Grid of pale dots on a flatbed scan

Hi everyone. Yesterday I scanned a roll of Fuji Pro 400H 120 with my Epson V600 flatbed scanner, and converted it
with Negative Lab Pro. I tried different options, both TIFF and Jpeg files, both 3200 and 6400 dpi and I continued noticing a strange pattern of dots in the highlights of the scans. It’s obviously something digital, the negatives don’t have the issue. What could it be?

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Where in the process are the spots first showing up? Right after you complete the scan on the scanner or not until after you have used the negative lab pro software? You are not using ICE when doing the initial scan, correct? Do the spots move around to different places in the image when you do additional scans?

They are present since the initial scan, without ICE, which I’ve noticed does more harm than good to the images. I’m starting to think that it may be an uneven development from the lab, since the spots are always there :confused:

Several things appear to be happening. I’m not sure which you are referring to. One of them is a pattern of large white-ish fuzzy blotches across the sky. These cover many pixels each and lack definition, which suggests a problem with the negative carrier, if it has glass, or the glass flatbed of the scanner. Another problem, only visible when the image is vastly enlarged and contrast increased to see the individual pixels, within pixels there are dark areas (see screen grab (“defect analysis”) that have no pattern between pixels and do not usually spread between pixels. Each pixel is supposed to have only one luminance value. This correct behavior shows in the other screen grab (“pixel analysis A7R4”) of a vastly enlarged sky portion of a negative I captured with a Sony A7R4, where you see that each pixel has a unique luminance and none of them are very dark. (Luminance varies from pixel to pixel because the negative itself is composed of chemical strata having non-uniform luminance. So I am inclined to think your scanner may be problematic; however, not being sure of that, you should rescan the same film using a different and higher quality scanner to see whether it makes a difference. In particular if you can lay your hands on a good quality dedicated film scanner rather than a flatbed, the comparison may be insightful.

I was talking about the pattern of fuzzy blotches in the sky. For the other pixel problem, I’m not sure to have gotten it right, but it doesn’t seem too important to me (I mean, since I’m just scanning them to be able to look at them in a screen, I’m not much interested in extreme enlargements, since the normal picture doesn’t seem to be ruined by this problem). For the blotches, I will try to scan it in a store with a professional scanner, but, despite what I thought in the beginning, I think that it may be a development problem, since I tried to scan other rolls of film with the same scanner (either 35mm, or black and white medium format developed at home) and there are no dots in the sky, even with a contrast increase. I only had this problem with two rolls of 120 fuji pro 400h I developed at the same lab (which is not that professional, imho). I’ll try to bring my rolls to another lab to see if the problem persists, and I’ll also try to shoot different color films, it is possible that I bought a defective batch.