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Thread: Slide Repro

  1. #1
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    Slide Repro

    Anyone have any thoughts on the quality of slide repro with bellows vs say a Nikon 5000?

    Have owned the 5000 before and loved the results. However, was shooting only film at time. Shooting digital only now, it's not worth it at the moment to reacquire one for very periodic film use.

    Since I am contemplating a simple bellows (e.g. PB-4) kit for some macro and basic T&S work with either one of my Mamiya Lenses or an enlarging lens, if the slide-repro results were good enough, I might pick up a pre-F5 (size) Nikon SLR such as an F3 variant, F4 or maybe an FM3A to stick in my pocket.

    Having owned the FE2, despite my love for it, the mirror slap with the low body mass was a bit of an issue, so am leaning to an F4 -- that and the F4's ability to matrix meter with older glass.

    I'm not looking for the best acuity here - only good results for choice shots that focused more on 'the moment'/mood vs. Nth degree acuity that would (likely) be converted to B&W and printed on matte.

    Any input and samples would be great.

  2. #2
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    Re: Slide Repro

    I don't understand what you're hoping to do with the bellows vs. what you were doing with the Nikon 5000 (scanner?)

    Are you hoping to copy slides onto B&W film so you can print them via conventional wet process? If so, you'll be battling contrast issues: slide film is very contrasty to begin with, and you'll be adding more contrast by copying it. I used to do a lot of this, eons ago, and it was a huge struggle finding a copy film/developer/developing time combination that would hold most of the highlight detail without having the shadows look murky, or vice-versa.

    Back in the day, eventually I discovered that Kodak made a special film -- RPC, I think it was called -- for this purpose. It was on 35mm base, special-order only, and came only in 100-foot (or longer) rolls. The emulsion was dead white, and it was super-slow. It was basically printing-paper emulsion coated onto a film base -- you could handle it under a safelight and everything. That was the only thing I found that really worked well. Good luck finding it now!

    Incidentally, matrix metering won't help you much because a slide is fairly transparent even in its darkest areas. And with a good, rigid slide duplicating setup, mirror slap won't be much of a problem because the subject (the slide) will be vibrating in step with the camera. So I'd say go ahead and use that FE2 if you want.

  3. #3
    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Slide Repro

    Digging way back to my copy stand days I would have to say (without much evidence to back it up) that you can ALWAYS tell when a slide is copied in the manner you suggest. It's a second generation and shows it. Personally, I think what you're suggesting is more trouble than its worth.

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    Re: Slide Repro

    I suspected as much.

    Occasional slide would have been repro'd w/DSLR & bellows, converted (in all likelihood) to B&W and printed on 3800. The 5000 ED was used and sold years ago and given the very low volume of slides I'd be talking, about it's not currently economical to re-acquire a 500o (prefer the native multi-pass scanning).

    Think I'll just keep my powder dry - never know might stumble across a right-priced scanner over the next year or so.

    Thanks.

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    Re: Slide Repro

    You might consider using a lab to do your scans for you. I know Dale Labs (DFarkas here on this forum) has prices for the varying degrees of quality on their web site.

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    Re: Slide Repro

    Also not a bad idea, but in my case you're into cross-border shipping. Local lab scans suck - did much better job with my 5000.

    Oh well, no biggie. Didn't expect it would be a truly workable idea but have never used a repro rig.

  7. #7
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    Re: Slide Repro

    If you own an FX-format Nikon DSLR, how about putting that on your slide-copier rig?

    Not that everyone owns an FX-format Nikon (I certainly can't afford one) but if it happens that you do...

  8. #8
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    Re: Slide Repro

    1Ds2, moving to Nikon FX - that was the idea to be bolted on the end of say the PB-4

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