Like many of you, I have a large collection of 35mm slides and negative film that I have taken over the years that are currently pretty much invisible. I ditched my slide projectors with the last house move (they were 240V and hadn’t been used in 20 years!) and so all the slides were stored in their boxes for some sort of future viewing! In my early years, I took a lot of black and white films and so have all those negatives in those paper holders filed away. I’m not saying that these will be great for stock photo images, but there is a lot of my life stored in those boxes! So I’ve always wanted a way to scan them to digital and perhaps pick the best to share with family and friends.
If you are one of those who stalk refrigerators in the back of photography stores, consider this an official heads up that Fujifilm are going to end-of-line some of their 120, 220 and 135 films as well as bump the price of some of their other products.
This painful process will start this year and will carry out until mid 2017 with 220 films being almost completely gone (you can usually use 120 film instead, but if you are a hard core 220 shooter – or just uses an old Yashika or a brownie stock up!)
Here are the products and dates tables translated. The first table is heading for a 20% price increase (give or take) no October this year.
For those alive (or with family alive) during the days of film cameras, you have probably encountered the phenomenon of film slides (considered by some to be the precursor to PowerPoint, but Bill Gates refused to comment on where he originally came up with the idea). The problem with them, however, is moving them over into the digital era.
That is where photographer and DIY-er Stefan Lindgren took it upon himself to build a more-affordable alternative to the SlideSnap Pro, which weighs in at a hefty $3,395. (Heck, I don’t even spend that much on a car!)
If you use the Light Blaster Projection system, there is a good chance you’ve amassed quite a bit of slides. I’ve seen people hack a Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket by removing the middle stitches that separate each compartment, but why settle for fabric when you can print a nifty Swiss army knife style.
This file from thingiverse is made to hold several slides in a sweet-looking wallet that kinda resembles a Swiss-army knife.
The story of Roger Steffens life is undoubtedly spellbinding. The kind of guy that could entertain a crowd for days on end simply talking about all his past adventures. In his memoirs you might encounter the telling of the part of his life he spent working in an army psychological operations unit after being drafted into the Vietnam war, an era that marked the beginning of his love affair with photography. Digging a little deeper, you’d be treated to the tales of the times spent in LA interviewing Keith Richards about an album Richard’s recorded in Jamaica. Or, perhaps, you’d most connect with the time Steffens turned the great Paul Simon onto African music, which inspired the recording of Simon’s album, Graceland.[Read More…]
While we fancy the entire system in general, we love this new kit because it delivers something that the other kits did not – real blacks.
Being made out of the same metal that is used for stage lighting gobos this kit is thin enough to fir in the Light Blaster system, but being made of metal, the light only goes though the etched places and does not go through the metal providing real black on any projected surface. It also works wonderfully with gels.[Read More…]
So, the holidays have rolled around once again, and sometimes we like to look at your old, but memorable, pictures from years gone by. But, having converted my photographic efforts to a digital, I continue to postpone (again) the inevitable, and disagreeable job of converting the old negative or slide collection into an acceptable digital format. This universal reluctance to bring your photos into the 21st Century is usually the caused after finding out the apparent complexity of the project or, more oft than not, the cost of the equipment.
For the past 12 years, I’ve been happily using digital photo equipment, forever clinging to the distant hope that someday I would be able to view my photographs and slides on the TV or the computer screen. I well remember how it used to be fun to drag out the slide projector and display the slides. It has, unfortunately, become less and less convenient that without clear wall space to project on, it’s just not worth the effort as the old 6ft. “pull down” projection screens just don’t cut it any more. Besides the set up of projection equipment, darkening the room and the other rigmarole one has to go through to look at slides, has driven the ‘fun’ right out of the effort so that I almost never look at them anymore. I took thousands of pictures during my travels and a lot of them were quite good.
It is no secret that we have gotten a bit Slide Crazy ever since we kicked off the Light Blaster. I mean we’ve always loved slides (Velvia, where art thou!), but only with this project we’ve been staring at tens of thousands of slides simultaneously.
We even conjured our little light table to help us get a better look at those little beauties. Photojojo did an even better one, though. Built after the uber awesome Slide Light, not intended specifically for examining slide, but more for enjoying them while kicking back in your favorite space.
When our sister company, Spiffy Gear, designed and built the Light Blaster™ slide projector they (and we) had to go over slides. Lots of slides. How many? I don’t have an exact number but it was somewhere around 50,000 35mm slides that we salvaged from flea markets, old slide projectors, 2nd hand stores and photographers who were passionate about using their old slide collections again.
Going over 50,000 is not an easy task and we cleaned each slide and verified that it is not NSFW (some were definitely NSFW). This is a hard task to do without the appropriate tools, so we build each of the reviewers a small light table that they can watch the slides on.
If you were not shooting in the film age, a light table is a back illuminated table (or box) that you set positives and negatives on view them properly. This is how you watch contact sheets and this is how we set out to watch our mass collection of slides.
Today, I am going to show you how to build one.[Read More…]