Well, I suppose most of you have seen the adverts for this sort of device. I found this one by googling for "Spiratone Slide Duplicator", which was the name of the device sold by the Spiratone Company in New York, back in the film days. I never bought one then, but it seemed that it might work well enough for taking digital pictures of my old slides, so I started hunting. Almost immediately, this popped up, among other things:
The price seemed to indicate that it was of relatively good quality, so I took a chance and bought one, especially as it looked like the twin of the old Spiratone device.
I set it up on my camera, of which I show two views:
Operation is childishly simple, but it does take a bit of fiddling to get it set up. I'd say the fiddling time might vary greatly according to the lens being used … this particular pair of shots show it attached to my 18-55mm kit lens.
A good, strong, white-light light source makes things easier, and avoids the noise which is so common with digital cameras at higher ISO ratings (I always tend to think that this noise is the digital equivalent of reciprocity-law-failure with film, but I have no confirmation of this).
The nice part is that you can use rather slow shutter speeds, since the camera and subject are one unit, and move together.
Some of my early results are shown here (Sorry for the large number):
This was a little box of my old slides which were, for some reason, selected and treasured by my late daughter. I don't quite know why they were so special to her, rather than some others, but they were all together in a little box.
Almost none of them required any colour adjustment, though some of them (obviously) were not taken by me.
So, if you've been contemplating doing something of this sort, these are some of the results I got.
One warning: Depending upon which lens you select for the job, you may need an extension tube to get the slides into focus. Get the automatic extension tubes; you have no idea what a nightmare the non-automatic ones will cause.
An additional note, for those thinking of following this route:
The listing above is, obviously, from Amazon. There are at least 40+ other listings (at Amazon) that show models or adaptations thereof, for other cameras. As a matter of fact, mine came with an adapter that would fit it to a 58mm diameter lens. (The "normal" Nikon filter size is 52mm, but some few lenses have 58mm filter sizes.)
Another additional note (this is getting to be a habit!):
The attachment point of the device to the 18-55mm lens rotates as the lens focuses, thereby calling for constant vigilance that the slide carrier has not rotated so far out of alignment with the picture edges as to cut off corners. My 55-200mm lens' attachment point does NOT rotate; the focusing happens inside, somehow, so the next time I run a group of these, I shall try that lens, although I believe I will have to use an extension tube to get things into focus.
I will keep you informed.
An update on the above remark about the 55-200mm lens:
It would seem that not all 55mm lenses focus to the same distance; when trying the longer zoom lens at 55mm, I found I was getting rather drastic crops … well, more drastic than I wanted, anyway. The 18-55mm kit lens left me a little black around the picture, so I had to crop to get only the picture … the longer lens, set at 55mm, gave a quite noticeably (and, to my way of thinking, undesirably) larger picture. The use of an extension tube would obviously only make matters worse.
I think my next attempt might involve the kit lens, set shorter than 55mm, in conjunction with an extension tube, although the pictures I have gotten so far seem quite satisfactory.