Next best film scanner after drum

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
Rich42 Senior Member • Posts: 1,500
Re: Next best film scanner after drum

Bernard Waxman wrote:

Here is a link to my website showing how I scan with a camera. Actually the old D2x works fine for negatives and slides unless you are scanning Kodachrome slides of film such Ilford Pan F. Then you might want a camera with higher resolution.


That's a nice setup for scanning.

May I make a couple of suggestions?

The light source you are using looks like an LED device. You say it's rated at 5000 K. I know many suppliers of such devices give such ratings. But they are not reliable. They are not conducted according to accepted standards.

LEDs do emit Red, Green and Blue light and these can be combined to create white light. But the RGB components are sharp spikes in a discontinuous spectrum. The quality of such light is poor for scanning of color film, either transparencies (positives) or film negatives. For scanning B&W film it's fine.

There's a good reason why drum scanners have their reputation for producing the best quality film scans. Everything about their design and construction is geared to that single purpose. All drum scanners use incandescent bulbs for the light source. Incandescent bulbs have a continuous output spectrum. Surprisingly, it's not necessary to use a "daylight specification" color temperature for scanning as the PMT technology can easily adjust to the fact that ordinary incandescent light is relatively low in blue. The typical bulbs used are quartz halogen types, the kind that are widely found in desk lamps. They are 3200K types and work just fine.

Solux bulbs are very high quality quartz halogen types with a very high Color Rendering Index (CRI). Their 4700 bulbs have a CRI of 99.35 at 4700K and 98 at 5000K. Here's a link .

Either ordinary quartz halogen or Solux would give much better color reproduction than LED output containing sharp, discontinuous spikes of light output. Of course, a suitable light box has to be made to do the job.

I have no association with Solux.

You mention using filters to deal with the orange mask of color negative film. That's not the best way to deal with the issue.

As you describe it, the orange color is a mask. It's not present throughout the image, but only in certain parts - the shadows and darker mid-tones. Using filters may neutralize some of the unwanted color in some areas where it exists, but will also add unwanted filter color to areas of the image where there is no orange mask.

This has been discussed in several threads before in this forum and probably will come up over and over. Here's how to remove the mask in Photoshop so that the orange tint is removed only where it exists in the image. Other image editing programs have analogous controls:

1. Sample the orange mask at its most saturated - between frames or along the edge of the film where it received no exposure.

2. Create a fill layer above the background image layer.

3. Fill the new layer with the sampled orange color.

4. Set the new layer's Blending Mode to "Divide."

The mask will be gone.


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