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Old 01-05-2007, 11:11 AM   #1
john_b
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Default Scanning & Newton's rings

I usually use a film scanner to process 35mm slides and negatives but I find myself trying to scan some older format film - I think it may Kodak 848 - which won't fit my scanner.

The film is in strips of four frames. The images are 28mm square and the film itself only has sprocket holes along one edge. So one edge is almost 5mm wide while the other is only 1mm at most.

I thought I'd try a flatbed scanner and put the film strip on the platen with a thin sheet of glass to hold it flat. At first I thought I was doing quite well but it's only when you look closer that you start to see what I thought were some sort of diffraction patterns - swirly ellipses and so on - which I now find are called Newton's Rings. Bummer!

The best I can do is to put the film strip emulsion side down on the platen and try to hold it flat along the edges only, but since one edge is at best 1mm wide, this is a frustrating business to say the least.

If I had any hair left, I'd be pulling it out. I wonder, though if there's any other solution? Can you get some sorth of glass that doesn't cause this effect? I tried holding the film flat with a clear plastic CD jewel case lid but that's no use either...

...it was never going to be easy...;-(
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:26 PM   #2
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I know I've read something about how to prevent Newton's Rings but I can't remember where and I'm a bit pressed for time right now...I'll do some looking and get back to you--tomorrow I hope...

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Old 01-06-2007, 02:05 AM   #3
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I knew I've read about this problem - but that was on a newsgroup, a bit hard to point to unless google groups managed to get hold of it. Still, try searching google for [scanning "newton rings" prevent] (without the [] but with the "") and you'll find plenty of tips.

"Wet Mounting" is the method I've read about, and it is mentioned here and there at least, but there are other tips you might want to try out.

   
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:08 AM   #4
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I know I've read something about how to prevent Newton's Rings but I can't remember where and I'm a bit pressed for time right now...I'll do some looking and get back to you--tomorrow I hope...
We had a wonderful thread on Newton’s Rings on the original CIS forum, but I do not seem to have (or cannot find) an archive of it. Maybe someone else kept a copy.

   
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:05 AM   #5
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You'd have to used a special type of fluid that's like an oil for that and then use a piece of clear mylar on top and smooth everything out with a smooth lint free cloth. That'll work if your scanner can handle oil mounting. The stuff tends to get all over. It could damage the scanner if it's not made for that. You also need to have a light bar in the scanner.

   
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:58 AM   #6
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For wet mounting I frequently come across mentions of "Kami scanner mounting fluid" which is non-oily, and much easier to clean afterwards.

   
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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Yep, that's the stuff we have here. It still tends to seep in places you don't realize.
I would probably have a better opinion of the whole system if I used it more.

   
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Old 01-06-2007, 08:23 AM   #8
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"Wet Mounting" is the method I've read about, and it is mentioned here and there at least, but there are other tips you might want to try out.
Thanks for the tip which led to a number of references. I think the wet-mounting kit - as at, for example, www.wetmounting.com - looks fairly heavy duty and probably more than I'm really wanting to get involved with at the moment. Not to mention the expense...;-(

I did, however, spend an hour or so this morning making a kind of frame from bits of plastic and stuff which sits on the glass platen and does a reasonable job of holding the film flat. It ain't perfect but it's an improvement. And it does have the benefit of locating the film more precisely, as opposed to trying to line it up by eye.

Limited testing so far, but results indicate that it's definitely better to put the film emulsion side down. It means you have to remember to invert the image afterwards but I can live with that...;-)

...in any event, it's great to be making some progress at last!
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:01 AM   #9
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john_b: I did, however, spend an hour or so this morning making a kind of frame from bits of plastic and stuff which sits on the glass platen and does a reasonable job of holding the film flat.
Glad that you've found a reasonable workaround...

I wonder if you could have a framing place do a custom cut mat--2 pieces for top and bottom--and have them cut the mat opening in the mat board sheets the same size as your scanner bed with the hole in the middle of the mat board. Depending on the size of the negative, you might be able to have multiple openings so that you could scan more than one negative at a time.

You could use hinging tape to hinge the "top" and "bottom" mat board together so that it would be easier to place the negative.

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Old 01-07-2007, 10:18 AM   #10
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Glad that you've found a reasonable workaround...
Terrie
Well if I was scanning more of them I'd probably spend more time to get something a tad more functional. I should correct my earlier post - I think the film format is Kodak 828, not 848.

I like your idea of the 'hinging tape'. Hadn't thought of that and I think it could work well.
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