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    • I have tons of negatives and I've always hated scanning. I've tried lots of things but ended up just boxing everything and sending it to Scan Digital. Now I have a rush job and I gotta get good scans quick. Buy this fast? (I have a Nikon D850)

    • I have a partially DIY setup (image below) that is similar, and OK for very small quantities of images.

      For most work I really do like a modern flatbed scanner. Much faster and easier, with more consistent results. (Epson Vxxx series.) I do recommend VueScan Scanner Software for best control, although not currently using it myself.

    • I should explain a bit more about the above setup, and why I didn't just purchase a factory made unit.

      In the picture above, you see a white tube connecting the camera/lens to the slide-holder (in this case). In use, the translucent white tube would be illuminated to add "bias light" to the front of the slide being copied. Bias-light is important in controlling the ratio between the dark and light parts of the image, essentially how you control contrast in the system. (Similarly you can control contrast of a TV or Monitor screen by adding lights in front of the screen.)

      The Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter lacks any method for introducing bias light, so you'll need to rely on some post-processing to control contrast from the capture.

      This may partially explain why PetaPixel said; "Sadly, the digitizer mode in the D850 has some real problems. The biggest problem is that the curve applied to the files when converting to positive is way too aggressive in setting white and black points. It clips one or the other (or both) in nearly every frame that I tested. In some images, this was not a huge problem. While this is annoying to lose some shadow detail, I could live with blocked up shadows in many instances."

    • Wow, great response, super knowledgeable. Thank you. I broke down and bought one—it arrives tomorrow. But now I'm nervous because the negatives I have to shoot have some deep shadows and bright sky. Suck.

    • If you use the Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter and record to RAW format, you can make pretty good single exposures of average contrast film originals.

      For high-contrast scenes make 2 - exposures; one exposure for highlights and one exposure for shadow detail. Experiment with your available software to merge the 2 - exposures.

      My best results for 2 - exposure method derived from using Enfuse/Enblend to combine the tones.

    • I 3D printed an adapter to scan slides with a 50mm lens attached to my camera with an extension tube. The adapter matches the lens filter size and I printed it the length needed to be within the focus range of the lens/extension tube set up. It is, in effect, a home made version of the adapter you show, but for slides, not film. For film I still use one of the Epson flat bed scanners.

      The setup makes digitizing slides easier/faster than using the scanner. I point it at an adjustable LED video light with an extra layer of diffusion.

    • now I have to send out for some scans, large format negatives in the 2x4 size range, my little 35mm Nikon adaptor won’t handle that. My crappy canon desktop scanner doesn’t do transparencies either. Sample of low tech “hold it to a light and use your phone” 😂 sampling the 16mm film footage.

      Warbond rally in Redwood City.

    • For slides I get better results shooting them with my camera than using an Epson V600 flatbed scanner. I don't know if that would be the case if using one of the better scanners. There are two main advantages. The first is speed. I can go lots faster putting the slide in the adapter, verifying focus, and tripping the shutter with a remote release than I can getting slides into the scanner and waiting for Vuescan to do its thing.

      The second advantage is dust. The scanner is a dust magnet. I have much less of an issue with dust using the camera. I wipe a box worth of slides down with a Pex Pad before shooting. I hit both sides of the slide with a rocket blower before inserting it into the adapter.

      Down side is focus. The cheap Canon lens changes focus when you breath on it because of the weight of the adapter. You also have to jump though a minor hoop to shoot at other than wide open. The DOF wide open with the extension tube is maybe 0.5mm! I shoot at f/5.6 or f/8 -- don't remember exactly which one. Manual exposure with the meter reading 1 stop over seems to give me the best results.

      Example: My brother on his way back from Baja in '73.

    • Local place wanted $7 a print to scan and print the large format negative! and they wonder why local places go out of business.  
      The majority of placers are only set up for 35mm.
      Buying a scanner and using it for the handful of negatives I have is actually cheaper and a huge waste all at the same time. Time invested should be calculated as well I suppose.
      Or I could make an adapter and try the on camera approach.
      What weird and wonderful negative size options they had back in the day.

    • Okay, I finally gave it a test run and I love it. These negatives are 20 years old. This is right off the scanner with no adjustments.

    • This is the one in the thread above where I worried about dynamic range. The sky was bright and on the prints this guy was totally silhouetted.

    • These latest image scans have a very pleasing tonal distribution and natural rendition.

      The last image does have some weirdness going on, mostly visible in the sky, with a normal sky on the left side, transitioning to rather mushy tones in the middle, and the right side is improved over the middle but not as good as the left side. Still, you are correct that it's a big improvement over the print version originally shown.

      Altogether, very promising results.

    • Thanks, Ziggy. I did some post processing on the second one and you're right, the sky is kinda funky.

      I went through the whole roll of film liking what I was seeing on the back of the camera but I was surprised to find out that the files were saved as JPEGs. Huh? After spending 30 minutes scanning them all (you're right that this is not a fast method), I didn't feel like going back again and figuring out what was wrong with my settings.