Nikon Coolscan 9000: odd gradient on scans

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by Tom Kershaw, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber
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    I've seen this crop up on some of my scans recently. Darkroom prints from the negatives are completely free of this gradient marking so logic suggests something is going wrong in the scanning stage. I'm using VueScan, but dug out an old computer and repeated scans with Nikon Scan 4 software which showed the same problem but to a lesser extent. Using the glass negative carrier and suspect something may be not operating correctly with how the holder is keeping the film flat. Has anyone else seen this?

    20181026_scan1.jpg


    Tom
     
  2. manualcrank

    manualcrank Member

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    I think this is caused by internal flare. I see it on overdeveloped/high-contrast negatives and sometimes when I don't use masking strips. Scan a properly exposed and developed negative of a flatly-lit scene to confirm.
     
  3. manualcrank

    manualcrank Member

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    When it started happening to me I checked my thermometer. Turns out it I was developing everything at 26 C instead of 20. Problem went away after I replaced it.
     
  4. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    Scanners pick up very slight differences in densities that do not show up in wet printing. Sometimes those differences are from insufficient fixing, insufficient washing, or haze in the atmosphere.
    Try putting the negative in the holder 180° and scan it again. Stripe on the same side of the viewed image its the scanner, stripe on the opposite side of the viewed image its the negative.
     
  5. gorbas

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    +1
    Most likely light leak around edges of glass carrier mask. On your scan I can almost see that square cut out on the left side of the mask?
     
  6. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Member

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    And another +1.
     
  7. Patrick Robert James

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    You probably need to check to see if the mirror is dusty. That will cause flare around anything dark like the edge of the neg. Nikon scanners are infamous for it.

    I try to remember to clean my Nikon once a year at least but I often forget until I notice issues like the one you have.
     
  8. OP
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    Tom Kershaw

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    Good point, the negatives were fairly dense / high contrast scenes.

    - this may be the case, I should read up on the mirror.
     
  9. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Are you using the masks/strips to cover up the blank spots between frames?
     
  10. jtk

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    A reminder to keep the scanner dust-covered when not in use. But in this case it does look like what happens with a waaay-too-dense negative. I doubt that problem would happen with a properly processed neg of a subject on a brightly lit white background or a bird in bright sky
     
  11. OP
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    Tom Kershaw

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    Yes.

    Definitely a reminder. I've just scanned a negative with a more typical density (not over-exposed), photographed in bright sunlight and no sign of the problem. Think I'll hold off dismantling the scanner for the time being and monitor if and when this artefact occurs.
     
  12. jtk

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    I think it's risky practice ever to open the scanner to attempt cleanings unless evidence demands that. If necessary it indicates the scanner lives in a dirty / dusty environment... This isn't a "notorious" Nikon reality, it applies to cameras and darkrooms for the same reasons. Occasional wet mopping of work environment is a good idea, frequent sweeping/dusting is a bad idea, dogs cats have to hang out elsewhere.
     
  13. OP
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    Tom Kershaw

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    Thankfully the scanner is not in a heavily trafficked area. Good point on the wet mopping though.
     
  14. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    These are pretty easy to open and clean the mirror or lens, just an FYI. You can add flocking to the bottom panel as well, at the same time, which should cut down on light bouncing around inside.
     
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