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Scanning 35Mm Negatives To Digital

negatives scanning V600

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#1 JohnP


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Posted 10 September 2015 - 11:39 PM

I have a personal collection of a few thousand 35mm negatives that I would like to convert to digital. At some point it would be nice to have the collections imported to Lightroom, post processed and digitally archived.


My initial scans using the Epson V600 produced OK results but there was noticeable softness and lack of crisp detail compared to original photographs from the negatives. I tried scanning with and without Digital ICE.


I don't know much about wet mount scanning and I was hoping that you could provide some advice, Will wet mounting harm the negatives? Will the scans be crisper? Is there a better method?


Finally,  could you please recommend a reliable and affordable service for outsourcing this task?


Thank you,



#2 RAH1861


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Posted 11 September 2015 - 09:22 AM

I may be incorrect, but I think that wet mount scanning is used for flat negatives - i.e. that are not contained in cardboard holders like a slide is. In order to use wet mount scanning, you have to encase the transparency tightly between two sheets, enveloped by the fluid. I guess you could remove each slide from the cardboard, but that would be quite a chore. I suppose you could do several slides at once, but it still sounds like a lot of work to me. Maybe just use it for a few favorites?


I think for a large volume like you have, it is best to send them to a service. Sorry, I have no recommedations myself, but I wish you luck! :)


Edit: Oops! I just reread your post and see that you did not say "slides." Sorry, my mistake. OK, so you have negatives. Um, still a tremendous amount of work. You need special holders for wet mount scanning (you can buy kits for about $100), because the negative has to be raised a certain amount to get the scanner's focus to be correct. A real job. I read about it awhile ago (to scan some medium format negatives) and decided it wasn't something I wanted to do. I wound up photographing the negatives with a DSLR on a light table (not that I am suggesting that to you - scanning is definitely the way to go for those small 35mm negatives).


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