film scanning : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, Can I make film more flat during scanning? I have a problems during scanning my 4x5 and 6x9 film with Epson 1200U. Can I use just a glass plate to make film more flat? Thanks, Dmitri

-- Dmitri (, July 24, 2001


Dmitri, this is not a hazardous procedure. No explosives are involved. Government permits are probably required by federal regulations, but what the heck, try it on the sly. Then you tell us, OK?

-- Veronica (, July 24, 2001.


You're SO helpful. Please post more often!

Dmitri, It is doubtful that you can use any such glass "sandwich" on an Epson. The focus point would then not be at the film plane.

How are you processing your 4x5 that they are not remaining flat? Flatness is usually not such a problem with 4x5.

-- Matt O. (, July 25, 2001.

Hi Dmitri,

I have had good results taping my 4x5 chromes to the glass on my flatbed scanner, using a small piece of tape that just covers the film edge on each corner.


-- Ross Martin (, July 25, 2001.


I use Kami scanner mounting fluid with my Linotype-Hell Ultra Saphire II. Works like oil but leaves very little for clean-up afterwards. I just wipe the plate. The transparency sometimes needs a bit of Pec 12. Holds the film down without Newton rings.


-- Bruce M. Herman (, July 25, 2001.

Hi Dimitri. I, too, am using an Epson 1200 scanner and am wondering if you posted this question because you got scans that look not sharp at all. Well...I believe that more flat film will not change anything! You have to live with this (and use sharpening tool of your software) or buy a more expensive scanner (at least one with a separate drawer and no glass). Be aware that pressing the film on the glass plate will produce Newton rings. In my experience using the provided "sleeves" gives best results.

-- Jean-Marie Solichon (, July 25, 2001.

The Kami fluid works very nicely scanning from the glass stage. Highly recommend it. Takes care of the Newton rings with ease! Cheers

-- Scott Walton (, July 25, 2001.

Where might one procure Kami oil? Can't find it on B&H's site.

-- Guy (, July 25, 2001.

I went looking for this myself earlier this week and finally tracked down the US importer at ... turned out that they actually have a local retailer but said that they will sell directly to consumers if they don't.

-- Jeffrey Goggin (, July 25, 2001.

Does anyone use kami oil without glass? Would there be any advantage?

My scanner has glassless carriers but I have heard such great things about Kami oil that I hate to miss out!

-- John Hennessy (, July 25, 2001.

The Epson 1200 'focuses' at the surface of its glass platen, so the film should be placed emulsion down, directly onto the glass.
I put the word 'focuses' in parentheses, because IMHO this model of scanner has such fuzzy optics that nothing you do will really improve the sharpness of the scanned image. A contact oil might help, but I doubt it.

-- Pete Andrews (, July 26, 2001.

With my 1200 I put the film emulsion-side down on the scanner bed with a piece of anti-newton glass on top of it to hold it flat. With films that have a very smooth emulsion side - like Tmax and Portra - you get Newton's rings on the emulsion side, so I make a sandwich of two pieces of AN glass with the film between them and raise the whole sandwich off the scanner bed with a piece of scrap film.

As Pete said, the resolution of the 1200 is meagre by the standards of more expensive scanners (but then again, they cost more). The 'advantage' of the poor resolution is that you can do all the jiggery-pokery above without noticeably degrading the quality of the scan.

-- Struan Gray (, July 26, 2001.

re: "Where might one procure Kami oil? Can't find it on B&H's site."

As mentioned, the importer will sell directly, but I believe he wants you to buy a case of his products (you can mix and match) which is 8 (?) bottles. Because of Kami's properties, it requires special packaging, marking and handling when shipped via UPS. I found a relatively local source for Kami in the Boston area, and they wanted $20 to ship a single $15 bottle of KMF because of the shipping regulations. A single bottle of KMF will go a very long way, so unless you have a production shop, one bottle will be more than enough and will probably last for years.

I didn't have luck searching the normal photography stores so it's not suprising B&H doesn't carry it either. In your local area, try calling around to industrial suppliers to the printing and lithography trades. If that doesn't work, try calling some of the local service bureaus and ask them where they get their mounting fluids. Good luck.

-- Larry Huppert (, July 26, 2001.

In addition to Kami you can use Prazio Anti-Newton Oil. The Prazio version is a bit thicker (not as messy as it does not run as much) and evaporates just a bit slower. The upside is that it leaves absolutely no residue. Kami 2001 will sometimes leave a bit of residue.

We use the Prazio produuct on our drum scanner and get great scan with no cleanup of the negative required.



-- Mike Kravit (, July 26, 2001.

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