Affordable camera for scanning negs?

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by John51, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. John51

    John51 Member

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    Could do with some recommendations as I know little about digital cameras. Taking pics of negs/slides will be its main (only?) purpose. I'm planning on taking multiple pics and using a stitching app. Colour balance more important than MPs within reason. I would be wanting to fit an adapter to use an M42 lens.

    What bargain used cameras should I be looking out for?
     
  2. Helios 1984

    Helios 1984 Subscriber

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    Hard to beat Pentax when it comes to backward compatibility, maybe you could get a K-20D for cheap on KEH? I've purchased my K-50 from them about 3 years ago, I've been sold to Pentax ever since.
     
  3. 4season

    4season Member
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    Consider a camera body offering sensor-shift: I use an Olympus Pen-F to do the deed, and in high-res mode, it delivers 80 megapixel raw files. Pretty sure the feature is offered on less-costly models as well. Main downside with Pen-F is that I see no obvious way to combine self-timer and high-res mode, so I use an old fashioned cable release. Lens adapters for M43 are plentiful, and for me, getting ~100mm FOV from a 50mm macro lens is a bonus in this application, and I get more depth of field than I would if I were actually using a 100mm lens.
     
  4. markjwyatt

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    You might consider a full frame camera (I know, complicates the price point). It makes it easier to implement a bellows + slide copier solution; though this is not completely necessary (I am working on an APSC capability to do this). Once you deviate from 35 mm, then it does not matter also.
     
  5. Billy Axeman

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    For the body I would choose an DSLR for reliably selecting area's for the stitch.

    I agree with Helios 1984. I also use Pentax digital camera's for this purpose and Pentax-A macro lenses (which are very good). Pentax has also lots of macro accessories like bellows, film holders and extension tubes that are relatively cheap 2-nd hand.

    Notice that you need a 1:1 macro lens to fully cover the sensor on an APS-C camera like the K-50 for single shots (no stitching) and 35 mm film. For MF film or larger you need to stitch anyways. Please don't use a macro bellow between camera and lens to get sufficient magnification, they are dust-bags and it will ruin your sensor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  6. markjwyatt

    markjwyatt Subscriber
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    Using the standard Honeywell Bellows (such as Bellows II) you need a 50mm lens in order to use the slide copier as designed. I am using an APSC sensor, and am using the bellows 100 lens. I needed to add a section of monorail (machined form a 1/2" aluminum dowel) to move my slide copier beyond where the standard monorail for the copier gets you. Now, I need to rig an interface to attach the small bellows to the lens, as the standard copier bellows is not long enough. I will probably use an ABS (black) pipe and some type of plate and clamps to do this. If I had a full frame camera, I would already be in business. On the other hand, just playing around I am able to get 20 MP images of the slide (out of 24 MP) pretty easily. I just teed to achieve the light shielding and play with lighting to optimize.
     
  7. Billy Axeman

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    Any lens 55mm or shorter allows you to mount it directly on the camera without an extension ring and to use a standard rail for copying 35mm film to an APS-C camera. The only precondition is that the lens is able to magnify to 1:1.
     
  8. Billy Axeman

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    I think the Pentax K-70 is also an excellent choice for a sensor-shift camera (Pentax is calling it 'pixel-shift') because it has all the features and it is relatively cheap. I did some preliminarily tests with this camera and various macro lenses, to copy MF film directly without stitching, and the results are very promising. I have all the parts to build it (rails, bellows, film holder) but I must still decide when to start with it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  9. wyofilm

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    Nikon offers a lens attachment and neg holder specifically for shooting negs with a digital camera. As mentioned above you will need a macro lens.

    Nikon's slide shooting attachment: Nikon ES-1 (this works well in my opinion)
    For DX sensor: Nikon AF-S DX Micro- Nikkor 40mm lens
    I use the above set up with a Nikon D90. It all works as it should.

    For a full frame Nikon camera the same ES-1 works, but you will need the 60mm FX version.
    For me, since I had the camera already, it was affordable enough.

    If the ES-1 fit other lens barrels, then a Pentax or Canon or whatever, might also be a possibility.

    Whoops! I just read that you wanted an M42 mount. Sorry about that! I'll leave my post in case it helps someone else.
     
  10. MattKing

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    The ES-1 is, of course, limited to slides in 2x2 mounts. I don't know whether it is also limited to 135 full frame, or id it will accomodate 828 and 127 slides as well.
    The ES-1 attaches to the filter threads and is designed for 52mm threads. If the macro lens you are using has a 52mm or smaller filter thread, you can probably use it, with a step up ring if necessary.
    The ES-1 will limit you to one slide, inserted manually, at a time.
     
  11. jim10219

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    I'm guessing you already have a lens picked out? If it's an M42 lens, then any camera body would work. It all just depends on your budget. For most situations, an M42 lens is a poor choice for Nikon cameras due to the extended distance between their mount and sensor. But since you'll be focusing for macro, and not infinity, even that would work. So I'd just look at general camera specs within your budget, and consider the sensor size and how it relates to your lens. In other words, I wouldn't use a micro 4/3 camera if your lens is a 150mm. Nor would I use a full frame if your lens is a 24mm. They could me made to work, I'm sure, but they'd likely be a whole lot of hassle.

    The one thing I would recommend is getting a proper copy lens, or enlarger lens. Not all macro lenses work well for scanning film. In order to get sharp corners, you need a macro lens that has a flat field of focus at shorter focal lengths. Not all macro lenses do this, and even fewer do it well. I went through several before finding one that worked well for me.
     
  12. OP
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    John51

    John51 Member

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    Thanks for the replies. My apologies for not being more specific wrt my budget. By inexpensive, I mean cheap. Less than £100 cheap as I won't be using it outside my home.

    The m42 adapter is so I can use M42 extension tubes rather than a bellows. A 42mm to 39mm filter adapter lets me use an enlarging lens.

    On ebay, I clicked on the first cheap dslr I saw. A Nikon D70 body only for £70. Read the spec, most of which went over my head. It has a dc input so no need to bother with batteries. What got my attention was that it has a video output. Does this mean that I can have it display on a monitor like a webcam? That would make for easier focusing.

    So anyway, cameras around the price of the D70 is what I'm looking for.
     
  13. Billy Axeman

    Billy Axeman Subscriber
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    Nikon is the most expensive brand for macro accessories after Hasselblad. Also, if you want to use an external DC supply you must buy (and find!) that too which adds to the price.
    My advise is to select a brand first, then start an inventory which parts you need, and then search where to buy them and for what price, not the other way around.

    The brands from cheap to expensive are Olympus, Canon, Pentax, Nikon and Hasselblad. You probably will need Hasselblad parts (bellows, film holder) if you want to copy MF film (4x6, 6x6). Also generally M42 parts are much cheaper than for modern mounts (Pentax).

    You could buy a camera to which you adapt an M42 system, but convenience is an important factor when choosing a camera-lens combination. If you must stop down and adjust exposure time for each frame you take, flip up the mirror in advance to prevent camera shake, and ensure the negative is in focus before triggering the button, you feel like a robot after some time. So, personally I would forget M42, adapters, and extension rings and buy a suitable lens that can me mounted directly and allows automatic exposure (optionally with exposure compensation). With that you can copy a complete film in 5 minutes or less.
     
  14. Billy Axeman

    Billy Axeman Subscriber
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    Did you look at the resolution of the result for this camera?

    Nikon D70
    Sensor: 2000 x 3008 px
    135 mm film: 24x36 mm
    36 mm = 1.42"
    Max resolution 3008 / 1.42 = 2118 dpi

    That's not enough, you need about 4000 dpi.
     
  15. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member
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    While we are on this subject, has anyone used the Canon EF 100mm f/2,8 USM (non L) for film scanning?
     
  16. jim10219

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    You might be able to find a Nikon D5100 or Canon T3i for around that price (I'm not exactly sure what they go for where you're from). Those would be a good ones to use (I've used both for film scanning and both work well). I would think most any 16MP+ DSLR should suffice. If you ever need higher resolution than what those provide, you can stitch together multiple scans from the same negative (which is a pain in the butt). But you ought to be able to get decent prints from a 16MP single shot negative scan under most circumstances..
     
  17. 4season

    4season Member
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    I use a late-model Canon FD 50mm macro lens on my M4/3rds camera body: The lens will already focus down to 1:1 with a full-frame sensor, so on M4/3, no problem at all filling the frame with a scan from a 24x36 negative, no bellows or extension tubes needed. I lucked out and got a like-new lens for only around 50 USD.
     
  18. OP
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    John51

    John51 Member

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    That's the idea, multiple pics from a lower res (ie. cheap) camera. The camera will be mounted to the z axis of my little cnc router. Worst case, I have to jog the x or y axis for the next shot and manually active the shutter. Best case is I learn a bit of G-Code and once I've set the exposure, let the software do the work.
     
  19. Cholentpot

    Cholentpot Member

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    Yes, I changed over a few weeks ago from a Pentax-A 50mm on extension tubes to a 100 2.8 I use a Canon T3.

    [​IMG]

    And this is with the old setup

    [​IMG]

    Honestly not much of a difference. The 100mm is easier to deal with though.

    To answer OP. Get a Canon Rebel series the T2i or higher some tubes and a 50mm. Any higher rez is really just nitpicking.
     
  20. Paul Howell

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    Close to dirt cheap a Sony A3000, M42 to Sony E adaptor and Pentax or other brand slide copier, either a stand alone or bellows with slide copy attachment. I see M2 bellows on E bay that run around from $25 to $85, stand alone copiers around $80 to $100.
     
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