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Advice from the photographers.

Copying 35mm slides with a DSLR.

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Sam Stones23/10/2021 23:49:21
851 forum posts
321 photos

This was a Kodachrome slide taken through my first 35mm camera; a Baldessa 1a or 1b, I can't remember. The slide hadn't been stored between glass, and other than cropping required no extra editing.

raf-nicosia - c.1958.jpg

This next one (before and after) was one in a bad condition, yet stored between glass. It shows what's possible in Photoshop. The original slide (c1960), was Kodachrome taken in Holland via a Leica M4 (not mine).

a-&-b---photoshopped -ed.jpg

Good luck Nathan!

Samsmile d


Edited By Sam Stones on 23/10/2021 23:51:08

Martin Connelly24/10/2021 08:16:49
1930 forum posts
207 photos

I have a Canon scanner with a slide and negative carrier. It has a backlight set into the lid for this. Trying that I found it was too grainy (and slow). What I ended up doing was using the slide scanner backlight and a digital camera supported on a bean bag set to macro. It gave much better results and muck quicker. As above just some cropping required. Some of the slides I copied were 110 not 35mm.

Martin C

Nathan Sharpe24/10/2021 22:28:03
175 forum posts
3 photos

Many thanks to all who responded, it always amazes me that so much help is available here.

As Michael Gilligan points out it(the Panagor) would always crop. I do not know how I missed that so thank you Michael.

My very grateful thanks to Martin K/Howard T/ Peter G Shaw/ and Sam Stones for their input.

With regard to Sams post, I've seen a Youtube video using a projector to automate that style of copying and did buy a projector to try it, but have yet to try it.

PGK's offer is typical of this forums membership but I will only take up his offer if I can offer something in exchange.

Again my thanks to all.


pgk pgk24/10/2021 22:38:11
2352 forum posts
293 photos
Posted by Nathan Sharpe on 24/10/2021 22:28:03:

PGK's offer is typical of this forums membership but I will only take up his offer if I can offer something in exchange.

It's in a box gathering dust in a wardrobe for 4/5 years - might as well get used. Perhaps you'll pass it on to someone else.


Nathan Sharpe24/10/2021 22:44:27
175 forum posts
3 photos

With regard to the Plustek scanner , I downloaded the demo versions of software and tried them out. On all versions I have problems with Kodachrome slides , most of the time on green foliage which tends to geometrically block. On other slides I have no problems (Boots own / other labs own) does Kodachrome have it' own problems?

All the demo versions do is to watermark the copies there is no loss of program facilities in all three that I've dowloaded. The programs in question are all Silverlight and are their basic SE/SE+/ and AI.


Andy Carlson24/10/2021 23:28:12
399 forum posts
130 photos

VueScan should work with the OpticFilm - I use it with mine (8200i). Scanning will be somewhat slower than using a camera... although when you factor in the time to set up the slides and do the postprocessing I doubt it makes a huge difference. VueScan is paid software but not super expensive and you can try before you buy.

I've moved to a home made rig using my DSLR now, mainly because my OpticFilm did not cope well with shadows on Kodachromes. A crop frame DSLR is probably the worst starting point in terms of finding a lens and camera to slide distance but it can be done.

A lot depends on what lenses you can lay your hands on - don't rule out adapting a good quality manual focus macro lens - a Nikkor Micro 55mm plus an extension tube should work well. Ironically old Nikon lenses can be adapted to the Canon EF mount and still focus as intended without extra glass... old Canon lenses cannot.

Kodachrome is notoriously tricky to scan because the dark areas are very dense. For the same reason many guides say that IR dust removal will not work (but some disagree). On the other hand it is reckoned to age far better than any other slide film - certainly my Dad's old Boots slides have faded horribly.

Michael Gilligan24/10/2021 23:53:53
19258 forum posts
959 photos
Posted by Nathan Sharpe on 24/10/2021 22:44:27:


On all versions I have problems with Kodachrome slides , most of the time on green foliage which tends to geometrically block. On other slides I have no problems (Boots own / other labs own) does Kodachrome have it' own problems?


Kodachrome was an entirely different process to E6, so I’m sure there will be some idiosyncrasies when scanning it … It would be interesting to see an example of the problem you are having.



Edit: __ Just found this [which might help explain] :


Edit: __ I have never used them … but these folks seem to be saying the right things :

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 25/10/2021 00:05:54

Nathan Sharpe25/10/2021 23:43:56
175 forum posts
3 photos

Michael G,

You are welcome to the originals and what ever files/ screenshots I can send you. I'm sure present and future members will be grateful for your advice and guidance.

Andy C.

I know I have a Canon lens 35/80 modified for Macro. I've never used it but will try to understand the set up and use.

To both MG and AC.

If you would like the paperwork that came with the lens I'm happy to send it.


Andy Carlson26/10/2021 08:43:13
399 forum posts
130 photos
Posted by Nathan Sharpe on 25/10/2021 23:43:56:

I know I have a Canon lens 35/80 modified for Macro. I've never used it but will try to understand the set up and use.

If you would like the paperwork that came with the lens I'm happy to send it.

TBH I'm not sure what I could usefully do with the paperwork. Most of my conclusions have come from experimenting with lenses using a steel rule where the side would be, checking focus in live view and measuring the sensor plane to slide distance and how many mm of the ruler were actually captured. Bear in mind that what you see in the viewfinder may be less than you get in the final image (not sure if the same is true of live view).

I have applied some 'O' level physics when comparing different focal lengths and deciding what else to try but it's fairly rough because camera lenses have multiple elements... for some reason we did not cover 6 element lenses at 'O' level

Macro lenses are optimised to produce a flat subject plane at close working distances so are a good bet for that reason. That doesn't mean that other lenses won't work though.

There are some lens tests online at **LINK** which may or (more likely) may not cover any lenses that you have. If not then you (like me) are back to experimenting.

Many of the lenses tested are not traditional camera lenses and need more effort to adapt but it does rate the Nikkor Micro 55mm highly, both the f2.8 and f3.5 versions. The Nikkor goes to 1:2 on its own and 1:1 with a 27.5mm extension tube (PK13 or M2) so you would need the extension to get 1:1.6. If you are adapting from EF then you also have the option of using EF extension tubes instead of Nikon ones, it's just a question of where you put the adapter. The exact length of the tube is not super critical for what you want but the lens focus graduations wil only read correctly for that length.

On the whole though, try not to get too bogged down in specs and theory - keep it as simple as possible, try a few things out and see what produces good or not so good results.

Michael Gilligan26/10/2021 08:52:07
19258 forum posts
959 photos


I have sent you a personal message


Nick Clarke 326/10/2021 08:59:39
1287 forum posts
52 photos

A very important decision is what software to use.

A few years ago I impulse bought an HP flatbed scanner that would also scan slides up to 5x4 from a table full of customer returns in a major high street retailer.

Getting it home I tried it and as a slide scanner it was useless producing grainy images with numerous artifacts not found on the slides.

I read reviews and many said the same thing so probably why it was returned by the original purchaser.

Tried trial versions of software downloaded from the web and both Silverfast and VueScan transformed the results - I eventually bought VueScan and still use it with updates.

As regarding speed the flatbed will scan 12 2x2 slides at a time but is quite slow while a Plustek clone will only do one at a time but is faster to do 12 one after another. The flatbed can scan at a higher resolution though.

Frances IoM26/10/2021 09:11:08
1172 forum posts
28 photos
another recommendation for Vuescan from me - made my old slide scanner usable under Linux and produce very acceptable images whereas the company offered no updates to their XP driver.
Nicholas Farr27/10/2021 08:53:46
3040 forum posts
1382 photos

Hi, after reading MichaelG's post of 24/10 and with reference to the link about Kodachrome scanning, yesterday I picked out a Kodachrome slide from only 28 that I have, which was taken in August 1971 at Butlins in Skegness while on the chair lift that used to run from one end of the camp to the other end. This is one 93 slides that I ever took and all of these were keep in a good quality wooden slide storage box, however, it did speed a few years unopened in a room that was always cold and a little damp and even though the box was closed, dampness had got onto many of the slides and a few were completely destroyed, quite a few have damage with mildew and others are a bit grubby. This chair lift one, is one of those that are a little grubby, but it's not grubby all over and is more noticeable in the skyline of the photo. The scanner I've used is an Epson Perfection V550 Photo. It has four different modes, but I've used the Home Mode and the Professional Mode. Each mode has a selection of adjustments that one can make, but the professional one has the most. The first picture below which consists of three scans and used the Home Mode, and looking at frames from left to right and top to bottom, all were scanned at 1600 dpi / 48 bit colour. First frame was at the default setting, second was using Digital ICE and the third one was using Digital ICE and Colour correction, all were set to scan at a target size of 50 x 50mm.


In this second picture, all the frames were done in the Professional mode at 2400 dpi / 48 bit colour and 50 x 50mm target size. The first frame was default, the second using Unsharp mask on medium and dust removal on medium, the third was using Unsharp mask on medium and Digital ICE and the fourth using Unsharp mask on medium, Digital ICE and Colour restoration. There are other settings available such as brightness and contrast and red green and blue colour settings can be made individually, but I didn't use any of these. It is quite easy to spend all day just on one slide for all the settings available, but all I wanted to see is if fine lines on Kodachrome slides would be washed out as the link in MichaelG's post suggested they would, but viewing the slide through a single lens eye viewer, that I scanned, the two fine wires in at the top middle that attach to the stanchions can been seen by about the same amount as shown in the pictures above.


Anyone interested can view / download a copy of the user manual for an Epson scanner that I've mentioned Epson V550

This slide was taken with my reasonable priced instamatic Halina camera Halina Simplette which was the best one I had available funds for at that period of time.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 27/10/2021 09:09:15

Michael Gilligan27/10/2021 09:45:22
19258 forum posts
959 photos

An interesting demonstration, Nick … and it reminded me about one nagging doubt about my first link:

The author states:

“As known, the ICE does not work in black and white films. Now I mentioned in the beginning that in principle, a Kodachrome film -Film is a black and white film that does not get any colour until the developing process. In fact, the Kodachrome film contains similar substances (for example silver) that are also contained in black and white films and are impermeable to an infrared ray. The ICE proceeding fails with such kinds of particles.”

dont know

It’s a long time since I worked at Kodak, but I am almost certain that [in theory, at least] there are NO remaining particles of silver in a correctly processed Kodachrome ! … and therefore his analysis is probably based on a false premise.

For any interested geeks … The fiendishly complicated process is described here:


and, if you are a glutton for punishment, the chapters run from z50_01 to z50_10




Edit: __ I also note, from his comments about ICE Professional, that the page might date back to about 2004/5

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 27/10/2021 09:53:24

Andy Carlson27/10/2021 13:03:43
399 forum posts
130 photos

Glad to see you are experimenting.

If Kodachrome forms such a small proportion of your collection then I would not overthink it TBH, just do the best you can and concentrate your thinking on the slides that form the majority of the set.

Some of the scanner options change the way that the image is captured - ICE dust removal does an infra red pass for example. Some options change nothing about the actual capture but are instead using built in postprocessing steps in the software. My own preference would be to get the capture as good as possible (sharpness, resolution, exposure etc) but avoid the built in software steps because I would be willing to do these myself and play with the settings using my own choice of software (Darktable usually) but if you want less effort and are happy with the results then stick with the steps in the scanner software.

Maybe you are doing this already, but have a good quality blower to hand - something like a Giotto's Rocket and shift as much dust as possible before scanning.

Nicholas Farr27/10/2021 15:43:34
3040 forum posts
1382 photos

Hi Andy, as I tried to point out in my post, these scans were to see if Kodachrome slides could be scanned to an acceptable level with my Epson scanner after reading MichaelG's link, which in my view, with the age and condition, it did, as I said, fine lines with Digital ICE, didn't get washed away as suggested in the link. The Kodachrome slides are almost a third of the total slides that I ever took, (successfully) only being a "point and shoot" type of photographer them days, taking mostly holiday snaps, I was influenced to use Agfacolor slide film by a friend who did more serious photography, turns out the Kodachrome film holds the colour much better over time even though they were mounted in cardboard frames instead of plastic ones, but I did most of my photos using print film as it was easier to show them to others and even back then prints from slides done professionally where not so go as they were from print film, not at a standard kind of price anyway. I have more or less scanned all the slides that I really want to hold on too and I do know how to remove as much dust and dirt from them and negatives, but thanks for your input.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 27/10/2021 15:46:16

Andy Carlson27/10/2021 21:52:43
399 forum posts
130 photos
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 27/10/2021 15:43:34:

Hi Andy, as I tried to point out in my post, <snip> but thanks for your input.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 27/10/2021 15:46:16

Sorry, I didn't spot that you weren't the OP so I was mixing up your slide collection with what Nathan had said earlier. Feel free to disregard

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