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Slides and Negatives

edited March 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
I have several old slides and negatives I would like to convert using my Nikon D3200 camera. Which lens would you recommend and are there any tips for doing this properly?


  • edited March 2015
    Doing this really well can be tricky and expensive, and if you only have a few to do, you may do better to have some shop do it.

    A little shopping around can find you slide copiers. Make sure that what you get is for DX format, as older ones made for FX will not cover the whole slide.

    If you have a macro lens you can set it up in any of many ways to take a picture of your pictures. The main thing you need is even lighting without reflections, and a way to hold it all steady. As a quick and dirty experiment, I put my 85mm macro lens on a tripod, and on another tripod, a slide in a pocket slide viewer held on with rubber bands. Far from a perfect scan, but not too terrible for a snapshot. Any macro lens should be able to do this if you can find a way to light a slide evenly from behind, and avoid stray reflections.

    By the way, the slide here is a Kodachrome from 1988 with no color correction or sharpening or any post processing except a crop. It's a beach in Maui!

    Final note: I tried the same setup again with the 18-55mm kit lens. Set at 55mm, the closest focus requires a significant crop, but the result is not too bad for a snapshot. It's well short of a really good archival slide scan, but if your intention is to get a usable snapshot it may well be good enough, especially if the original slide is less than perfect. The kit lens gets a little softer at the edges than a proper macro, but so do many old slides.

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