Best way to scan slides at home

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RichF

Well-known member
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How do "scan" slides at home?

I have have 3 possibilities and thought I would get some expert opinions before I rush out and spend more money (I am very good at that).

1. Nikon film Scanner such as the LS 5000 (4000 requires firewire so not a real option today)
2. Nikon 60mm macro lens and ES-2 on D850. Will other lens work? Will this work on Z7 body?
3. Flat bed scan such as an All-in-1.

Thanks.

Rich
 

Patrick M

Drives a Jeep
Supporting Member
This was on the dppreview forum

Z7 - FTZ - AF-S 60mm F2.8 - Nikon ES-2 - Daylight LED Lightbox

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DRwyoming

Well-known member
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2. Nikon 60mm macro lens and ES-2 on D850. Will other lens work? Will this work on Z7 body?
Sure it will work on a Z body with the FTZ adapter.

It is possible to use other 1:1 macro lenses like the 105mm AF-S micro with the ES-2 but you need to extend the working distance between the front of the lens and the slide holder. This is pretty easy to do if you pick up a few threaded alloy tubes commonly sold as screw on lens hoods to place the ES-2 slide holder farther out in front of the 105mm micro lens's front element.

The tubes I use look something like this and have the same threading size on both ends so you can chain a couple together as you need to add at around 4.5 inches of working distance to use the ES-2 for 35mm slide reproduction on a 105mm AF-S micro lens. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EDNGPJU/?tag=backcogaller-20

There are other threaded alloy tube solutions out there but the idea is to place the ES-2 at the appropriate working distance for 1:1 reproduction without letting light leak around the slide which of course means more distance than when you use the intended 60mm micro lens.
 
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DRwyoming

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Supporting Member
Hol' up!

In this interview a Nikon rep says: "50mm F2.8 is supported, but 105mm is not."
Yup, unless you add some extra parts (the tubes I described above) the ES-2 won't work with the 105mm micro lens. But if you use added tubes to place the slide holder at the appropriate 1:1 macro focusing distance and use any step up/step down rings as necessary to mount the slide holder it works just fine.

But yup, the ES-2 kit as supplied from Nikon isn't compatible with the 105mm AF-S micro lens but it's very easy to make it compatible with a couple of threaded tubes and possibly a step up or step down ring depending on the threading on the tubes.
 

RandomNumbers

New member
Yup, unless you add some extra parts (the tubes I described above) the ES-2 won't work with the 105mm micro lens. But if you use added tubes to place the slide holder at the appropriate 1:1 macro focusing distance and use any step up/step down rings as necessary to mount the slide holder it works just fine.

But yup, the ES-2 kit as supplied from Nikon isn't compatible with the 105mm AF-S micro lens but it's very easy to make it compatible with a couple of threaded tubes and possibly a step up or step down ring depending on the threading on the tubes.
Looks like i misread your message and thought you were ONLY talking aboout the 105 AF-S, and not the Z version (so I wanted to provide only the info on the latter). My bad.
 

DRwyoming

Well-known member
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Looks like i misread a bit and thought you were ONLY talking aboout the 105 AF-S, and not the Z version. My bad.
I don't yet own the Z version of Nikon's 105mm macro lens so I don't have first hand experience using it with the ES-2 but the same principle applies, you need to place the ES-2 slide holder at the appropriate working distance which will require additional spacing tubes but there's no reason it can't work for slide copying as long as you extend everything properly.
 

FB101

Well-known member
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What quality are you looking for and what are you going to do with those files?
A dedicated scanner is quite critical if you are looking for large print output and the Nikon was and remains the best I have ever used. You can't underestimate the value of the RGB diodes to get true color for each pixel - combined with the multi-exposure multi-pass and you can get cleaner shadows than with any other scanner I tried (short of professional drum scanners but that's a different price).

You can do it with a macro lens + film holder but you will miss the IR scan for auto-dust removal (saves days of manual clean-up on older slides). At least the new sensors have so much DR that you often don't need to do a double exposure anymore (which then requires aligning and combining in PS).

If you are going to do a few dozens, the film holder + macro lens is perfectly adequate.
If you are going to do thousands and are archiving, not going after the highest quality, the flatbed is actually best
But for best quality, the dedicated scanner is still king.
 

RichF

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Thread starter
What quality are you looking for and what are you going to do with those files?
A dedicated scanner is quite critical if you are looking for large print output and the Nikon was and remains the best I have ever used. You can't underestimate the value of the RGB diodes to get true color for each pixel - combined with the multi-exposure multi-pass and you can get cleaner shadows than with any other scanner I tried (short of professional drum scanners but that's a different price).

You can do it with a macro lens + film holder but you will miss the IR scan for auto-dust removal (saves days of manual clean-up on older slides). At least the new sensors have so much DR that you often don't need to do a double exposure anymore (which then requires aligning and combining in PS).

If you are going to do a few dozens, the film holder + macro lens is perfectly adequate.
If you are going to do thousands and are archiving, not going after the highest quality, the flatbed is actually best
But for best quality, the dedicated scanner is still king.
Thanks for providing a few on quality
 

Viseguy

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I used a dedicated Nikon scanner (LS-2000) for years, very expensive to the point that when it failed, I couldn't really justify the expense of replacing it with a newer model. Currently use an Epson V850 Pro flatbed. Still not cheap, but not looking for ultimate quality, just wanting to scan old family slides and such. Works great for that, but kind of wish I could justify buying a new slide scanner.
 
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FB101

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I just looked up the LS5000 on eBay and a mint one goes for around $2000... ouch.

Digmypics charges $0.49/slide and $0.59 per negative frame and you can delete up to 20% if you don't like them and don't want to pay for them. So you can pretty much send 5000 slides in and discard 1000 for the same price, same scan quality and minimal work. I don't know how many you were planning on doing but I'd look into that option as well.
 

RichF

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I just looked up the LS5000 on eBay and a mint one goes for around $2000... ouch.

Digmypics charges $0.49/slide and $0.59 per negative frame and you can delete up to 20% if you don't like them and don't want to pay for them. So you can pretty much send 5000 slides in and discard 1000 for the same price, same scan quality and minimal work. I don't know how many you were planning on doing but I'd look into that option as well.
True. But once you scan the slides via Digmypics, the money is gone. If you buy scanner, you spend xx hours scanning and then resale the scanner and get most of your money back. Which is worth more to you, your time or your money. Convenience or the joy of DIY.
 

Dan291

Member
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I had most of my slides (that I cared about at the time) scanned commercially a while back. Any I do now are ones I think might benefit from some of the new AI software correction.
For those, I use a Lomography Digitaliza frame with a 105 Micro Nikkor on a D850. Does a fine job. Keeping dust off the frames is no harder than swabbing a sensor or applying a screen protector… not that those are necessarily easy.
 
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DougC

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I have used the ES-2 with the Nikon 40mm micro on my Z50 with excellent results. It should do just as well with the 60 micro. I used my trusty SB800 as a light source.
 

soundbyte

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Rassie

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I have one of these that I used to duplicate my important slides. It should be cheap enough if you can get hold of one. It works well enough.

 

JFW

Member
I didn't see it mentioned, but I use the Z5, ftz adapter, PK13 ring, with the 55 mm micro Ais lens (manual focus). Works well and not too pricey.
 

GlenW

Active member
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I have a Nikon PB-6 bellows unit and PS-6 slide copier attachment (both bought used), 55 mm f/2.8 AI macro lens, and LED light panel for copying slides with my D850. Works well and allows for cropping while duplicating. Sometimes will do multiple exposures of a slide to get wider DR. Note that with the right extensions between the body and rear bellows standard that this will work with a D500. The PB-6 also allows for reversing the lens by simply reversing the front standard, which keeps the manual stop-down feature functioning, and contrary to many reports, no extension tube is needed to mount the DSLR to the bellows rear standard.

This replaced an LS-2000 that required extreme patience to do a batch of slides and a SCSI interface so it's not used anymore. I also have an Epson V700 that's used for medium-format film.
 

Ralph Bruno

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I use a CanoScan 8800f flatbed scanner. I‘ve had it for years. Works really well. You can scan 5 slides at a time.
 

dabhand16

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My flatbed scanner has an attchment that allows several to be copied in one go. The attachment has its own light source that reverses the light direction.

Another option (forgive me if already posted) is a slide copier for your camera such as this one that is supplied by a local photographic company near where I live for 60GBP. I'm a long way from you, but there must be similar companies where you are:

 

EricBowles

Well-known member
Thanks. Wonder if I could use the new Z MC 105 macro lens would work. Rather not buy a less expensive but minimally useful lens (only for copying slides). I have no use for 60mm otherwise.
The minimum focus distance of the 105mm is too long. None of the 105 lenses work effectively without a lot of extension. The extension difference is not practical as you need both focus distance and framing. It can be done with the right equipment, but I could not make it work with a stack of extension tubes and close up lenses. You would need the 50mm MC, the 60mm f/2.8, or even the older 55mm f/2.8 or f/3.5 manual focus macro lenses. The older 55mm lenses cost about $150 on KEH. All work with the ES-2 and are easy.

Whatever you use, be sure you spend time cleaning each negative or slide before scanning. 5 minutes up front can save hours of clean up and cloning.
 
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