So, after having multiple contracts cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus, I have found myself, like many others, with a lot of time on my hands.  I happened across some article and videos on how to scan old negatives and slides with a DSLR, so I decided to give it a shot.  I was able to take apart an old Bessler 67 enlarger and turn it into what I would call a copy stand.  I then used my light pad to back light the slides and negatives.  I mounted one of my Nikons to the makeshift copy stand with a 105mm 2.8 macro lens to get as close as possible to the slides and negs.  I also used 3/8″ black foam board to make a “box” around the space between the lens and material being copied.  This prevents stray light from bouncing off the surface of the negative or slide and causing reflections or glare in lens.  I used my Yongnuo 622N flash triggers as a wireless remote to trigger the camera to avoid shaking the stand my pushing the shutter button.  I also used a Hoodman right angle finder to view the image through the viewfinder.  It was helpful to use it because it has a 2x magnifier built into it that allowed me check focus.  This would be a good setup to shoot tethered as well, I choose not to since my boys are using the laptops for online school at the moment.  Below are few images of how I converted the enlarger into a copy stand and the results from some of the slides and negatives that I copied.  I really like the copies being raw files.  It gives you much more control over the final product versus a tiff file from a flatbed scan.  I used the slide and film holders from my old epson flatbed scanner to hold the negatives and keep the flat.  I shot everything at F 4.0 which is a sweet spot in my lens.  I focused on the grain in the images.  Be sure to clean your slides and negs as best as possible before you copy them or you will spend a lot of time in photoshop with the healing brush.  I was very happy with the results.

Below is a mix of images that I copied from my archive.  It includes color slides, color negatives, black and white negatives, Infrared negs, and some medium format black and white negs from a Diana as well as a color medium format image from the 50’s.  I listed the type of film from each image if I remembered it or could read it on the negative.  Some certainly scan better than others.  The finer the grain the better the DSLR scans seem to be.  Also, things like push and pull processing seem to make a difference as well as far as grain structure and image quality.  As far as converting the negatives to positive images, I used the lightroom plugin called Negative Lab Pro.  It did an amazing job and was very intuitive to use.  I would certainly recommend it.  I think I may start shoot more film and hand processing at home and scanning this way to make prints.  Something to play with and explore new option in image creation.