Manual or Electronic Shutter?

I’ve been shooting with my X-Pro 2’s manual shutter but have noticed some blurriness in the grain / dust on the negs. Especially at slower shutter speed like 1/15.

Wondering if there’s any reason I shouldn’t use the electronic shutter instead. I’m mostly worried about banding on the images.

Very interesting question… so far, I’ve always used the mechanical shutter on my XT2 when using it to “scan” film negatives.

In theory, the electronic shutter mode would produce less vibration during capture. I’ve never tested this, but I can imagine it might actually make some difference when dealing when using a macro lens to scan film. The downside though, as you’ve said, is that it could also potentially introduce banding in the image based on the light source. So, it might be somewhat dependent on your light source.

It’s definitely worth testing though!

On the subject of blurriness though, I’ll make a couple of points:

  1. Make sure your film is perfectly flat. Any kind of curl in the film can obviously cause issues when dealing with a macro lens. Wet-mounting is the flattest. Using ANR glass is good, but the glass itself can degrade sharpness a bit. The Negative Supply film carriers are the flattest way I’ve found other than wet-mounting and ANR.
  2. Use a mirror to make sure your camera is perfectly in plane - If you’re using any kind of tripod or copy-stand, place a mirror at the base, and then align the camera so that the reflection of the lens is perfectly in the middle of the frame.
  3. On your camera, use focus-peeking and focus check, and adjust the focus manually. I don’t trust the auto-focus when scanning… the focus-peeking and focus check will really make it clear when you are perfectly in focus.

Hope that helps!
Creator of Negative Lab Pro


I’ve been using the electronic first curtain on my Sony A7ii. But I did not do a formal comparison. The exposures are pretty long, say 1/4 second and I figured that it would reduce the possibility of shutter shock. I didn’t consider banding. I have not seen it, but on a normal image it might be hard to spot.


Thanks for the tips! I tried the ES with my last few scans and I didn’t notice any banding so I might keep doing that for now.

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I’m working on a project to scan several million frames and I’m thinking of using an electronic shutter to avoid having to repair it. If I recall they’re generally only rated for a few hundred thousand cycles.

I don’t know if this has any bearing, or if it is indeed true, but there is a suggestion that some cameras (including the X-T2 & X-T3) save as 12-bit RAWs when using the electronic shutter and so reduce the dynamic range captured. For example this thread:

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