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Quicktip: Scanning 35 mm film stripes with the Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 ED + SA-21, SA-31 (Filmholders)

December 1st, 2009 · 2 Comments · Digital Photography, HowTo, News, Processing, Quicktips, SilverFast, Tips and Tutorials

Nikon has created top notch film scanners (probably the best dedicated film scanners) for some years now, being the Nikon Super CoolScan 5000 ED the top of the line on its 35 mm scanner line. However, working with its film holders can prove complicated.

This is true for the film holders SA-21 and SA-30 which are used for scanning 35mm film stripes of up to 6 pictures.

The next steps describe a good way on how to operate these film holders.

– Start SilverFast and on the “general” tab select the option “Negative” under the menu “pos/neg”

Negative option

Negative option

– The NegaFix window will appear and will allow you to make positive all your negatives.

NegaFix_Window

NegaFix_Window

– You can now press the Prescan button to see the first frame of the filmstripe

Prescan button

Prescan button

– After a few seconds you will see the image of the first frame . Note how the upper part of the preview shows a thick black bar where as the lower part of the preview window shows the picture cut (its not possible to see the lower end of the frame).

Incomplete image

Incomplete image

– Open the overview dialogue to see the entire film stripe using the button for that purpose (next picture)

Preview_Overview

Overview button

– The overview dialogue appears. Press the play button located on the upper left corner of the dialogue (see next)

Overview dialogue

Overview dialogue

– After some seconds you will see all pictures on your film stripe (most likely with some small parts of the previous picture above), like this:

Overview with picture

Overview with picture

– Double-click the second frame to select the picture and make it present in the big preview window. At this stage is important not to pick the first or last picture because those present the physical  end of the filmstripe and will pose a problem to compasate for the film offset.

You will see that the second picture even shows a small part of the first picture on the upper end

– To correct this you will press the off-set compensation button.

Offset compensation button

Offset compensation button

– Go to the upper end and select some point of the black space between both pictures (see next)

Marking the compensation point

Marking the compensation point

-Immediately after, SilverFast will correct the film position as to compensate for the amount of pixels selected.

Offset corrected picture

Offset corrected picture

Note that I corrected the scanning frame (in red) as to match the new position of the picture.

– You can now regenerate the overview again

Corrected overview of the filmstripe

Corrected overview of the filmstripe

See how all pictures are perfectly located.

This is especially usefull when scanning in batch mode, you can select all picture in the overview window for a batch scan using the combination “cmd + a” (Mac) or “ctrl + a” (Win) or simply by selecting the first picture, then press and  hold the shift key, and click on the last picture with the mouse. Or even pressing and holding the ctrl key while clicking with the mouse on those picutres you are interested on batch process.

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