The conductivity of amorphous/nanocrystalline hydrogenated silicon thin films (a/nc-Si:H) deposited in a dual chamber co-deposition system exhibits a non-monotonic dependence on the nanocrystal concentration. Optical absorption measurements derived from the constant photocurrent method (CPM) for similarly prepared materials are reported. The optical absorption spectra, in particular the subgap absorption, are found to be independent of nanocrystalline density for relatively small crystal fractions (< 4%). For films with a higher crystalline content, the absorption spectra indicate broader Urbach slopes and higher midgap absorption. These data are interpreted in terms of a model involving electron donation from the nanocrystals into the amorphous material.