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05-17-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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Smeared





Notice in both shots above there is a "smear" apparently on the negatives these were scanned from? 1st photo right down Nate's chest, 2nd photo it's mid-frame on the left edge.

I'm trying to pin down what exactly is causing this so I can hopefully prevent it in the future. I see it on scans from different films, different cameras and different processors ( local pro lab and myself both ). It doesn't appear on every frame nor on every strip.

I don't know the pro lab's "process" but here is mine - After develop/stop/fix/hypo-clear steps:
- Final rinse and bath in a weak solution of Photo-Flo (1ml per gallon H20).
- Squeegee before hanging w/ a *brand new* Paterson I meticulously rinse in the solution and then shake off the excess before use.
- After drying I cut the strip into 6 frame slices and scan them with a CanoScan 4400F and import to LR2.

What the heck causes it? Is it the Photo-Flo itself? Can it be due to the slight curl of the negs causing some distortion in the scanner? Could it be the squeegee (it is brand new and treated like surgical equipment)?

I posted the same question and shots in the "Let's see those film shots..." thread but figured might get some more direct answers here.

Thanks in advance!

05-17-2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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Get a loupe and check the negs for sharpness. If the negs are sharp, it's the scanning, if the negs are soft, it's a loose pressure plate in the camera.
05-17-2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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Hrm. Is your own scanner the common element in these? Perhaps its position on the bed? The second one does look like an issue with the negative, though it's an odd shape.
05-17-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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The scanner and me are the only common element. Different films, different film processing, different cameras.

From a couple replies in the other thread and some basic googling it appears they are "Newton's Rings". Saw a couple examples that were posted over at photo.net and they look pretty much identical to what I've seen in mine. Caused by the film making contact with the glass platen of the scanner.

So that's good news - the negatives aren't bad, just the scans. But the big question now is if there's any way I can correct/prevent them with my CanoScan 4400F? Is there something in my film processing I can do to ensure the negs come out nice and flat? Or is the fix to get a better scanner that "flattens" the curvature of the negatives and/or prevents film-to-platen contact?

05-17-2009, 09:24 PM   #5
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Yup Venturi has it right.

You need to either keep the negative from partially touching the scanner glass, or have the negative touch the glass completly.
05-17-2009, 09:53 PM   #6
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I use anti-newton ring glass from betterscanning.com.

Very good product.
05-19-2009, 04:59 PM   #7
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Ah, Newton rings were not something that looked like, ...though I've found my flatbed scanner not really up to snuff anyway, even if I get the negs in the carrier. Flatness issues are sucky there, admittedly, the stock negative carriers are so flimsy I can only think they were designed to take your money and deter you from shooting film: my plan is to just get some flat stock of some kind and make proper carriers like for an enlarger. (then get a scanner that isn't a mess from the 'reconditioning' I thought would mean something good.)


I still use a hardening fixer, though, but another type might help.


(reminding self that the negs from the Sightseer's visit are actually flat now. )

What I think I'd like is a dedicated 35mm scanner that'll hopefully hold the film properly even fresh from the tanks.

For the medium format, it'd just be faster to make proofs and scan those, to be honest.
05-19-2009, 11:24 PM   #8
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I can't stand the neg "carriers" on flatbeds - at least my 4400F. BetterScanning makes a replacement carrier for the 8800 but not the 4400. But even if they did, the time it takes to scan a roll is mind numbing. I can process 2 rolls in 30min and they'll be dry in another 2hrs (without need to babysit anything). But to scan at 3600x2400 it takes 3hrs of my time if everything goes perfectly. Get a bad spec of dust or a slipped strip after closing the cover and you tack on an extra 30min for each offense.

I'm shooting enough film now that I may just buckle under and start shopping for a dedicated scanner I can feed a full roll and I go have a life while it works. The CoolScan 5000 will do that with attachments and I'm also eyeballing the Pacific Image 7250. If it will do a good job at even half the spec'd 7200DPI resolution it's worth the price of admission for my use.

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