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I just got a Lioner slide duplicator from ebay, trying to copy some of my old slides. I am hooking this up with my Canon EOS Xti. This unit has a zoom adjustment but no FOCUS adjustment. How do you focus the slide to make the duplicate?
Can someone help?
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You shouldn't need to focus. The lens element and the length of the tube place the slide at prime focus to give a full frame (35mm) sharp image on film or digi sensor. Thus if you use a crop sensor (and I think the Xti is an APS-C size), you won't be able to copy the whole frame, only a proportion equal to the size of the cropped sensor.
The zoom enables you to enlarge portions of the frame, but you will only be able to get part of the frame anyway even if zoomed out as far as you can go.
They are best used with a diffused flash. You can experiment to find the optimum distance away for it, then every slide will be the same, and lower the contrast on your camera, as the copying process boosts contrast and you can end up with "soot and whitewash" pictures.
Thanks Nick. That was very helpful as I have never use this before. Yes, my Xti has a reduced size sensor and produce 1.6 magnification.
So is the unit actually focused to infinity, that's why there is no need to focus?
I don't have a flash unit, is there another light source that I can use as an alternative?
I did not realize that one can lower the contrast on my camera. Is there an adjustment on the Xti?
Quote: So is the unit actually focused to infinity, that's why there is no need to focus?
Not infinity - it should be focused at the position where the slide is mounted. Some of the better slide duplicators did have an extending barrel to the rear near the camera body that could be unlocked and adjusted to offer more precise focus. Looking at photos of the Linear it appears to be fixed, so hopefully is focused at the right point.
You can adjust contrast and other parameters in the "picture style" menu - look at page 78 in the manual (if your manual is the same as the online one). If you shoot RAW it's not so important, but any detail lost cannot be recovered later, so better to get it right in camera if possible.
If you don't have a flash (a cheap non-dedicated one is fine, as long as you can fire it via a test button - you don't have to attach it to the camera) you can use any light source, but the colour temperature will vary, and will need to be corrected for in processing. Again, better to get it right straight off.
The easiest way to do it with repeatable results, is to put your camera on a tripod (even a table top one will do), select a long shutter speed and as you trip the shutter, fire the flash at the slide end, which should have a white diffuser on it. After a couple of tries, you will know exactly how far away the flash needs to be for a perfect exposure (use an "average" kind of slide first time and check the histogram. If it's over exposed, move the flash further away etc). For any subsequent exposures, you can use the same distance and the exposure will be correct every time.
You could use a lamp (colour balance will be out and you will need to adjust white balance in camera) or daylight (unpredictable intensity and only during the day) or even a lightbox.
Thank you Nick and Pete. Very appreciative of getting such helpful information.
I managed to dig up an very old Vivitar 91 flash that has a cable connector. It still works by shorting the connector pin.
I also found the instruction for lowering the contrast in my camera. Thanks. Never knew it existed.
Still not totally at ease with the focus. I bought and "T/T2 to EOS" adapter from EzFoto. It fits just fine. I screwed it on until it's snug. But I am not sure it is designed with the proper number of turns to get this duplicator in the perfect focus distance. Seems like there should be a way to adjust the focus. If I have gotten another adapter from a different manufacturer, would it have a different focus distance. I wonder?
Thanks again for all your help.
The T2 to EOS adaptor should be set correctly for a T2 accessory to allow it to function correctly. But if the precision is out because it's a copy of an original one that may be an issue. It wouldn't matter so much on a normal preset lens as there would be focus control. The slide duplicator does not have focus control unless we've missed a hidden trombone style adjustment near the mount.
Have you tried copying with it to see if focus is out? Is the focus of the original slide spot on?
On some T-mounts you could loosen a couple of screws and move the tube slightly. Is this possible on yours? Is the slide in the right place?
Sometimes slides can 'pop' with changes in temperature. With projectors you just refocus, but without focus facility you have to wait for the slide to cool and 'pop' back.
I checked my unit. No trombone adjustment or screws that allow moving the tube in or out.
I suppose I can make some focus adjustment by backing out some turns on the T-mounting screw thread. I will try that if I find out I needed to.
But first I am going to try what Nick suggested. It may be already in focus. I will find out and check my slides to be sure that they are sharp.
Thanks to both of you, Pete and Nick for all the time you spent giving me such helpful advice.
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