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Scanning Sprocket Holes using Epson Scanners

For anyone who’s bought a Spinner 360 or Sprocket Rocket, figuring out how to scan sprockets can take a lot of trial and error...which is why I wrote this guide.

As most Epson scanners are bundled with EpsonScan and Silverfast SE software and both mis-behave identically, I created this guide for both so that no-one else has to go through the same pain that I did. However this guide does assume you know how to use the basic functions of the scanner.

Using Silverfast SE
Assuming your scanner can find your filmstrip placed in your Lomography Digitaliza, (and if it can’t place it in the middle of the scanning area and not against the sides), the first time you do a preview it will probably look something like this where the image is washed out.

The problem here is the “Auto Exposure” button in the Negafix window combined with the exposed sprockets causes the scanning software to get confused resulting in the washed out image.

For now leave the “Auto” button checked and drag the frame area box in so that it only covers the middle area of the film. Doing this will instantly correct the colours of the film and suddenly you will have a nice balanced image. If you want to make any changes to saturation, contrast and mid-tones, now is the time to do it.

Next un-tick the “Auto” in the Negafix window.

Now drag the frame area box to the edge of film strip. You will now find your adjustments to the middle of the frame now cover the whole film area. Finally you are ready to scan.

Using EpsonScan
Scanning sprockets with Epson’s bundled scanning software uses an almost identical technique. When you first preview the filmstrip it does a better job than Silverfast, but this can still be improved.

As before drag the frame area in so that it only covers the middle of the filmstrip. This will instantly balance the lighting in the frame.

Now we need to turn off “continuous auto-exposure” which can be found by pressing the “configuration” button in the main window.

After turning it off, return to the preview and drag the frame area so it covers the whole film strip. As with Silverfast, you will find you have a nice balanced image ready to scan.

written by disasterarea

20 comments

  1. stouf

    stouf

    Ho ! Fantastic !

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. vicuna

    vicuna

    It's a bit the same principle with canoscan software, by selecting first the area without sprockets, and then check the button "apply the settings to the whole area" (or something like that, don't know it in english as I use the french version) and then you can select the picture with the sprockets :)

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. disasterarea

    disasterarea

    I forgot the mention that when using Silverfast, the Negafix window only appears if you are using it in "Professional Mode"...which isn't really much harder to understand than basic mode.

    Sorry 'bout that

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. jennson

    jennson

    Oh yeeeaahh!! thats what i ve been waiting for ..well done!!!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. awesomesther

    awesomesther

    Great tipster :) Simple, easy to understand :D
    Now, I just need some $$$ to buy that damn scanner I've been dreaming about :p

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. kvboyle

    kvboyle

    Thanks!!!! I was struggling with this just today!

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. szzs

    szzs

    Hi! Helpful tipster! I have some films with sprockets waiting for scanning, I will try this, but my pictures are not Spinner strips, probably I have to play more with selections.

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. disasterarea

    disasterarea

    @szzs yes you just have to do it individually for each frame on the strip.
    Although I havent tried it, it would be probably best to get exposure correct for each frame as you would for a non-sprocket film strip, then when you're done, turn off "continuous auto exposure" and move the rectangle to the cover the sprockets as the last thing you do before scanning

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  9. davidlee0404

    need a scanner for 35mm/120mm film scanning. Any recommendation of which scanner model can do the job?
    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  10. disasterarea

    disasterarea

    Depending on your budget an epson v500, v600 or V700 are all great scanners. The cannon 8800f is also a great choice.
    My personal choice is the epson V700, which I used for all my scans on lomography.com

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. alicemay

    alicemay

    It took me soooooo long to figure this out!! i got there eventually!
    too bad you didnt do this tipster about 6 months ago! :D

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  12. itsdebraanne

    itsdebraanne

    scanning my Sprocket Rocket film from July 4th!! thanks for you help! (:

    about 3 years ago · report as spam
  13. lighttomysoul

    lighttomysoul

    beh my canon 8800f won't work with my digitaliza! and Silverfast is such a pain to me. I don't like it. How do the Epson v500 and digitaliza go together? maybe I'll just buy the V500 and same myself time and trouble

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  14. lighttomysoul

    lighttomysoul

    lol I don't even have the 8800. I have the 8400F...... think I might upgrade soon. I got this one damn well cheap so it has probably already earned in the price I gave (350SEK)

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  15. sparkysteph50

    sparkysteph50

    I have tried following these steps repeatedly with my Epson V600 (and same info from Flickr threads). After I turn off the auto correction and re-draw the frame area to include the sprocket holes, the sprocket holes both top and bottom are "blacked out". When scanned the printing on the edges shows, and there are "shadow" sprocket marks on the image, above the blacked out area. I'm trying to scan with both the digitaliza and just putting the negatives straight on the scanner. Ideas/suggestions?

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  16. sparkysteph50

    sparkysteph50

    I have tried following these steps repeatedly with my Epson V600 (and same info from Flickr threads). After I turn off the auto correction and re-draw the frame area to include the sprocket holes, the sprocket holes both top and bottom are "blacked out". When scanned the printing on the edges shows, and there are "shadow" sprocket marks on the image, above the blacked out area. I'm trying to scan with both the digitaliza and just putting the negatives straight on the scanner. Ideas/suggestions?

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  17. sparkysteph50

    sparkysteph50

    sorry, hit "submit" twice

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  18. disasterarea

    disasterarea

    @lightmysoul You'd be best talking to Captain Zoezo...she has an Epson V500 and (from what I've seen) she loves it

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  19. metal_guru

    metal_guru

    I'm using an Epson V500. I'm unable to select as a document type "Film with film area guide." I have two choices in the professional mode: film and reflective. I can't scan the strip. I'm using the DIGITALIZA and Epsonscan breaks the strip into individual frames so I have to assemble the strip in Photoshop. I'm scanning great sprocket holes but I'd really like to scan the strip as one image. HELP!
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  20. skjaeve

    You need to pull the Digitaliza a little away from the top edge. The scanner uses that bit to calibrate, and it will refuse to scan anything if the top couple of centimeters are obscured.
    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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