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[filmscanners] Re: What can you advise?

Jack Phipps wrote:

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

I know this was addressed to Austin (publicly), but I'll make a few

Beach you say... probably wasn't the lab's fault.  When I ran a lab, and
I saw one or more long straight scratches and beach images I could
almost always be sure it was a piece of sand or grit that got into the
35mm film canister felt lip during loading, or the same between the film
and the pressure plate.  Nothing the lab can do when that occurs because
the lab usually received the film that way.  However, you are correct,
regardless of the cause, if the scratch is on the non-emulsion side, as
it often is in this kind of circumstance, dICE can make it disappear.

This is a fair situation where dICE will trump most other answers.  If
it is a deep scratch it will likely still show with the SS4000/+
lighting, and although straight scratches can be helped with the
software, it will certainly be better with dICE.

> 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
> ICE.

My experience is that although these defects can be seen on the Minolta
Dual Scan II, I didn't see them on the SS4000+ scans.

> 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.

Again, some scanners reduce or remove these defects without the use of
IR cleaning.

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

Not perfect?  How could you even imply such a thing ;-)  Just 2 days ago
I claimed a roll of processed Sensia 100 from the lab I use.  It was my
first roll after 6 weeks on my back, and I was really out of form.  Only
the last 4 frames were worth anything, and only two of those were
"valuable".  Murphy was waiting in the wings... those two frames were
the only ones damaged from that roll.  Unfortunately, the damage is on
the emulsion side, done when the film was still wet, so the damage
caused some distortion of the emulsion, I don't even think dICE can
intelligently fix that (now that would be a really good feature, and if
anyone can figure out how to do it, you guys will...)

But for now it's just gonna take some careful cloning and retouching to


> -----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.
> Austin
> body

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