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how to build light box for copying old 35mm transparencies? Answered



Awwww man, I found myself asking a coworker the same question a few years back when I worked in a camera store/lab. We were the last place in the area that still developed B&W;, E-6 slides, and medium/large format negs. One slow afternoon, in walked this older gentleman with about 30 slide carousels (120 slides per) and wanted them all digitized to send to his friends on a DVD. This is quite a task not only because of the individual mounted slides - 3600 of them, But the to high res scan on a film scanner takes up to 4 minutes per slide, and we couldnt give him a price break cause it would of tied up the machine. I came up with a faster way. Basically, I made a Slide Duper with my DSLR and used my Camera Strobe mounted off camera behind the slide holder and just fiddled with the camera settings until the highlights of the slides werent being blown out from the flash. The strobe head was 12" from the rear of the slide, with a opaque neutral white plastic film to diffuse the flash a bit. With the camera 12" from the other side of the slide. I had a 105mm Macro lens on my camera, but you could use Macro filters and adjust the distance from the slide. I had an off camera flash cable and a wireless remote to take the exposure. Your camera's metering wont work for this, so you have to manually tweak your settings to get rolling with this For me, I think my strobe was set to Manual, 1/32nd power, Camera was set to Manual, 1/250th second (most DSLRs max out at 1/125th for flash sync) F22 with a 5% ND gray filter on the lens. YMMV. After you get your settings down, and your lens focused on the slide's film plane, you can fill a memory card in 15-20 minutes. Me and my Coworker stayed late that evening after the store closed and were amazed at this guys photographs - The older gent turned out to be some tank commander in WWII, Eastern Front, he took hundreds of amazing shots of war torn Europe.

. I used to have a scanner that would handle negatives and slides. It had a light source/film holder attachment that you would plug into the back of the scanner and set on the scanning bed. It worked much better than I expected, but not up to professional standards. I don't remember the brand/model, but I do remember that it wasn't that much more than a "regular" scanner.
. If your interested in something like that, try this or that.