About a year ago, a suitcase found itself dumped at my home. Inside were a ton of slides. Hundreds of them. All shot by my grandfather decades ago. Some go back to the 1950’s. But what to do with them? They came with a projector. A non functioning projector. So the ‘easy route’ to looking at/digitising any of them was the first method that went out the window.
A slide scanner is another option. Too pricey. So that suitcase sat there, along with other boxes of slide, untouched. As they have been for years and years and years. And then, a couple of months ago I came across a YouTube video. It gave me an idea, which went on the back burner for a while.
But I have a week off this week, so I put my idea into motion. I shall call it Project Panagor. Because this project starts with the one box in the suitcase that wasn’t jammed full of slides. It was a Panagor zoom slide duplicator. It’s a simple bit of equipment. At one end sits a slide holder with a light diffuser. At the other end is an thread to attach a camera lens. Put a slide in, take a shot. Repeat.
The Panagor unit wasn’t the simple solution I had hoped (but not expected) it to be. The camera really needs to be a full frame camera and the lens really needs to be a macro lens. I have neither. But, having unscrewed the slide holder part of the device, I did have a key ingredient of Project Panagor.
I mentioned earlier that I’d seen a video that inspired this idea. It was a simple looking home made device, utilising a piece of black tube, with a pair of slots cut into it. One slot for a slide, the other slot for a smartphone. The end was covered up with some vellum paper as a light diffuser. But yes, this is a method of slide duplication involving nothing more complex that the camera on a smartphone.
My slide holder, cannibalised from the Panagor, had half the job done. Now I just needed a tube or pipe. However, there was a drawback to that plan. Obtaining the tube would involve getting showered, dressed and leaving my house. None of which I had any intention of doing. I have this week off, you see. So I improvised.
What you see in the photo above, sticking out the top of a bedside lamp, is an empty Cup-a-Soup carton with holes cut strategically where there need to be holes, with the whole thing held together with a ton of packing tape. Ok, so this is quite possibly the least professional slide duplicator that you will ever see in your life. But, it did the job.
I have shot through four boxes of slides which are now nestled in Lightroom awaiting processing. With luck, I’ll have them done today and the results displayed here tomorrow. The labels on the boxes are interesting. Prague. Salzberg. Munich. And who doesn’t ant to know what those slides of ‘Hitler’s Bomb Shelter’ contain…