Home Made (DIY) Slide Duplicator and Negative Scanner

Easy to make slide duplicator and negative scanner for the DIY enthusiast.
Use your digital camera to copy 35mm slides and 35mm film negatives.

Use this home made (DIY) slide duplicator and negative scanner to make digital images of your 35mm slides and 35mm film negatives. This one is made of cardboard, so any DIY enthusiast should manage it quite easily. All you need is a cardboard tube of the correct diameter, flat cardboard (an old desk pad works well), a sharp knife and wood glue.



THE CAMERA

slide duplicator / negative scanner camera

An Olympus C750UZ camera (2003, 4MP). is used as the slide duplicator / negative scanner. Note the fixed and retractable lens barrels.


THE BARREL ASSEMBLY

slide duplicator / negative scanner barrel assembly, components slide duplicator / negative scanner barrel assembly, partially assembled slide duplicator / negative scanner barrel assembly, completely assembled

The first photo shows the components for the barrel assembly of the home made (DIY) slide duplicator / negative scanner.

The second photo shows the lugs glued into place. These are filed down to be a loose fit over the retractable barrel assembly. Photocopy paper has been glued to the inside of the cardboard tube so that it is a snug fit on the fixed barrel assembly.

The third photo shows the completed barrel assembly.

NOTE 1:
The cardboard barrel assembly was later changed as the loose fit on the camera gave problems. The barrel assembly would sometimes move, affecting the position of the slide and the focus. More paper was glued to the inside of the tube so that it was a tight fit on the fixed barrel assembly. The three lugs were cut off.

NOTE 2:
Olympus documents the Super Macro distance as 3cm. I found that I could keep shortening the cardboard barrel until the slide was about 2.5cm from the end of the lens barrel.

NOTE 3:
When I was happy with everything, the inside of the barrel assembly was painted black with mat PVA paint. This is to prevent reflections.


THE SLIDE HOLDER

slide duplicator / negative scanner, slide holder componets slide duplicator / negative scanner, completed slide holder slide duplicator / negative scanner, black paper slide cover slide duplicator / negative scanner, slide holder attached to the barrel assembly

The first photo shows the components for the slide holder.

The next photo shows the completed slide holder. The two pieces have been glued together. A slide is in place.

A piece of black paper is cut to cover the slide. Its purpose is to prevent reflections by covering the plastic slide surround. The black paper is not glued in place.

The slide assembly is attached to the barrel with paper clips (bulldog clips). This completes the slide duplicator.


THE COMPLETED SLIDE DUPLICATOR

The slide duplicator attached to the camera

The completed slide duplicator is attached to camera.


THE NEGATIVE “SCANNER”

The negative holder The negative holder attached to the barrel assembly

Two strips of paper (one at the top, one at the bottom) are sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard, leaving a space through which the negative strip can slide. The cardboard facing the camera lens is painted black.

The slide holder is unclipped from the barrel assembly. The negative holder is clipped on in its place. (There is just one barrel assembly, which is used for both slide duplicating and negative scanning.)

Copying negatives is difficult. The negative is very orange. Once copied and the colours inverted, the resulting positive lacks orange. This needs to be corrected. Not Easy!


USING THE SLIDE DUPLICATOR / NEGATIVE SCANNER

STEP 1:
Put a piece of white paper in the sun. It can either be put on a vertical wall, or put flat on the floor. I did not use a tripod, as I found that hand holding the camera was quicker and easier.

STEP 2:
Point the camera at the paper and set the White Balance.

STEP 3:
Make sure the camera lens is free of dust. Attach the slide duplicator.

STEP 4:
Set the focus by doing some focus bracketing. Set the focus to manual. Open the aperture to max. Take a series of photos with different focus settings. On the computer, select the picture with the best focus (zoom in close) and set the camera focus to that setting. Now set the aperture to a small setting (say f8). This gives the maximum Depth Of Field to ensure accurate focus.

STEP 5:
Copy your slides. Be sure to blow any dust off the slides. Once I got going, I managed to copy a set of 150 slides in just over an hour. I found that changing slides with a hand-held camera was faster than when using a tri-pod. Camera shake is not an issue, not even at 1/4 sec.

STEP 6:
Crop your photos. This is much slower than copying them! I ended up with photos of about 3MP each.


SAMPLE PHOTO

Below is a 35mm slide that has been copied with the home made (DIY) slide duplicator.

Click the image below to see a full size, unedited original. Straight off the slide duplicator.

NOTE: The file size of the photo is 2.1 MB

Sample photo done with the home made (DIY) slide duplicator / negative scanner (Kolmanskop, Namibia)