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Old Jan 21, 2010, 3:55 PM   #1
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Default Can I scan Glass Negatives on Epson V700 or V600?

I am considering buying an Epson V600 or V700 because it appears that I might be able to scan some 100-plus year old glass negatives with these models of scanners.

However, neither the company's tech support people or stores in my area that carry these scanner could confirm whether they can handle the glass negatives.

Because they are variously sized -- from 3.5 to 4 inches high, and from 4 to 4.5 inches wide -- they cannot fit into the negative holders that come with each of the scanners.

Can they simply be placed on the surface of the scanner without the holder?

Thank you for your replies
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 8:26 PM   #2
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I am not familiar with the models, but, in general, the negative holders are used with a separate light box, which disables the scanner's lamp and provides backlight for the negatives. If the negs don't fit the box, you are pretty much out of luck.

You might be better off just using a backlight and taking picures of the negs.

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Old Jan 24, 2010, 3:16 PM   #3
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I am not familiar with the models, but, in general, the negative holders are used with a separate light box, which disables the scanner's lamp and provides backlight for the negatives. If the negs don't fit the box, you are pretty much out of luck.

You might be better off just using a backlight and taking picures of the negs.

brian
While no scanning expert, I've scanned large negatives on a flatbed scanner. Most drivers even have a negative option.

But I have no idea how thick a glasss negative is, and it might be to thick for the scanner to focus on.

My I suggest that you find a friend or even use a commercial service that has a flatbed scanner, and try one scan out?

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Old Jan 24, 2010, 8:04 PM   #4
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I am not familiar with the models, but, in general, the negative holders are used with a separate light box, which disables the scanner's lamp and provides backlight for the negatives. If the negs don't fit the box, you are pretty much out of luck.
I've got an HP flatbed scanner that works like that. Basically, it came with a separate light that you place over the template with the negatives.

Flatbed scanners without a light to shine through the negatives will not give you good results (if they're usable at all that way). You need light shining through the negatives to the scanner's sensors.

Some of the Epson models have a light built into the scanner cover for that purpose.

But, I suspect you'd be better off using something like my setup for negatives that large, as it was designed to handle up to 5x5" negatives and transparencies. I've used it to scan CT film before (literally cutting the film into sections about that size for scanning).

You do need a template with it though, as the templates have a transparent strip looking section at one end that the scanner uses for calibration when the scanner software sees the light shining through that section. For your purposes, you'd just use the largest template (designed for film up to 5x5"), placing the glass negative in the center of it, then place the lamp on top.

Here's a page explaining how that works. HP called the light you plug into the back of the scanner an "Active Transparency Adapter" (XPA).

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/d...=60665&lang=en

If you look at the tiny photo of the scanner, you can see this XPA beside it.

Unfortunately, I don't think HP makes scanners with that design anymore.

Note that if you can find one, you need to make *sure* it's got the templates. It won't work right unless it sees the small transparent section on one end of it (square section surrounded by the black border that allows you to place your film in the middle), since it uses it for calibration. I don't know how it work work with glass negatives like yours (but you should be able to place the XPA (light) on top of them and give it a try.
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Old Jan 24, 2010, 8:13 PM   #5
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Here's a listing with a good photo of one showing the Transparency Adapter (the light that shines through the film) on the scanner bed. But, note, I'd make sure to find one that has the film and transparency templates (not just the Transparency adapter), as well as the software that came with it if you want to see if it that kind of setup would work well with your negatives (and I've never tried one with glass negatives, but it works OK with larger film that fits inside of the largest template).

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=150406116985

P.S.

Also note that some of the XPA adapters were not that large (and were basically mirror boxes that you placed over the film templates, so that the light shined through the film and reflected from the top of the XPA unit). That kind is probably not going to work with negatives as large as yours. You'll probably want the type of XPA shown in the above listing instead, if you can find one that includes the templates (again, it needs to see a transparent strip surrounded by black on one end of the template for calibration to work correctly when scanning film or transparencies).
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 5:34 PM   #6
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Here's a listing with a good photo of one showing the Transparency Adapter (the light that shines through the film) on the scanner bed. But, note, I'd make sure to find one that has the film and transparency templates (not just the Transparency adapter), as well as the software that came with it if you want to see if it that kind of setup would work well with your negatives (and I've never tried one with glass negatives, but it works OK with larger film that fits inside of the largest template).

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=150406116985

P.S.

Also note that some of the XPA adapters were not that large (and were basically mirror boxes that you placed over the film templates, so that the light shined through the film and reflected from the top of the XPA unit). That kind is probably not going to work with negatives as large as yours. You'll probably want the type of XPA shown in the above listing instead, if you can find one that includes the templates (again, it needs to see a transparent strip surrounded by black on one end of the template for calibration to work correctly when scanning film or transparencies).
I'm under the impression that we are talking about Black and White negatives? If they are color, then you are correct. If they are black and white, you are completely mistaken. No adapter of any kind is necessary. If the driver has no option for negatives, simply invert the image.

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Old Jan 25, 2010, 5:49 PM   #7
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Film is very reflective. I've yet to see anything that remotely resembles a good scan from a product that doesn't shine light from the top down through the film to the sensors in the scanner bed, color or not, and I have tried scanning black and white film without that type of solution.

If you try to let the light in the scanner bed illuminate the film from below (with nothing but the white inside cover of the top above it), you'll get a lot of reflected light. That's why scanner manufacturers have solutions like lights in the scanner bed covers for film like some Epson scanners use (disabling the light from below in order to see the image being illuminated from above it); or lights like the HP Scanner I've got so that you can place the light above the film (with the scanner automatically disabling the scanner bed light when it's used), or worst case, a solution that uses a reflective cover in place of the white scanner bed cover (which tends to yield inferior results compared to the other solutions).

Doing it without that type of approach would be like trying to take a photo of film laying on a white sheet of paper being illuminated from above, or trying to see what results you got from film without using a light table or similar approach to view it

I'd be very skeptical that a scanner without a lighting arrangement that directs light through the film towards the sensors in the scanner would be a workable solution for good results.
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 8:26 PM   #8
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The silver nitrate used on glass negs looks very dark, but there can be considerable reflection from it in places, especially if it has been handled or rubbed against something. And it isn't just a case of black and white, it's grayscale.
I have seen the results of both ways, and using a reflective scanner is unacceptable.

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Old Jan 26, 2010, 4:16 PM   #9
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I've scanned hundreds of Black and White negatives, and the results are as good as the print, or better...

This was many years ago when I was working with medium and large format. Haven't touched film in 15 years, nevertheless, it works just fine.

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