The Super Duper 3 Dollar Duper

a hack in progress

mail me here:philjern@gmail.com.

Prologue

I started this because I have about 2000 35mm slides and nearly that many color negatives I'd like to convert to digital images, and many of them are 30 years old or more and starting to deteriorate. My first attempt involved purchasing a slide scanner from the-store-that-must-not-be-named, but it took like 3 to 4 minutes to prescan and then scan to file, and then it usually botched the exposure or the color balance. I realized that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life scanning slides in this manner, so I started thinking about other solutions. I remembered there being slide duplicators for 35mm film cameras, but an internet search did not present me with one I thought was affordable and would work with a (non SLR) digital camera.
If I could afford a DSLR, I could use a regular slide duplicator. Plus this is a fun project for me; I needed a new hobby :) I'm currently using a Fuji Finepix S5100.
Part one deals with the object end of the hack, I'll discuss the camera end in part two. (Which isn't up yet, as I have a life and job, too)

Part 1:

The first thing we need to do is to get our materials together- this picture shows the basic things I used. I already had the set of close-up lenses, but went out and bought the 2 inch PVC pipe, female adapter, and 4 inch test cap. The first thing I did was cut the 2 inch tubing to 8 Ĺ inches in length, which dimension I arrived at by focusing my camera on piece of slide film at a distance that filled the frame, measuring from the camera to the film, and subtracting an inch for the female adapter. Since the piece of PVC pipe I purchased was 5 feet long, this will give me about 6 or 7 attempts to get it right if I screw it up- which is highly likely :) Total spent: (dividing the cost of the piece of pipe by the length used) $2.18
Next I wanted to get an opening to let the light into my apparatus. I recommend using a fine precision instrument such as my blue Sharpie pen. Other such instruments may work, but I canít vouch for the accuracy or final results. A precision German-manufactured plastic 35mm slide mount provided a template, accurately (!) centered using my calibrated MK I organic optical measurement device.
This was the most dangerous part of the experiment- one slip, and Iíd have been cleaning (my!) blood off my nice new worktop. It will require approximately 1.000175 Exacto blades for each aperture required.
Hereís the (very) rough opening. Purists and perfectionists will note that the edges arenít straight yet. When I get a round tuit, Iíll get a file out and attend to that, but itís not a priority because the opening is very slightly oversize already.
Using my precision Sharpie and MK I optical measuring device I centered the PVC pipe on the aperture and marked it for gluing in place. Once I regained consciousness from the fumes of the PVC cement, I found that it was indeed solidly attached and ready to continue.
OK, so photo stuff isn't generally white plastic, so I got out the can of Satin Black Rustoleum and gave it a coating inside the barrel to cut down on reflections a bit and make it look more "photo-equipmenty". I'll finish painting after I'm done cutting and hacking on it.
Once again, my innate drive for precision led me to use this high-technology solution to affix a slide to the Duper to test it. They don't call it Magic tape for nothing! (Update: I'm trying a flip-down glass cover to hold the slide in place taken from a dollar-store picture frame now.)
This is what you see looking down the barrel with a slide in place. Actually, this is what the camera sees with the closeup lens but not zoomed in for the kill.
Here's the first test shot with the zoom zoomed into the slide. There's actually a lot more zoom in my lens, but i was trying to get an idea of where i was going. The light source was the screen of my laptop with a blank Notepad window maximized. Exposure was 1/4 sec at about f3.5. I haven't played around much with the settings yet, to see how things can be improved.