Converting 35mm slides


Link Posted 20/07/2015 - 20:42
As a response to being nagged about 'getting something done' about all the old family snaps on 35mm slides in the loft I decided to have a go at digitizing them myself. First up I checked for a suitable light table and instead of those available on photographic suppliers' websites I ordered a Minisun A4 LED LightPad from Amazon for 29.95 - this has the advantage of coming with a mains transformer and as the name implies it is A4 so can be used for other projects, and has LEDs so it is really slim and I have found it very good. I masked it over with black paper except for a 35mm size cut-out for the light to come through, and fixed two card strips so that the slides are always in the same place. I set up the camera with a 100mm macro lens on a tripod, and use Live View with a cable switch and antishake switched off. The camera is set to minimum ISO 100-200, and aperture priority at F10, and I have found that the best colour is given by setting the white balance at 10,000K. It is necessary to avoid stray light on the slide from sunlight or a room light.

The theory was that once set up I could rapidly click through by placing the slides one at a time against the card strips; however I have found that the focus needs checking regularly and stray hairs and dust appear on the LightPad from the old slides so that needs checking as well; also to get accurate exposure I need to adjust the EV quite often especially if the originals were over- or under-exposed. However the results are pretty good although not as sharp as I would expect but it is difficult to see how the originals would look without a large viewer or projector. Does anyone else have any experience of this? I would add that most of the slides are 40-50 years old.
Last Edited by RobL on 20/07/2015 - 20:42


Link Posted 21/07/2015 - 10:43
I copy B&W negatives in a similar way and have generally found the results to be far superior to those from a flatbed film scanner.

I use a remotely-triggered flash instead of an LED light and the DA 35mm macro lens. I've never found a problem with dust, it seems much less noticeable than when scanning with the flatbed.

I find I can get through them quite quickly once I get going.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses
Add a Comment
You must be registered or logged-in to comment.