Slide Scanning

Recently I’ve taken the time to scan some slides that my folks have. I’ve always been fascinated with them, especially as we deal with so many pictures on a daily basis. These were printed out, and in a format that required a special machine, where you all sit around and watch – for better or worse. For some reason, I’ve found this very fun and I figured I’d give a little “how-to” for anyone that was curious as how I went about it, along with a few before/afters.

Here is a picture of my setup (ignore stuff in the background, I was outside until I got too cold).

The equipment I’m using:

  • Nikon D800 w/ 5 stop bracketing at 1EV each stop (-2 to +2)
  • 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor
  • Manfrotto 322RC2 Ball Head
  • Manfrotto 055MF3 Tripod
  • Super cheap eBay Manual Macro Lens Extension Tube Ring
  • Nikon BR-5 mount ring 62mm
  • Nikon BR2A lens reversing ring 52mm
  • Nikon BR-3 52mm Mount Adapter ring
  • Nikon Slide Copy Adapter ES-1 52mm
  • Lightroom tethered to camera
  • HDR Efex Pro 2

I set the camera to bracketed exposure – 5 shots from -2EV to +2EV. I then tether the camera to lightroom, and quickly fire off the 5 shots (I tether so that I’m not touching the camera and so I can better see the output on screen). In lightroom I stack the images, properly set a realistic date, and then export to HDR Efex Pro 2 to combine all 5 images together. Depending on the type of shot, I select different settings. As you can see from below, it makes a pretty big difference.

One I have the final image, I color correct it, based on the slide type and color cast. For example, Kodachrome has a distinctive blue tint to it which should be corrected. And tada!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *