Help! Any Epson film scanner users?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by m_c|32, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Hi everyone,

    Primarily a colour shooter here -- I own an Epson V850 that I've been generally happy with...until I put a B&W roll through it last year that threw up horribly low-contrast images with large dark blotches all across the frame. They looked as though patches of damp/oil had formed on the negatives and because the roll WAS old (it took me a year to get around to developing it) I quickly dismissed it as a film issue.

    Today, I tried another roll of recently-shot B&W and the same thing occurred. (See images below.) The odd thing is, the scans look perfectly normal in the preview and the wet/oily blobs only showed up in the finished scan. I also put the negs on a lightbox and looked at them with a loupe, and none of these black patches are visible anywhere.

    I checked my Epson software settings and they're definitely set to "B&W negative" and "16-bit Greyscale". As with colour, I don't tend to use the Colour Correction or Backlight Correction functions (the one that's on the main menu, not the one you have to click Configurations to get into), just Digital Ice.

    Any ideas? :(

    Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 04.04.55.png

    Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 04.00.54.png
  2. I don't think Digital Ice is compatible with silver based black and white film. Try without it.
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  3. Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  4. As John says, Digital ICE is not compatible with traditional silver-based black & white films. The silver particles interfere with the infrared light that Digital ICE needs to work.

    On pages 72-73 of the manual linked below, it says that Digital ICE only works with these original types:
    • Color negative film
    • Color positive film and slides (except for Kodachrome)
    • Chromogenic monochrome negative film
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  5. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    scanned b&WS always suck. I scan it as 24bit color... still flat but you will have to work it out in Photoshop.

    what I noticed, good density negatives scan the worst. it seems to like thinner negs to get better contrast for some stupid reason.

    I puke at my scanned negs.
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  6. Yup. No IR channel for true b/w film. Results are ug-LEE!
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  7. The shadows are being clipped. Not familiar with ICE usage but it could also be playing a role. In other words, the scanner software is influencing the result too much.

    There is a very excellent recent discussion on using the Epson V- scanners and using scanning software, on the large format site.

    To paraphrase the abovementioned discussion (assumes usage of Epson Scan but in general applies to other software):

    In scanning software:
    - turn all auto adjustments off. This is extremely important.
    - scan as film positive
    - set all sliders to 0 and 255, respectively, in the histogram input/output window
    - I scan at 3000 dpi mininum. Downsampling is possible later.

    In postprocessing software:
    - break apart RGB channels (for example using channel mixer)
    - throw away the red and blue channels, keeping only the green channel.
    - change mode to greyscale
    - invert colors
    - adjust contrast, black point and white point to taste
    Moving On likes this.
  8. As a few others have said, don't use Digital ICE with B&W. It basically thinks the grain is dust with B&W and you get weird artifacts.
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  9. Digital Ice uses infrared light to distinguish between image and dust. Image dyes are transparent to IR while dust is opaque. Unfortunately silver, which forms the image in conventional B&W film is opaque to IR. Digital Ice sees "dirt" in every part of the image, and in trying to compensate, it distorts the image. When Digital Ice works, it has very little effect on image quality, except for dust and scratch removal.

    Software solutions to dust removal rely on contrast. While they may mitigate the appearance of dust, the overall image is usually degraded as well.

    Unless the dirt is embedded in the emulsion, or there are severe scratches, you can eliminate most of the problem by cleaning the negatives well. Use a soft, anti-static brush for best results, and canned "air" as a last resort. A strong, point-source light (e.g., desk lamp) at a shallow angle highlights dust during the cleaning process.
    Wilmarco Imaging likes this.
  10. I scan as a negative, 16bit, B&W at around 3000dpi with my V700 and epson scan
    I adjust the histogram, and contrast in epson scan also.
    I use epson ANR holder (3 strips of film, not 4)
    Get great results

    But,I will try this workflow, I have heard this works for color negatives also.
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  11. If you using Epson scan, I think D-ICE is disabled with 16bit BW set.
    Backlight should be used sparingly,
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  12. Hello everyone. I think you might be interested in the learning process a friend of mine is going thru with B/W scanning on his V800. Last year I gifted him my 4x5 kit & now he is coming to grip's with the beauty & perils of LF scanning. Go over to the Classic Manual Camera forum & look up the thread "Better Scanning with Rick Drawbridge" started by Bradley Cloven on Feb 13. Step by step with the V800. Aloha, Bill
    msantanaphoto likes this.
  13. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

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