Digitizing Negatives

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
OP hubcap91 Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: Digitizing Negatives

DenWil wrote:

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.

I'm scanning 35mm film at 3200ppi using the TIFF format. The output size is about 80 MB. SilverFast has options for using its own RAW format which can be processed further in its suite or in an application I've been told is Negative Lab Pro

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