Scanning infamous kodak disc film?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by spehr, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. I've been using a Nikon Coolscan 5000 to scan in family negatives.
    I'm up to the dreaded kodak disc negatives section (early 1980s). I
    have about 18-20 of this discs and am at a loss of how to proceed.

    I'm wondering if some process of cutting them up and mounting them one
    at a time in a glass/plastic slide mount and then scanning them with
    the slide scanning attachment would work well? My experience with
    slides is next to zero. Specific processes or products would be most
  2. Should work fine.

    Might be less effort to scan them on a flatbed scanner. There are quite a few that can scan negatives/slides at reasonable resolution and they're not very expensive. Won't be as good as a dedicated slide/negative scanner, but it will be a lot less work if you have a lot of disks
  3. jtk


    There's no practical way to do what you want with a "dedicated film scanner" unless you have a glass carrier ... use Vuescan or Silverfast.

    A good flatbed would avoid the Nikon-scanner-created false grain that'd be humongous with those tiny frames.

    An easy approach with traditional photo skills would employ a bellows, enlarging or prime macro lens, copy stand and light box. I'd use slow Ektachrome (not Fuji) and duplicate the disc shots as enlarged "negatives." That would lose no sharpness at all (sharper than the film scanner). Might also shoot a roll OVEREXPOSED by 1 stop and pull-processed to reduce contrast.

    OR you could do something comparable with a DSLR, rather than scanning... the new Olympus digital prime macro lens might be the ultimate for the purpose.

    The easiest approach would be to scan whatever prints you have and Photoshop the daylights out of them.
  4. jtk


    ...incidentally, I've done that bellows/macro/lightbox thing with all sorts of film originals, including 35mm internegs (common color neg film) from tiny Super 8 Ektachrome footage of famous athletes. Easy money. But there has been nothing worse than Kodak's Discs.

    One of Kodak's original plans for Discs involved a scanner on top of your TV, viewing and adjusting on the TV, sening by slothful modem to a Kodak lab for printing and return via snail mail. I don't think many know about this. I saw the setup at the huge pro Las Vegas photo trade show in the Eighties, don't know if it actually worked.
  5. This might work.

    Buy a roll of slide film. Shoot the whole roll at something very white and open up as many stops as you can. Develop this. You will now have a whole roll of tranparent film. Cut into sixes or fours (whichever your holder takes). Sandwich your negative between these two bits of plastic. That should hold them in place. Alternatively go to a craft shop and buy the clearest cleanest plastic film you can get and cut them to negative strip size.
  6. We use an epson v750 pro with a laser cut carrier to register the film precisely each time. The entire disc is then scanned and the frames seperated out using photoshop actions (this where the precise placement of the film becomes necessary). This scanner allows a 6400 dpi scan which is plenty big for disc film and our lower priced scans are only 2400 dpi and they don't show any digital artifacting in a 4x5 print. Once scanned all frames are then digitally density and color corrected, degrained, sharpened and a small bit of spotting is done. Anyone can do it but whether it's worth the time and effort to do it well may depend on your patients.

    All the best

    Greg Miller

    Film Rescue International
  7. Update...these scans are now done on a Creo iQsmart 3 at 5200 dpi but instead of the laser cut carrier we are now removing the films from the hubs so that they'll sit perfectly sandwiched in the scanner glass. It's not a huge jump in quality from the v750 but it is as good as you're going to get from these.

Share This Page