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March 22, 2008


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Eddie Brown

I have some Kodak "safety film" that is B&W that I would like to scan using my HP Scanjet 4200C. Do you have any suggestions? I have tried scanning directly on the bed and then inverting the negative with poor results. I have backlighting the negative while scanning with poor results. I've read up on ICE3 but it seems that ICE does not do well with B&W negatives from the 1950s. I read about your "newton glass" but don't really have a clue. Could you send me a jpeg of your rig? Or maybe some more details? Thanks
REF: http://www.kryptosinistographer.com/2008/03/scanning-old-ma.html#comments


The Kryptosinistographer

Thanks for writing.

ICE does not work at all for B&W film regardless of vintage. (It does work for chromogenic B&W film but that is because it is really a neutral-tone color film)

I wasn't able to find any technical specs on your HP Scanjet 4200C. Assuming it is capable of scanning film (i.e. it has a light in the top of the scanner to shine through the film to the sensor below), it should work. Go to a framing shop and ask for a piece of anti-reflective glass. An 8x10" piece should fit your scanner and work well. Tape all of the edges using blue painter's tape so the sharp glass doesn't scratch your scanner surface.

Using blue painter's tape, tape the negative to the glass with the emulsion side away from the glass. You want to tape it to the side which is slightly frosted. Now put it in the scanner so the film is sandwiched between the scanner glass and the 8x10" glass. Give that a try. If it works, the next step is to shim the glass so the negative is raised just a hair above the scanner glass. This will remove any of the Newton's Rings. I use layers of tape in the four corners of the glass to create the shim.

I hope that works. Keep in mind that, your scanner's maximum resolution is 1200x600. To me this implies that you aren't going to get a decent print from your negatives much larger than 3x4". You'll need a scanner capable of higher resolution to do much better.

Let me know if you have any other questions and good luck!


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