Film degradation, overexposed edges etc

I’m very very new to film scanning. I have 30 year old negatives that I’m scanning and probably have not seen better days.

Can anyone give any opinions on the posted photos about what the cause of the problems might be? I’m suspecting it’s mostly just the film quality itself and the camera used at the time maybe (probably a cheap as camera).

Mostly I see overexposed edges.

Will post more as I go.

Edit: Another example showing the extreme edge overexposure?

Most likely underexposed during scanning. What is your setup?

Here’s a better example of the light bleed in the edges (if it’s light bleed).
Obviously that photo itself is unusable as it’s taken in an extremely dark room.

I’m using a Sony A6000 with a 7artisan macro lens with this device

Maybe I need to crop the framing edges before I use NLP?

If it was light bleeding in, it would appear as dark when you invert the negative. I think your light source is uneven. Try removing the led bit from that gizmo and use a smartphone set to a white screen. Negative Supply makes a free app to do that.

Good idea! That’ll help rule it out. Thanks.

I’ll also try this light source at different brightness levels. Maybe it can’t retain evenness at high power.

Interestingly, I notice if I adjust the border buffer so that it crops off further when producing the positive, it makes the edges way worse. So using a 0% border buffer produces a better result in my case.

Since I’m using a film holder, the borders are black, sort of…

Edit: Hmmm come to think of it, maybe that’s just because it changes the exposure. The problem might still be identical if the exposure is balanced.

Ok so I did some research and found my lens may have a vignetting problem. So I tried increasing it to +50 in Lightroom and it seems to look much better? Doesn’t seem to be any detail loss, but will need to try it in more photos to be sure.

Am I possibly right? Doing the right thing here?

This is all due backlight vignette.

This is awesome! Thanks.

It seems to work pretty well on other photos I just tested. The edges are a lot better. It does mess up the white balance though (I assume?) so the colour is all off. Probably something I can fix. Might also be related to me taking the photo closer to the edges now too (so I could get a calibration frame that lightroom was happy with).

For some reason flat-field calibration is just refusing to apply to the example plane photo I posted. Not sure how I can check if it has already been calibrated or not either…

Frustratingly the ‘Flat-Field Correction’ setting is refusing to apply to that aircraft image…

However, for the example I posted (the very dark image), you can see here it’s MUCH better. Thank you.
It’s even now.

I just need to find a more ergonomic way to handle this, to avoid applying it for one photo at a time. A lot to learn.

I also need to figure out white balance more (cropping the photo using the Border Buffer feature still messes up the white balance).

I would focus on fixing the physical problem rather than using a software correction.

Is it possible to determine how accurate my light is based on a given photo? This is a photo taken purely of my light source. I can see the problem in the corners, just unsure if it’s the light source or the lens.

I’m definitely not buying a new lens. A new light source maybe…both these software solutions seem to work good enough for me I think, because all the film I’m converting is low quality, old, amateur stuff anyway (taken by my parents).

Just want to learn what the problems possibly are and mitigations/solutions I can use.

Sorry about my lack of knowledge on all this. Definitely a fun learning experience though.

Edit: wow the converted PNG file shows the light banding a lot more strongly. Looks like it might be the light source is bad? Strong light in the middle? Or is that what lens do? Since it is very very even banding?

Edit2: I guess I could try taking a much smaller photo, to avoid the bad edges. I at least have 24megapixels to work with on my A6000.

Edit3: It seems the light bleed is equivalent at several different aperture extremes on the lens. So maybe it is the light source…(I changed shutter speed to maintain a roughly equivalent exposure for each shot).
I’ve yet to try a different light source. Got to try figure out how to use my phone (OLED) or tablet (IPS) for it.

It is near impossible to get 100% even field. Light source, lens, and sensor itself will always generate uneven brightness and color casts.
You can apply correction to multiple images in single click. Your Flat Field image in Lightroom should be selected first or last.

You can also apply Flat Field Correction to non raw images in image editors as well. Here i described earlier how to remove vignette and color cast in PhotoLine Flat Field Correction in PhotoLine - PhotoLine Forum

It seems there needs to be a calibration frame preceding per photo? Based on the documentation anyway. But I will check out your video, thank you :slight_smile:

I took a much further out image, to see what the hell is going on.

Here you can see the overexposed corners are still a problem. (I’m using Border Buffer with NLP btw).
I’m not sure what could be causing that now…maybe the negative itself has degraded to the point where its edges are leaking more light than the rest of it? I don’t understand the chemistry fully.

I’d recommend getting that app working on your phone or tablet and then use that to take a close look at the negative itself. Converting a colour negative to a positive inevitably increases the contrast a lot and so accentuates any problems but even so with a bit of practice you should be able to judge if there is an issue with the negative, and at the same time get a good idea of what’s on the negative especially if you have a magnifier. That said I can’t think of any thing that would cause a negative to get darker towards the corners, as you’ve suggested any vignetting caused by the lens when the picture was taken will show itself as paler corners on the negative and so darker corners on the inverted final image.

It is surprising that the effect hasn’t diminished when you’ve pulled back a bit as in the last image so perhaps it is the light source after all.

Ok so that app isn’t available for android unfortunately, but I found some random white screen app that seems to do good enough.

Here are 2 images I took with it (very rough, manual focus, no tripod, by hand).

So considering these results, maybe that suggests the light source I was using is bad :frowning:
Although I’m still very surprised about the edges still having the same problem when I zoomed out on the original light source…
Maybe I need to try better quality film. I should have some here that’s similar age but been stored better (in plastic instead of paper).

Edit: in regards to your question about how the negative could get darker towards the corners…I could imagine it being caused by particulates? Like mould, residue or something. I think I can see something on it, and I tried cleaning with 99% isopropyl, but can’t seem to remove it. Need a magnifier as you guys say.

Edit 2: I’m dumb. I shouldn’t be surprised about the edges still having the same problem with the original light source when zoomed out, because the film itself hasn’t moved at all. It’s still the same distance from the light source. So I think you guys are right, the light source is shit…my fault for cheaping out I guess.

Well, the top one when you’re further back seems to indicate that the vignetting is in the original image from the time it was taken, but I’m not quite understanding why you’re showing the inverted processed image rather than the actual colour negative which I would have thought might be more useful in establishing what the problem might be. The actual colour negative presumably shows paler corners.

I’ve been focused on these 2/3 shots that were from the same camera that I didn’t think about the vignetting coming from the source camera itself hahaha…(if that’s what you mean).

Here are 3 shots I took with the original light source. The first 2 have different aperture or backlight brightness and the last is just zoomed out with standard f8 I think.

Thank you again for all your help.

Edit: here’s a negative from my Samsung S23 as the lightsource.

Thank you, well I was beginning to wonder if I was just adding to your confusion but I think the clincher is this photograph of the original negative photographed on the screen of your Samsung S23 and far enough away not to be affected by your 7Artisans vignetting if that’s what it has. The pale area in the negative radiates pretty evenly out from the centre so that for me shows that this is vignetting from the original camera and lens. Because it looks quite even you might be better off using the radial filter in Lightroom rather than Flatfield Correction, you’d have to experiment a bit obviously.

The screen of your Samsung is likely to be pretty even in terms of illumination, especially if you stay away from the absolute edges. If you photographed it on its own with your 7Artisans lens set to 1:1, but under-exposed to give a mid-grey, then you would be able to see the level of vignetting from your lens at different apertures. Ideally you could hold the camera in position on a tripod but in fact a bit of camera movement and poor focus wouldn’t stop you from seeing the vignetting (if it’s there!). Room lights need to be off or very low.

Ok to finalise this thread…I’m pretty sure the light bleeding issues was coming from the original film camera itself. Here’s some other photos (although better lighting which will help) to show my results.

This photo comes from the same camera as the other photos in this thread I’m pretty sure. Corners look MUCH better (could be the lighting to be fair…).

This photo definitely comes from a different camera, I know that much (different family).

Thank you for all the help everyone.