Mounting 4x5 Negs for scanning : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Recently I got the chance to use a drum scanner. I have had a huge problem mounting 4x5 T-Max 100 negatives. I have tried Kami fluid as well as mounting gel. With Kami I wind up with areas near the edges void of fluid. With the gel, the negatives seem to pull away from the drum leaving air bubbles. I try burnishing the negatives down, but still get voids.

Does anyone have experience in drum mounting 4x5 film and can offer some suggestion on mounting techniques.

Thanks Bill

-- Bill Smithe (, July 08, 2001


Bill, your e-mail didn't take, so: Go to and look for Ultra-Base. I haven't had good luck with it on the flatbed, but with drum scanners you can precisely focus on the film. TMax-100 is likely not a great scanning film because the emulsion is so slick? On the flatbed, you have more control. I am experimenting with plain old H20-made better with Edwal LFN. It does take a while to get all the bubbles out, but I think it can be done. With water, I can start by soaking the film.

Good l

-- David Stein (, July 08, 2001.

For some reason my email account is all buggered up. I called AOL and they are working on it.

In any event you use WATER w/ wetting agent? YOu soak the film? Why? this will soften the emulsion and possibly lead to scratched and negative damage.

I really need to hear from people that have experience drum mounting films.


-- Bill Smithe (, July 08, 2001.

BTW, Ultra Base is only useful for up to 1:3 or slightly larger enlargement rates. Higher and the anti-newton coating begins to show in the scan.

-- Bill Smithe (, July 08, 2001.

Bill, need more information...are you using acatate front or just taping the 4x5 to the drum? Does the film have clip marks on it from processing? If so, is this where the air bubbles are? What is the circumfrence of the drum?

-- Bill Glickman (, July 12, 2001.

I have been drum scanning for about 14 yrs. I have done 35mm, 2-1/4's and 4x5's both using mounting fluids, sprays and powders and have had very good luck with all of them my techniques:

A) The 4x5/If it is under 200% you can spray or powder very lightly and put a piece of transperent tape on top and bottom hold the tranny by the tape using the middle finger and thumb and put a light coating of spray or powder on the tranny be sure to let the spray dry if usinig it, put tranny on drum top first then pull lightly down and fasten bottom tape. This is the dry mounting technique. Do the same for other size tranny's also.

B) If over 200% 4x5 oil mounting should be done using C-42 acetate or similar product but it as to be flawless acetate. Take a piece of the acetate put on clean light table or glass tape tranny emulsion up on the acetate only on bottom side, trim acetate so it has about a quarter to a half inch on both sides and about 1 inch on top and bottom. Know flip over and tape in the same fashion as dry mounting and put on drum the same way also, then pull back the acetate flip tranny up so it is laying on the drum and apply a few drops of mounting solution on the acetate know flip the tranny down onto the acetate and apply a few drops on the tranny should be the emulsion side of tranny know grab the tape and pull it up while turning the drum toward you. The best mounting solution seems to be the KAMI Fluid because the tape still sticks even after the solution get on it, after you get the tranny fastened top and bottom, know get a piece of tape aboput 6 inches long and tape the sides from the bottom up to make good seal all the way around. Know using something very very soft cloth (WEBRILS) with something like filmkleen on it, and push all bubbles to the sides,top or bottom of chrome,and be sure the acetate is wiped clean of streaks. This is done the same for all size slides and tranny's.

Good Luck, It takes alittle practice.

P.S What type of scanner is it?

-- Randy McPose (, December 13, 2001.

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