The Ohnar Digital Duplicator is a slide copier for SLR, video, digital movie and digital still cameras. Pictured to the right attached to an Olympus C-4040z this is one of the cheapest ways to transfer your slides onto digital format. The main features of this Duplicator are:
- Metal construction
- Built-in light diffuser
- Uses ambient light
- Lens can also be used as a +10 close-up lens.
- Wide compatibility with additional auxiliary rings
- Priced at 69.95
To connect the Duplicator to the Olympus C-4040z we needed two additional adapters. The first (pictured near right) serves the same purpose as the official Olympus one but is a little cheaper at 16.95. The second (pictured far right) is a basic 43-52mm slim step ring, costing 4.90.
When combined these two adapters allow the Duplicator to be firmly attached to the camera. It is possible to use the camera and the device without these adapters but it's far from easy so we couldn't recommend it.
Another benefit of this Duplicator is that you can detach the lens and use it as a close-up lens with some cameras. As you can see in the illustration to the right the camera and lens fit together well. We'll look at the image quality of this combination later in the review.
At the end of the device is a slot for the removable slide adapter to travel through, and a light diffuser to help ensure light is evenly distributed over the slide. All elements of this can be disassembled should you want to clean any dust off. This slide holder method works well, and it is easy to quickly drop in another slide and move the holder into the correct position.
A slight drawback of this Duplicator is that many cameras will not allow you to optimally capture the slide. For example in the example shown to the right the slide doesn't fill the whole of the camera's capture area. This will not be an important factor on cameras with high resolutions, as they will still produce a high quality image. However those people considering using this device with a low resolution camera should take note that they may not be able to use the full capabilities of their camera and image quality will suffer accordingly.
On the Olympus C-4040z we were able to digitise slides at 2049x1366 pixels. Image quality with this device is largely dependent on the quality of your camera and the ambient lighting present. Using the Olympus C-4040z we achieved a very good quality of capture considering cost of this setup.
Care must be taken to ensure the correct exposure, as you would normally in taking a photo. When using a lamp as the light source your conditions will stay the same making the process easier. Alternatively using daylight will mean ambient light may change with the clouds.
Another issue to be aware of is that you can't always rely on the camera to auto-focus on the slide. Instead you need to use manual focus to get the best results. This is where using the TV-Out capability of your camera can become really useful as it is much easier to check for focus on a large TV than the typical LCD screens.
|Nikon Coolscan IV ED
||Ohnar Digital Duplicator
You're probably thinking, hang on why is this review comparing a device costing 70 to one costing around five times as much. Although it's true the Duplicator is not in the same league as the Nikon I found at low resolutions the quality produced came close. As you can see in the blown up sections of the images above the detail of the Ohnar Duplicator is quite impressive. However there is a high contrast effect on this image which makes it look sharper at the expense of overall image quality, showing again the Nikon's prowess.
At high resolutions the Nikon streaked ahead producing fine details the Olympus and duplicator couldn't match. However for web-use and for small prints the Duplicator shows it is a worthy contender compared to many other low-cost scanning devices.
||The section of the bird shown to the left is a 100% crop of the image above. Slightly overexposed this image shows care must be taken at all times, an inconvenience you wouldn't have with a good film scanner. However the capability of this device when paired with a high quality digital camera is very impressive.
Looking at this slide the difference between this device and a dedicated film scanner was again very clear with the fine gauze of the veil being blurred. On the scan from the Nikon Coolscan IV ED the gauze was very clear and well defined. However the point I made earlier about this device being perfect for low-cost web use or small prints still applies.
There was some vignetting at the tele-end when using the close up lens, but considering this is just an added feature of this device the extra functionality is welcomed. A sample image using the close-up feature is shown below.
The beauty of this device is unlike most film scanners the camera capturing works very quickly. It is also relatively cheap and can be used with many different digital cameras. We found it easy to use and were pleasantly suprised by the results achieved. We don't hesitate in recommending it to those wanting to digitise slides for a low cost. The benefit of close up lens functionality is a nice added bonus.