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Old May 18, 2004, 3:14 AM   #1
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Simple question.........are there any?

I have been using the Leica Digicopy in conjuction with a Fuji 4700 very successfully for the last 6 months. Having now just bought a FZ10, I had hoped to use the Digicopy with this camera. However due to the diameter of the FZ10 and the design of the internals of the Digicopy it is not possible, even if it could be attached to the lens on the FZ10.

I have found that using the above combination produces superb results.

Have a look here to see what is possible:

http://www.airliners.net/search/phot...ch=%27GAAEC%27

It is also far quicker than using a dedicated slide copier. I can copy around 60 slides an hour which can't be bad, and if cleaned carefully require minimal dust removal afterwards. Just imagine the results an FZ10 could produce!

Can anyone advise if anything is available on the market..........seems like a missed opportunity for both Panasonic (or Leica for that matter)!



MTIA

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Old May 20, 2004, 12:55 AM   #2
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Your FZ10 came with half of a slide adapter: the hood. The other half is a 72mm UV filter that can screw into the end of the hood. Then, just rest a slide on the filter, focus, and take the picture. I'm using a $10 UV filter and it's just fine for this, as well as for everyday picture-taking. The camera can focus to within 17mm of its own lens, which just happens to be the distance to the outer surface of the filter.

The actual steps (with a filter on the hood) are:
1. illuminate a "white" ceiling adequately; doesn't have to be floodlights.

2. aim camera at the ceiling and use the menu's "White Balance" to do a manual WB, which is the selection at the right end of the WB sub-menu: when prompted to press the shutter button, do so, and the camera will be WB'd for the ceiling

3. turn off OIS (the slide will move with the camera); set ISO to 50; put the camera into manual shutter/aperture mode, make sure it's set to max resolution and fine compression. Alternately, you can just use Aperture priority and let the camera select shutter speed.

4. rest a slideon the filter in landscape orientation to match the frame aspect ratio of the camera, aim up at the ceiling, andadjust shutter/aperture for good exposure.

5. put the camera into manual focus mode and focus on the slide. THIS WORKS, and you do NOT need to use "Macro" mode. In fact, you can't use it because it doesn't support manual shutter/focus, and you may not have enough light to take a good picture in automatic exposure mode.

6. zoom in a bit to mostly fill the viewfinder with the slide and thereby maximize resolution. Re-adjust focus if necessary, realizing that you can't get past about 2x at this distance (17mm).

7. put the camera on a table, aiming at the ceiling.

8. make sure slide is aligned squarely on the hood, then press the shutter button.

9. repeat step 8 for the rest of your slides, stopping when you need to empty the card, replace the battery, or run out of slides. The camera can take a picture every second, which is faster than you can switch slides. You don't have to change any of the other settings unless some of the slides are very dark or light, in which case, you may need to adjust shutter/aperture occasionally.
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Old May 20, 2004, 2:49 AM   #3
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Charlie -

Thanks for your reply............an interesting solution, I'll need to give it a try. Do you have any samples you could post.

Many thanks,

Martin Stephen






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Old May 20, 2004, 9:05 PM   #4
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If you want to spend a few dollars invest im a small light table. I have found that the exposer is easier once it has been established.
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Old May 20, 2004, 11:50 PM   #5
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Dear Normc,

I do have a large light table for viewing slides. So I can try the method you described above. Just one question about focusing:

If one does not use marco mode, is it still necessary to set the zoom to full wide angle or should one just zoom in so that the slide fills the frame?

Thank you for sharing any experience in this respect.
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Old May 21, 2004, 12:10 AM   #6
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Samples arehere: http://www.imagestation.com/album/?i...mp;mode=inviteand I should have included that link in the original post.

The quality is not as good as a dedicated 2400 dpi or higher slide scanner, but is better than what you can get with a flatbed that has a built-in transparency adapter (I have both kinds of scanners and the samples at that link show the comparisons). The overall quality from the FZ10 actually is pretty good, to my surprise (not about the FZ10, but about using ANY camera as a substitute for a real slide scanner). The resolution is lower, but may be good enough for many purposes. The color fidelity is excellent, and the speed, of course, is in a class by itself.

BTW, you don't really need the UV filter: you can rig a slide holder using cardboard and paper clips, which is what Iused before discovering the incredible close-focusing capabilities of the FZ10.
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Old May 21, 2004, 12:38 AM   #7
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Thanks a lot, Charlie.

I've actually tried shooting the slides in marco mode (w & w/o filter)and found that the resolution is not as good as I would expect and there is also indication of distortion at the corners. Iwonder whether MF would give better results or if there is a method that would give better results. Any advice or experience that other forum members can share on this?
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Old May 21, 2004, 5:27 AM   #8
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Good to see that my question to the Forum has resulted in a solution that can produce excellent results.

I have been experimenting with the aforementioned procedure, and I am very pleased with the quality that can be achieved. The manual focusing, exposure and white balance etc. makes all the difference.

After copying, just crop to remove the remaining frame and a bit Photoshop manipulation is all that is required.

I sent an email to Leica a few days ago regarding an attachment similar to the 'Digicopy' to fit the FZ10, and received the reply below:

'We will not be making a digicopy for this camera, as we do not have a Leica version of it. This should be made by Panasonic'.

Well how about it Panasonic.........It's not exactly rocket science.

I would imagine all it would take is a lengthened 72mm hood (to allow more than 2x zoom) with a slide mount attached at the end, and a light diffuser as a back plate. It wouldn't even need to use any glass. (If I didn't want to loose my Digicopy, I would cut it in half and try to fabricate something myself).

The above wouldn't need to cost very much either..........I'm sure there is a huge market out there for something like this to copy slides simply and quick, as opposed to the indifferent results that are achieved from a flat bed scanner.

We can't all afford to buy a dedicated Film Scanner that is soon redundent after all ones slide collection is copied and digitised.

Come on Panasonic...........take the initiative and have a try! (or perhaps one of the filter manufacturers could).
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Old May 21, 2004, 7:07 AM   #9
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My experience with the light table method is with a Nikon 995 and 4500 and the Nikon Slide Adapter. The results were always terrible until I hit upon the idea of removing the frosted plastic and using using a light table. It standardized the light source and enabled me to experiement with the other camera settings. With the Macro mode on a Nikon the tulip will turn yellow when you are in range for the auto focus to work properly.

It is important to know that the macro mode is not always the best solution. It is often the recommened choice for use with a telescope. But if you stick with it all the time youmight give it all up as the standard focusing worked the best with my particular telescope.

I have yet to do much of anything with slides and my "new" FZ10 but when I really get into it I will tape them to the light table and then use some compressed air for dusting and see what happens?
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Old May 21, 2004, 2:58 PM   #10
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Hi Famo,

Use Manual focus for two reasons: 1) you can get sharper focus that way; 2) the camera won't waste time trying to refocus on subsequent slids... after all, the distance never will change.

I don't use a diffuser because the white ceiling is a perfect diffuser: the camera's focused on something less than 3/4" away, while the ceiling is 5 feet away... a hopeless blur, or, to put it another way, a nice source of diffused lighting.

The aspect ratio of a 35 mm. slide is 3:2, while the aspect ratio of the FZ10 is 4:3. So, you cannot get a perfect fit, and will have to do some cropping in Photoshop (or whatever you use) afterwards. At the same time, you can do whatever other cleanup is needed, including dust/scratch removal and possibly some exposure adjustment and, if the slide is faded, some color restoration. Dust/scratch removal can take time, but the other adjustments take literally one second each.

The results are not going to match a dedicated slide scanner, as I've said in each of my replies. It's up to each person to decide which set of benefits is more important: speed and cost (FZ10) or image quality and resolution (slide scanner). The better slide scanners come with Applied Science Fiction's Digital ICE(automatic dust & scratch removal) built right in, as well as their digital ROC (recreation of color)and GEM (grain management). Ccheck their website for all the details... www.asf.com ... now owned by Kodak.

I made those FZ10-slide tests last year, just out of curiosity, as a tangent to my tests of the camera's minimum focusing distance.My own preference is to usemy slide scanner, because quality is more important to me than speed.

However, there is one situation in which the camera's image qualityis superior to any slide scanner's: when the slide is SEVERELY underexposed. I have a few hundred slides of an important family event in the early 1960's, and all the slides areso underexposed that the slide scanners cannot pick up anything at all. We didn't know that for almost 40 years, because we always looked at the slides with a Carousel projector, which pumps so much light through the slides that they looked fine.

To digitize them succesfully, Iused the Carousel to project them ontowhite posterboard (NOT a beaded screen, which created reflective artifacts), and then photographed them with a digital camera. The camera was on a mini-tripod just to the left of the Carousel's lens (to minimize parallex), and the results were excellent, even though the camera was "only"2mpx (but it had a 3:2 aspect ratio, so the whole 2mpx were used).

If you havethousands of slides, it probably would be worth considering a good Minolta or Nikon slide scanner (2800dpi - 4000dpi) with a USB 2.0 interface and a batch feeder. The equipment probably costs about $1,500 new, and will save you literally a year or more of work (I spentover twoyears digitizing and retouching all of our slides, negatives, and prints... most of the time was spent in cleanup, not in scanning). Then, you can sell the equipment on eBay, probably for half of what you paid. Or, you can buy it now on eBay and sell it there when done, a few weeks from now.
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