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scanning film and its difficulties

Published March 10th, 2012

well, i got myself a decent flatbed film scanner to digitize my film work.. scanning at a photo lab, although probably better (and more convenient as i found out) is really not economical. scanning by myself is cheaper.. and it also (more importantly) gives me full control over how the final image looks.

for example, i re-scanned a photo that i got scanned at the lab a few weeks ago.. a shot of a flower, that was red, according to the lab scan. my scan showed it to be a purple flower. im not actually sure wat color the flower actually was, but this shows how much scanning software and post processing can do. i can make the flower red if i want, but im not sure.. so i just went with wat looks better..

this is the control that im talking about. sure it takes a long time. scanning a roll takes around an hour.. during which (on my particular scanner) i need to replace the film strips 3 times. it takes a further hour or two to edit the photos to get them from flat-boring-lifeless to an image with some color, some life, some punch. on my first scan (testing with negs i had already got scanned) i was shocked at how bad the initial image looked.. loads of tweaking is necessary. but even just 3 rolls in, im already getting the hang of it, and its not taking nearly as long as i thought it would.

handling negatives can be a problem too.. fingerprints and dust get on super easily.. this can be really frustrating. my scanner is supposed to have a digital dust removal system, but it either doesnt work as well as it should or im not doing it right. either way, photoshopping the dust off is no big deal in most cases.

the only problem i came across was that my film strips seem to have a thin line running across almost the entire length.. a sort of thin scratch i assume.. which is not made by my camera (negatives from three different cameras had some form of line like this), so i suspect its made by the guys at the lab when developing. ah i cant wait to start doing my own b/w film. anyway, this scratch doesnt show on all pics, but it shows on a few.. and like luck would have it, it showed up on one of the best shots ive taken.. and its really hard to remove it on photoshop.. i tried wiping the scratch off, and that seemed to work, but it still shows. quite disappointing. i hope that never happens again. or at least when i do my own developing it wont :)

so ive attached a few sample shots of my film scans here.. some of my Lomo shots came out particularly well


my epson V600 scanner

this thing does pretty well with film. better than i expected, and perfect for wat i need

  • March 10th, 2012
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the lomo shot

taken on my Lomo LC-A

the other scan

taken on my nikon FM2n

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