Slide scanning using a Nikon D610

Is the D610 a good choice for DSLR scanning? And any suggestions for a good 1:1 macro. Not a Nikon as they are terrible expensive. Thanks.

The Nikon D610 is well suited for the job. The lowest cost approach for macro shots is to use extension rings or possibly bellows. Check ebay for best offers.

What lens(es) do you already have?

You should get a macro lens, not bellows or extension rings as they won’t give you flat curvature field of macro lenses, you will end up using much smaller f stops which will create diffraction and sharpness problem. Only true macro lenses or lenses build with flat field curvature give you the optimal result. Try to get a 2nd hand 60mm Nikon and then you can use f/5.6 to f/8 comfortably.

Haven’t purchased a D610 yet. I am considering a refurbished one as this isn’t for professional work. Just trying to upgrade from my old D80. Mainly would use it for copying slides, neg and some photos. Don’t need any video capabilities so a new Nikon is not worth the cost to me.

I do have a bellows but wasn’t considering that approach. And also an old Nikor macro but not an auto-focus. Was hoping to find a quality brand other then Nikon’s.

I find that AF is not very reliable for camera scanning. With live view (Nikon USA calls it electronic rangefinder) and manual focusing, I get better results than with AF in most cases. Focus should be on film grain and not on dust or scratches.

Anyway, before you buy, check that the lens you’re considering goes to 1:1. Many “macro” lenses go to 1:2 only. You could also consider buying an APS-C camera. As far as my tests go, they work as well as FF cameras.

I second Digitizer, I always go manual and focusing on grain is not something DSLRs can do very easily

As you are looking for a Nikon alternative, I used to have one of these, very nice lens, not as good as Nikon’s 105, but not bad at all and cheaper. I must say I never used it for film scanning but as a general purpose macro it was great.

Looks good plus it is 1:1

Using a genuine Nikon 60mm macro lens could help with scanning if you also buy the Nikon ES-2 adapter set. All in all not cheap, but very convenient for speed.

The ES-2 is similar to something I had been using. And it is a good approach but I’m also needing a way to use a camera for negatives and photos. Just trying to keep the costs down. Thanks.

If I were you, I’d look for a gently-used body and a true 1:1 macro lens. The Nikon 60mm is great on full frame, and the 40mm is great on DX/APS-C. The five online retailers I recommend are, in alpha order: /

All of them buy and sell used gear. Adorama, B&H, and Roberts all sell new and used gear. Their ratings are a bit different, but similar. KEH and MPB warrant gear for six months.

None of these has ever disappointed me…

As for the D610, well, it’s a 24MP full frame Nikon.

That means, it has plenty of resolution and dynamic range for what you want to do, unless you are copying very large negatives (6x9cm to 8x10). Even then, unless you’re trying to preserve ALL the information in larger format films, 24MP is sufficient for all but the most insane uses.

24 MP print up to 20 inches wide at 300 ppi or up to 30 inches at 200 ppi which is fine for normal viewing distances, technical qualities of the negative and reproduction not taken into account.

I have purchased from B&H in the past and agree it’s always treated me right. Refurbished is the way I am planning on going. I have an old 55m Nikor I can use until I can decide on a lens. THank you.

As an ex-lab guy, let me just say that few subjects demand 300ppi images. Depending upon the printing process resolution, 200 to 240 PPI is fine at 8x10 for most images.

Now, if you’re trying to make a 30x20 inch landscape print that someone will view from ten inches, 300PPI files work just fine.

Viewing distance always comes into play. If you are viewing a print from far enough back to see the entire image, then once you have enough pixels to send an 8x10 to the printer driver at 250PPI, you can make any larger size print and it will look identical, so long as it is the same size in your field of view as the 8x10 at 13". Try it… Just don’t cheat and look up close.

I would be happy to make a 60" by 40" print from most subject matter captured with a 24MP digital camera. However, making a print of an image from a negative will be limited by film type and ISO, development, film camera lens resolution, etc., so the practical enlargement may be smaller.

One more note: Please do not confuse dpi with PPI. dpi is used to measure scanner INPUT from a hard copy film or print, and printer technology OUTPUT from the driver to the paper. PIXELS are just numbers in the digital file moved in between inputs and outputs. They are created from scanner dots (spots or cells) and from digital camera sensels or sensor elements, via Bayer algorithms. Pixels have no size, unless you specify PPI. Dots are physical elements used to create or represent pixels…

As to your question about an aftermarket macro, I use a Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8, I bought it in mint condition from a seller on eBay a few years ago for $200. A full 1:1 macro with a full-frame camera and very sharp. I bought it to do negative and sled copies but use it a lot for many other things, including portraits.

I agree with many of the above comments. I use a second-hand D600 with a 55/f2.8 Micro-Nikkor and get excellent results. One of the reasons for choosing this body was its ability to connect with the aperture prong on MF lenses which then displays the aperture in the finder. Secondly, it will provide focusing confirmation - a dot appears between two L and R arrows when precise focus is achieved. I use f8 typically when copying.

Good info. Thank you.

I use autofocus with my Sony a7iii and Sigma 70mm macro lens. Most of the time it will establish good focus. I’ve checked using manual focus and the autofocus usually works. Just like any technology, you have to keep an eye on what the camera is doing and sometimes it is necessary to step in and manually focus.

I usually use manual focus but as I get older that’s getting harder to do. So I’m considering auto focus as a necessity.