Sprocket Hole Scanning with EPSON Scanners


If you have a scanner with a backlight then you should be able to use the DigitaLiza scanning mask to scan sprockets – examples are the V330 and V500 models. To get a correct exposure though you’ll need to tweak the EPSON Scan software. Read on to find out how.

I recently bought an Epson V330 scanner with the intention of scanning my own negatives. My local supermarket lab will do scans for £1 extra per film so it’s not so much a money saving initiative but more so I can control the scans (some come back marked and dirty) and also enabling me to scan sprockets.

Not having the ability to scan sprockets is the single reason why I hadn’t before bought a sprocket hole camera of any kind. With the scanner purchased though I picked up a Spinner 360 and DigitaLIZA 35mm Scanning Mask scanning mask knowing scans would no longer be an issue.

What I hadn’t counted on were some of the issues involved in scanning sprockets as the black area knocks out the exposure. If you select and area without sprockets it’s fine but as soon as the sprockets are selected it goes all kinds of wrong.

I had seen some articles online suggesting using a different software package (didn’t want to do this), noting down histogram numbers and inputting them manually (too time consuming) or simply deselecting colour control in the options (didn’t seem to work for me).

Eventually though I realised that by changing a setting or two and following a set routine you can scan correctly and quickly too. These are the steps I now use to get correctly exposed scans every time.

1. Turn on the scanner and remove the tray in the lid to expose the backlight.
2. Cut the negatives to size. I hold mine up to the computer monitor against a blank white screen.
3. Wipe the negative with a micro fibre cloth to remove fingerprints.
4. Place a negative in the DigitaLiza mask as per the instructions.
5. Place the DigitaLiza in the scanner aligned as shown (some fine tuning might be required).
6. Start the EPSON Scan software and go into professional mode.
7. Select “Configuration…”

8. Select “ColorSync” and set source to EPSON Standard and Target to Monitor RGB.

9. Press “Preview” to scan the negative.
10. In the preview box change the view to “Normal” and select the Densitometer.

11. Drag a box around the negative avoiding the spocket holes.
12. Press the auto exposure button.

13. Now drag the selection to cover all of the negative including the sprocket holes and the exposure will not change.
14. Press “Scan”.

Hopefully you’ll find this as helpful as I did and remove some of the stress and frustration from scanning so we can get back to what we like to do best – taking photos!

The DigitaLIZA 35mm Scanning Mask holds your 35mm negatives in place so you can scan them, sprocket holes and all! Be your own boss when it comes to scanning 35mm negatives, giving you ultimate control over your images! Visit the Shop and get your very own DigitaLIZA 35mm Scanning Mask.

written by veato on 2011-08-22 #gear #tutorials #scanning #tipster #select-type-of-tipster #select-what-this-tipster-is-about #sprocket-scanning-epson-v330-digitaliza-veato


  1. veato
    veato ·

    Apologies, I forgot to upload the photo to show the alignment of the DigitaLIZA on the scanner. I'm going to send the pic to the magazine guys so they can include it. Whoops!

  2. disasterarea
    disasterarea ·

    Good tipster...I got confused so I wrote my own one too. Our approaches are slightly different - but with the same idea.

  3. jschussler
    jschussler ·

    I've had a V700 for years and I've never been bothered to learn how to adjust the settings to get the best scan, it'd take too long to read and then understand the manual! I've just been letting it do whatever it wants, hoping that the results are true to the negative but now I'll try this to see if I get better results. And I might actaully buy a DigitaLIZA now I see how much better it is than the frames that come with the scanner.

  4. placidcasua1
    placidcasua1 ·

    Thanks for this - it works a treat.

  5. megzeazez
    megzeazez ·

    Thank youuuu!

  6. lukaaus
    lukaaus ·

    Did the photo to show the alignment of the DigitaLIZA on the scanner get published? This tipster was awesome. Hoping for that photo so can start playing!

  7. veato
    veato ·

    Not yet. I did send it them :(

  8. life_on_mars
    life_on_mars ·

    thank you ! its really help me

  9. oxgn
    oxgn ·

    Thank you very much! Really helps a lot and yeah, I need more practice to position the digitaliza at the center :D

  10. lukaaus
    lukaaus ·

    I managed it ok without photo. Bit tricky to line up straight but part of the fun I think!

  11. midjol
    midjol ·

    Hi! Just want to thank you. Great explanation, help me to save a lot of time !

  12. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Thank you for posting this. I've been having the same issues and often crop my sprockets out of the photos. I can't wait to try this next time.

  13. ivaylo
    ivaylo ·

    Thank you!

  14. jolom
    jolom ·

    I am so glad that I bookmarked this when I came across it! Just developed my first roll of film, and wanted to scan the sprockets! Thanks!!

  15. leisuresuit
    leisuresuit ·

    Very helpful just ordered a spinner 360 and a digital it's!

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