Professional Nikon photographer and ON1 Guru Matthew Jordan Smith showcases his tips and tricks for digitizing old film shots and slides!
Camera: Nikon Z6II
Lens: Nikkor AF-S Micro 60mm 2.8
Nikkor FTZ Lens adapter
Light 1: Lumecube Light 2.0
Light 2: Digipower LED DP-VL112
Nikon ES-2 Film Digitizing Adapter Kit
Tripod: MeFoto Q1 Tripod
Software: ON1 Photo Raw 2021
ISO 100 (Native ISO for Nikon Z6II)
f/4.5 @ 1/100
17 comments on “Breathe New Life into Old Photos”
On May 5, 2021 at 4:12 pm Marsha Casey wrote:
So very, very disappointed in this webinar about fixing old photos. I expected to learn how to improve the sometimes poor scans of slides and old photos in on1. That didn’t happen at all. There is a big difference between how to scan them in and how to ‘fix’ them for a variety of the usual problems you get with scanning old film. Matthew is an interesting guy. If I met him at a party, I’d enjoy talking with him. But this webinar was a waste of my time. It didn’t address the issue at all. The couple of examples he used could easily have been pictures he took yesterday and just gave them an interesting treatment. So sorry, but it just didn’t have any meat at all as far as using on1 to fix these kinds of things. And I am in the midst of this very problem and was really looking forward to it.
On May 5, 2021 at 7:19 pm Stuart Taylor replied:
That’s a shame because it’s what I was interested in too, my first attempt at scanning slides many years ago didn’t look great and I was hoping for some tips on correcting the tint that age often brings to slides.
On May 7, 2021 at 10:34 am Leif Romell replied:
Agree 100%. While his story and McGyver-style alternative to scanning was entertaining, I had expected tips on how to use ON1 to process old scanned photos to, for instance, remove noise. Now that would have been a killer webinar.
On May 6, 2021 at 12:36 pm Anthony Beasley wrote:
To Stuart and Marsha I’m sorry that you were disappointed, but this webinar was GREAT!
If you go back and listen to what Matthew is actually saying and doing is preserving the older images for the time period in which they were captured. And then adding his own special sauce! You can tell that these images were not just taken today, yesterday or even a year ago!
On the fix the images note, ON1 is presenting, in June this year, a newer, faster way to remove the noise from images, old and new! Much more promising than LR/PS and Topaz. Perhaps this what you’re seeking.
Matthew’s technic is much simpler, faster and less complicated than scanning and a whole lot more fun! That’s just my 2 cents!
On May 7, 2021 at 12:45 pm Greg Myers wrote:
I am getting ready to copy slides and pictures. Loved it.
On May 7, 2021 at 1:12 pm Brian Bochicchio wrote:
I dig the approach. Especially for the speed it brings. I too was thinking there would be a little more about scanning and restoring. But it was still informative and enjoyable. I also enjoy Matthew’s passion and energy.
Thanks for having and hosting this webinar for us.
On May 7, 2021 at 2:09 pm Alex Padilla wrote:
very good but you never talked about negatives turning them into positive
On May 7, 2021 at 2:28 pm Elizabeth Girardeau wrote:
This is probably one of the best on1 webinars ever! I have a ton of old transparencies and can’t wait to start working on saving them. Thank you SO much.
On May 8, 2021 at 5:55 am Richard Berke wrote:
Thanks so much for your webinar. I, too, enjoyed family slides projected on the wall (no screen). I have enjoyed very much modern times of digitizing and sharing the images, and the memories! I used a Canon flatbed scanner, which took minutes per set of 4 slides just to get JPG files created/saved. Then came clean up, scratch and spot reduction, cropping, and color correction. I’ve shared my library of over 1,200 slides with my sisters, and I send some old shots as birthday cards to other family members. I’ve also been able to send some to family members upon the passing of older relatives.
I’d sure like to hear advice about using ON1 tools for overcoming the softness of so many of the slides. For some images I’d want to retain that original effect, but for many I would like to ‘sharpen’ (but not necessarily use the tool called that). I’ve dabbled with Local > Detail, and brushing on eyes and mouths, and that helps on some images. Others need help for much more of the image. Structure doesn’t quite do it. High Pass sharpening is helpful sometimes. Dynamic contrast can help. I can easily overdo my adjustments, and get frustrated. Perhaps a sequence of steps as a preset would be appropriate. Kind of the reverse of the Film and Retro preset sets. Maybe with some blend modes for some of the effects?
I have tried the MyHeritage website for a few free photo enhancements, and their results are sometimes much better than what I know to do with ON1, but not always. They would also cost much more than my ON1 Plus subscription. I want the satisfaction of using ON1 myself.
Are there forum areas or Facebook groups of ON1 users with this interest?
On May 8, 2021 at 6:47 am Richard Berke replied:
Additional info: Dad’s slides were a mix of Kodachrome, Ektachrome and Agfachrome, I didn’t keep notes about ‘sharpness’ of one versus another. I’ve also read about Kodachrome surface texture almost a ‘bas relief’. Perhaps the moving scanning internal mechanism winds up ‘blurry’ for that.
On May 9, 2021 at 8:40 am jeff.simpson.photography wrote:
As someone who has done a lot of this type of work a couple of pointers if I may.
This process described in this webinar is what I would consider to be a starting point.
Whatever lens is used it should be set to obtain the maximum sharpness offered by that lens, be that f8 or f11 to help with accommodating any warping in the negative/transparency. The goal is to extract the maximum amount of information available. No amount of post processing will give back what you didn’t capture.
The emulsion side of the film should be facing the light source when the duplication is made.
Scanners are nice, (I did have a Nikon 9000 ED at one time but sold it) but their resolution is not as high as a top line camera, even if the scanner is set to 300 dpi and they are very slow.
On May 9, 2021 at 5:21 pm Prahlad Asher wrote:
I have Canon system. Could you please recommend hardware for Canon (5d MKIV)
On May 9, 2021 at 11:00 pm Nick Marshall wrote:
Loved this webinar – such enthusiasm. I will probably get the Nikon ES2 adapter. On Amazon it lists it as compatible with the 40mm and 60mm micro lenses. Do you know if it will work with the Nikon 105mm micro? Otherwise I will use the glass and tissue technique which was very cool. I had been scanning with the Epsom V700. A great scanner but so slow that I gave up on the project. I’m not after perfection but just a good way to preserve a bit of family history – just like Matthew.
On May 10, 2021 at 1:27 pm Paul Ackermann wrote:
nice start, i currently have just an epson photo scanner, slides are difficult. this gives my some tips. would look forward to another seminar on what to do once the scan is complete.
On May 11, 2021 at 5:04 am Myron Gochnauer wrote:
It would be worth discussing the front/back orientation of film you are copying. The ‘purist’ way has the emulsion side facing the lens. (You are, after all, photographing the *image* embedded in the emulsion, not the back or supporting material.) It has one drawback, though: your camera will be recording a mirror image of the original scene. That is easy to fix during processing, but unprocessed thumbnails are going to be mirror images, and that can sometimes make it difficult to recognize scenes when browsing through the thumbnails. For what it is worth, using a Nikon Z7 + 60mm macro, I can see no quality different between photographing with the emulsion or the back toward the lens.
I found it interesting (in a good way) that to make Kodachrome images look like they were 60 years old you had to ‘antique’ them with software!
Many slides have a processing date stamped on the back of the cardboard mount. That was common (universal?) with Kodachrome, I think.
On May 18, 2021 at 12:59 pm Brian Lowe wrote:
Had the time to view your Webinar — it ‘s sure simple if you have only a 100 slides to process. Most of my old slides and negatives would be just fine using this simple technique as they may not have been stores in the best conditions.
It’s all about producing an enjoyable family/ historical reproduction and it doesn’t matter if there is a few scratches, warps or colour fades etc.
Thanks for pushing me towards the cupboard full of interesting old Kodak slides.
On June 28, 2021 at 6:01 am Catherine Casey wrote:
I have just read all the comments and had to smile, the same as I was smiling throughout this brilliant webinar.
I was sorting through some of my slides (putting them in date order firstly), when I thought I would put some music on to stop getting too bored, not that I get bored when my photographs are priority (I’m a 69 year old female, who has been on computers and taking photos since I was 14 years old).
Instead of going to itunes I clicked on Chrome where this webinar was actually stopped a week or so ago, I hadn’t started it, thinking oh this could help me in this gargantuan task (there are about 2,000 slides, 1,000 packs of negatives and that’s without what I still haven’t found down in the garage, but it is over 50 years worth, so that’s ok).
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you talk with the same enthusiasm that I always have when talking about my photos. Some brilliant ideas, and great tips were learned by me today, see you’re never too old!
At the same time as this I was trying to fix my Epson V500 photo scanner with ICE technology, that hasn’t seen the light of day for at least 10 years, it didn’t work, too many bits broken off inside (yes I do actually take things apart if there is a chance that it might be thrown away, sorry to be boring but I used to build my own computers back in the day, so it doesn’t scare me to dissect any machine).
Anyway, thanks so much for your help today, now just come and help me scan this little lot and we’ll be best buds forever, BBF not BFF.