Make Digital copy of 35mm Slides

jerry_njMarch 17, 2007

Does anyone know of a copy device that would, say, mount a 35mm color slide and light it so that a digital photo can be taken of the image on the slide?

It does seem to me, no tests done yet, that the macro focus of many (non-professional) digital cameras will not focus close enough to fill the picture with just the area of a 35mm slide.

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You don't say what kind of camera you have..would
bellows with slide attachment be an option?

Here is a link that might be useful: pics here

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 12:36AM
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abr.. thanks, that is a bit beyond the state of my digital camera capabilities, I have a Minolta/Konica Z10. I have most of the 35mm stuff, including a pretty good set of dark room equipment, but of no use if I need to make electronic/digital copies of slides. Now in truth, few who come after me will be interested the the old images on slides, well if people are around a thousand years from now the images may be of some interest...but technology will have moved so far that there'll be no one around who can remember digital camera photography technology.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 10:36AM
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There's always a slide scanner.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 4:17PM
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Here's a site that explains how to copy slides with a home made backligher:

I did learn that trying to simply copy the slide on the flatbed scanner didn't work and suspected it was because the light reflected off the slide, it needs to shine through the slide.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 10:02AM
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I tried the "Backlighter" described in the above web-link and it didn't work for me...must be missing something, but thinking about the tent shaped backlighter and my flat bed it seems not to be a match..the scan light is very thin and not very bright, clearly intended for something flat on the scan glass, the slide mount come through bright and clear, the slide itself was almost as dark as that obtained without use of th backlighter. Another problem is the scanner has rather low resolution, only 300 dpi max, so the 4800 dpi capability of the printer is lost, and if one just stores the scanned image for viewing on the computer, it is still limited to 300 dpi resolution. I will look further into a dedicated slide scanner as suggested by "alisande".

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 10:00AM
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I think this would do what you want. You can scan from slides or negatives.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 9:24PM
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It's been a long time ago when I did it, but I did scan slides using a (now ancient )flat bed scanner. It is an Epson Perfection 2400 Photo. I found a special little "holder" for the slides. The software I had converted them into a jpeg image, if I recall, and I have them copied to CDs.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 10:37PM
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Slides can be copied on flat bed scanners, but only scanners that are equipped with a backlight. The light must shine through the slide. I have an HP flatbed scanner and a HP all-in-one printer; both can scan slides. Both turn off the main lamp and turn on the back light when scanning slides. Not all scanners have this capability.

A digital camera may be used to copy slides. Nikon makes a slide holder and light source adapter for some of their cameras.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 12:27AM
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Go to Ebay and punch in "Negative Scanner".

You will find hundreds of listings for both photo quality flatbed scanners and stand alone 35mm film scanners.

You also have the option of going through the bidding process and hoping to score a bargain or you will find many listings that are "Buy Now", which means you can buy them immediately.

You will find scanners ranging in price from $69.95 including S&H to many hundreds of dollars, depending upon the quality you require.

Not only will those scanners copy color & B&W slides, they will also read both color and B&W negatives and produce digital positive prints.

Some of the photo flatbed scanners can process both 35mm and medium format (2-1/4x2-1/4 & 2-1/4 x 3-1/4) negatives and slides.

Most of the scanners also come with advanced software for editing and correcting the final print as if it were a digital darkroom.

I primarily shoot extreme closeup macro shots of insects and flowers on 35mm film using a bellows then I have the film processed for negatives only and I scan and process my own prints with a 35mm negative scanner with fantastic results. (By extreme closeup I mean the face of a grasshopper or ant as a full frame image.)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2009 at 11:53PM
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Hi ... using my wife's call sign.

I am in the process of digitizing my slides and will eventually digitize a boat load of my father-in-law's (60+ years worth). I did some research and found that, as mentioned, scanners will do the job, but they're very slow. So, if you're digitizing a few rolls of slides, they'll work fine. But, it's probably takes too much time if we're talking about hundreds or thousands of slides.

I have a DSLR, a Nikon D80, and some old slide copying equipment ... a Nikon PB-5 bellows and a Nikon PS-5 slide copier. I attached to this set up a Nikon 28-85mm zoom lens, set at 85mm. With this set up, I can take a digital image of a 35mm slide without cropping (see the picture in the link). You need to use a lens longer than 50mm to avoid the APS-C sensor cropping. My 85mm may not be ideal (a Nikon 105mm Micro/Macro is probably better), but it's what I have available.

So, how's this work? Images are OK, not as sharp as the original slide but acceptable. Speed is outstanding. If you don't need to alter the exposure, it's a matter of popping in one slide, hit the trigger, pop in the next. I can digitize a 36-exposure roll in about 15 minutes.

I also understand you can use a macro lens (attached directly to the camera body ... no bellows) along with a extension rings in front of the lens, attached to a slide copy holder. Here's a link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Digitizing 35 mm slides - Nikon D80

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 7:42PM
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I use an Epson V200 flatbed scanner with a slide tray. I can scan 4 slides at once. It puts each slide into a seperate file. Very easy to adjust lightting, rotation, etc.

Just pop the 4 slides in, push a button, and they scan in just a couple minutes. Come back and drop 4 more in, etc.

The output is excellent. Super crisp resolution.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 12:09PM
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Take a look at
This device users your digital camera to not only copy 35mm slides but negatives and photographs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Use your digital camera to bring your photographic past to the digital age

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 12:37AM
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