Scanning 35mm Film

Canon A1 Fujichrome Slide Film Taken in the late 1980's
Canon A1 Fujichrome Slide Film Taken in the late 1980’s

I am slowly getting the hang of film scanning.  Getting everything clean is the first and major step, after that is relatively simple.

I am using SilverFast which came free with my scanner.

The way I am working is as follows.

  • Step One clean and mount the film and scanner plate
  • Select Frames and delete all to get rid of the old frame settings
  • Select Pre-Scan, at this point it does a basic scan

SilverFast and Frames

  • Select Frames, Find Frames and select the appropriate film holder, in this case Filmstrip 35mm

SilverFast 35mm Film Settings

  • I then select my resolution 6400 ppi for film and then select the film Vendor, film type and ISO.
  • Then its a tweak to the Midtones to make the files a little flatter and easier to working on post production, I use +5.
  • Select Copy settings to all frames

Now for the time consuming part.

  • Zoom into the first frame and adjust the frame to capture all the image
  • Tweak the histogram if necessary
  • Go to next frame and repeat

Once all frames are done I then select batch scan and have it uniquely number each file and place them in a watch folder.

Lightroom auto import

Its then over to Lightroom where I configure Auto Import.  I have found the the default developer settings I use for my Nikon DSLR are a good starting point and I have Lightroom add the current date to the scans filename.

I now go off and have a cup of coffee and leave the computer to do its stuff, the scanner putting the images into the watch folder and then Lightroom automatically importing them, adding some developer settings and meta data and adding them to my main Catalogue image store.  If you have a lot of images to scan you can then use this time to prepare your next batch of scans.  The Epson V850 came with two sets of holders for each main type of film, 35mm mounted slides, 35mm film, medium format and 5 x 4 large format.


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