Slide Copying/Duplicating with a Nikon D200

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mark_d._raab, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. I have been involved in photography for many years and before going obtaining my digital camera I had accumulated thousands of 35mm slides which I want to digitize. Scanners are to expensive and take far to long to scan so I am trying to find the best way to shoot these slides with my D200.
    I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on the best techniques and equipment would be best to accomplish this.
    Thanks much
  2. I have tried a few different pieces of equipment and techniques to do this over the years.

    Here is my current set up
    Canon 5DS (full frame)
    Nikon PB-6 bellows
    Rodenstock APO-Rodagon D 75mm f/4 lens
    Nikon PS-6 film holder
    Savage Luminous PRO LED panel (set to full brightness and 5600K)

    All of this (bellows rig and light) are mounted on a single long rail to keep everything aligned

    For your APS-C format camera I recommend you change the lens to the Nikon 55mm f/2.8 AI-S Micro-Nikkor

    A quick overview of my technique

    Shoot raw and manual exposure mode.

    Use the PS-6 movable stage to shoot the slide in overlapping quadrants

    Bracket exposures from each quadrant from -2 to +2 in one strop increments and combine using a mild HDR Technique

    Stitch the four quadrants together.

    For the HDR and Stiching software I am using Lightroom cc 2015.8's Photomerge tools.

    Once combined I use lightroom's develop tools to make any adjustments
  3. I found these articles very useful when I was researching the same thing.
    The simplest solution is to buy a 60mm Micro Nikkor and an ES-1 slide copy attachment.
    I have a D200 and D90 and a 55mm Micro Nikkor with Nikon M2 and K1-5 extensions.
    I did not want to spend a lot of money and a PB4 Bellows unit goes for a lot of money but it is probably the simplest solution.
    Even the Nikon ES-1 Slide Copy adapter is $60 and while it works for slides it does not really work for negatives without modification.
    I decided to see what I could do with what I had on hand and for little additional cash spending.
    I cobbled together what I had on hand and a Nikon Es-28 slide/negative holder. I ended up with my Nikon D90 with the M2 extension and my Nikkor Micro 55mm. I adapted the ES-28 to the front of my lens with a 49mm and 55M-55M filter adapter. I found this put the slide to close to the camera and would not focus without cropping so I used a couple of K tubes between the lens and slide holder to put the focus point further out.
    The reason why I went with the Nikon ES-28 is it comes with both a slide holder and a 35mm film strip holder for negatives, I wanted to digitize negatives as well. The ES-28 can be picked up very cheap, I got mine new for $9 plus shipping. The ES-28 was made to attach to the front of an early Nikon point and shoot but it was perfect for what I needed once I adapted it for my needs.
    Just a note...
    My 55mm Micro Nikkor is Non AI which is a no no on a Nikon digital DSLR; however, my M2 tube while technically pre AI is quite safe to use on a Nikon DSLR.
    Plenty of other lenses will do the same thing, even old 35-70 or kit lenses can be used just by extending either the lens from body or slide adapter from lens. Many even reverse a normal lens to accomplish macro capability.
    I have an Epson scanner that I have used and still use for medium and large format but for 35mm using a DSLR is so much faster.
    Good luck
  4. In order to copy slides with a D200 (1.5x crop), you need a closeup lens capable of reproducing at a 1:1.5 level.
    My setup is for a full-frame camera (Sony A7Rii), using a Novoflex Nikon to Sony adapter, Nikon 55/2.8 Micro Nikkor (1:2), a Nikon PK13 extension tube to achieve up to 1:1 magnification, and a Nikon ES-1 Slide Copying Attachment, which attaches to the 52 mm filter thread of the lens. The A7Rii has more than enough dynamic range for slides without resorting to multiple exposures or HDR. I have a Nikon LS4000 scanner, but results from this setup are as good or better in a fraction of the time.
    To reduce the magnification to 1:1.5, you would also need extension tubes between the filter ring and the ES-1. Nikon made a set of "K" rings for this purpose, which are available used. There may be other brands too.
    Since the entire assembly is locked together, you don't need a tripod or a fast shutter speed. For light, I use a daylight type LED bulb in a desk lamp, which gives good results. I use a shutter speed of about 1/4" (aperture priority) at f/5.6 and ISO 400.
    In order to achieve grain-sharp copies, you need a resolution of about 24 MP (or more). The D200 is a bit challenged in this respect.
  5. The easiest and least expensive way to do this is with a slide duplicating attachment that attaches to the front of a close-focusing lens. You will need a light source, and for repeatable results it is best to use a flash unit. An inexpensive (non-TTL) flash will do. You may be able to find everything you need on Craig's List or that auction site which I don't know if we're allowed to mention. Some older and cheaper duplicators (mine cost $20 new thirty years ago) come with their own lens, typically with a fixed aperture of f/11 or smaller. They attach to the camera mount via a T-ring adapter. The lenses on these aren't great, but the results are not as bad as one might expect.
    Wow! You had a bunch of answers while I answered a phone call. I hope all the replies help.
  6. The problem with the old cheap slide duplicators from years ago is they will crop a 35mm slide if used on an APS-C camera like a Nikon D200 as they were made for full frame 35mm; not to mention the poor optics contained within them.
  7. Here is a picture of my setup, mounted on my D200.
    The film strip holder is at the side and the slide holder mounted in the adapter.
  8. Try that again for the picture...
  9. I've recently seen many self-
    contained duplicators around
    used - or even brand new in
    original box. They're usually
    designated as "zoom" slide
    duplicators under various
    different brand names.
    "Panagor", "Ohnar" and "Bush
    & Meissner" spring to mind,
    but they're all of the same
    design and quite likely from
    the same factory. They take a
    T2 mount and have the
    advantage of being simple to
    use once set up.

    The inbuilt lens isn't that
    great, but usually adequate
    to resolve the film grain/dye

    Once focus is adjusted by
    means of a sliding tube and
    lock-screw, all that's needed
    is to point the camera and
    duplicator at a light source
    and press the button. No need
    to worry about camera
    movement since the whole
    thing sits rigidly on the

    Expect to pay between £5 and £10 UK, that's around $7 to $14 US. However a Nikon T2 adapter will likely cost you more!
  10. I have several of the self-contained slide duplicators mentioned by Rodeo Joe but probably by different names.
    While these are simple to use they will crop on a APS-C camera to were you only get the center 66% of your slide. Even though they are "Zoom" the zoom goes the wrong way and crops even more.
    The reason for this is they were made to use on 35mm film cameras.
    There are newer recreations of these self contained units of varying quality that would work on APS-C sized cameras but I doubt the objects are as good as a regular lens.
  11. P.S. Ellis's multi-section
    technique will overcome the
    "lifesize" magnification
    issue, as well as only use
    the central section of the copier lens, which is usually quite sharp enough.

    I also have a 3rd party
    "copy" of the ES-1. This can
    be screwed to the front of a
    55mm Micro-Nikkor + PK-13 and
    adjusted to give the needed
    2:3 mag ratio on DX. The
    whole assembly is rigid, and
    again needs no special anti-
    vibration measures. Easy-
  12. Hi,
    I'd recommend buying a Plustek 8200i dedicated film scanner instead. Even with the best lenses the corners are never as flat or uniformly illuminated as a scan. For best results with your copier or a scanner remove the film from the mount and make sure it is flat.
    The advantage of scanning is Digital Ice, which removes dust and scratches, as well as color restoration. If you use your slide duplicator be prepared for hours of retouching dust spots and specks in photoshop.
    I've been there.
  13. Rick, the OP mentioned he
    wasn't interested in scanning
    due to the time involved.

    I've been the scanning route,
    and even with a multi-frame
    flatbed it takes quite some
    time to digitise each frame.
    Digital ICE^3, or whatever
    it's called these days,
    increases the scan times even

    Yes, been there, done that,
    and wouldn't want to repeat
    the experience. One shot
    duplicating is definitely the
    way forward. I bet I could
    use the healing brush on
    several dust spots, and
    adjust the hue/sat sliders
    before even one slide had
    been scanned in a dedicated
    slide scanner.
  14. I copied family slides a few years ago with a Nikon 105mm macro pointed down at a light table. This was pre-live view (D2x) and the hardest part was leaning over the camera for periods of time.
  15. I am in the middle of exactly this type of project digitizing probably 1500 or more family slides dating back to the early 60's and another large batch from my wifes family going that far back. Then there are a couple thousand probably that I've shot since the F2 was the camera to have. I tried several things and I know it isn't what you want but look around for a Cool Scan and just put in the time. It isn't fast or much fun but it gives good results. I'll just sit down and do a hundred or so once or twice a week and some day I'll be finished. There are are many other ways to do this as you have seen in this thread but the scanner has done the best job of giving me what I want.

    Rick H.
  16. I just started experimenting with taking pictures of 35 mm slides, mostly Kodachromes I shot between 1980 and 2005. Setup with lighttable, tripod with reversed center column, EOS-M with EF-m to EF adapter, 12 mm extension tube and EF 50/2.5 macro lens. I used a makeshift slide adapter (cardboard) to hold the slide into place.
    I made a few hundred copies and compared these with ones made with my Nikon Coolscan V scanner.
    Preliminary conclusion: Coolscan V produces less noise, EOS-M colors are much better and the resolution between the two is comparable. Handling is a big difference. The scanner takes more time, 160 sec vs. 30 seconds with EOS-M. The timing is such that you can do very little in between scans so that's a big advantage of the camera setup.
    With regard to resolution: I also did a few with an EOS 10D (6 MP) and the difference in resolution is not huge, this (6-20 MP) seems to be approximately the resolving power of film. No need to buy a 5Ds or Nikon D810 for scanning a slide collection. In the end I chose to continue with the EOS M because of live view which is a great help in scanning slides.
    I started using the before mentioned setup in order to make a prescan with the idea of scanning the best slides with the Coolscan V but it worked out differently from what I expected.
    BTW, I have mostly Kodachrome slides. In scanning these have two problems: color turns out too blue and ICE dust removal works poorly because the film is silver based. Thus the preference for the camera route.
    Later I will have to scan some negative films too, in that case I'll make the comparison between Coolscan and film again.
  17. Like Jos, my limited experience of scanning is that you get a lot of grain for not very much resolution gain as the pixel count goes up. If the film is in strips then I think a scanner (or just sending it off to someone - these guys seem good in the UK) still has merit, and if you've got a lot of dynamic range then it may do better than the DSLR route - but it depends what your slides are: I played with some Kodachromes and some Velvia, but I doubt many were taken with high-end glass. There is film detail at higher resolutions, but at very low microcontrast compared with digital, and you're fighting the grain. Given how painful this is, I absolutely think sticking an adaptor on your D200 is thee right approach, and if you have anything spectacular, then send it off to someone whose job it is to handle the pain. I'm coming to the same conclusion about printers these days. I'm sure there are many here with much more experience than me, and with practice the pain will be less (or you'll be numb to it).
    I use a shutter speed of about 1/4" (aperture priority) at f/5.6 and ISO 400.​
    That said, I've absolutely no idea why you'd not want to stick to minimum ISO. No point in adding the camera sensor's noise to the film grain...
  18. I've no idea why you'd need to use a long shutter
    speed either. Flash is definitely the most
    convenient lighting for duplication. Simply set a
    white card beyond the slide holder and fire a
    hotshoe mounted flash at it. I've even used a
    whitewashed wall with the camera handheld. There was no sign of camera shake.

    With a rigid macro lens + ES-1 (or equivalent) setup you can duplicate a slide almost as quickly as you can mount it in the holder. No light table or tripod/copy-stand required.

    I agree that most 35mm slides don't contain enough detail to warrant much over 12 Mp files.
  19. Well, I can understand doing several exposures (particularly on an older sensor) to stack HDR if you're fighting the dmax of the slides - although a flash would help keep exposures short. I vaguely get that a fairly slow shutter speed might also be beneficial if you're trying to avoid shutter slap - if the rest of the configuration is rigid, that's probably where the vibrations will come from. I'm trusting Jos's "30 seconds" figure was to get everything set up, not actually to take a 30s exposure, though. If you're actually doing multi-second exposures then you're going to start getting sensor noise again. If in doubt, add photons!

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