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