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wlaidlaw

Nikon film digitising adapter - use on M240 or SL

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Nikon make a film/slide digitising adapter for their D850. It will actually fit any Macro lens with a 62mm front thread (or others with step up adapters).   https://www.dpreview.com/news/6668188440/nikon-s-es-2-film-digitizing-adapter-for-the-d850-will-finally-ship-in-march  I wondered if this might be a better digitising outfit than the Leitz BEOON I currently use, with the SL, M adapter L and a Schneider Kreuznach 50mm/2.8 Componon S lens. I would probably use a 60mm Macro Elmarit R and Macro adapter R, with R to M or R to TL. 

 

Wilson

Edited by wlaidlaw

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Every camera manufacturer and a few 3rd-party suppliers (Spiratone comes to mind) used to make slide copier attachments like that back in the day.  I would think one could find one on the auction site for a few bucks.  $150 seems like a pretty steep price. 

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I suspect given that I have a set up that works, albeit a little bit clunky, I should probably stick to using the BEEON. 

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Pros and cons of digital camera based negative/positive digitizing from my experience:

 

+ Cost: using existing camera either with tripod or BEEON and photographing the 35 mm film with macro lens with keeping the sensor parallel to the film plane let's you use existing gear. Dedicated film scanners start around $350 (Plustek 35 mm scanners) and go around and above $1K for larger film formats. Scanners like the Epson V750 to 850 give the best flexibility in regard to formats.

+ I am not using Nikon gear, but reading about the digitizing adapter, it would allow to record RAW files of the film and does some sort of in-camera white balance adjustment.

 

- Both methods - with tripod/BEEON or digitzing adapter only allow simple digitizing for 35 mm film format. For larger film formats, PP with photo merging is required (only possible with tripod/BEEON method and not with the Nikon adapter) which can be more time consuming than scanning with a dedicated scanner.

- The tripod/BEEON method does not allow the application of white balance control - which is IMO essential for color negatives to achieve good control of the color representation. 

- Speed: Slowest digitizing process by doing it with a digital camera especially if larger film formats need to be digitized.

- Flat film: Dedicated film scanners use film holders which flatten and fix negatives to scan. Best to use with the digital camera method is an enlarger based clamp, but it also takes time to load each frame separately by fixing and moving it in place.

 

Both methods - digitizing with digital camera or with dedicated scanner - work. It often depends on the volume of film frames to be digitized. For larger volumes, a scanner is a must IMO. 

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Martin, 

 

I think you are wrong about the BEOON method not allowing white balance control. If you take in DNG/RAW as I inevitably do and only scan either black and white or colour reversal, then it is perfectly possible to apply WB corrections, both colour temperature and tint in post production. The problem with all current 35 mm scanners is that there is no focus control, as in past better quality scanners such as the Nikon, Canon and Artix/Polaroid, all of which had both auto focus and some of them manual focus as well. The current batch of fixed focus scanners' output quality is wholly dependant on an accurate film carrier to lens/sensor relationship, which given that they are all made from assembled plastic mouldings, is just not consistently achievable. I have a Plustek Opticfilm scanner and it is impossible to achieve truly sharp images from it, I assume due to the film not being in perfect focus. At least with the BEOON and presumably with other direct to digital camera lens systems, near perfect focus is obtainable, using manual observation with zoom, focus peaking and manual focusing. Scanning colour negatives is a wholly different ball game and I have not yet found a recipe or a plug in for Photoshop, that achieves anything approaching true colour and I have tried a lot. Vuescan produces the closest to correct colour from negatives but is still nowhere near perfect. 

 

Wilson

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Martin, 

 

I think you are wrong about the BEOON method not allowing white balance control. If you take in DNG/RAW as I inevitably do and only scan either black and white or colour reversal, then it is perfectly possible to apply WB corrections, both colour temperature and tint in post production. The problem with all current 35 mm scanners is that there is no focus control, as in past better quality scanners such as the Nikon, Canon and Artix/Polaroid, all of which had both auto focus and some of them manual focus as well. The current batch of fixed focus scanners' output quality is wholly dependant on an accurate film carrier to lens/sensor relationship, which given that they are all made from assembled plastic mouldings, is just not consistently achievable. I have a Plustek Opticfilm scanner and it is impossible to achieve truly sharp images from it, I assume due to the film not being in perfect focus. At least with the BEOON and presumably with other direct to digital camera lens systems, near perfect focus is obtainable, using manual observation with zoom, focus peaking and manual focusing. Scanning colour negatives is a wholly different ball game and I have not yet found a recipe or a plug in for Photoshop, that achieves anything approaching true colour and I have tried a lot. Vuescan produces the closest to correct colour from negatives but is still nowhere near perfect. 

 

Wilson

 

Hi Wilson,

I was there and would never wanted to go back again doing WB correction for color negatives myself manually. It is a pain in the neck with uncertain results. I pretty much tried all the tricks shown online to do it manually in PS - the best and easiest IMO is the method with black and white point picking, but it still required additional tweaking. NegaFix in the SilverFast 8 software is the method which I am applying now for automated WB correction depending on the film used, and it works very well and requires none or only minimal PP. The focus control is IMO not an issue for negative strips as long as they are fixed in some sort of holder. I only had problems with my Plustek scanner (which has no focus control) when using slide frames in different thickness. With negative (or unframed slide film strips) it is no issue at all. With the Epson V850, the film holders for small, medium, and large format can be changed slightly in height if needed. 

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Martin, 

 

I have an Epson V700 (very similar to a V750). How do you alter the film height for 35mm films? For medium format, I have the variable height Better-Scanning film holder, which works very well but they don't make such a device for 35mm (where IMHO it is more needed). My Plustek is very disappointing and with film strips, just not sharp. I assume it is at the outer end of permitted tolerances. Ideally you should try a number of them, like I did with 35mm ASPH Summiluxes and pick the one that focuses correctly (the 8th lens I tried and all three of the best ones were the much heavier chrome versions). I will see how I get on with the BEOON after I have bought a sheet of anti newton's rings glass to hold the film flatter. I have just sent 3 rolls of Agfa Precisa CT100 off to Peak Imaging for E 6 processing and drum scanning. It is not cheap at £67 for three 36 exposure rolls but these are for a magazine article with an extremely fussy editor.  I do have Silverfast 8 but it is the upgraded version (V.8.8.or8) of the one that is linked to Plustek and will only talk to a Plustek scanner and will not even fire up if a Plustek scanner is not connected. I assume there must be a way to hack it. 

 

Wilson

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Martin, 

 

I have an Epson V700 (very similar to a V750). How do you alter the film height for 35mm films? For medium format, I have the variable height Better-Scanning film holder, which works very well but they don't make such a device for 35mm (where IMHO it is more needed). My Plustek is very disappointing and with film strips, just not sharp. I assume it is at the outer end of permitted tolerances. Ideally you should try a number of them, like I did with 35mm ASPH Summiluxes and pick the one that focuses correctly (the 8th lens I tried and all three of the best ones were the much heavier chrome versions). I will see how I get on with the BEOON after I have bought a sheet of anti newton's rings glass to hold the film flatter. I have just sent 3 rolls of Agfa Precisa CT100 off to Peak Imaging for E 6 processing and drum scanning. It is not cheap at £67 for three 36 exposure rolls but these are for a magazine article with an extremely fussy editor.  I do have Silverfast 8 but it is the upgraded version (V.8.8.or8) of the one that is linked to Plustek and will only talk to a Plustek scanner and will not even fire up if a Plustek scanner is not connected. I assume there must be a way to hack it. 

 

Wilson

 

My V850 comes with differently sized film and 35 mm slide holders. They all have flexible holders underneath - you can move the position and it elevates or lowers the film holder plane. For me the lowest position is the best with the flatbed scanner for regular 35 mm film negative strips. My Plustek 8200i scanner delivers the same sharpness as my V850 does with the same negatives - sounds like something is not right with your Plustek. 

And yes, SilverFast 8 is made that it only works with one designated scanner which you bought it with. If your Epson V700 also came with SilverFast, you can run both versions in parallel as long as they are the exactly same version number (I just posted in the film forum how to install two versions that they work in parallel with two scanners). It's cumbersome to do, but when it is done, it actually works well.

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The advantage of the Nikon is there is camera software to neutralize the orange mask of color neg.   Other than that, all you need is a light source and means to hold film in proper position.

 

Flat bed scanners are ok for 5x7 prints or internet.   

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I have a V700, it rivals a dedicated film scanner for 4x5 and MF negs.  My old Canoscan 4000US still does duty for 35mm as I have a working XP box, but at some point the scanner will be a relic as (unless someone has a workaround) I don't believe WIN8.1 (which is what I have on my laptop) has a driver for it.  I've looked and come up dry, but that was a while ago.  Pity because it's an excellent scanner and I have two of them.

 

That said, with the quality of modern digital cameras, I think one could be used to digitize 35mm negs, and I happen to have this odd contraption I picked up years ago at a local camera shop (when there still was one) for a song.  It has a trapdoor in the side for an off-camera flash, which provides a consistent if not ideal light source.  One thing for sure, it's a LOT faster than my scanners.  I set the box on the base of my Kaiser copy stand, placed on the floor (so I don't need to get on a latter to see through the viewfinder). 

 

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