Scanning negatives of my wedding--completely befuddled

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by tomjonesrocks, May 3, 2005.

  1. tomjonesrocks

    tomjonesrocks TPF Noob!

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    We hired (of course) a professional photographer to take pictures at our wedding. When we picked up the package, although we were generally happy with the quality of the photos and the prints, the scans he gave us we were really disappointed with. They had dust all over them and a LOT of noise in the shots. I found them unacceptable--the bill for the scans would have been $20/roll. Not a bad price, but the scans were just not usable. I felt the attention to detail on them wasn't there.

    So, I went out and purchased a Minolta Dimage Dual Scan IV with the intention of scanning negatives ourselves. The quality seems actually better than the scans the lab did for us. The problem is I just can *NOT* get rid of the dust on these. I bought a camel hair brush and an air blower--didn't help. Dust still all over the scans. It would take me hours to pick all the flaws out in photoshop one by one.

    Then, we got some advice that you could very carefully use rubbing alcohol to clean the negative. Well, the one negative strip I tried with this I have to admit I completely destroyed. So the negative for 5 of our precious wedding photos is now ruined.

    So, basically I'm afraid to handle any more of my own wedding negatives--but have no idea where I can take them for better service than I've received. So I'm left to wonder, can negatives EVER be scanned without dust? Is that just a physical impossibility? If wherever I take it is going to have dust, then I'll scan all these myself without cleaning them and just live with the fact that they'll look terrible without hours of work on each individual scan.

    Can anyone give any advice at all as to what they might recommend? If I do attempt to find another shop--is there something I can ask to be sure the scans will be better than I can do myself?

    Thanks :(

    Scott
     
  2. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Wow that sucks

    Looks like the pro did a crappy job on them. Welcome to the forum.
     
  3. Contra|Brett|

    Contra|Brett| TPF Noob!

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    Am I to understand that the dust is literally stuck to the negative?

    At my photo lab, we blow off the negs w/ an air blower and brush them with a camel hair brush. I have never run into a time when this wasn't sufficient. Before you put the negs in the scanner, put the neg against something black, it will help you see where the dust is.
     
  4. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    I found this on about.com ( http://photography.about.com/library/weekly/aa052101d.htm )
     
  5. raider

    raider TPF Noob!

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    not to be condescending, but sure it's not noise? is the background black or real dark? just trying to rule out
     
  6. tomjonesrocks

    tomjonesrocks TPF Noob!

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    At this point I'm not sure what it is; just that I can't get it off. I could upload a photo of what I'm getting on every shot.

    Just figured that this was happening because the Dimage Dual Scan IV doesn't have Digital ICE or whatever.

    Scott
     
  7. tomjonesrocks

    tomjonesrocks TPF Noob!

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    Since I couldn't seem to bring a photo into this, here's a link to one example:
    http://www.reconceive.com/wedding/images/r1_0012.jpg

    I'm referring to the white specs everywhere it would take hours to remove if manually done in photoshop. When I put the negs in though, I don't visibly see dust on them.
     
  8. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

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    Is there a possibility that the dust is on the scanner and not the negatives?
     
  9. tomjonesrocks

    tomjonesrocks TPF Noob!

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    Well, it's an enclosed negative scanner, brand new actually. And the dust doesn't seem to be consistent.

    On the other hand, it's not like I've gotten one single scan I'm completely happy with out of the thing, but who knows.

    Scott
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Maybe you could try a scanner that does have Digital Ice...I've heard that handles dust pretty well. Or find a lab that will guarantee satisfaction...and have them scan the lot...and redo it if there is still too much dust.
     
  11. BernieSC

    BernieSC TPF Noob!

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    From the photo you posted it could possibly be dust that got on the film before it dried and the dust is dried into the emultion of the film. thats why cleaning the negs or brushing them off didn't work. What you could do is wash the negs again. Preferably running them through a stablizer or wash again and letting them air dry in dust free area. You can just wash them under tap water I have done that before it would not hurt the negs to wet them and let them air dry.

    The only reason it would be good to use some type of photo flo is that it would prevent possible water spots on the film if you just wet them, kind of like cascade sheeting action. But I have just wash them with water and it got ride of dried in dust particles. Just take one strip and try it, squeezy them with your finger as you wash them to release any dried on dust. Don't use just alcohol that is to dry for film you will damage the film like you said. Film cleaner has a lubricate in it so it does not cause a wet-dry rubbing like pure alcohol would cause.
     
  12. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    are you scanning prints or negatives? i wonder if you got them developed at a nice place you could just scan in the prints...
     

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