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Re: filmscanners: Emulsion flaws (was dust in SS4000)

Art, Roger and others

What you have found offers a plausible explanation for the junk that has
been plaguing many of us although not seen or of concern to others.  I just
finished removing at least one thousand spots from a scan.  This was from a
pristine, perfect slide scanned on an SS 4000, blown up for a 13x19 print,
and rubber stamped in Photoshop.  Clearly, they were not the result of dust.
Nor was it from my brand new scanner.  The slide was processed by an
excellent lab.  The only explanation for this is that they are in the


> From: Arthur Entlich <artistic@ampsc.com>
> Reply-To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
> Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2001 20:52:55 -0700
> To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
> Subject: Re: filmscanners: Emulsion flaws (was dust in SS4000)
> How very interesting!
> I am now more sure of my theory.  Either these bubbles occur during
> manufacturing or processing, and are, I suspect, either introduced in
> the base plastic or as the coatings are layered onto the film, or, the
> processing creates some gas which doesn't fully migrate out of the
> emulsion during washing and drying.
> Art
> Roger Smith wrote:
>> Martin and others:
>> This is another Roger (not Miller), but I have been following
>> the "Dust" thread with interest.
>> I have often noticed tiny spots on my scans (particularly
>> since I got a Minolta Scan Dual II, which shows the spots much more
>> than my previous Canon FS2710).
>> I stuck a Kodak Ektachrome 64T slide (that I developed this
>> morning) under my microscope and cranked up the magnification to
>> 400x. The enclosed Nikon Coolpix 995 image taken through the
>> microscope shows what I saw. This is an area of the slide which is
>> almost transparent - the orange area at the bottom shows the film
>> grain. The bubble-like flaws are in a different plane from the grain,
>> on the outside layer of the emulsion. I can tell this by where I have
>> to focus the microscope to see them.
>> I developed the film myself, using double distilled water for
>> the final rinse. I must admit this is one of the worst examples of
>> these bubbles I have seen, but they do show up on most of my slides,
>> on many different types of film. I thought it might be the result of
>> a processing error, but then I saw the same bubbles on a Kodachrome
>> 64 slide from 1975.
>> Any ideas?
>> Regards,
>> Roger Smith
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Name: emulsion_1.jpg
>> emulsion_1.jpg    Type: JPEG Image (image/jpeg)
>> Encoding: base64


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