mm frame out of the water.

    Even this pro-film website concludes that film has quite limited resolution.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
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  5. Yeah and none of these guys shoot film. I agree 4000dpi is the limit of very fine grain film like Ektar other films are less.
  6. ES-1 is very very good as I said, I use it already regularly for digitilizing my slides and the quality is better than scanning IMO
    but it is only for slides in frames, it was once originally created for duplicating slides, while ES-2 is made for stripes of negatives and framed slides - in this way it's better, it's more compatible, and in general will make the digitalising faster, especially if you use their auto option in JPEG
    I personally won't use it because my personal tests shows that the best result is obtained with the HDR function in the camera and in TIFF format in this case - as there is no NEF with HDR (I had posted all the results in an old thread)

    although my experience shows that Coolscan 9000 gives better result for BW negatives, still I consider buying also ES-2, because they are really well made - definitely better than the hand made myself 'something' in order to use ES-1 for negatives - I even cut ones a single negative to put it in frame just to test how it's working DSLR with negatives, but it is not a good choice indeed as you can't keep negatives that way as slides and if you decide scanning it afterwards you will have more problems - it's better to keep the stripes

    of course Nikon is thinking how to market the product and etc and it is not cheap but I personally think it's great that they really create good photo products useful for film users still… and in general

    and I definately don't think 20Mpx is the limit of 35mm film...
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  7. Well. You have to buy the filmstrip holder as a separate item for the ES-2. I see no reason why it couldn't be made to fit an ES-1.

    Personally I have an Aico or somesuch adapter of very similar design to the ES-2, except it has a variable extension and a built-in filmstrip holder. It cost me £10 IIRC.

    Let's see, $3,300 for a D850, plus ES-2 @ $150 + FH-4 filmholder @ $40 + 60mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor lens @ $597. That's $4,087.

    One expensive negative scanner! It certainly puts the cost of a Primefilm XA or Plustek 120 in perspective.

    I didn't say 20Mp, I said > 20Mp. 4000x6000 = 24,000,000. But if you have a lens and film combination that's capable of capturing more than 80 lppmm across the entire frame, then I'd love to view the results.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
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  8. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Just dug out my ES 1 and FH 3 Film strip holder. It will fit and line up. You can do three frames, then you have to re position to do the other three on a six frame strip. Should be a considerable improvement in digitizing film with a camera. Brilliant idea, RJ! Have somewhere to go this morning, will test and post samples later today.
  9. I posted an announcement in the Digital forum, but this one is getting some responses.

    According to the description in B&H, the adapter comes with holders for two mounted slides and one for a film strip of six. That would more than account for the price difference compared to the ES-1. The film holders cited as accessories are extras or replacements. From the description, the ES-2 looks like it's made of metal, like the ES-1, not plastic like the cheap slide copiers on the internet. It is specifically designed for use with a macro (1:1) lens, not a standard lens using a built-in 10x diopter.

    The lens it is designed to fit a Nikon 60/2.8 AFS, has a 62 mm filter thread. However 52-62 step-up adapters cost as little as $6. There appears to be a sliding tube for focusing, like the ES-1. It remains to be seen if it will be too long to focus correctly with a 55/2.8 AIS like I use. I remain hopeful, but there is always my Mythbusters filter wrench - a band saw ;)

    We can argue all day about film resolution v digital. Someone will drag out Kodak Technical Pan, or something on that order. In my experience with ordinary color film, including Velvia and Kodachrome, a 24 MP digital camera (Sony A7ii) is roughly grain-sharp, and the 42 MP A7Rii is overkill, but with better color and less noise. Kodak Ektar 100 is not even a runner-up in the resolution contest.

    Unlike the paper towel tube and gaffer tape adapters, the entire assembly is rigid enough to use without a tripod. The 55/2.8 Micro lens is more than a match for the 42 MP sensor. You need a PK13 extension tube (27 mm), plus an adapter for the Sony.

    Like Sandy, I have used the ES-1 with a Nikon FH-2 film strip holder, which exposes three frames then switched end for end. It's somewhat thicker than a slide mount, and puts some strain on the clips in an ES-1, but works well enough. The downside is FH-3 adapters are selling for as much as $300 on the internet. Mine came with an LS-4000 scanner, which still works.
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  10. This is a comparison between Ektar 100 and a Leica M9 (18 MP) of the same scene, same lighting and same lens, a 90 MM Summicron, scanned on a Nikon LS-8000. Both are presented at the maximum resolution - pixel = pixel. The digital image is sharp enough to capture all the detail on film, then some, with the right lens.

    Leica M3+ Ektar 100 + Summicron 90/2 (top) and Leica M9 (18 MP) + Summicron 90/2 (bottom)
    Ektar 100 Detail.jpg L1001138 Detail.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  11. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Mine also came with the same scanner which I have yet to get to work -- combination of software, hardware & entropy. Sounds as if I can make good the purchase price of the scanner used with the bits & pieces. Haven't given up hope, though. I knew you had posted on this topic, ED, but couldn't find your thread or I'd have put this there.
  12. A better comparison would be a camera "scan" of the same slide, compared to that from an LS-4000 or LS-8000. Setting up a scanner and locating the original slide is somewhat of a big task at the moment. Anecdotally though, slides aren't as sharp as we thought when that was the only thing available. Look at them with a good 10x magnifier, and they will look like to top example.

    When you copy slides in the manner described, the colors you get are those of the film, not the same scene captured with the same camera separately. You get the best of both worlds.
  13. It's not too much to ask show me a piece of 35mm film that can convey more details than a 24MP camera can capture. Because if I were to provide the film example you may say I didn't know how to get the most out of film.
  14. I think the relevant question is whether a 24 MP camera can do justice to a piece of film, relative to a dedicated Nikon scanner. This is important because those scanners are no longer made, nor has the software been updated since Windows XP. You can still find them used, but working versions cost twice as much as when new 15 years ago. You can still buy new Hasselblad Imacon scanners for $12K and up, or an used Scitex for about $20K. Using a digital camera should seem reasonable at that rate, and far better and faster than any consumer flatbed.

    I'm working on an A-B comparison with something I've already scanned, such as the lilly pad above. That's recent (2014) and the negatives are cataloged.
  15. Since I still actively shoot slides and maintain a Coolscan V, I will be happy to do side-by-sides of Velvia vs. a dSLR "scan" once I have my D800 back from service. I can even throw in an original from the D800 of the same scene.

    BTW, I use both Vuescan and the Nikon software, although for now I'm doing my scanning on a PowerMac G5. Since I'm getting bogged down with both LF scans and with files from the D800(the latter of which I process on my laptop primarily) I'm building out a Mac Pro 5,1. Nikon Scan will continue to work on Snow Leopard, which is what I'm using to do some of the computer set-up, although I'm planning on dual booting Snow Leopard and Sierra(or probably High Sierra by the time I'm ready to switch over).

    I'll have to experiment, but it should be possible to run NikonScan through virtualized Snow Leopard. Provided that you have the proper interface for your scanner, this should let Mac users at least keep going(Firewire is possible on newer computers via a dongle with Thunderbolt 1 or 2 via a dongle, although I don't know if anything has been worked out yet for TB3/USB-C). You need a copy of Snow Leopard Server($20 from Apple on a physical disk) and depending on how computer savvy you are/how much you want to tinker need either VirtualBox(free) or VMWare Fusion(I think about $100). The EULA for SL Server specifically allows virtualization on Apple hardware.
  16. Rodeo_joe - you don't need to buy all that as you can rent equipment, but even if you buy it, you can use it for a lot more than scan - and also this is the price relatively of the Coolscans second hand already…

    here is the tests I made - D810 + AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm + ES-1 + BR-5 - Google Drive

    the smaller photos are scans from Imacons, photo labs, Coolscans and etc… made in a period of more than 10 years, and the biggest one is from D810 - there is NEF and HDR - TIFF compartment series and also several tests of how colours are shifting as you use different colour modes - colour profiles
  17. Okay folks, a couple questions: First, how does the ES-2 (and ES-1) attach to the lens? I'm assuming it screws into the filter threads. I have an older 60mm f2.8 Micro Nikkor and the threaded ring is dented. Nikon can't repair it because they no longer stock the parts. Question 2: Is there a way to repair the filter threads in the lens without replacing anything?
  18. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    The ES-1 screws into the once standard Nikon 52mm thread just like a filter. Don't think there is a reliable DIY method to fix a bent flange. You might be able to fool with it gradually, bending it with some padded pliers and working an old brass filter in, but the likelihood is that you (or anyone who wasn't very skilled) would just do further damage. The older macros don't go for a lot, you might be able to sell yours with the understanding that it is bent, and buy a better one.
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  19. The ES-2 screws into a 62 mm filter thread, compared to 52 mm for the ES-1. There is a slip tube to adjust the focal plane and to square the film with the sensor. My 55/2.8 AIS has a 52 mm filter ring, so a 52-62 step-up adapter is required. It's possible the ES-2 will be too long for 1:1 magnification with that lens. In that case, adjusting the focus to something less than 1:1 would work, but with more cropping.

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