Film scanner woes

A couple of days ago I finally got around to scanning the negatives of the photos I took of the lunar eclipse on 3rd March.

I set up my film scanner and scanned the films in the same way as I had with previous films. However, the results I got were absolutely awful. Instead of a black sky with the moon, I had a very grainy mottled green/grey sky. As I already had a set of prints from when the film was developed, I knew what it should look like and my scans were not it.

When I had first installed the Dimage Scan software on my computer I had installed versions 1.0 and 1.1. For some reason I had problems with version 1.1 and was unable to save the images that I scanned using it. Version 1.0 worked and gave me good images and so keen to play with my new toy I ignored the problem with 1.1 and pressed on with using version 1.0. This was slow, taking about 10 minutes to scan an image, but I wrote this off as an investment to get the films into digital format. Of course this was over 2 years ago and so I had totally forgotton about version 1.1. Anyway, I ran up version 1.1 and scanned one of the moon images and it looked just like the print and nothing like the previous scan. So that was the good news, at least the scanner worked properly, I just had to be able to saved the better images.

I download the latest version from the Konica-Minolta website, uninstalled my copy and reinstalled it. Success, now I could save the scans.

There was another plus to this, using the new software, the time to scan a negative at the highest resolution I could (2800dpi) is only about 2.5 minutes. This meant that I was able to rescan the 26 images later that evening.

This then got me thinking, I had already scanned 10 films and burnt 6 to DVD for long term storage. Did this mean that there was better image possible from the films I had already scanned. So, I did some tests and when I looked in the shadows of the original scans compared to a new scan of the same image, I was able to see the same noise instead of black and a grainier image. The saving grace is that I have found this fairly on during my scans rather than 40 or 50 films in. As the scan speed is much quicker it shouldn’t take too long to get back to where I was before I discovered this.

Original scan
New scan

So anyway, after all that, my photos of the Lunar Eclipse March 2007 are up on my gallery.

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