Digitaliza lightreflections with Kaiser Slimlite Plano

Hi,

I have bought the exact suggestions I have found on negagivelabpro.com for DSLR-scanning: I use a copy stand, a Kaiser Slimlite Plano light table and Lomographys Digitaliza 35mm and 120mm (–> setup as described on negativelabpro --> “guide” --> section “Tipps for Better Negative Scans --> Scanning with a Digital Camera --> linked youtube video " SLR Film Scanning Guide + RAW Lightroom Editing”). As a camera, I use a Sony a7II and a Nikkor Macro 55mm 2.8 lens with a PK13 extension tube for 1:1 macros.

I have problems with Digitaliza 35mm in this setup: light from the light table shines through the sprockets of the negatives and reflects on the negative holder and then shines on the negative and leaves a brown “cross” on the colour negatives… (at least it is what I suspect is happening. I do not have this issue with the 120mm negatives).

I thought that I finally had the ideal solution and now this… can somebody show me how to avoid these light reflections…?

Help would be much appreciated!!

Best regards, Stephane
Examples of converted pics with these reflections

Hi @Steph,

Yes, it’s possible that the light shining through the sprocket holes is causing this issue, but it’s also possible (or likely) that there is something else in your setup that is making it worse. I’ve seen lots of people shoot sprocket holes but never get this cross flare as you see.

A few things I would try (in order) to see if you can eliminate the problem.

  1. Take a close look the film itself… do you see these cross patterns faintly on the film itself? I’m guessing not, but worth checking before moving forward…
  2. Remove any filters you may have on your macro lens (for example, if you have a uv or polarizing filter, take it off)
  3. Make sure your lenses / extension tubes are clean and smudge free
  4. Make sure your lens hood is on
  5. Make sure the “matte” side of the film is facing your camera lens (this should pick up less reflectance than the shiny side will). So, the film name you see on the border of the film should be reversed as it is facing you.
  6. Make sure there is no other ambient light on in the room

Try those steps above and see if that improves at all.

If not, you can try using some kind of black paper or other material to block the light from the sprocket holes, or another film holder which blocks the sprocket holes entirely and see if that improves things.

Hope that helps!

-Nate

is it necessary to have distance between the light pad and the film?
thanks

Answering that question really depends on the light source, and how diffused it is. The the light from the Slimlite Plano is already very diffused, so in my experience, the distance created by the film holder is usually enough (I’ve also taped negatives directly to the Slimlite Plano before, and that worked in a pinch, but could cause newton rings.)

I’d say yes. I’ve been getting a form of pixelation on my (DSLR) scans using a Samsung tablet or my smartphone as a backlight. I’m guessing the negative needs to be elevated a few millimeters off the light pad by a holder or mask. That or I need to buy a Slimlite Plano.

Hi Nate,
Thank you very much for your answer - I have read it in July, but did not really have time to answer. I have tried / checked steps 1 - 6… no improvement. I use a Sony a7II, an old Nikon Nikkor AIs Micro 55mm f. 2.8, a Nikon extension tube to obtain 1:1 (I believe it’s the PK13), Slimlite Plano on a repro-stand… I have not tried to shoot in the dark only with the light table, but I dobut this comes from the other soft light source I have in the room where I take the pictures.
In the meantime, I have cut out black paper that blocks the light, but this work around does not come in handy, since I bought the Digitaliza to optimize the time I need to scan.
It is a mystery and I cannot imagine that other user do not have that issue – but on the other hand I do absolutely not doubt your observations and your experience… I will continue to search for the fix and will keep the forum informed if I find a solution….
Thanks, Steph

Hmm… OK, some setups are definitely more prone to light reflections and flares than others.

  1. Mirrorless cameras are more prone to sensor flares than traditional DSLR (because the sensor is closer to the lens element and thus more likely to reflect flares back onto lens elements). The first Sony A7s were notorious for sensor flare (https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3870502), and while this has improved, it is still there in extreme cases.
  2. Old lenses are more likely to have flare (newer lenses have better AR coating).
  3. Extension tubes increase your chance of flares
  4. Lens mounts for non-native lenses may also increases your chance of flares

So… your current setup is extremely prone to flare.

The more prone your setup is to lens flare, the more careful you have to be block out ALL direct light coming from your light source (including light coming through sprocket holes).

In my setup, I use a very modern macro lens with no extension tubes or adapters. This is likely why I was able to get away without masking the light source in my video (and not have a flare issue). Although I have found even in my setup to get better results masking out the light pad, and I recommend to everyone.

So… I’d be interested to know how much things improve by masking out all the light in your light pad (including sprocket holes) that isn’t directly illuminating negative.

I’d also be interested to see how much your setup would improve with a modern macro lens made specifically for your Sony.

-Nate