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Fluid mount

Gary Meader , Nov 02, 2008; 01:31 a.m.

Given the stories about Kami fluid melting plastic on the V700 film holder, which scanning fluid would you choose? I looked at the MSDS for one and it's made of mineral spirits and naptha. Do you think it'd be an idea to concoct this oneself to drastically cut cost? I don't want any explosions or anything, but I hate paying $100/gal for an expendable. If I need to just bite the bullet, which brand is in favor now?


Diane Madura , Nov 02, 2008; 07:24 a.m.

Gary, I also hate to spend money on an expendable. However, don't you think a gallon of Kami fluid will last you a very long time, since you only use a few drops at a time?

Bruce Watson , Nov 02, 2008; 07:57 a.m.

In NA the main competitor to Kami is Prazio which is rebranding the SDS supplies. SDS is available in Europe and much of the rest of the world. The Prazio / SDS mounting fluid is similar to Kami (mostly solvent naptha) but with a considerably slower evaporation rate. This makes it much easier to work with. As to melting plastic parts on a v700 film holder, I have no idea. There is also available Lumina fluid from Scan Science. I have no experience with Lumina but it appears to be developing a following.

If you insist on making your own mounting fluid, which I do not recommend, keep in mind what the actual purpose of the fluid is. First, your fluid must include zero water as water will soften and swell the film emulsion and may literally glue the emulsion to the mounting surface. Second, the fluid must be "thin" enough to allow it to fill all the imperfections of the glass and the film to eliminate Newton's Rings. Third, the fluid must be optically clear, and optically colorless. Forth, the fluid must leave zero traces of itself in the film -- you must have 100% evaporation from the film leaving no solids behind. Fifth, the fluid must not chemically react with the film in any way, for example it must have the correct pH so that it doesn't react with any of the dyes that make up the image in a color film.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point. It's not easy making a scanning fluid that can do the job and is also safe for the film. The chemists at SDS, Kami, and Scan Science have done that research and development and made it available to us. I'm perfectly happy with the Prazio mounting fluid, drum cleaner, and film cleaner products. Been using them for years with excellent results. But clearly, YMMV.

Heller Harris , Nov 02, 2008; 09:20 a.m.

Hi - Anyone know if you can safely wet mount in a Minolta Scan Multi II? thanks, HH

Aaron Falkenberg , Nov 02, 2008; 01:32 p.m.

I can't speak to Kami, but Lumina seems to work great. It evaporates very slowly. I don't use a plastic holder, but rather mount to a glass sheet on the top side, and put it on the scan science holder. After several years of use, my film is still the same as it's always been.

Heller, you should ask Julio Fernandez over at ScanScience. He's really knowledgeable, and they have kits for practically every scanner imagineable.

Gary Meader , Nov 03, 2008; 01:16 a.m.

I wasn't too serious about making it myself. I'm not as dumb as I look. And I take your point(s) about how precise the fluid must be. It looks like I'll go with Lumina. Thanks.

Jim Kirk , Mar 19, 2009; 08:55 p.m.

Making the plunge. I'm using the Microtek M1, scanning 4x5. I have not been happy with the stock mounting trays. There is way to much flex in the transparency when mounted. Even with minor modification there is a great deal of varience across the film. So... bought Lumina fluid and Dual scanner kit from Scan Science and will mount on the glass tray. For just under a $200 start it may well be worth it if the scans are improved. We'll see how it goes.
Jim Kirk

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