Neg Scanner

strokebloke 11 493 17 England
17 Jan 2012 8:27PM
I may be in the wrong forum with this question, but if anyone can either help me, or redirect me appropriately, I will be very grateful.
I use an Nikon F5 with Kodak Ektar 100/Velvia50/100 neg film.
I have the negs developed at a local photographic shop.
I scan the negs on a Plustek OpticFilm 7400 - do whatever is required in Photoshop CS4
And get them printed by Photobox.

I experience a lot of visible dust (white specks) when I load the jpg's onto any of the galleries - though the problem is not evident when the jpg's are printed by Photobox.

How can I keep my scanner clean (free of dust)? Has anyone else experienced similar problems with their equipment?
If I have dust in my scanner, how do I safely remove it?
I would suggest that my study (where my PC & scanner are) is no more dusty than anyone elses similar environment.
All of my camera gear is in the same room
I don't particularly want to wrap my scanner in a plastic bag when I'm not using it.

Any help will be much appreciated


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WilliamRoar 12 188 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2012 8:58PM
The 7400 does not have "iSRD" (Digital ICE equiv.) There is software based dust removal in the SilverFast software, however.
User_Removed 10 4.6k 1 Scotland
18 Jan 2012 9:33AM
Hopefully you do not need a plastic bag, but you should certainly have a dust cover over your scanner when not in use, just as you would with your printer. In fact, a printer cover, obtainable on eBay for a few s might be the cheapest option.

However, it may be more likely that the dust is on the negatives rather than on the scanner. Even wiping negs with an anti-static fluid will not completely avoid the problem and the ICE solution, mentioned above, is pretty well essential.

adrian_w Plus
12 3.8k 4 England
18 Jan 2012 9:51AM
Get an air blower & give the internals of the scanner a good clean out. Before scanning, wipe the negatives with an antistatic cloth, not a tissue as that can leave dust residues as well.
As William & Eric say, digital ICE or equivalent software is near essential to remove those last few specks.
User_Removed 10 299 4 France
18 Jan 2012 10:10AM
scan an empty neg carrier if you can, import the image and have a good look in one of the many photo will find most likely that it is the neg...I use the old darkroom tech of white gloves, air blower, loupe and clean brush before I scan...I also make a blank scan on a regular basis so I can look out for marks on the finished file....for me its easier to retouch in photoshop than attempt an amateur film scanner clean!!!!....and im unconvinced of the software available as it softens the image IMO........stuart
strokebloke 11 493 17 England
18 Jan 2012 10:35AM
Thank you all.
Your advice is very much appreciated. Smile
I have plenty to think about there

rabdhu 8 18 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 7:28PM
Nikon's Coolscans (they stopped making them but can be had second hand) have IR scan built in which spots the inevitable dust and helps its built in ICE remove the blobs, up to a point. Only buy one with "ED" in the serial number/name, the previous ones were not very good, the late 5000ED is a cracker with a high dynamic range.
Minolta Dimage (also out of production) is as good but slower to operate and doesn't have the infra red gadget.
Wiping slides charges them unless your anti-stat is brand new, make it worse, Kenro air bottle is better by far but tends to swirl dust motes around you.
Boil a kettle before you start and keep draught free - the steam from 5 minutes boil will lay some dust and aid your workspace a bit.

I haven't tried it yet, so caution but those sensor brushes that you twirl allegedly charge up and lift dust into themselves - might be worth a go - they're called 'Arctic Butterfly' for some reason.

Digital ICE if done properly on a four times sampled scan should not cause over softening. All scanned images need some sharpening anyway (at the end of any other work flow) as do the outputs (RAW) from nearly all digital cameras.

Hope that lot helps a bit - I think you're suffering from a fairly high gain (many pixels) scanner that doesn't have the dust bug software. See work-arounds as they rightly said above.
Best of luck, dust is our devil (same as when drying film in the old days, never mind glass negative carriers in enlargers, nothing changes!)Tongue
rabdhu 8 18 United Kingdom
31 Jan 2012 7:32PM
PS - sorry to harp on - dust covers;
as I found out by accident (a desk lamp was shining my way) a dust cover on the Dimage helped until after a few months of un-use, you whip the cover off to start a session.
What happens is an amazing swirl of dust motes (bricks, some of them) all around the workspace.
Lesson learned - damp clothe all around BEFORE you disturb long rested equipment, covered or not.
cheers the noo
Paul Morgan 18 19.4k 6 England
31 Jan 2012 7:35PM

Quote:I scan the negs on a Plustek OpticFilm 7400 - do whatever is required in Photoshop CS4

Unplug it and store it in its case when not being used.
strokebloke 11 493 17 England
1 Feb 2012 8:26PM

Quote:... and store it in its case ........

That's where it is now Paul. Sound advice Smile

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