Bellows plus slide copier and adapter to digitize negatives

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by markjwyatt, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. markjwyatt

    markjwyatt Subscriber
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    Has anyone tried using a bellows with a slide copier attachment (such as Asahi Pentax units) to digitize negatives? I just bought a Asahi Pentax kit, plus have the M42 adaptor already for my Fuji XT-2. Hope to also digitize 6x6 negatives. Any idea on light source? Flash?
     
  2. resummerfield

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    I use that system. I found a used Beseler slide copier, with bellows, adapters, and a light base that uses halogen bulbs or a built-in strobe. There are also Pentax Repronars with the built-in strobe. I find it works much better, but slower, than scanning the slides in a flat-bed scanner.
     
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    markjwyatt

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    Thanks! Are you able to get a 6x6 neg into it?
     
  4. hol571

    hol571 Member
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    I have a pentax autobellows and the slide copier I've been experimenting with to digitize negatives. I've tried both a canon 6D markII (full frame) and 20D (crop sensor) using a eos to m42 adapter.
    A couple of things I've found:
    1) using a small m42 extension tube between the body and bellows makes attaching the bellows to the body easier, and also allows for changing between portrait or landscape orientation when not using the slide copier;
    2) the slide copier bellows do not extend enough to copy a 35mm negative or slide at 1:1 with the crop sensor (fyi - the slide copier attachment only works for 35mm and requires a 50 or 55mm lens);
    3) for my 6x6 or 6x7 negatives, I leave the slide copier off and just use the autobellows. I do a 6 shot stitch in photoshop using the 6D markII (the 20D needed 12 shots) to get a 1:1 reproduction. Shoot in RAW and batch edit them with same settings before stitching;
    4) Since I'm using a tripod, I use a lab jack under the lightpad to fine tune the focus (probably not necessary, but I have one and use it), I think a copy stand would be better;
    5) I've been using the smc 55mm f/1.8 but just recently ordered the smc 50mm f/4 macro to try-still waiting to receive it but should be better for this use;
    6) I'm using something similar to this as a light source, paid ~$25 on amazon. Not the brightest but works ok: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01M26S...colid=FSSINB0DFZ6V&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it For color film it would require a light balance adjustment in camera/photoshop. I've seen people set up speedlights as the light source as well

    hope this helps!
     
  5. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    I tried digitizing slides using an Olympus bellows and macro lens with a Fuji digital body, and focusing was hit or miss. You really need to be using an autofocus lens with these setups.
     
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    markjwyatt

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    Thanks, resummerfield and hol571! Great info. faberryman- maybe a tethered rig inspecting onscreen could help?
     
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    markjwyatt

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    Should not a telephoto lens get you to the right magnification?
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  8. MattKing

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    You probably mean a lens of longer focal length - the lens designers on this site may correct me on this, but I expect that the combination of true telephoto design and close focus use would, at best, give unpredictable results.
     
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    markjwyatt

    markjwyatt Subscriber
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    Yes, longer focal length. I was thinking of using a 50 mm, which technically is already a telephoto for my XT-2. I think an 85 or 100mm would be sufficient even for a 6x6 cm if I can set it up correctly based on tables in http://extreme-macro.co.uk/bellows/The_Pentax_Bellows.pdf
     
  10. MattKing

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    Longer focal length is not the same as telephoto!
    I'm not sure those tables in the Pentax publication you have linked to will provide you with easy answers on what you need, given that you are working with a 23.6mm x 15.6mm sensor.
     
  11. RalphLambrecht

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    flash and milky perspex should work fine and give constant shake-free exposure with that et-up but I've never tried it.
     
  12. abruzzi

    abruzzi Member

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    the slide copier setup from pentax was designed to work with a ~50mm lens to produce 1:1 reproductions of a 35mm negative with a 35mm camera. I use the same setup with an APS-C camera (Pentax K-3ii) and to get the entire frame I need around 70-80mm. I'm still working on the camera settings to get a good dynamic range. At the moment what I'm getting is pretty compressed when you look in the histogram. I don't own any flashes so at this time I just point the unit out a bright window.
     
  13. David Brown

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    Decades ago, I used to make title slides using 35mm Kodak High Contrast Copy Film (anybody remember that stuff?) All before computers and digital, I would type out the text on a good electric typewriter, and photograph the paper on the HCC. Then, using a set up as being discussed, re-photograph those negatives onto more HCC to get a positive for projection.

    The point is: For a light source, I bought a small sheet (8x10?) of white milk glass and built a box that was flat white inside and I mounted a small flash (speedlight, strobe, you pick) inside for very even and predictable exposures. Took a bit of testing at first to nail down exposures, but once that was done, I could run them off pretty fast. With a digital camera, this should be no trick.
     
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