35mm macro lenses for slide copying

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BetterSense, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I recently bought a set of macro extension tubes for Nikon mount. I want to use these to make B&W dupes of color slides for making B&W prints.

    The only lens I have now is my 50mm f/1.4 AF-Nikkor. By stacking up the right number of extension tubes, I have found a combination that allows me to have focus at the 1:1 magnification required. Quality seems only OK.

    The question is, how much better quality will I get by buying a special macro lens? Would you care to recommend a Nikon mount macro lens that I should use?
     
  2. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

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    All of the 55 Micro Nikkors are dirt cheap and amazingly good. I had one laying around and adapted it to my non-Nikon, non-film camera for this same sort of use. I would assume performance should be considerably better than your 1.4, but if you are happy with the results, that is all that matters.

    I am talking about manual focus lenses, but see you have an AF 50. I think manual focus would be an advantage in this situation, but you'd have to check what models are compatible with your Nikon.
     
  3. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Fast lenses aren't very good for macrophotography. Mark gave fine advice.
     
  4. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    For reproduction works the ideal lenses are those labelled as "bellows" lens. They typically have no focusing helicoid and I suppose often they don't have the diaphragm simulation (you focus and the manually close the lens to the working aperture).

    They are specific for reproduction work, and are especially corrected for distortion and field curvature. In principle they should work better than ordinary macro ("micro") lenses for reproduction work.

    Canon, Nikon, Minolta and probably many other producers produced them. You can use adapters ring as you probably don't need any diaphragm simulation and you will not have any issue with focusing at infinity, so you can use any lens on any bellows (or tubes).

    Another alternative to try would probably be enlarger lenses used as bellows (or tube) lenses with adapter rings.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I also have some color slides I want to print in B&W. I have a few nice macro lenses but don't have the bellows and slide holder so I have not tried the method you describe. What I was going to do is use equipment I already have. I am planning on projection printing the negatives onto my usual panchromatic 4x5 sheet film under my enlarger. I think that will give a much better result.
    I'm sure you can get razor-sharp grain on all 4 corners of a 4x5" print with your 35mm enlarger. Do the same but use film instead of paper. That will give you a very high quality 4x5 negative to print. And you know you can make a good print from a 4x5 negative. You have a 4x5 enlarger, right? If not you should with 2664 posts ! :smile:
     
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  6. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Curious how you are comparing your results to the original material?
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I have made B&W copies from slides using an enlager with a 35mm slide holder, in the old days Kodak made film for just this purpose. In todays world I would use Tmax or Delta 100 . My enlarger timer will time in 1/10 of a seconds so by stopping down to F 16 or 22 should be able to run a test strip with one sheet of film to find your times.
     
  8. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I have made lots of 4x5 B&W internegatives from 35mm color slides. It works very well. However the film is expensive and working in the dark is inconvenient. I would like to copy a large amount of slides so that I have a separate archive on 35mm roll film, available for later printing, which I will store with the slides. This will only cost $3-4 for the 35mm film, and should be a quick operation. For family photos/postcards, a 35mm dupe should be sufficient quality.

    I do have a 50mm 2.8 EL-Nikkor enlarging lens, but it won't work for me. I don't have a bellows; I only have extension tubes, so I actually need a lens that has internal focusing.
     
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  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I'll second the Micro Nikkor, it's one of those really fine lenses that seems to be undervalued.

    The quality will be vastly better than your 1.4.

    edit - I'm pretty sure Nikon made a slide duplicator to go with that lens, the 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2012
  10. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'd go with the bellows instead of the extension tubes. The slide stage fits onto the front of the bellows and your lens is in the middle.

    ps-6.JPG
    extbel1.jpg

    Yashica did make this unit with built in optics and no bellows. This fits right on the camera in place of the lens.
    $(KGrHqV,!pME--2R1q0pBPz2rRoTDQ~~60_12.JPG
     
  11. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I'd go with a bellows too...if I had the money.
     
  12. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I think enlarger lenses is good for duping slides. I remember working for a lab that used a 50mm or an 80mm for slide duping. The final dupes were slightly smaller to copy the whole original. We used a cheap slow, low contrast, tungsten balanced slide film.
     
  13. elekm

    elekm Member

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    If I had the money, I would buy a film scanner.

    I would think a lens that excels at flat-field performance would be a good choice.
     
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  15. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    I made my first attempt at slipe duping a while ago, using a Nikon bellows with slide copier and a 50mm f/1.8D. I was duping onto color film and unfortunately the results were unusable (I'm going to try pre-flashing next time). Regarding sharpness, the results varied wildly from one shot to the next; I think the weakest link was my focusing technique, and possibly tripod vibration. The 1.8 did a surprisingly good job when I nailed the focus; good enough for 11"x14" prints or smaller, anyway. I do have an El Nikkor and I'd love to hear from anyone who's used that for duping (or macro).
     
  16. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Night & Day difference. You should have a flat field lens, such as the Nikon Micro, and I recommend the Nikon bellows unit, fairly inexpensive nowadays.
     
  17. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Once, I routinely used a Nikon PS-4 Slide Copy Attachment and a 55mm f/3.5 macro lens reverse mounted on Nikon PB-4 bellows to copy slides. To make negatives for black & white printing, I used Kodak High Contrast Copy film (ISO 8).

    However, I stopped using this setup when I bought a flatbed scanner that allowed me to batch-scan up to 24 slides (mounted or unmounted). Today, I only use the PS-4 set-up when I need to make slide-to-slide copies.


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11336821@N00/7072654453/
     

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  18. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    E., I have a Nikon PB-4 bellows and PS-4 slide copying attachment to go with it. I haven't looked, suspect that there are similar slide copying attachments for the other Nikon bellows. IMO the PB-4's features look nice but are pretty useless, wouldn't recommend one. The PS-4, however, is very handy, has vertical and horizontal shift so allows reframing.

    Strongly concur with recommendations to use a 55 MicroNikkor, add to that that they are probably best used for slide copying at apertures no smaller than f/8.

    I've usually copied K14 slides onto a daylight type E6 emulsion, have always had problems with contrast gain and color temperature. Kodak used to make a low contrast E6 emulsion for slide copying, it is probably long gone. If I were to do it again, I'd probably use tungsten balanced E6 (if there still is such a thing and it can be found) and the right tungsten lamp. Copying K14 to K14 was very problematic, but since K14 processing has gone away its moot.

    One other comment. The typical slide mount has an opening slightly smaller than 24 x 36. Copying a mounted slide entails getting some mount around the periphery of the copy (if shooting at 1:1) or slight enlarging. I always enlarged a little.
     
  19. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    I've done hundreds of these. Micro-Nikkor 55/2.8 AI-S, PK-13 and the ES-1 duplicator. Handheld or on a tripod, no difference (though tripod will free your hands to shuffle the slides). Point towards a window or lamp, internal camera meter just fine. Stopped down to something reasonable... 8? (expect shutter speeds in seconds). Ilford PanF+, nominal or pulled one stop, in DD-X. 11x14 prints on MGIV indistingushable or clearly better than prints from "native" HP5+ negatives.
     
  20. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

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    This is my setup for copying film/slides, and to also digitize them. Pentax DSLR, or any other brand DSLR or SLR. Bellows with slide attachment holder and marco lens. I can also reverse the lens for a flat field effect if I need to crop more than 1:1. I also have a Plustek 7600 film scanner, and this Pentax setup matches or beats the Plustek, plus it is much faster.

    Wayne
     

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  21. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Wayne, that is one cool set up.
     
  22. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

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    Thanks, I have been looking for a holder for 6x6 so I can do the same thing with larger negatives. They are hard to find. If a person is interested in copying slides or negatives to digital or film, I advise looking for this setup. Bellows for all camera makes were/are available on ebay, and the prices are low. I have had this setup (for a Pentax film camera) for over 25 years.

    Wayne
     
  23. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    I'd advise a proper Macro lens too.

    Generally they're designed for as little distortion as possible and the greatest sharpness possible, the trade-off is generally a slower lens. You can use them for conventional subjects too - I have the original SMC Pentax 100mm f4 which I use as a plain 100mm lens on bright days as well as for macro stuff. Focus is a bit twitchy near infinity but it's ridiculously sharp even at f4, and brilliant for architecture.
     
  24. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    I see you are using a Pentax DSLR+50mm macro+Autobellow+Slide holder which is what I have too. However, I even have to crop less then the visible area of the mounted slide let alone achieve 1:1. I have tried all the possible combinations and cannot achieve focus. Of course I can achieve 1:1 with any of my Pentax 35mm bodies but the only way I have managed to get 1:1 with a DSLR is to use one of my zoom lenses between 70-70mm. Can you tell me what lens you're using to copy slides and are you getting just the cropped area from the mounted slides or 1:1 on a full frame of 35mm film? TIA.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Too old to care

    Too old to care Subscriber

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    I do have a slight crop with the K5, but if I rack the lens all the way back and squash the bellows flat, it is very little. I get probably 90% of the negative area, which is usually ok for what I need.
     
  26. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Looks like this is turning into a DSLR thread...