Sony NEX 7 better than a slide scanner

For several years I have endured the slow process of scanning 35mm slide to convert them to digital files. The scanner is slow, but produces files that are quit large. Nevertheless, I have never been entirely satisfied with the resulting digital files. Still I would have continued using it were it not for a comment from a fellow photographer who has begun using his Nikon D800 to make digital files. That got me thinking. The NEX 7 has a fine 24 megapixel sensor, and I have an excellent Zeiss 100mm macro lens. Perhaps this would be a good slide copying setup. So I got out my little used daylight balanced light box, a sturdy tripod, a macro focusing rail, the NEX 7, a 50mm extension tube and the Zeiss lens. Here is what the setup looks like.

The slide holder that came with the scanner serves well as a holder for this setup. It lifts the slide perhaps 3/16 of an inch off the surface of the light box. Also the electronic release for the NEX (seen in the upper right of this picture) assures that there will be no movement of the camera when activating the shutter.

Finally a real bonus with the NEX camera. Focus peaking makes it a breeze to be sure the slide is in proper focus. In this picture you can see the yellow highlighting on the screen indicating the picture is in good focus. The slide holder will hold four slides which can be copied in less than a minute. This is far less time than it takes to scan one slide on the scanner. Then the slides can be post processed to my heart’s content. It is a winning solution. Thank you Frank for the idea.

Here are some files copied with this setup: