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[filmscanners] RE: What can you advise?

  • To: lexa@www.lexa.ru
  • Subject: [filmscanners] RE: What can you advise?
  • From: "Jack Phipps" <JPhipps@asf.com>
  • Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 10:24:32 -0500
  • Unsubscribe: mailto:listserver@halftone.co.uk

Hello Austin! Glad to have you weigh in on this.

You are assuming you start with "perfect" film. We test scan a lot of film.
Much of it we get on ebay or from attic boxes our employees and friends
bring in. Many times when you scan, you don't have control over the film
that comes your way. So there is a lot of "bad" film out there that needs to
be scanned. Many times it is uncle Jim who "just passed". The family is
desperate for an image of him. They come to you with a negative that is
scratched, dirty and faded. Many times the cleaning process degrades it
further. But you can still make the family happy even when you start with
damaged negatives.

Then there was my case. I took a roll of film at the beach with a fisheye
lens. There were many fascinating images I was sure. I took my film to a
respectable lab. Guess what I got back? There were many interesting images
with a scratch running the length of the film. The lab was very apologetic,
but they couldn't un-scratch the film. The prints were unusable. But guess
what? They scanned perfectly! No touch up required.

We also see a lot of film that has "factory defects". I've heard it
discussed on this list even. Bubbles, scratches, impurities prevent images
from being their best. But guess what? They usually scan okay with Digital

I consider myself not to be "sloppy" with my negatives. But even when I was
working in the darkroom, I had many problems with surface defects on film. I
regularly used "nose oil" to rectify scratches, but there was a noticeable
softening in the process.

I agree that in a perfect world, one should eliminate slop from their
process. Unfortunately, not all of us are perfect.


-----Original Message-----
From: Austin Franklin [mailto:darkroom@ix.netcom.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 9:45 AM
To: Jack Phipps
Subject: [filmscanners] RE: What can you advise?

Hi Jack,

> You are correct, I am biased. However, if you've ever used Digital ICE,
> you'll never want to do without it. Look at the many commercial scanners
> (Kodak, Durst, Noritsu, Gretag, Agfa) that ALSO do not tend to emphasize
> dust and scratches that DO use Digital ICE. If you want the best results
> from any scanner you will want to use Digital ICE.

Well, I'd say if you want the best results from any scanner, simply keep
your work environment, film storage, scanner etc. free of dust.  For many
years before "Digital ICE" people made dust free images in both the darkroom
and with scanners.

IMO, "Digital ICE" is no substitute for sloppy work habits and a sloppy work
environment and bad film storage.


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