Digitising Transparancies

Not content with trying to keep up with my image processing with photographs I am taking now, I have decided to try and digitise my transparencies from thirty years ago. I have them all in sleeves as hanging files in a couple of small cabinets in my loft and I just think that it would be best to try and save them to digital.

The question is how to go about it?

I have a small portable lightbox that emits a 5000k light and so together with the Fujifilm MCEX-11 macro extension tube, I have been trying out various lenses to see which one gives the best result and magnification.

Fujifilm supply a table of data about their lenses coupled with their two extension tubes, the MCEX-11 and the MCEX-16. The data gives magnification and magnification distance for the combination of any of their lenses and either of the extension tubes.

I have produced my own table to show the information with the just the lenses I own coupled with the MCEX-11.

I have currently used the XF35mm, the XF18-55mm and the XF18-135mm to take some test shots but I still have the 18mm and the 55-200mm to try out. According to their figures in the table, Fuji says that the best magnification will be with the 18mm with a magnification of 0.74 at a distance of 25mm from the top of the lens barrel to the subject.

What the table does show is that the lens that you would suspect to be the best at magnification, the 55-200mm is, in fact, the worst at 0.26 magnification at the wide-angle setting and only 0.25 at the telephoto end of the zoom.

It will be interesting to see how the 18mm performs because this little lens, which I really like, has a reputation of not being Fuji’s best in the XF range. However, I love its ability to focus close-in and coupled with a wide aperture it gives some nice bokeh.

I’ll keep ASV updated with how I’m getting on with the slide scanning and will post some images and a photo or two of my setup.