day 349: a postcard view
Yesterday my new scanner, an Epson Perfection V330, arrived and I got all excited. I scanned quite a few negative strips and spent some time trying around. I still need to optimise my workflow, but so far I’ve been quite happy with the results. Even without the scanning mask the scanner works well and produces much better quality on the negative scans than my quick and dirty DSLR digitalisations. The reason why I wasn’t using the scanning mask was that it covers the sprocket holes and with my Zorki there is always a certain part of the picture shifted a little onto the part where the sprocket holes are. There are scanning masks available that don’t cover the sprocket holes, so maybe I will get one of those at some point.
What I noticed is that after a few negative strips the scanner started producing a thin red line all the way across the picture (you can also see it in this picture). I googled the issue and found quite a number of reviews that complained about similar issues. However, on a blog page I found that this usually happens when the scanner cannot calibrate correctly due to dust on the sensor or on the glass. However, this was assuming the white backdrop used in normal scanning. Also on the scanning mask there are two white squares and a few dots which might be used for calibration. Since I wasn’t using the scanning mask though the issue was probably caused by those missing reference points. Once I restarted the scanner with the white backdrop in place the next scan was clean without the red line. I will keep an eye on the issue.
What’s really cool about scanning the pictures is that it’s much easier to recover the colours. It’s almost automatic once you know how the auto function of the curves dialog works. Interestingly with the scans I also found out that most of the pictures I took on the second roll were properly exposed using my external light meter. The prints from the lab don’t tell you anything about that, because they automatically under or overexpose to get reasonable prints even from badly exposed negatives. The last roll was quite severely overexposed in most pictures, which means that the internal light meter of my DSLR isn’t quite set right for use with film. Good to know. And additionally I am learning tons about dust and scratch removal in Photoshop.
Seems that getting a scanner was the right choice. Now it’s also easier to digitalise my drawings for the web. Since I don’t have to scan those in a high resolution this is probably quicker than taking pictures of the drawings in Photoshop and adjusting for the weird lighting, white balance and so on.
By the way, I’m adding the camera information after the fact with exiftool. It’s just one command on the command line and easily the simplest part of the whole operation.