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Thread: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

  1. #1
    3d Visual Effects artist
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    Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    I'm trying to scan 8x10 negatives on my Epson 4990, What's the best way to do this? There is no holder for 8x10 included with the scanner, only a thin rubber/plastic 'guide', but if I place the film directly on the glass, isn't that below the scanner's focus point? all the other holders suspend the film above the glass by a few millimeters, even my 'better scanning' holder with the anti-newton ring glass, which I tested and found the optimal distance from the glass for my 4x5 scans. There is no 'better scanning' holder for 8x10

    How are you 8x10 guys scanning your film with a 4990? I'd like to get the most resolution possible, for large digital prints. I can successfully scan my 4x5's in at 3x (maybe a bit more) enlargement with no problems and still have a nice image, I'm confident that I can do the same with the 8x10's, but keeping the film flat and being in-focus might be an issue? Should I just tape the film to the scanner glass? Pick up another sheets of glass and tape the film to that?

    Thanks for advice!
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
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  2. #2
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    Easy way - just tape it to the glass .... unless there is a lot of curl to the film that should be fine.

  3. #3
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
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    Re: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    I wet mount my 8X10 transparencies when scanning on the 4990. It keeps them nice and flat.
    Brian Vuillemenot
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    Re: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    I did a test this morning before I went to work, scanned it at 300% size, the flat in-focus areas were fairly sharp, but not quite as sharp as I would have expected from the 4x5s at 300%. Plenty good enough for my usual 8x10 or 11x14 printing, but probably not good enough for 30"+ wide prints. Is this possibly the film being directly on the glass, instead of suspended in the 'sweet spot' focus of the scanner?

    I've never done any wet mounting. Brian, how do you go about this? Does it hold the film a little bit above the glass? Or does this not matter with the refraction of the fluid?
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
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  5. #5
    Is that a Hassleblad? Brian Vuillemenot's Avatar
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    Re: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    The film is wet mounted to a sheet of glass that fits into a scanning platform that fits into the 4990. I'm using the one made by ScanSciences, but there are several other systems available, and it's not very difficult to make one yourself. You can adjust the height of the scanning platform with cardboard wedges that fit between the platform and the scanning bed, but I found through testing that the focus was sharpest without using any. You would need to do these tests for your scanner, as described in the instructions that come with the wet mounting system. There are a number of previous threads on this forum that go into detail about the various options for wet moutning- just do a search. Good luck!
    Brian Vuillemenot
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    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel_Buck View Post
    Plenty good enough for my usual 8x10 or 11x14 printing, but probably not good enough for 30"+ wide prints. Is this possibly the film being directly on the glass, instead of suspended in the 'sweet spot' focus of the scanner?

    I've never done any wet mounting. Brian, how do you go about this? Does it hold the film a little bit above the glass? Or does this not matter with the refraction of the fluid?
    Daniel, it could partially be that you are not at the focus 'sweet spot' as you noted. More importantly, you may be just pushing the limits of the scanner beyond its capabilities to print as large as you want.

    For wet mounting, you might want to take a look at the wet mount kit offered by Doug Fisher of Better Scanning who posts here frequently. Take care with wet mounting, some of the fluids you use can eat right through the plastic of the scanner.

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    Re: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Harris View Post
    Daniel, it could partially be that you are not at the focus 'sweet spot' as you noted. More importantly, you may be just pushing the limits of the scanner beyond its capabilities to print as large as you want.
    I think it may be the focus, since my 4x5 negatives (suspended a bit above the glass) look sharper at the same scan magnification (300%).

    I've only tried one 8x10 negative so far, I'll try some others later, it's possible that shot just isn't as sharp.

    Thanks for all the replies!
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
    3d work: DanielBuck.net
    photography: 404Photography.net - BuckshotsBlog.com

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    Re: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    I just put it on the glass. You don't really even need to use the guide, it's pretty obvious from looking at the glass where the negative goes.
    Brian Ellis
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  9. #9
    Peter J. De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    To gain some height, try scanning the film emulsion up. You'll then have to flip it later in software.

  10. #10
    Jon Wilson's Avatar
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    Re: Epson 4990, 8x10 film, best method?

    As to using "tape," I have found that blue painter's tape will hold the negative down, but not damage the negative with the adhesive like you find with masking tape. Jon

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