In this scanning process, one of the difficulties is working out which way up the neg should go in the scanner. Usually, it’s emulsion side down, but a lot of the time, which is the emulsion side?
I simply do the scan and work it out afterwards. In theory, getting the correct side of the film to the glass affects the focus point and hence the sharpness, but with these old negs, there’s so much bend in the film that lack of flatness overrides which side is correct. And they ain’t that sharp anyway. More on that in a minute.
Here’s an example. When I scanned this neg, I got this result:
When I er, flippered it, I got this:
Abbot’s Lager! Now I know which way is up. Or side, as the case (yok yok) may be.
Here’s another one:
|Which way? And is that guy scratching his BTM?|
When you look closer, you see this:
|Copy watch, Mister?|
First, aren’t those Wrigley’s Chewing Gum sticks in the back right side? With the arrow symbol. And those are cigarette packets front left. I can’t make out the labels, but those are chocolate bars at top left with the ribbons and bows.
Unfortunately, the point of focus is on the trousers. See how the stripes on his trouser legs are sharp, but the tray is soft? That’s the case in so many of these shots, I’m afraid. No autofocus in those days.
By contrast, here’s a recent digital camera shot:
Forget the content, just look at the sharpness, the perfect exposure, the perfect colour balance, the perfect focus and the depth of field. All with no effort on my part. We’re so fortunate now. Get out there and record history!