NPL Does B&W Too!

These two files were both scanned and processed exactly the same way–but there is one important difference:

The second was scanned using the Betterscanning holder, with ANR glass.

If you zoom in, you will note a definite increase in sharpness–but the interesting thing is the ever-so-slight difference in the actual character of the file–presumably due to the slight curvature of the film, and differing height above the scanner glass.

Holders matter, people.

Unfortunately, I may have to invest in another film scanner (? Braun–WHERE ARE YOU Opticfilm Pro??) as I think there is more in the negative here, and the Epson seems to be maxing-out.  The Epson is definitely good…but good enough, I’m no longer certain.


Well, here is the same negative placed right on the V600 glass, with the Betterscanning ANR Glass placed over it.  It may, in fact, be even sharper, but the difference is extremely hard to notice.  At the very least, it is certainly NO WORSE than the second scan, leading me to believe that either (1) Film flatness matters more than height; or (2) the Epson V600 is really maxed out in terms of detail resolution.

Below are crops of both images, with the Negative-on-glass on the RIGHT (Left is the Betterscanning holder)

Admittedly, these files are a tad flat (and shot at ISO 80 on finely-grained film…) so I may repeat the experiment later using something with a bit more structure.

11 thoughts on “NPL Does B&W Too!

  1. -N- says:

    NLP has a video on using a digital camera, macro lens, and Digitaliza film holders (35mm and 120) from Lomography. Just ordered the 120. Also, I have heard of people using their negatives straight on the glass of the V600 without the frames, without fluid, and scanning them that way. I plan to try that – no holders – fairly soon. There is a video on using the Digitaliza film holder – it supposedly makes the film very flat. Have you tried the X-Chrome LR presets from Nate Photography?

    • mewanchuk says:


      So funny that you should mention that–I was actually JUST thinking that if I was planning on using NPL, why not place the negative right on the glass, reinsert the foam, and use the flatbed mode?

      That being said, I am not sure if there is a resolution difference between the two–I will have to try it out tonight and add an image to this post.

      • -N- says:

        One difference might be in flatness. My last roll of 120 came back sort of squished by the processor when put in its envelope. I am thinking of giving it a try myself after seeing some nice results on the FB page for NLB (if you look, check out the yellow VW bus pics).

    • jkjod says:

      If only Mark had a 45ish MP “scanner” lying around…

      Naomi – I’ve been trying to convince Mark to “scan” with a digital camera for years. It may be a lost cause.

      There is an old dark room enlarger carrier called a “negatrans” that comes in both 35mm and 120. I have the 35mm version. It’s fantastic. You can load the film in one side, turn a knob, and it advances the frame. It has a rubber wheel that keeps the film very flat as well. I’d you are scanning with a camera I HIGHLY recommend them. They aren’t super easy to find but they come up on eBay a fair amount.

      • -N- says:

        Interesting stuff! I will definitely look into the negatrans as it sounds so easy. NLB is a peach of a program, too. Thanks for giving the info.

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