Monday, December 22, 2014

Scanning Test - Anti-Newton Ring (ANR) Glass

I've been talking with my friend, Charlie Arnhold, lately about film scanning. I think I've gotten lazy in my scanning with my Epson V750 flatbed. I've gotten my workflow down so routine that I stopped thinking about it. Almost always scanning 35mm at 2400 dpi, just enough for an 8x12 print without resizing things, using the Epson Scan software and the standard holder, because it's easy.
Well, in chatting with Charlie, I decided that I should try scanning at 6400 dpi, then resizing after the scan. Then I remembered that I have one of the anti-Newton ring (ANR) glass pieces from Better Scanning.
(Click Here) to see the ANR insert offered by Better Scanning.
I've tried it in the past, but was not convinced that it made a difference. But, I didn't test it at this resolution.
So, with a recent roll of TMax 400 that I'd shot in my Leica IIIG in NYC, I gave it a try. Here is an image scanned twice - Epson film holder on left, Epson film holder with ANR glass on the right, at 1:1 magnification:
I can see some difference here. The detail in the subject's hair is more clear on the right, in my opinion.
But take a look at this one:
I can see a significant increase in sharpness on the right. Look at the difference in detail in her shirt on her left arm. Pretty striking. I can also see what looks like film grain on the right, which I don't see on the left. That could be an artifact of the texture of the ANR glass, but I don't think so. Being able to see defined grain means that I've reached the necessary limit in scanning accuracy; now resolution is limited by the film instead of the scanner.
So, I'll be continuing to use the ANR glass. In fact, I should probably order more, so that I can scan four strips at a time, as I did with the normal Epson film holder.