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Thread: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

  1. #1

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    Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    I have an Epson V600 which does a great job scanning 35 and 120, but is not made to scan 4x5. The backlight window is not wide enough. Some people get around this by doing overlapping partial scans and then stitching which is a fine solution. I was wondering if anyone had tried setting up their own backlight and then scanning from the flatbed (like scanning a document). I was thinking that an array of LEDs behind a piece of ground glass or other diffusing material would work. This would get the scan all in one go and eliminate the alignment and stitching steps. Has it been done?

    Thanks,
    J--

  2. #2
    Light Guru's Avatar
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    Re: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jharr View Post
    I was wondering if anyone had tried setting up their own backlight and then scanning from the flatbed (like scanning a document). I was thinking that an array of LEDs behind a piece of ground glass or other diffusing material would work.
    Thats not going to work well. When scanning film the scanner scanners light moves at the same rate at the scanning optic below. Scanners use a single moving light because once you have defused the LED array as in your proposal enough so that you would not get a grid of bright spots in the image it would not be bright enough to properly illuminate the negative for a good scan.
    Zak Baker
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  3. #3
    photobymike's Avatar
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    Re: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    probably cheaper and easier to sell your 600 and get a 700

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    Re: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    Definitely easier. Definitely not cheaper ($260 price differential on the used market).

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    Re: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by jharr View Post
    Definitely easier. Definitely not cheaper ($260 price differential on the used market).
    Along with easier it is also going to give you GOOD scan results. Simply placing a light box on top on a negative in a scanner is going to give you crappy results.
    Zak Baker
    zakbaker.photo

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
    Ansel Adams

  6. #6

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    Re: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    I doubt its worth the time and effort to hack anything together to make it work. I had the chance to pick up some v600 and 4870's cheap, but my time is simply not worth the stitching time or hacking something that may or may not give a proper result. I bought a 4990 for $130 and called it a day, maybe I lose a little in resolution but for me I'd rather save the money and get drum scans for the keepers while having quick access to proof with this scanner.

  7. #7
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    Long ago I improvised a light source from opal glass and a 600W movie light to copy negatives on an ancient Mustek. It didn't work well. Perhaps disabling the internal lamp for copying opaque subjects would have helped, but the results didn't seem worth the bother. Something like that might work better on a good scanner like the V600 if the scanner's software doesn't complicate it to much.

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    Re: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    Scanning and stitching is dead easy. Using photomerge in photoshop does the job automagically.

    I made up a holder out of black cardboard with a guide on it to make it easier to line up the two scans. You get a fair amount of overlap, which makes the stitching easier.

  9. #9

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    Re: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    I'm actually in the same boat as jharr. I tried scanning both halves but I couldn't find a merge function in photoshop elements (I don't have photoshop, just elements and lightroom.) I tried another experiment tonight scanning the negative as a document and inverting in photoshop elements. However, I didn't get the scan quality of the other method...lost detail. I got it back to some degree by playing in elements. I may eventually have to suck in up and get the V700 eventually. Does elements have a merge function? I thought it did but I couldn't find it.


    Update: I went back into elements and found it..it did do quite a nice job of merging the two photos.

  10. #10

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    Re: Flatbed Scanning Negatives?

    Hugin is also a free option for stitiching images together.

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