New Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter

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

  1. Despite Nikon's claims, I still think it will not beat a real film scanner in convenience, speed, or quality.

    The older equivalents are about as marketable on eBay as old Beanie Babies.

    1985 versions. The only one I'd bother with is the "component system"
  2. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    I want to stress the highlighted section--for most 'average' photo enthusiasts that do not have advanced mechanical skills--and the necessary tools to accomplish the job. Even for those of us that do, straightening more serious bends often causes a horizontal split along the bottom of the lowest (where the bend starts) thread base at the bottom of the v-shaped thread wall. Brass stuff is notorious for this... :(

    Minor stuff can often be reshaped properly with a short section (4" or so) of 1/2" oak dowel rod in which the 'business end' has been sanded from side to side to match the curvature of an undamaged section of the interior thread wall. Very light taps, or disaster will ensue. It will take multiple corrections to have this happen. If the threaded filter bezel is made of plastic or 'pot metal' (zinc alloys) then you can pretty much forget about it. Some strategies involving pinpoint heat from a hot air gun can work with the former--but one also risks deforming or shrinking the damned thing in the process.

    Hence, Sandy's strategy may be the best if you are looking at the 'best solution.' Another strategy would be to make a collar to fit the outside with a step-down ring as an integral part of the plastic collar. We used to do such things for special applications at a place I worked nearly a half-century ago--but this requires some machining skills and a metal lathe. Anyway, let's continue to look at Sandy's idea first... :)
    Greg Fight and Sandy Vongries like this.
  3. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    JDM, those Spirotone duplicators may not be really marketable on Fleabay--but they are certainly cheap! If one can find a way to couple one to a digital camera there exists a perfect solution!

    For all the grumble about Spirotone, they made quite a bit of VERY good stuff, along with the campy rubbish. The Dupliscopes were one of the former items. When I worked as an AV Specialist at the Bishop Planetarium, we used the Dupliscope II along with a Miranda Fv to copy slide collections that accompanied planetarium shows made elsewhere-and duplicate backups to title slides we made internally for shows. The good old days of ceramic letters on a light table, shot with Kodalith film... :cool:

    Toward the end of my tenure, we upgraded to a Nikon F, due to the fact the viewfinder display was pretty much "WYSIWYG." A simple change of adapter was all that was necessary. I would like to see if it is possible to couple such a thing to a D7100, as somewhere in my boxed-up darkroom/photo junk I have a perfectly good Bello-Dupliscope!

    For nearly a year now, I have been working on a duplication system. The framework consists of an old Beseler 45MXT frame, and the lighting originating from an LED tracing panel. I have built a frame that the LED panel slips into, which is configured to hold Beseler film carriers in alignment by the pins. I do have a 35mm carrier, but I feel that for that size negative either a duplicator or dedicated 35mm scanner would achieve better results. I certainly wish I could find a working Coolscan 4000 for next to nothing... :rolleyes:
  4. “Using a lens such as the AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED attached to the D850, the camera's digitizing function automatically reverses the colors and stores them as JPEG images. This once time-consuming process involving a film scanner can be done much more quickly.”

    Anyone has more information about this?

    I mean, reversing the colors is as easy as pressing a button on an editing software. And it would be more interesting to have the image as RAW and not as JPEG, for editing it. Does this D850 supposedly reverse the colors “intelligently”, taking into consideration it is photographing an “orange” negative, etc., making the process really easier?

    I haven’t practiced this technique yet, but some dispersed anecdotes I read said that dslr digitizing negatives is not so easy precisely because of certain difficulty to edit colors and making them look natural, and to do this more or less quickly.
  5. Fiodor - yes, the method is great for slides, not so much for negatives - black and white or colour

    at least that's what my experience shows

    and yet again you have to fight to get the right colours afterwards editing

    otherwise - you can make NEF files using the ES-1/2, but as I already said - the best result I get when using the HDR function in the 810 camera

    we have to wait to see exactly how this new feature is working in 850
  6. It's easy to copy slides with a digital camera and match the color. The same digital camera will produce images quite different from the same scene on its own. It would seem if you want "natural" color, film isn't the best choice.

    The quality of a scanned or copied negative depends a lot on the negative. Much as slide film does better if underexposed about 1/3 stop, negative film works better if overexposed at least by the same amount if you want good detail in the shadow areas. Highlights take care of themselves, unless you go totally berserk with settings. The opposite is true with slide film and digital.

    One of the options in Photoshop "Curves" (ctl-M) is "Color Negative". Sometimes it works, other times not so well. Color balance in negative film is highly sensitive to the exposure.
  7. Coupling is not a problem, most use one or another from of T-mount or specific camera adapters which are cheap.
    It's the "perfect solution" that is the problem :p
    PapaTango likes this.
  8. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    Honey, you have just made my DAY! If you were in town, I would hug you and buy you dinner... :eek:

    A short search on Ham-azon showed me a few adapters. Yes, the T mount needed to put my gnarly old Spirotone back into service--but another gem of inestimable value!

    Whatsit? Why a Fotodiox Nikon F mount to Canon FD/FL lens with aperture control!

    I have a boatload of prime lenses in my A-1 kit--all of which I was seriously thinking of selling off. $45 later, I now have both mounts arriving at my secret lair--on or before September 1... :cool:
  9. One of the reasons I went to Canon EOS for digital was the ability to use my old non-AI Nikkors and many other mounts of lenses in stop-down mode.
    I have always found the Fotodiox brand to be reliable, although even cheaper and almost always OK adapters are available on eBay and such like. [avoid the "focus confirmation" versions as the plague]

    Unfortunately, the adapters for the nFD mounts to EOS require a minus-lens (or shooting only macro) and quality is lost on an EOS camera. Like the later EOS, the FD mount will accept a broad range of other mounts if you can find the right adapters.
  10. So, there is no information…

    If the camera only reverses, it is not too helpful. And if it does some kind of automatic adjustment, like a scanner would do, it should create a RAW file for further editing.

    In fact, the ideal option would be that the scanning software does this particular job of properly reversing RAW files gotten from ”DSLR scans”. Is there any application which does this job? Or even you could do the settings before actually shooting the photo, the camera connected to the computer and truly acting as a film scanner, but probably I am asking too much, or most probably what I just said doesn’t make any sense.
  11. That's not really possible - once a camera starts editing, the data is no longer raw. It could probably export the edited data in a container format like dng, but the actual data would be demosaiced, and no longer real raw data.

    You could shoot in raw, and use something like ColorPerfect afterwards to handle the inversion with good curves. I never used it but it's reported to deliver good results.
  12. Les. You've obviously studied "How to win an internet argument 101"

    1. Provide no cogent counter argument, but make an unwarranted personal attack on your chosen "opponent".

    2. Insult and patronise anyone who disagrees with your unsupported opinion to put them off guard.

    3. Disregard any evidence that contradicts your viewpoint and refuse to acknowledge that anyone other than yourself has any skill or expertise.

    I've wasted enough of my life doing film v digital comparisons thanks. For some strange reason the quality of result I get from digital is always far superior to that from 35mm film. Despite the person behind the viewfinder remaining the same, and using the same camera techniques.
  13. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Actually, since the gadget would be used only occasionally and at home, and wouldn't need to win beauty contests you could follow the collar idea by using an adjustable pipe strap from the hardware store. Just get the right size apply some tape or other gasket to the inside and gently tighten the screw. Since the ES1 is designed for a 60mm, the distance media to lens might even help.
  14. There are ways to fix a dented tube which might be uses to repair a filter ring. One method would be to make an expanding swage. Unless there is an existing tool, it would cost more to make than to replace the lens. An alternative would be to salvage the filter ring in a damaged lens and refit the dented one. This too would be an expensive choice, bur probably less than a new lens.

    If you want to pursue copying slides and negatives in lieu of purchasing an high quality scanner, now of unicorn scarcity, the cost of a new 60 MM macro lens is less than 1/3rd that of an LS-4000 when it was new, 15 years ago or so. Used Nikon 55/2.8 lenses are still relatively inexpensive, and IMO better for this purpose than an AF model. Either way, a good macro lens is very useful for copying artwork and for closeups of stationary objects (e.g., stamps, coins, jewelry). If you prefer a longer lens, which is better for general purposes, the ES-2 is not for you. A copy stand with a light box would work (in lieu of cardboard and gaffer tape0, starting at about $500.

    Nikon Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 Micro AIS Manual Focus Lens {52}
  15. Les does an admirable job scanning film, and has it down to a science. He is no more evangelical about film than most of us are about digital. Just a thought, though. Much as scanners are becoming extinct, so are their repair services. Think of the ES-2 as "Plan B."
  16. I have a copy stand. I could fashion some sort of light source and be off to the races. Since I can't attach the ES-2 to my 60mm, I'll save $139.95 from the start. My D300 will give me enough resolution for my purposes. This is my Plan B. My primary slide/negative scanning is done with my old CanoScan 2710. Again, not optimum but sufficient resolution. Occasionally there is a problem slide - too dense or problematic color - where I want to copy it with the DSLR.

    Thanks everyone for the advice.
  17. You can get LED light tables relatively inexpensively. You might even make one from a light panel and a sheet of opal plastic or glass. I have an old light table with fluorescent lamps, but the spectrum was so uneven that I could't get good color even with slides. LEDs are much better. Light tables made for copy stands are expensive, but probably the best in the long run.
  18. Due to the hardness of the Dural that old MF Nikkor lens barrels are made of; I don't think it's feasible to swage a dent out of a filter ring and still retain the thread. Maybe Aralditing the ring of an old filter to the front would work?

    I still think Nikon's ES-x options can be bettered, and at a lower cost. The ES-x has no way of varying its length that I can see, and so no way of varying the reproduction ratio.

    I have a Sunagor (was mistaken about it being Aico) tube + slide/filmholder that does exactly the same job as an ES-2 - except the tube has a helicoid and extends.

    There's no need for a light table. All I do is mount a speedlight on the camera hotshoe, point the whole assembly at a sheet of white card, and let the reflected flash illuminate the slide or film via the opal diffuser. I usually need about 1/4 power on the flash, and fine-tune the exposure with the lens aperture. Easy-peasy.
    Greg Fight likes this.
  19. What's this again? I actually have an ES-1, and the length can be varied nearly an inch. I also have a set of Nikon K tubes, 1 through 5, which can increase the distance between the lens and the slide copier by over two inches. I said as much in a previous post, but it bears repeating.

    I'm sure there are other adapters which would work as well, but I was not able to find any still being made, other than cheesy versions which relied on simple lenses rather than a sophisticated macro lens like the 55/2.8. A key advantage of the Nikon ES-1 is that it screws into the lens, making the entire copying assembly rigid and stable, once set up. It is not necessary use a tripod, since long exposures are not subject camera shake relative to the target. Furthermore, the entire assembly is light tight, except for light passing through the film, so there is no loss of contrast due to ambient light.

    You can use a flash, but it is not necessary. The spectrum of a simple daylight LED light bulb is easily accommodated within the range of white balance of the camera. Using the desk lamp (which I reflect from a tilted white card for uniformity, makes it much easier to align and focus the film. It's easy enough to calibrate the color using an X-Rite Passport, but it doesn't seem to be necessary. Automatic exposure also accommodates variations in the slide's exposure, and is more reliable than AE using a flash.

    If you use a copy stand, a light table simplifies the operation. The light is continuous, making setup and alignment easier to check, and it provides a flat surface to hold the film. Using an ES-1 or ES-2 eliminates the need to use a copy stand, unless you want to copy film larger than 35 mm.

    I have a Novoflex focusing rail with a copy attachment, which serves as a copy stand without the stand. I can copy film up to 6x7, using a Sony 90/2.8 Macro or a Nikon 105/2.8 AFD Macro. Focusing and adjustments of the film holder are via a rack and pinion. You must take precautions, as with a copy table, to exclude as much ambient light as possible. I can also use a digital Hasselblad, and use a compendium (bellows) light shade to bridge the gap between the lens and film holder.

    Next time, please be more judicious in your description of things with which you have never used nor carefully thought out.
  20. Ok. I admit that I was mistaken over the ES adapters, but I did qualify my assumption with the words "that I can see".

    Perhaps if Nikon provided better pictures of the item, or a better description, then such errors might not be made.

    The ES-2 is still an overly expensive item if the full kit is bought.

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