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Peter Bardwell | profile | all galleries >> Travel and photography talk >> Travel, photography and the rest >> Why scan? 35mm slide copying with your digicam tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Why scan? 35mm slide copying with your digicam

A few examples of the results from digitising several thousand transparencies, using a
Nikon CP 5400 digital compact camera as the basis of a homemade slidecopier.

The holder was put together from a few metal oddments, some card and electrical tape
(click on the first image for details), of a size that held the slides about 2.5" from the
camera body, where they'd just fill the frame with the lens zoomed to its 35mm setting...
at which barrel distortion was reduced to the minimum.

Shot using 5MP Fine setting in Aperture priority mode, mainly at ISO 80.

Illuminated by daylight, reflected from the ceiling of a sunny terrace, using a custom white
balance that was set at the start of each session... and sometimes rechecked.

Many of the slides (which I've kept) were on high contrast film, or taken with a polariser,
so reshooting with reduced saturation and contrast was often necessary and, most times, a
quick clean with a soft lens brush.

After cropping, the JPG files are about 1.33Mb, and they average some 2400x1600 pixels
(enough for decent 8"x5" prints) - roughly 85% of camera's full pixel count in 3:2 mode.


Post-processing workflow using - at the time - Photoshop Elements 3 (WinXP) went:
- Remove any barrel distortion with the "Lens Distortion" filter from photo-plugins.com
- Rotate as necessary, crop to remove slide mount margins and other unwanted areas
- Clone stamp or healing brush to remove dust marks
- Improve brightness range with Levels or 'Shadows and Highlights'
- Unsharp mask, then "Save As" at JPG Quality 11

Time for about 50 slides (exposure, uploading, editing and saving) averaged 3 minutes each,
but what worked best was shooting continuously while the weather and light were good, and
then processing them in the evenings or when the light wasn't suitable!
Click here for Slideholder Instructions
Click here for Slideholder Instructions
Menorca - 1650 x 2500 pixels
Menorca - 1650 x 2500 pixels
Compressed version of original - 0697
Compressed version of original - 0697
Edited version of 0697
Edited version of 0697
Original, as shot
Original, as "shot"
Fullsize, edited
Fullsize, edited
800 Pixels wide and resharpened for PBase
800 Pixels wide and resharpened for PBase
Compressed - one that just won't work!
Compressed - one that just won't work!
Compressed - original 0706
Compressed - original 0706
Edited  version 0706
Edited version 0706
Compressed - original 0724
Compressed - original 0724
Edited version 0724
Edited version 0724
Comp - original 0734
Comp - original 0734
Edited 0734
Edited 0734
Comp - original 1344
Comp - original 1344
Edited version of 1344
Edited version of 1344