Digitizing Negatives

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
DenWil Veteran Member • Posts: 4,458
Re: Digitizing Negatives

hubcap91 wrote:

Hello everyone,

Firstly I'm sorry if this may be the wrong place to post this and I hope it can moved to the correct place if necessary - I'm new to this forum.

I'd like some input from anyone who is familiar with working and digitizing film. I recently came across several boxes with negatives and have started a project to digitize these and share them with family.

I'm using an Epson V600 scanner and SilverFast both of which have received very good reviews and have already scanned about 10 rolls of film.

While reviewing the negatives I noticed that many of them have scratches. This is quite unusual to me as I am very sure they have never been touched since they came out of the films labs and were wrapped in plastic sleeves since the 1980s.

Could someone please explain why there are scratches on negatives which I don't see on the enlarged paper prints?


You omit what format you are scanning. The smaller the format  the more you enlarge to scan , the more the flaws are brought out. Just sitting in boxes for 40 years takes its toll.

Scan the minimum size required to  post to FB  -say 200 dpi for a 5x7 target size. Only the deeper  scratches and larger dust specs  actually show when printing out  wet. The medium  and most peoples' handling  was not in expectation of scanning at grain level magnification.

My film from the 80's even though sleeved the moment it was dry  is not flawless but it was intended to be printed on a cold head enlarger  and the smallest specs did not show and the larger ones were spotted out of the enlargement.  Now film is scanned within days of processing  and dust is manually removed  with a dry spotting brush  viewed though a large loop on a light table just before scanning.

I do not have issues with scratches. The film is never touched by anything but my fingers and the water is  filtered to remove any particulates. Some people use squeegees  to remove water and  machines are known to get dirty.

35 mm film   is also subject to being scratched moving in and out of canisters.The tinniest bit of debris on the felt.

I don't use Silverfast  so no thoughts on that.

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