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Newton's rings
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How do I avoid Newton's rings?

When scanning, the old darkroom enemies, Newton's rings, are waiting for a chance to show their face. Especially when using a Scanhancer there is a bigger chance that you will see them, because the tiny little coloured rings can no longer be hidden in the rough grain structure that is now past. So they should be banned from the beginning:

1. Make sure the film is very dry and at room temperature and the holder glass is very clean and dry too.

2. Use a second mask on top of your film in order to take away some tension that easily builds up in the film when squeezed between the glass surfaces.

3. Do not breathe onto your film. Use compressed (and dried!) air if you must blow off dust.

4. In difficult cases it may be very helpful to mount the film with the emulsion side up. This will not affect sharpness or functionality of the Scanhancer 5LE.

5. A very rigorous (but also very effective) way to avoid Newton's rings is by blowing the desired film frame with a hair dryer before inserting it into the film holder. Don't do this at a too high temperature, because dust particles will be melted into the emulsion then. After blowing for a minute discharge static that has been built up by the hot airstream. (Preferably perform the blowing of the film in another room, because you wouldn't want staticly charged dust particles to float around in your digital darkroom!) Watch out with applying this method to slide film since it has a strong tendency to curl under heat.

6. As an alternative to the hair blower method you can use the moderately warm heating convectors in your office. First put a piece of filtration paper on it and then lay the film on top of that. Colour negative and B&W films can stand quite some heat without curling. Initially they might curl a bit, but after a while they flatten as they dry. Slide films only flatten when cooled. The advantage of this method is that it causes less static and is easier than holding the flapping film in a hot airstream. Also, less dust hits the film.

Autumn Blues7. Sometimes the time of year (damp) just doesn't allow you to scan Newton's rings free. When that is the case try to do your scanning later if it can wait. Make some nice pictures instead.

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