Falling in Love With the Digitaliza With an Epson Scanner – by Lalouve

Most scan masks force you to cut the negative strips to scan them. The DigitaLIZA is completely different!
It allows you to leave the film in one piece while scanning because you can simply pull it through the mask. You can also scan the sprocket-holes, which is not possible with other scan masks.
I absolutely wanted to have such a scan-mask, because I always had difficulties to commit to cutting my films full of overlapping double exposures at any place.
So I ordered a DigitaLIZA 35mm scan mask and got it delivered promptly.

© Lalouve

Start-up difficulties

My exuberant first scan attempts were then unfortunately frustrating, which was not due to the mask but to my lack of knowledge. Whatever I did, the results were dark and interspersed with shrill, colourful stripes.

© Lalouve

I positioned the mask in my Epson scanner in various places, but only the colour of the stripes changed. I didn't understand what was going on, otherwise, the scanner worked reliably.
Since I don't understand much about technology and software, I rummaged through the Lomo pages in the hope to find an explanation here.
And indeed: You can simply rely on this community! :)

© Lalouve

Tips and Tricks from the LomoCommunity

Thanks to two tipsters, I was able to understand what I was failing at and learn how to make it work reliably:

In one tipster I found the important information that Epson scanners generally want a small part kept clear at the upper (back) end of the scanning area because otherwise, the software will go haywire: Read the whole article here

That explained the origin of the shrill color stripes.
I did not build a holder for the correct positioning, but I inserted the DigitaLIZA a little below the upper edge of the scanning surface and also took care that the inserted film did not touch the edge. The following scan preview made me very happy: no more coloured stripes!

© Lalouve

But the images remained dark when I selected the area to be scanned. If I only marked the area inside the sprockets, the colors were great.

© Lalouve

But as soon as I involved the sprocket-holes, everything was dark again.

© Lalouve

I understood that this must have had something to do with the light coming through the sprocket-holes, but I absolutely did not know how I could persuade my scanners software to ignore this light. There had to be a way, because with other Lomographers it worked as well!

© Lalouve

So I searched the Lomo pages again and finally found exactly what I needed.

© Lalouve

Here is a perfect user manual for Epson scanners regarding Sprocket-Hole-Scanning: Click here for detailed instructions

I haven't yet made a mount for the best positioning, which means that I can rarely use the full scan range of the DigitaLIZA and often have to readjust my scans because I haven't inserted the mask perfectly straight. It would certainly be more time-saving and comfortable to build a cardboard holder. I think I will tackle that soon.

© Lalouve

Never done learning

Regardless of whether I have a holder for the mask or not, I still have one question:

If I don't want to cut my film during the whole scanning process, how can I prevent the (already scanned) part of the film that sticks out of the top of the scanning mask from covering the upper edge of the scanner bed that has to be kept free so that the software does not go crazy?
To bend the film to the side and hold it in position when closing the scanner takes a lot of time & practice and requires that the DigitaLIZA is rather at the bottom of the scanning surface, thus limiting the scanning area.

© Lalouve

I'm sure there are clever alternatives that I haven't thought of yet. So keep them coming :)

© Lalouve

Edit: My current solution is that you can simply insert the uncut (and therefore rolled) film into the DigitaLIZA mask in such a way that the already scanned part comes out of the scanner bed at the front and not at the back. Then you don't need any more adhesive tape to prevent the film from covering the upper edge of the scanner. Because the film is rolled up, to hold it in place I only needed a pen. I still don't get the full scan area with it, but I have great hope that it will get better when I construct a mount!

© Lalouve

Many thanks to Lalouve for finding these tips and tricks for us! Check out her LomoHome or Instagram and leave a little love!

written by lalouve on 2020-07-14

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