Rescanning

As I talked about in Scanner Learnings my approach to scanning changed in the middle of 2023. Which made me think about the rolls of film that I had scanned ‘badly’ early in the year. I decided to rescan some of these to see if there was a huge difference.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you think about it) the rescanning was a big improvement. While I’m excited to get better versions of these photos, I can’t say that I’m looking forward to the work of rescanning a dozen or two rolls of film. Scanning is definitely the most tedious part of photography.

Here’s the original scan. This camera had a light leak, by the way.

A landscape black and white picture of a wooden wagon wheel. The metal hub is in the center of the photo and the wooden spokes radiate outwards. The rim of the wheel is not visible. In this scan of the negative the details of the wood grain are blurry and the contrast of the picture is low.
Unknown exposure, Kentmere 100, original (bad) scan

And here’s the new scan.

A landscape black and white picture of a wooden wagon wheel. The metal hub is in the center of the photo and the wooden spokes radiate outwards. The rim of the wheel is not visible. In this newer scan of the negative the details of the wood grain are sharper and the contrast of the picture is higher.
Unknown exposure, Kentmere 100, new scan

Just looking at those two is pretty convincing. But a close-up comparison really seals the deal for me.

A close-up comparison of two scans of a black-and-white photo of a wooden wagon wheel spoke. In the top scan of the old scan the details and grain are blurry and the contrast lower. In the bottom scan the grain is sharper and the contrast is higher.
Side by side comparison. Old scan on top, new scan on bottom.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I used Epson’s default settings for the older scan. With these settings the scanning software will try to adjust the histogram and contrast for you. It does a terrible job and now I turn all that stuff off and adjust each negative myself. These comparisons remind me why.


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