Non-digital film photography and cameras

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  • Got some rolls of Provia developed from a Nikon AF that’s been sitting around since at least 2019.

    Mostly just holiday snaps but was clearly trying to be arty with a few of them. Fuck I miss that place.


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  • Does anyone have any experience of digitising 35mm slides?

    I've been sorting out my dad's estate and finally found the family history in the form of a tin container of 35 mm slides with a circa 1980 non-working slide viewer.

    It would be great to digitise those 60s and 70s memories.

    I see this kind of thing exists but will this cut it?

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/DIGITNOW-Resolu­tion-Negative-Computer-Required/dp/B01HZ­QZLXW/ref=asc_df_B01HZQZLXW/

  • Those scanners are crap. They work but just aren’t a great solution - low res, low dynamic range, awful colour correction and they just suck all the charm out of the original quality.

    If it’s something you want to preserve a decent copy of for the future, it’s worth spending a bit of cash getting a lab to scan them as tiffs and jpegs. It won’t cost a bomb, but it won’t be cheap either but it’ll be an order of magnitude better than the little machines.

    Other option, if you have some camera kit and a few spare evenings is to photograph them using a dslr and macro lens on a light box. Bit of a ball-ache but you’ll get amazing results that way.

    Also, some flatbed scanners are great at this and have the necessary hardware (backlights, film holders) to do it properly. I think it was an Epsom V750 or something. Could even pick on up on eBay and flip it when you’re done.

  • ok that's really informative thank you. Yes the idea is to preserve a decent copy for the future but that's given me plenty to think about.

  • Also, some flatbed scanners are great at this and have the necessary hardware (backlights, film holders) to do it properly. I think it was an Epsom V750 or something. Could even pick on up on eBay and flip it when you’re done.

    I would only add to this that factor in the time to scan, it takes forever on flatbeds

  • The Google & YouTube algorithms have been going crazy and suggesting various ways of doing this to me including a numbers of hacks n bodges and as I had some spare time this afternoon I thought I would give some of them a go.

    None of them are good enough for a permanent record and I will eventually stump up some cash for a proper solution but some of these are good enough for sharing with the family on Facebook & Whatsapp etc.

    The first effort was inspired by this guy on Youtube

    and used an iPad as a light source, a cookie cutter a piece of a cereal box cut into a slide support and a plastic box with a hole in it. The plastic box supports my android phone to keep it stable and the camera focuses through the hole in the box

    Here's attempt 1 of my dad in the early 60's after cropping the image


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  • Yeah, pretty shitty ain't it. So I used an alternative method that used an empty toilet roll as a support and focus for the camera phone and surprisingly it gave a better, brighter image. Here is attempt 2


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  • Ha, nice hack 🙂
    I suppose if you'd perfect this technique a bit you'll get better results than those digitalizer things you linked to above.

    Have you thought about actually getting a slide projector (maybe sell it on a few weeks later)?
    Looking at slides on a big wall is such an amazing experience, most people have forgotten this, it's much nicer than even expensive digital video projectors, the colours are gorgeous..
    ..plus, you could take a photo with your smartphone of the huge projected image on the wall, this will likely do really well in terms of digitizing the slide as well..

  • Your second attempt already looks really good the toilet roll eliminates stray light which was present in the first attempt..

  • Seen a couple of quick replies - many thanks. Will just post these updates first.

    Still pretty lo-res pics but as I was messing about with this on the dining table my wife asked me if the light box she uses for cross-stitch would help? Well hell yeah, the damn iPad keeps on locking and the light turning off and it was a pretty shitty light source anyway so she dug that out.

    At the same time I also remembered that we had a phone/ipad holder in the cupboard so I dug this out so that could do away with most of the hacked stuff in the first post and simply place the slide on the light box and then take a pic.

    I also realised that the first slide I had grabbed of my dad was probably a poor choice being very dark so I chose another slide in full daylight taken on a family holiday in 1975.

    Again this is post cropping.


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  • ..looks great! 🙂

    One piece of advice - try to get as close as possible (as close as your phone's camera is able to focus on the slide), so you have to crop (waste) as little as possible 👍

  • This was a pretty quick method as all I had to do was to swap the slide on the light box, wait for the phone to focus and then press the shutter. There is a slight wobble on the phone support but I could manage that.

    I was in the middle of this and my eldest walks by and mentions that he has some of those clip on lenses that sit over the phone cam lens and provide various different effects with the macro lens seemingly the best. This allowed me to get the phone much closer to the slide and therefore a better definition and less to crop out although it does lose focus on the edges of the picture for example me and most of my mum's beehive...

    Here's my mum with me in 1964.


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  • I posted some of these on Facebook and one of my mates mentioned that he has a Canon & Nikon scanner that he is willing to lend me so I will see how they work and give it a go. In the meantime the immediate family seem happy enough with the results.

  • yup, my 3rd post & final method allowed me to get much closer to the slide and is definitely giving the best results so far.

  • You might wanna check if using the clip-on macro lens really gives better reults, they are usually pretty shit quality / just for fun (so you might get better results without it / having your phone not as close etc.)

    Anyways I think those "scans" look really great, colours are amazing 🥰
    Plus some nice photos to begin with🙂

    The Canon / Nikon scanners likely will give better results but prepare for tedious handling / long scanning times etc. - you really might be better off with your method..

    Ps: thanks for sharing all this, I'm sure this will be of use to quite a few people on here

  • yeah thanks. just playing around at the moment to see what happens.

  • Well nice, I shot provia for the first time this summer and thought it was lovely, much more forgiving than other slide film I've used.

  • My Konica a5 has a habbit of auto rewinding when it wants. Resulting in double exposures. Enjoy...


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  • Couple snaps from the GW690. Glad I never sold this when I was tempted to


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  • fell for the old film photography trap, the classic car.
    On Pro Image 100, really like this film, making up for lack of Fuji stocks.


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  • Leica M2 with a combination of Superia 400/Portra 400/Ultramax 400


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  • XA on Superia 400.


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  • Ricoh GR1 + Ilford XP2


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Non-digital film photography and cameras

Posted by Avatar for GA2G @GA2G

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