Scanning with an Epson V850: an update

Scanning with an Epson V850: an update

Martin Wilmsen

In a previous post I described how I scan film using my Epson V850. You can find that post here: Scanning 4x5 sheet film with an Epson v850.

I opted for scanning this way because I want my scans to include the film borders (so no film holders), to ensure flat negatives and to prevent Newton rings.
Although the method described there worked really well, it was cumbersome.
Especially having to cut (medium format) and tape each negative was very time consuming. Not to mention having to clean the glass to remove residu from the tape every time.

I figured that using two sheets of ANR glass to sandwich the negatives would speed up the process considerably. But when doing some online research, I read that it would be a bad idea and that it would cause problems with sharpness.

I decided to give it a go anyway, so I ordered two large sheets of ANR glass - slightly smaller than the glass of the V850. The larger glass would allow me to put at least two strips of 120 film next to each other.

My home made "holder" (see previous post) to raise the ANR glass didn't work with these new sheets, but the larger glass lets me add washers (metal rings used to secure screws) underneath the bottom one. I had to search a bit to find washers with the correct thickness. After making five scans with different rings, I found the correct height to get perfect sharpness (the V850 focuses about a milimeter above the scanner glass). I did add gaffer tape to prevent the washers from scratching the glass.

After making about 100 scans or so, I can say that I have encountered no problems with sharpness or any ill effect from sandwiching the negatives as described above. And it saves a lot of time too.

Scanning large format

Most large format sheets are flat enough, so I usually don't have to put the second piece of glass on top of my 4x5 sheets. The top piece of glass is more important for 120 film because those negatives are almost never completely flat. The second piece of glass fixes that problem.

Dust and Newton rings

In case you're wondering if I've been having problems with Newton rings now that I'm using this different scanning method... I have not once seen a Newton ring. Just make sure that the glass is right way up.
And also, the negatives must be on the glass with the dull side up / the readable text on your film borders should be facing down.

With regards to dust, I can say that there's much less dust on my scans compared to how I used to scan. More often than not I don't have to remove any dust specs during post processing at all.
I do wipe the ANR glass with an anti-static wisk every time I put negatives on the scanner.

Changes to my VueScan workflow

The process I currently use is still largely the same as previously described, however -

  • I do now select "Neutral" on the Color tab,
  • I then make a preview scan (in case of medium format, two strips of film will be in the preview),
  • next I select part of one of the images without its border,
  • and then I check the "Lock Exposure" checkbox.

I leave all the settings unchanged for the entire roll that I'm scanning. Or for all the sheets from the same shoot under the same conditions when I'm scanning large format.

When scanning 120 film, you'll have to click on the "preview" tab at the top after each scan. Then select the next image to scan and repeat the process until you're done.
It's not always easy to have the negatives straight on the glass, but that's easily addressed with the "skew" function in VueScan.

Negative Lab Pro

I've been wanting to try something other than Negative Lab Pro to convert the DNG's, but I haven't gotten around to doing that yet. There are several alternatives that you can use. Have a look here for more information.
I have been using the latest (beta) update of NLP for about two weeks now, and I think it's improved considerably. The colors seem more accurate and consistent than before. Although I've still had some rolls that I was struggling with.



16 Jul 2022 09:29 am Frode Kommode  
Thanks for the detailed articles on scanning 4x5. Really helpful. Please can you provide the details on the glass you ordered? Thickness and size. I’m eager to try scanning some 4x5 Provia on the V850 I’m about to order.Thanks!
Comments are disabled