Light spots on corners and edges of negatives?

Hello! I’m brand new here and still using the NLP trial run of 2.0.

I have my digital scanning set up with an iPad, my canon T3i and a 35mm macro lens (brand new). I’m using the lomography negative holder for 135. I’m noticing that the bottom left side of my negatives are lighter than the rest of my scan, and i realize this means that those are darker areas. What is going on? How do I fix this??

Thank you!!

Very cool, welcome to the community :raised_hands:

What you are seeing can usually be solved by masking out all the light from your light pad that isn’t directly illuminating the negative. You can use black plastic poster board like this and cut out an area just large enough for your negative.

(Btw, that includes masking underneath the sprocket holes too, so direct light from your light pad doesn’t come up through them and reflect off your lens).

In addition to masking out the light from the pad, make sure to:

  1. Shoot with the emulsive (matte) side of the film facing your camera (it’s less reflective)
  2. Use your lens hood (if you have one)
  3. Turn off all ambient lights in room
  4. Have your aperture on your lens set to around f8.0

Let me know if that helps!

Nate! Thanks so much for getting back to me SO fast! Okay that makes a lot of sense. Does it matter how close/far the negatives are from the light source? Since I’m using an iPad (even tried it with my phone and got the same results) I need to add distance between the light surface and the negatives to defuse the pixels from the iPad screen. Do you have any tips when someone needs to scan this way? I also did another scan putting the negative holder directly on the phone screen (so you see the screen shining through with the pixels and all that) but I noticed there was no “light leak” so I wasn’t sure if the initial problem was from the distance from negatives to light source. Here’s that example:

thanks again so much for getting back so fast! I cannot wait to buy NLP!

  • Christine

Since I’m using an iPad and can’t set the negative holder directly down on the screen, how do you suggest covering the unused portions of the iPad?

Thank you!

Masking the light… Cut a hole in a piece of poster board or even black construction paper. Most anything will do.


Hi Christine. I changed my iPad to a cheap lightbox. It’s not perfect, but it is much better than the pixelated screen. The box has small “edges” for fixing the letters. This is perfect to fix in place the carton borders. And you can use it with a loupe to check your negatives too.

I think you will run into issues with that letter box board… you can see the unevenness in the light even just in this picture, which will lead to discolorations in your negative inversions. Also, since CRI is not a consideration for letter box board, it will not be able to reproduce color accurately.

More information on what to look for in lightbox here: Suggested backlight sources for scanning film with DSLR