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Thread: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

  1. #1

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    EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    The late Ted Harris was of the opinion that fluid mounting was usually not necesssary with professional flatbed scanners. Ted used a Cezanne Elite and an IQSmart. I agree with this, except for very large magnifications, and am attaching some samples of a recent test I made with my EverSmart Pro scanner. One view is of the entire scene of the Cementerio of Cee, in Galicia. On the far right I put a rectangular black box to mark the position of the two crops. The box would be about .3" wide on the 7" wide negative (original is 5X7"). So when you look at the crops on your screen just multiply the width as you see it by 24 and that would be about the actual size of the image at that magnification. For example, on my screen the crops are about 12" wide, which would correspond to a print of about 280" wide at the magnification.

    One of the crops is of a scan with the negative placed directly on the scanner glass, the other is with the negative fluid mounted to the scanner glass. The EverSmart is a focusing scanner so the plane of focus should be perfect and is not an issue.

    I believe the fluid mounted crop has slightly tighter grain than the dry mount one, but is equally sharp. Question is, does anyone believe that the small improvement in quality is worth the trouble of fluid mounting?

    BTW, this is a TMY negative developed in Pyrocat-HD. The old TMY, not the new stuff. Lens was 240mm Fuji A, at f/22. The scan was done at 3175 spi.

    Sandy King

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    The fluid mounted scan does have better shadow detail and contrast, assuming all of the settings were the same, but, yes, that is my experience fluid mounting on a Cezanne: namely, a slightly finer grain rendition with medium speed films. IMO the gain from wet-mounting is greater when scanning large grain film, such as HIE.

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    Re: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    That does not show on the original files on my screen. The crops are not identical in terms of contrast and shadow detail but I honestly don't see any advantage to the fluid mount. I used the same setting for the scan but the results were not identical so I did some adjustment with curves to match overall contrast as closely as possible.

    BTW, I am not trying to put down fluid mounting. I always fluid mount my MF negatives when scanning with the Leafscan 45. It makes a big difference with this scanner. It just does not seem to make much difference with the EverSmart in scanning B&W negatives.

    Sandy



    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J. De Smidt View Post
    The fluid mounted scan does have better shadow detail and contrast, assuming all of the settings were the same, but, yes, that is my experience fluid mounting on a Cezanne: namely, a slightly finer grain rendition with medium speed films. IMO the gain from wet-mounting is greater when scanning large grain film, such as HIE.

  4. #4
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    I can't speak to fluid mounting on a flat bed. But I've run some experiments on my drum scanner, and for the same reason -- I was looking to find out at what enlargement level it became "worth it."

    What I found was that I could see a visible difference in prints at even 2x enlargement. Just about everyone could see it at 4x. The effect wasn't about grain or resolution either. It was about tonality and smoothness. About the best I can describe it (and this is how you can tell I wasn't a Language Arts major at school) is that the prints from my "dry" scans felt like they were printed over an extremely thin, extremely fine veil. Just a touch of filminess, just a bit texture. The prints from my "wet" scans felt like they were printed over perfectly clear, perfectly clean water.

    I say "felt" because I couldn't determine the cause. I couldn't identify what was "wrong" with a dry scan. I'm not sure anything is wrong with it. It's just different. Not quite as smooth in some way. But in what way?

    I didn't pursue it very far because for almost anything I do I have to fluid mount anyway. It'll be interesting then to see what you come up with.

    Bruce Watson

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    Re: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    Bruce,

    I am just not seeing any difference that amounts to anything between the fluid mount scan and the dry mount scan on the EverSmart. I suspect that this is due to the physical nature of this specific scanner in that it has, 1) an anti-reflection coating on the scanner bed glass, like the coating on lens, 2) there is an upper AN glass that contacts the negative, and 3) the light is a fluorescent that should diffuse slightly the light.

    When I scan with the Leafscan 45, which functions more like a point source or collimated light system, there is a big superiority of fluid mount over dry mount. The sample I sent you a few months back was fluid mounted and you probably remember that it was of pretty high quality.

    How much fluid mounting improves the scan appears to be highly scanner specific, as best I can see.

    Sandy


    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    I can't speak to fluid mounting on a flat bed. But I've run some experiments on my drum scanner, and for the same reason -- I was looking to find out at what enlargement level it became "worth it."

    What I found was that I could see a visible difference in prints at even 2x enlargement. Just about everyone could see it at 4x. The effect wasn't about grain or resolution either. It was about tonality and smoothness. About the best I can describe it (and this is how you can tell I wasn't a Language Arts major at school) is that the prints from my "dry" scans felt like they were printed over an extremely thin, extremely fine veil. Just a touch of filminess, just a bit texture. The prints from my "wet" scans felt like they were printed over perfectly clear, perfectly clean water.

    I say "felt" because I couldn't determine the cause. I couldn't identify what was "wrong" with a dry scan. I'm not sure anything is wrong with it. It's just different. Not quite as smooth in some way. But in what way?

    I didn't pursue it very far because for almost anything I do I have to fluid mount anyway. It'll be interesting then to see what you come up with.

  6. #6
    joseph
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    Re: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    I'm using a Macbook pro,
    so the images are only about 5" wide-

    I did have a look in Photoshop, looked at the pixels,
    and there does seem to be a very marginal difference in favour of the detail pic on the left-

    However, there are a few observations-

    You've saved these as jpegs, and they're lossy-
    as they're greyscale, maybe it would be better to compare gifs,
    which would save each pixel individually,
    and aren't compressed-

    I was a little surprised by the blacks being 100% black, for some reason-
    I suppose I didn't expect them to be clipped as much-
    I presume these were post processed to some extent?

    I suppose it would depend on the comparative trouble to wet mount-
    and how many you'd have to do, but in answer to your query,
    I'd say that the difference is probably not appreciable enough, to me,
    from looking at these details on a monitor-
    perhaps the difference might be more apparent in a print...


    joseph

  7. #7
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    My guess is it has a lot to do with the type of light source. My coolscan V has a very hard light source, and scanning medium and large-grained film with it leads to a significant coarsening of the grain. As a technical exercise, I tried wet-mounting with it, and this helped significantly, but with that scanner I couldn't find away to do this easily. (For the test, I cut down a negative and mounted it to a long thin plate from Focal Point.) These pro flatbeds tend to have a comparatively larger-sized light source.

    The Cezanne scanning bed is a 6mm thick piece of what looks like acrylic with a _very_ fine anti-newton texture on it, much finer, for example, than that supplied with De Vere and Durst enlargers. I don't think it's anti-reflection coated, though.

  8. #8
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    How much fluid mounting improves the scan appears to be highly scanner specific, as best I can see.
    That sounds right to me. Is nothing in photography simple?

    Bruce Watson

  9. #9

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    Re: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    The one on the left is the fluid mount, and I agree that there is a very marginal improvement in image quality over the dry mount scan.

    As for the blacks, I set the blacks on the dark tree at the far left, in about the middle of the large image, because the shadow areas there have no texture. The stones in the crop are black so they have no texture. If you look at the open shadow values you will find plenty of texture and detail. I did some post processing, as stated above, but used curves and did not slip any highlight or shadow values.

    As for file format, can I upload gifs to this forum? I thought I was limited to .jpeg?

    Sandy




    Quote Originally Posted by jb7 View Post
    I'm using a Macbook pro,
    so the images are only about 5" wide-

    I did have a look in Photoshop, looked at the pixels,
    and there does seem to be a very marginal difference in favour of the detail pic on the left-

    However, there are a few observations-

    You've saved these as jpegs, and they're lossy-
    as they're greyscale, maybe it would be better to compare gifs,
    which would save each pixel individually,
    and aren't compressed-

    I was a little surprised by the blacks being 100% black, for some reason-
    I suppose I didn't expect them to be clipped as much-
    I presume these were post processed to some extent?

    I suppose it would depend on the comparative trouble to wet mount-
    and how many you'd have to do, but in answer to your query,
    I'd say that the difference is probably not appreciable enough, to me,
    from looking at these details on a monitor-
    perhaps the difference might be more apparent in a print...


    joseph

  10. #10

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    Re: EverSmart Pro-Fluid Mount Vs Dry Mount

    I have not noticed any diffrerence, in fluid versus dry mounting in my Eversmart Supreme Pro II.
    On the screen I can see a slight decrease in the grain, only in the negatives (160 ISO) , not in the slides (100 ISO).
    Prints (60x50) from an image (4x5) are exactly alike.
    Xavier Deltell
    www.xavierdeltell.es

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