afx

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afx last won the day on 15 August 2016

afx had the most liked content!

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370 of my posts have been liked

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About afx

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    Grumpy Bavarian
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Munich, Germany
  • Interests
    Wildlife, Animals, Food, Espresso
  • Edit my pics?
    Yes
  • Fav. Camera
    D750
  • Fav. Lens
    24-120/4
  • Fav. Editor
    C1
  1. A while a go I asked about scanning old slides with a flatbed vs. using a DSLR for duplication as I had sold my slide scanner a few years ago. Silly me had forgotten to scan the 1999 South Africa trip before selling it. All answers pointed to using the DSLR so here are some observations: Input is from Fuji Sensia slides in Reflecta frames (In contrast to the US, it was very economical to shoot slides in Europe in the '90s, I could get a roll of Sensia with development and framing in proper frames (not cardboard!) for less than $5). They had been stored in boxes in magazines holding 100 each. The boxes are not airtight, so some dust was to be expected. The sturdy frames made it easy to insert them into the copy adapter. I obtained a used ES-1 slide copy adapter and BR-5 step down ring from Mike Gorman (thanks Mike!). The step down ring is needed to mount the copy adapter onto the AFS 60mm macro lens. Even with the ES-1 in the closest position, the slide will not fill the whole frame, so I get 20MP or less (too lazy to really calculate it). If I remember correctly, the adapter was desinged for a 50mm or 55mm macro, not a 60mm. I initially wanted to use an LED panel as a light source, but it was too weak to provide illumination for F11 at safe shutter speeds, so I only used them for focusing and the key light source was an SB800. F11 at ISO 100 with the flash near the lowest power setting. WB set to flash. On very dark slides (sunsets) I increased the ISO to 200 (too lazy to change the flash output, I could set ISO with a mouse click). I fired the flash with a radio trigger (Pocket Wizard). I used qDSLRDashboard to tether the D750 to my PC and set Capture One to monitor the incoming folder. I used a rocket bulb blower to clean the slides before putting them into the holder. Initially I used live view on with AF all the time, but that turned out to be a huge battery drain. With F11, the DOF is sufficient to fix the AF once and be done with it. So I ran this blind. In contrast to using a slide scanner or the Epson flatbed, the setup kept me busy at all times, constantly exchanging slides and then pressing the shutter (via mouse click on computer). With a scanner there is always a significant wait time between the scans (it was several minutes with the Canon FS4000), especially if you use multi-pass scanning with an additional dust removal scan. In the end, the total time spent to get all slides scanned is significantly less with the adapter than with the scanners. I used exiftool in batch mode to change the capture date in the resulting NEFs to approximate the date the slides where shot. The flatbed Epson V550 Photo is not much worse than the Canon FS4000 slide scanner I owned previously, but faster and does not require a SCSI connection. The difference between 3200ppi and 4000ppi is pretty much irrelevant, both show the film grain. So what's the verdict on using the DSLR with the copy adapter? Vervet Monkey in Krüger Park, 1999: 100% screen shot of DSLR copy on the left and Epson scan on the right (the scan would need sharpening). Color: Much easier to get accurate colors with the DSLR than with the scanner, even when using IT8 calibration targets. Accurate is still subjective of course, you get the exact color of the slide ;-) Sharpness: The DSLR wins, but not as definite as with color, the scans need more sharpening than the NEFs, but sharpen ok. Highlights: With the DSL there is much more headroom to fix highlights than with scans. Exposure was set so that there where no blown highlights in the copies. Noise/Grain: Both methods show the film grain, but depending on the scanner the scan can be noisier. I have no noise with the DSLR, only film grain. And still no perfect tool to remove it ;-( I guess I need reprofile my old copy of Noise Ninja. So far it was too drastic. Dust: Well, without ICE (the infrared dust scan) there is dust even after fastidiously using the blower. But it is only noticeable in relatively bright areas like the sky and quickly dispatched with the spot remover of Capture One. F11 makes dust bunnies on the sensor easily visible, so this lead to a sensor cleaning session... Cost: If you get the copy adapter used, the cost is negligible. Film scanners are quite expensive used and one needs to sell it after use, way too much hassle.
  2. Thanks Dallas, glad you like it. @Mike: that image looked extremely noisy when I saw it on the table, just fine on the big NEC... cheers afx
  3. A while a go I asked about scanning old slides with a flatbed vs. using a DSLR for duplication as I had sold my slide scanner a few years ago. Silly me had forgotten to scan the 1999 South Africa trip before selling it. All answers pointed to using the DSLR so here are some observations: Input is from Fuji Sensia slides in Reflecta frames (In contrast to the US, it was very economical to shoot slides in Europe in the '90s, I could get a roll of Sensia with development and framing in proper frames (not cardboard!) for less than $5). They had been stored in boxes in magazines holding 100 each. The boxes are not airtight, so some dust was to be expected. The sturdy frames made it easy to insert them into the copy adapter. I obtained a used ES-1 slide copy adapter and BR-5 step down ring from Mike Gorman (thanks Mike!). The step down ring is needed to mount the copy adapter onto the AFS 60mm macro lens. Even with the ES-1 in the closest position, the slide will not fill the whole frame, so I get 20MP or less (too lazy to really calculate it). If I remember correctly, the adapter was desinged for a 50mm or 55mm macro, not a 60mm. I initially wanted to use an LED panel as a light source, but it was too weak to provide illumination for F11 at safe shutter speeds, so I only used them for focusing and the key light source was an SB800. F11 at ISO 100 with the flash near the lowest power setting. WB set to flash. On very dark slides (sunsets) I increased the ISO to 200 (too lazy to change the flash output, I could set ISO with a mouse click). I fired the flash with a radio trigger (Pocket Wizard). I used qDSLRDashboard to tether the D750 to my PC and set Capture One to monitor the incoming folder. I used a rocket bulb blower to clean the slides before putting them into the holder. Initially I used live view on with AF all the time, but that turned out to be a huge battery drain. With F11, the DOF is sufficient to fix the AF once and be done with it. So I ran this blind. In contrast to using a slide scanner or the Epson flatbed, the setup kept me busy at all times, constantly exchanging slides and then pressing the shutter (via mouse click on computer). With a scanner there is always a significant wait time between the scans (it was several minutes with the Canon FS4000), especially if you use multi-pass scanning with an additional dust removal scan. In the end, the total time spent to get all slides scanned is significantly less with the adapter than with the scanners. I used exiftool in batch mode to change the capture date in the resulting NEFs to approximate the date the slides where shot. The flatbed Epson V550 Photo is not much worse than the Canon FS4000 slide scanner I owned previously, but faster and does not require a SCSI connection. The difference between 3200ppi and 4000ppi is pretty much irrelevant, both show the film grain. So what's the verdict on using the DSLR with the copy adapter? Vervet Monkey in Krüger Park, 1999: 100% screen shot of DSLR copy on the left and Epson scan on the right (the scan would need sharpening). Color: Much easier to get accurate colors with the DSLR than with the scanner, even when using IT8 calibration targets. Accurate is still subjective of course, you get the exact color of the slide ;-) Sharpness: The DSLR wins, but not as definite as with color, the scans need more sharpening than the NEFs, but sharpen ok. Highlights: With the DSL there is much more headroom to fix highlights than with scans. Exposure was set so that there where no blown highlights in the copies. Noise/Grain: Both methods show the film grain, but depending on the scanner the scan can be noisier. I have no noise with the DSLR, only film grain. And still no perfect tool to remove it ;-( I guess I need reprofile my old copy of Noise Ninja. So far it was too drastic. Dust: Well, without ICE (the infrared dust scan) there is dust even after fastidiously using the blower. But it is only noticeable in relatively bright areas like the sky and quickly dispatched with the spot remover of Capture One. F11 makes dust bunnies on the sensor easily visible, so this lead to a sensor cleaning session... Cost: If you get the copy adapter used, the cost is negligible. Film scanners are quite expensive used and one needs to sell it after use, way too much hassle. View full article
  4. Quite applicable me thinks: https://xkcd.com/1832/ (Make sure to check that comment that appears on mouse over) cheers afx
  5. I'll be getting an ES-1+BR5 from Mike G, I'll report back as soon as possible. Plan is to test LED panels and flash for the light source. And custom WB on an empty slide. I'll rig the system to my table with clamps so everything is locked down. And then Tethering via qDSLRDashboard. cheers afx
  6. Thanks Alan, but after seeing the video, I think I can skip the PB-4 ;-) And if I have the patience to wait, then I can get the ES-1 60% of the German price shipped form Japan (just spent some time on fleabay. cheers afx
  7. Thanks Alan, so now on to finding the right duplicator ;-) And sorry for the messed up title. Should not post after an alcohol laden Dinner. EDIT: Just found this Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_fMcAsAYdc-1 Looks like I only need a step down adapter (BR-5) and the EE-1 and I am set. Of course, the Setup will be on a tripod and I will try to use my LED panels instead of the flash. cheers afx
  8. Hi, sold my slide scanner a while ago and now I need to digitize 300 slides from 1999. I do have an Epson V550 flatbed scanner that can scan slides (4 in one go) and I have Vuescan. Sold my Sensia IT8 target with the slide scanner ;-( A friend recommended using a slide duplicator instead with my 60 AFS micro and the D750. That would eliminate the typical scanner color issues. But what about resolution? Has anyone here used both methods and can comment on the relative merits? If going the duplicator route, I don't want to spend much money on it, so pointers to reasonably priced solutions are appreciated. thx afx
  9. Yes, the ear cleaner was a hoot. The least sophisticated from the magic point of view but the most dramatic effect. In a previous show they guy with the pins was perfectly fine. Have not found out what caused the problem in this case. cheers afx
  10. Well, in Bavaria, people do not dance around the pole ;-) There is a concrete base with two metal struts and the pole will be placed between them. They are only about 1,2m high. when the storm broke the previous pole it was shortly above the struts. cheers afx
  11. Thanks guys, for me this is a bit weird, as I usually distance myself from rural activities... And then my wife (who is not Bavarian) signed us up for the maypole society ;-) cheers afx
  12. A colleague at my new job is a magician. He asked me to shoot a performance of his magic circle. So here are some impressions: The star of the show is Magic Maxl, Germanies junior champion. He needed a a special exemption, because 10 year olds are usually not admitted to the club. Here he is demonstration how at Oktoberfest he showed some Italian timbleriggers (Hütchenspieler) how it is really done: This ten year old has a stage persona, most grown up entertainers would give an arm and a leg for... Then there was this medieval medico cleaning out the earwax of a spectator: Then there was this guy who collected souls and then continued on to swallowing pins: Then he pulled them out with a string he also swallowed: Looks like he messed up a bit, because he was not present for the finale. We later learned that there where three pins he did not get out. He left in an ambulance. My colleague told me they could fix the problem in the clinic. The performances don't work too well in single images, that's why I am posting only a few. cheers afx
  13. Bavarian villages typically have a maypole somewhere. They are replaced every few years. Ours was torn down in a storm 2 years ago, and this year the maypole society that cares about such things is raising a new one. The process is lengthy, first a new tree is brought into the village and from there on a vigil is held every night, to ensure the pole is not stolen. Of course the surrounding villages might try and kidnap it for ransom (Bavarian lunch with lots of beer for a large group of perpetrators). Initially it is just a tree (34m) but in the coming weeks until it is raised (on April 30th) it will be painted white&blue and various signs from local business will be attached. Yesterday the tree was brought in, with the help of the local fire brigade (Feuerwehr) for traffic control. Approaching the village The brass band gets ready to provide the appropriate sound stage Maneuvering the tree through the village takes some effort. They even took down some signs. A tight spot in the greenery Aiming for the tent In the morning the tree was not put into the tent, first the tent was used to host a party (no pics, I was busy serving pork roast...). Then in the afternoon the benches in the tent where removed and the tree was moved in. Of course now that the vigil has started, the guardroom is manned 7x24. The funny thing is, as one needs a special permit for oversized transports, the hijacking of the maypole would have to be announced to the police in advance ;-) We'll see what happens. I must admit I did not sign up for the vigil, spending 18:00-06:00 awake is no longer that easy for me. cheers afx
  14. So after two months some feedback. I've tried the XP-Pen 03 on Windows, and it worked absolutely fine apart from a bug with Capture One where one could have either pressure sensitivity or the second mouse button. Could not recheck with the latest C1 build, but PhaseOne did open a bug for this, so it hopefully is fixed by now. LightRoom worked just fine with it. One the Mac it worked just fine everywhere I tried, including C1. After two weeks I shipped it onwards to my sister who has been using it happily since it arrived (she uses Macs and the whole Adobe zoo). She often uses drawing paper on top and traces her pen sketches with the tablet. For my own use it is definitely too big. The bit of retouching I do is easily done on the small Bamboo. So I did not order one for myself. cheers afx