Using the ES-2 adapter

The club provides the Nikon ES-2 35 mm film adapter, which requires a macro lens and a corresponding body, for example the Micro-Nikkor 105mm lens on a full frame DSLR, such as the D800.

The club offers said lens and body to the members not having the equipment, but an APS-C macro lens on an APS-C body would work too.

Once all the equipment is available, you need to connect the following components in order:

[3D printed adapter]

Keep in mind that the purple extension tube is made of relatively soft ABS plastic, so do not force the thread if it doesn’t turn easily do not tighten it once it reaches the end, leave it “finger-tight”: just enough not to unscrew by itself.

Once all components are connected, you can use either one of the three film holders provided, which are meant for film strips, for 2 mm thick slides, and for 3 mm thick slides.

[film holders]

Now you need a source of light behind the ES-2. Depending on the purpose of the scanning, different light sources are recommended:

  • for negatives, the by far preferred light source is an OLED screen from a tablet or a smartphone (check here why). For example iPhones X to 14, Galaxy A30 or later, A50 or later, S8 or later. Check on this list for other models. Find an app to set the colour temperature to 4000 K or set it to medium-warm in the display preferences and display a full white screen.
  • for black and white film, pick a neutral white (4000 K) light source with CRI (also indicated as “Ra”) of at least 90, but very preferably 95 or more. The CRI or Ra is indicated in the package. A OLED screen works too, since you are going to shoot in black and white anyway.
  • for slides, prefer a warm white (2700-3200 K) light source with high CRI (also indicated as “Ra”) of at least 90, but very preferably 95 or more. A OLED or good LCD screen should work too.

Check by shooting the adaptor without film that the lighting is uniform and not stronger on one side or on the center. Also, it should not have colour inhomogeneities, especially if a display is used.

Set the camera to Live view, mode A (aperture priority) with f/8, then focus on the center and try shooting to check that the result is correct.

Depending on your camera you can use RAW files to postprocess later, or JPEG with automatic or preset white balance. If you preset white balance, it is better to adjust it on one photo, since it will differ from the white balance of the light used for illumination.

For more information about the ES-2 adapter, check the official manual.