Photographer Turns Slide Projector Into a Arduino-Powered Digitizer

For these with members of the family who grew up within the Eighties (or earlier), a slide projector was a fairly widespread technique to share and present photos earlier than the web was a factor. However as of late, discovering a technique to get folks to take a seat and examine these photos in a darkish room with you is even tougher than discovering a purposeful projector. To covert his outdated 35mm slides to digital, photographer Scott Lawrence constructed a customized digitizing system primarily based on a slide projector.

Within the above 8.5-minute video initially noticed by Hackaday, Lawrence walks us by means of the method, issues encountered, and the gear he used to make an Arduino-powered system to digitize/scan all of his outdated household slides.

Beginning with a Kodak Carousel 760, Lawrence changed the lenses from the projector and changed it with a brand new LED panel from a Ulanzi 49 that’s then, by means of a sequence of 3D-printed parts and cables, linked on to his Nikon D70 (set to f22) and a Vivitar 210mm macro zoom lens with a 2x teleconverter added to it to seize every of the pictures projected by means of the slides.

© Scott Lawrence

The “brains” of the unit as Lawrence calls it, is an Arduino Leonardo (SS micro) with a six-digit LED show and an Adafruit I2C rotary controller linked to an Infrared LED to distant set off the digicam to seize the slides as they transfer by means of the projector.

In keeping with Lawrence, changing the sunshine bulbs with a compact LED permits for rather more exact brightness management and retains the system as an entire a lot much less scorching in comparison with the common incandescent bulbs the projectors normally ship with. Then as soon as began, the Arduino-powered system routinely advances the carousel and triggers the digicam to seize every slide (utilizing the IR LED), making it extremely simple to digitize giant volumes of slides in a brief period of time.

© Scott Lawrence

Under are some captures created by the setup;

© Scott Lawrence
© Scott Lawrence
© Scott Lawrence
© Scott Lawrence
© Scott Lawrence

Whereas the setup and 3D-printing could also be slightly overly-technical, Lawrence says the system itself is relatively easy and easy. “you place a tray or stack of slides on prime, make sure that the digicam is pointing at it, in focus, and has its handbook publicity set correctly (i used to be utilizing 320 ISO, f/22, 1/10 sec shutter pace), and begin the controller. Then simply wait 10 minutes, and all 140 slides are captured!”

“If it took too lengthy to do the seize, or any culling was wanted earlier than the seize, it simply wasn’t going to occur. These slides would disappear if nobody did something, so any quantity of capturing of them (even with poor outcomes) is best than not doing something in any respect. For essentially the most half, these are household journeys and holidays. Nobody else would care to do it, nor would anybody pay to do it…”

Lawrence says he’s nonetheless engaged on the post-processing facet of the setup. He at present has the pictures positioned in a gallery with a small database on the backend the place the pictures are tagged with what group or “slide tray” the pictures are from and any further dates or key phrases that could be related to make them simpler to look by means of. His hope is ultimately the software program will be capable to current albums primarily based on the grouping outlined by this database.

The photographer additionally plans on making the software program and 3D-printing recordsdata obtainable on-line by means of GitHub quickly in order that anybody can use them to get to digitizing their outdated projector slides in order that they might be preserved (and shared) for years to return.


Picture credit: Pictures courtesy Scott Lawrence

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