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How do I avoid this pixelation?


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Hello there.

I am scanning black and white Tmax negs on an Epson V750 Pro and I can't figure out why I am getting this pixelation problem.

See attached photograph. This is cropped to just a portion of the neg, but you can see what I am on about on his eyebrow when you enlarge a bit.

What is this? And how can I properly scan, if indeed I am doing something wrong?

Just FYI, I have printed this neg in a wet darkroom and I checked the print and this problem is not on the wet print.

I have tried scanning at a few different high resolutions. I am using "images from device" in Photoshop.

So it must be something I'm doing, or the equipment is doing digitally.

Any help is greatly appreciated.




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Whatever the artefact is, it's not pixelation.


My first guess was a processing or drying mark, but you say it doesn't show up on a wet print. Then that leaves a mark acquired after printing or during scanning. It's possible to get "Newton's rings" from contact between the shiny side of the negative and a glass surface, or a similar mark from a small droplet of water trapped between negative and glass. It might even be a scratch or blemish on the glass of the scanner.


Is the blemish always in the same place on every scan, or does it only affect this one negative?


I suggest first a thorough cleaning of the scanner glass, followed by re-examination of the negative to ensure it hasn't acquired a blemish, or simply to scan the darkroom print if the problem persists.


Another solution is to simply use the clone or healing tool to remove the blemish in Photoshop. There's no fine detail to bother about after all.

Edited by rodeo_joe|1
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Not just the eyebrow, I can see it at the top of the head also. At first glance, this looks like heavy noise reduction artifact in the scanner, but I may be wrong. The artifacts seem to be in sharper focus than the rest of the negative, which could suggest that the marks are not really on the negative, but coming from the scanning post processing. Again, this may all be wrong.
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It also shows up along the upper hairline.

This artifact is reminiscent of the problem I sometimes see on high-contrast edges if I accidentally leave on "dust and scratch reduction" when I'm scanning Kodachrome. I've never left it on for B&W, though, so I don't know what it would look like in that case.


If this is from infrared dust and scratch removal, I agree with Leslie, that it doesn't work for silver halide BW films. So in that case, the software may cause artifacts.

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Thank you Joe and Leslie.

Yes, it shows up elsewhere on this neg and on others as well. Quite prevalent along edges in most cases.

I can't see anything on the neg when I look through a loop, but it is quite small and I don't have a magnifying loop so I could be wrong.

I double checked the prints I previously made in the wet darkroom and none of this shows up on any of those prints. Hmmmmmmmm.

I don't have anything turned on in the scanning except "dust removal" set on medium.

Maybe I'll try with that turned off...


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