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using flatbed scanner to digitize brownie negatives

Bill Apple , Jun 05, 2001; 08:11 a.m.

Hello all. I was reading the threads and discovered there is a way to print brownie negatives using a photo scanner with a "transparency hood". This sounds very interesting and I would like to learn how to do it. Where do I get the transparency hood? I already have a flatbed scanner, but would say a photo scanner be better to use? Any advise would be greatly apprieciated. Thanks in advance, Bill.


Chris Eve , Jun 05, 2001; 08:45 a.m.

Re: using flatbed scanner to digitize brownie negatives

Bill, Firstly your existing flatbed scanner will need to be capable of supporting a transparency hood, I suspect many of the cheaper units won't have this option. I use an Epson 7000 "Photo" which comes with a transparency hood as standard, as it was indeed purchased primarily with this function in mind. Given the fairly limited resolution of most Brownie lenses, the 1200dpi of this model is more than adequate for this purpose. I've found the best results, especially if the negative is "less than optimum" (ie over or under exposed), is to scan the negative as a colour slide then treat appropriately in my digital imaging software. I'm getting to grips with Photoshop v5, it's VERY good (and expensive), but the LE version that is bundled with many scanners is probably more than adequate for 95% of my work. PaintShopPro is also very good, again probably adequate for most work, especially in it's more recent incarnations.


There are pages on the "web" which describe various methods for scanning negs without a hood. I've tried a few, probably OK for just the odd scan, but usually fiddly and difficult to repeat reliably. A proper transparency hood gives a very repeatable light source, most necessary if you don't want your scanning to be a chore.

Bill Apple , Jun 12, 2001; 02:17 p.m.

Thanks Chris. Would one of the current epson scanners come with a transparency hood? Is the hood available as a seperate item? Could I use it on a flatbed scanner? How does it work? The assistants at the camera store were not familiar with a transparency hood. Regards, Bill.

lknowles , Nov 05, 2001; 08:00 a.m.

I have an Epson Perfection 1600 with transparency adaptor. It works REALLY well and can accept negatives of various sizes up to 4x5. Cost with adaptor $300. Totally worth it. I use it to check out my negatives and decide which prints to make. Saves money in the long run. Keeping in mind though that what you see on a monitor is never as awe inspiring as a photographic print, it just looses something.

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