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Archive 2012 · Scanning/duping slides and negs with NEX-7

Smiert Spionam
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Scanning/duping slides and negs with NEX-7

I've done slides with my D700 a few times in a pinch, and have wanted to try using an NEX-7 for a while. The high pixel count and fantastic dynamic range at base ISO seemed like it would be worth a try.

I wanted to avoid the hassles of having to use some sort of tripod/copystand rig, so I worked something out with a Canon FD/FL macro bellows with a slide attachment. The only difficulty with this is that it's optimized for 1:1 and beyond with a 50mm macro lens on a full frame camera. That means that a crop frame NEX, on the same system, won't be able to cover the full slide frame. My workaround: remove the back FL mount from the bellows unit, and graft on an NEX adapter with a shallower registration distance. I though it was going to be a challenge, but it turned out to be easy. Once the FL mount was removed, I could use an inexpensive Leica thread mount adapter -- the kind that has a threaded M39 sleeve that fits into the barrel of the adapter. The threaded insert is held in place with grub screws from the outside, so I backed these out, removed the insert, and (wonder of wonders!) the adapter fit neatly onto the back of the bellows unit. The grub screws even worked -- it tightened in place just fine.

I've only done a couple of quick tests, with one Pan-F 50 negative and a Velvia slide. Neither are perfect -- the Velvia slide is probably a little soft, and the Pan-F neg looks a little thin (and subsequently more grainy than would otherwise be expected). I did a fair amount of shadow recovery for the Velvia image, and found that LR 4.1 was invaluable. For the negative, I took it into PS 5.5, reversed the tones, and sent it back to LR for final editing. Noise reduction to manage film grain is an art I've not mastered, so these just have basic sharpening and no noise reduction.

They were also very dusty.

Color negatives would be harder -- I'll need to find a good plug-in or develop a process for removing the orange cast.

Here's the setup, with the samples. Seems pretty good to me for a first try.






Aug 02, 2012 at 09:27 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Scanning/duping slides and negs with NEX-7

Very interested in how this goes. Would love to see how it goes for B&W. How is everything lit?

Aug 02, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Scanning/duping slides and negs with NEX-7

I'll definitely do some more experiments with black and white, which is how I'm more likely to use it.

I lit it with a small Porta-Trace slide-viewing light box, about a foot away from the front of the lens. It's not perfectly color balanced, and it requires fairly slow shutter speeds. I'll probably use a pair of strobes against a white surface to eliminate any weird color problems or camera shake.

Aug 02, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Scanning/duping slides and negs with NEX-7

Hey, whaddayaknow, I found a brick wall shot.

;- )

This was a Plus X negative, duped this time with an off-camera flash.



I'm not sure how much more usable detail one could expect to pull out of a 35mm negative. I'll have to try a comparison with some things that I've printed chemically.

Aug 03, 2012 at 02:24 PM

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