Weird scanner artifacts

Started Jan 14, 2015 | Discussions
RitterSport Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Weird scanner artifacts

Hello!  I've been scanning my negatives with an Epson V600 scanner.  Some pictures have some artifacts, they look like oil or something, but it's always down the middle of the picture.  It's worse with Digital ICE on than off.  Here's an example.  Any ideas?

You can see the circular stains close to the middle of the picture, near the waterline.

FrankieJ
FrankieJ Senior Member • Posts: 1,644
Newton's rings [nt]

RitterSport wrote:

Hello! I've been scanning my negatives with an Epson V600 scanner. Some pictures have some artifacts, they look like oil or something, but it's always down the middle of the picture. It's worse with Digital ICE on than off. Here's an example. Any ideas?

You can see the circular stains close to the middle of the picture, near the waterline.

D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 17,646
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

This happens when the shiny side of a film is in contact with glass.

Look at the negative holder to make sure you are using it right. On my Epson V750, the film doesn't touch the glass at all when properly in place in the holder; but your model may be different.

OP RitterSport Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

Well, I'm pretty sure I'm putting it in right -- it's curved toward the scanner bed, the numbers on the film are backwards.  Maybe I need to flatten it out a bit or something.  Thanks!

So, is there any neat way to get rid of it in PP?  Because I've scanned almost two thousand negatives at this point, and this artifact shows up depressingly regularly.

OP RitterSport Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

RitterSport wrote:

Well, I'm pretty sure I'm putting it in right -- it's curved toward the scanner bed, the numbers on the film are backwards. Maybe I need to flatten it out a bit or something. Thanks!

So, is there any neat way to get rid of it in PP? Because I've scanned almost two thousand negatives at this point, and this artifact shows up depressingly regularly.

I should say, the numbers on the film are backwards when looking down from the top.

Steve Throndson Senior Member • Posts: 2,702
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

RitterSport,

As FrankieJ and D Cox have already mentioned, the marks are called 'Newton's Rings' and are caused by the film touching the glass.

Some things you might try:

Flatten the films under a weight for a while before scanning.

Put the films in the carrier upside down - emulsion down rather than up - but that may result in less than perfect focus, so test carefully before doing too many like that.

Raise the film holder by shimming it up higher from the glass - that will affect focus too.

Consider fluid mounting technique.  Epson makes a film holder that fits the V700,750,800, and 850 - maybe it could be adapted to fit your V600, or maybe you could improvise something.  Lots of information on the Google.

I've never done this, but often wondered about removing the scanner glass entirely.  Just a crazy idea.

If you have a DSLR and a macro lens, you can 'scan' with the camera - you lose DIGITAL ICE dust and scratch reduction.

You asked about retouching the artifacts.  I don't know of any way to do that in Photoshop except the slow way with the clone or patch tools.  For a plain sky like the one in your sample, it wouldn't take long, but if there's a lot of complex detail, then it would be a very slow process.  It might be better to re-scan those films.

Good luck with your project!

Steve

D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 17,646
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

RitterSport wrote:

Well, I'm pretty sure I'm putting it in right -- it's curved toward the scanner bed, the numbers on the film are backwards. Maybe I need to flatten it out a bit or something. Thanks!

So, is there any neat way to get rid of it in PP? Because I've scanned almost two thousand negatives at this point, and this artifact shows up depressingly regularly.

Sorry, there is no way, neat or otherwise, to remove it in PP. You will have to rescan the affected photos.

Take a good look at the neg carrier. It shouldn't allow the film to touch the glass.

If all else fails, try putting the film in the other way up. You will have to flip the image in PP, but that takes only a moment.

My concern would be that if the film is not flat, it may not be all in focus.

hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,949
Newton Rings

The others are right and the images need to be rescanned. These are called "Newton Rings." The good thing is that there is nothing wrong with your scanner, film or software.

-- hide signature --
 hotdog321's gear list:hotdog321's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EF 11-24mm F4L +1 more
OP RitterSport Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

Here is my thought about putting the film upside down vs. shimming the holder -- if I put the film in upside down, it will curl away from the sensor. so that the center of the negative would have a better chance of being out of focus.  If I shim the holder, then the edges of the negative would more likely be out of focus.

Typically, the subject of my pictures would more likely be towards the middle, I would think.  So, shimming might make more sense.  Epson recommends putting the film in upside down, though.

Do you guys have any thoughts on this?

While I'm on the subject, one thing I really like about the flatbed scanner is that I can see all the negatives at once and rotate them properly, skip the bad pictures, and so on, all in preview, saving me time, effort, and disk space.  If I were to get a dedicated negative scanner (which would not have problems with Newton's Rings), how does that work?  Is there any sort of preview?  How are properly rotated?

Howard Moftich Veteran Member • Posts: 8,499
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

I recall seeing 3rd party 'wet' mounts for the V600 but can't locate it at the moment other than this:

http://scan-tech.net/

Steve Throndson Senior Member • Posts: 2,702
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

RitterSport wrote:

Here is my thought about putting the film upside down vs. shimming the holder -- if I put the film in upside down, it will curl away from the sensor. so that the center of the negative would have a better chance of being out of focus. If I shim the holder, then the edges of the negative would more likely be out of focus.

Typically, the subject of my pictures would more likely be towards the middle, I would think. So, shimming might make more sense. Epson recommends putting the film in upside down, though.

Do you guys have any thoughts on this?

While I'm on the subject, one thing I really like about the flatbed scanner is that I can see all the negatives at once and rotate them properly, skip the bad pictures, and so on, all in preview, saving me time, effort, and disk space. If I were to get a dedicated negative scanner (which would not have problems with Newton's Rings), how does that work? Is there any sort of preview? How are properly rotated?

RitterSport,

It won't take long to make 3 test scans - emulsion up / emulsion down / emulsion down+shim.

I tried it here with my Epson 4870 flatbed scanner and a negative strip that is badly curled.  Turned out the emulsion down scan was noticeably sharper than the others - at edges and center of neg.  I think the carrier held the film flatter when the curl was up rather than down.

On your second point, I can't say how all dedicated film scanners work, but the one I used for years - Konica Minolta Elite 5400 II - would preview scan 6 negatives at a time and you could edit each one individually - focus, crop, rotate, adjust colour, etc. and then scan the whole batch.  I'm guessing that newer scanners would have that capability too.  It seems logical.

I hope you'll let us know how your project goes.

Steve

OP RitterSport Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

I'll keep you posted in this thread.  I'm taking a break from scanning for a few days -- I want to wait for the weekend, when I'll have more time to test things out.  I had scanned almost 1,900 negatives and I don't really relish going through them and rescanning the ones that have those cursed Rings.  I'll only rescan those pictures worth keeping.

I'm pretty disappointed with Epson on this.  Something about Newton's Rings should be highlighted in large print at the beginning of their scanning section in the user's guide, not buried in the trouble shooting section.

Chikubi
Chikubi Senior Member • Posts: 1,607
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

RitterSport wrote:

I'll keep you posted in this thread. I'm taking a break from scanning for a few days -- I want to wait for the weekend, when I'll have more time to test things out. I had scanned almost 1,900 negatives and I don't really relish going through them and rescanning the ones that have those cursed Rings. I'll only rescan those pictures worth keeping.

I'm pretty disappointed with Epson on this. Something about Newton's Rings should be highlighted in large print at the beginning of their scanning section in the user's guide, not buried in the trouble shooting section.

You can't blame Epson one bit, this is a standard issue with any flatbed scanner regardless of make. It's physics, and some films just have a nasty curl in them that makes things difficult. Flatten out the film under some heavy weight and things should be better. If not, there are the other suggestions given above. You can also invest in better film holders from Better Scanning (http://www.betterscanning.com/) which will solve a number of issues. It all boils down to experience that's all. My only question is why didn't you check the early scans closer before letting 1,900 get under your belt? Would have saved a good deal of time.

OP RitterSport Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

Yes, uh, thanks for your thoughts. Sorry I didn't know about this issue with scanners before buying my very first film scanner. I'll try and do better for you next time.

BTW, betterscanning.com doesn't have 35mm holders for the V600.

Chikubi
Chikubi Senior Member • Posts: 1,607
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

RitterSport wrote:

Yes, uh, thanks for your thoughts. Sorry I didn't know about this issue with scanners before buying my very first film scanner. I'll try and do better for you next time.

BTW, betterscanning.com doesn't have 35mm holders for the V600.

They sell this and it would solve your problems with curl and the rings: http://www.betterscanning.com/scanning/insert35.html

And no one's faulting you for not knowing about the rings - we all started from the beginning and had to learn - but blaming the manufacturer for a problem that they have no control over, nor your own lack of observation isn't really fair, is it? In any case, I'm sure you will do better next time.

OP RitterSport Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: Weird scanner artifacts

I did the testing mentioned above, and I've continued this discussion here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/55132868

Long story short -- both shimming the negatives and flipping them help get rid of Newton's Rings, but both also have their drawbacks.  Thanks everyone for their help!

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads