View Full Version : Wet Mounting Film for Drum Scanning Video

Sideshow Bob
25-Jan-2012, 20:58
Over the years I have been asked several times to describe how I mount film so I decided to make a video. I just posted it to YouTube (http://youtu.be/aCHS5yiF4Mc ).
Questions and comment are needed. Also, if anyone knows of a free, easy to use video editing program, please let me know, I would like to shorten it if nothing else.


25-Jan-2012, 21:30
Thanks for posting. I've never taped my film to the mylar ut that makes lots of sense, especially when mounting multiples. I've never added fluid after words either so that's a good trick as well. I use a ton of kami tape stretched on the ends to flatten the mylar out and remove bubbles. My Screen mounting station doesn't have an arm or flat work surface so it's a little trickier.
It could use some editing to about half of its current length and some insert shots shwing he details of what you're doing.

25-Jan-2012, 21:45
Very informative video. It could benefit from some minor editing, but nothing major.

I've never done drum scans so this was all new information for me.

One thing that surprised me was the lack of gloves.
I always use gloves whenever I handle film, and I would think it more important with high-resolution work.

Thanks for making it. Time well spent.

- Leigh

25-Jan-2012, 21:57
One thing that surprised me was the lack of gloves.
I always use gloves whenever I handle film, and I would think it more important with high-resolution work.

Thanks for making it. Time well spent.

- Leigh[/QUOTE]

Gloves and tape don't mix. I only handle the film by the edges.

25-Jan-2012, 23:06
I've never had a problem with nitrile gloves. (I didn't mean cotton.)

- Leigh

26-Jan-2012, 05:34
One of the caveats with doing a video like this is that people will always have their own way that works for them, and pretty much only for the specific equipment they're using.

But I honestly think having to do it in such a laborious fashion might scare anybody from drum scanning. :eek:

I've scanned commercially on the Aztek (only high end custom work; we did Richard Misrach's scans along with other well known artists.) Taping the film to the mylar is not at all necessary and is just way too time consuming. So is all the 'dust control' with the compressed air. The mentioning of pulling hard on the initial bottom piece of tape to pull tight the mylar is important to point out, that's key to getting the mylar flat. But you don't need to clean the drum when taping (only until after you're done.) Just do a quick wipe of any excess fluid with a Pec Pad (or similar wipe.) The mounting tape is very resilient to the fluid (at least to the Kami brand fluid.)

Here's a tip: place a large piece of clear plexi on top of a large light box. Then place the entire mounting station on top of it. (The plexi will keep any fluid from running onto the light box.) Then all you have to do is tape the top edge of the mylar to the drum, place the film under the mylar up by the roller and squirt the fluid. You can arrange the film perfectly straight just by eye balling as you roll the drum. The light from the light table underneath the mounting station will aid you tremendously in doing so.

And any slight crookedness of the film placement can be fixed really quickly in PS by using the ruler tool at the top edge and then going into 'rotate arbitrary' either CCW or CW. It takes two seconds. Then crop any excess and you're done.

Blowing dust around doesn't really help either and is time consuming. The fluid helps a lot to hide dust and scratches. In PS just use the brush tools (healing and clone) and go through the image section by section using the bottom and side scroll bars. You'll have to do this anyway to clean up the scan (film defects, etc..) And for any long scratches just click on one end with the healing brush and then on the other end while holding down the shift key. If you're comfortable with filters you can use PS's noise filters (dust and scratches) sparingly. We did some really crappy C41 negatives for William Eggleston and fixing them all by hand was too laborious and simply unnecessary.

Thank you for doing the video, it was very generous of you. But it was a bit painful for me to watch as it was much too laborious than necessary. But again, what works for you is perfectly fine. We all have our workflows that we're comfortable with. However, mounting is really relatively easy. Try the 'mounting station on top pf the light table trick.' Although it's not really a 'trick' since all the scanner operators I know do the same thing.

Andrea Gazzoni
28-Jan-2012, 01:55
thank you Gale, this is very useful

4-Feb-2012, 09:09
Great video, Gale. Is that a Scanmate 11000 scanner in the background?

4-Feb-2012, 10:08
Thanks for sharing. Good to see other work-flows. I like the use of a grid for film alignment.

Sideshow Bob
7-Feb-2012, 20:52
Sorry LF, I missed your question. No that is a 5000, I have two of them.
I'm glad you enjoyed the video.


8-Feb-2012, 14:43
Gale, do you happen to know if the Scanmate 5000 and 11000 use lead screw or belt mechanism? Apparently, it is one of the main reasons of geometrical distortions that appear as these scanners age. Screen scanners, such as DT-S1030ai, seem to use belt.


Edit: It does use lead screw, as per this:

Sideshow Bob
29-Feb-2012, 16:42
I'm bad! I didn't see your post.
Yes the 5000 has a lead screw and I assume the 11000 also has one. I'm not sure I've seen geometrical distortions or heard of that being a problem. If there are any they must be small but thanks for letting me know, I'll watch for it.