Monday, 14 April 2008

Scanning: trials and tribulations

Fallen slab, Northumberland, March 2008

Last night I finally got through all the scanning I had pending. I am starting to curse the batch scan mode of SilverFast AI, much as I like the results.

Things I cannot seem to do:
1. Control the order of a batch. When I'm scanning a roll of 35mm I'd like to be able to tell it which frame has which number. Results seem pretty random, which means going back after the scan and applying the frame numbers. I like the scan names to have the same frame number as on the original roll.
2. Match scan options across a batch. Even though I set up to batch scan, I still need to check that the options, resolution etc are correct for each frame. Because I didn't do this thoroughly I had to rescan half the 4x5 as they'd scanned at a size of 1000px. Plus, some of the black and white scanned as colour, another re-scan job there.
3. Determine in advance the orientation. All my 35mm scans came out rotated. Some by 90deg, some by 180, some to the left, some to right. Why can't it scan to the orientation I see in the preview?

All this is annoying and means the work takes longer than necessary.

If anyone knows if I'm doing stuff wrong, let me know.


  1. I find that I cannot use auto settings, each neg/slide requires a different scanning exposure and colour balance in order to get the best out of the media. If I don't get it right at this stage I can't live with the scan and have to redo. I don't think that there are any short cuts!

  2. for black and white (especially the 35mm stuff) I'm doing a linear scan and setting the gamma, white & black points on inversion, so no problems there.
    For positive film, I agree to some extent but as long as I get the full range of the exposure in the scan, the rest is easily adjusted afterwards.


I like comments, especially constructive ones.
Comments get emailed directly to me before publishing , so if you want to get in touch drop a comment.
All comments moderated by me before being published, keeps the spam at bay.