It is likely that some viewers of this website will, like myself, have a large number
of transparences (slides) that they would like to be converted to digital images.
Whilst there are many companies offering this service it can be expensive and worth
attempting a DIY approach.
The photograph shows the set up I use and is I feel largely self explanatory, A few
pointers are though worth offering.
The camera should be set up on a tripod or some other ridged assembly, else each
picture will require lining up and focusing individually making it a very tedious
With the camera rigidly positioned the slides also need a location method that is
repetitive. The card, having a hole cut into it through which the light shines, should
also have a strip of card fixed to it to locate the lower edge of the slide and similarly
a strip on the left hand side to locate the slide’s horizontal position. Positioning
the locating strip on the right hand side would be best if you are left handed. With
that done it will be easy and quick to place each new slide in position.
To avoid the possibility of moving the camera, operate this with a cable release
or a wireless remote control.
I am using a slide light box but a suitable aperture with a piece of frosted glass
and a light behind should give adequate results providing the camera is correctly
After experimenting with focus, exposure and white balance on a few shots it should
easily be possible to copy at least 100 slides an hour. You will of course need a
camera that is able to focus close up, maybe with the addition of a close up lens.
If you have any doubts about the process click on the picture to view it at a larger
size. It should be possible to see the wires of the fence indicating that the picture
has been transferred with very little by way of lost detail.