Fluid Scanning Technology
"I have converted entirely to the ScanScience way and
abandoned my makeshift oil methods.
I never make dry film scans anymore, it throws away too
much quality....Everyone out there who is serious about
getting the best possible scans needs to be doing wet
scanning and ScanScience makes it affordable on almost
any scanner. "  


  • See also PHOTO TECHNIQUES Nov/Dec 2007
    Key to the ScanScience Fluid
    Scanning Magic:   In Optical
    Microscopy, thanks to Fluid
    Immersion, resolution and
    magnification are both increased to
    the limit.  Fluid Immersion does the
    same in scanning for the same
    reason and has always been the
    procedure used with drum
    scanners costing up to $100K.

    Fluid Scanning benefits to
    photography go beyond resolution:
    The extended dynamic range,
    increased contrast and color
    saturation makes images come
    The thousands spent on your
    finest lenses are only as good as
    the scan. The finest quality scans
    are fluid scans.
    ScanScience brings these same
    cutting edge techniques to all
  • This highly acclaimed eBook Total Scanning is a
    comprehensive treatise on scanning aimed at the
    intermediate to advanced user, the photography artist
    and teacher. It covers the cutting-edge techniques of
    fluid scanning and provides guidelines on optimizing
    scans for printing.
  • The "Smart Scan" tables computes scan resolution
    needed at a viewing distance according to print size.
    You no longer have to scan at 300 ppi for all print sizes
    then scale the image down in Photoshop: Scan for the
    print and get full fluid-scan-quality un-degraded by
    image resizing.   How large a quality print can I make
    from my scan? What file size do I need for a scan?
    Should I scan in 16 or 8 bit?  Total Scanning provides
    the answers.
  • This new electronic book has great advantage over
    print books as it is alive with numerous internal and
    external hot-links to help you navigate, explore and
    research many topics further. It is a valuable teaching
    aid and reference, and it is richly illustrated
  • This book is included  with Pro Kits for Film Scanners
    and can be purchased for $15.00 with any kit, or
    purchased without kits for $25.00.
You are viewing the dry scanned image.
    Run the mouse over the image to see the true
    saturated colors on film wet-scanned with
Copyright ScanScience / JAF 2012
USER'S REVIEW of ScanScience
Raw Scans, untagged with any color space can go directly to Photoshop to be tagged with a non-clipping, non
distorting color space like the relatively new Adobe Wide Gamut RGB. With digital cameras choosing RAW should
allow you to select a color space, but not always: you may find that a clipping color space like Adobe RGB or worse,  
sRGB were tagged to the image file, shortchanging the palette of modern printers like Canon's IPG 5000, and 6300,
and Epson 4800.
could print the reds, greens and blues that are printable today. These vintage color spaces suited vintage printers,
not todays modern printers and inks: After all your printer is limited to the colors in the selected color space. Color is
a very critical issue for gallery prints and Art Photographers: You have opted for below is a must read.

COLOR:  FILM VS THE DIGITAL CAMERA  - Excerpts from the forthcoming eBook Total Scanning 2
All graphs Images & Graphs in this page produced by
ScanScience with  Chromix Software. Copyright
What you should know before printing:

Only colors within by the chosen color space are available
to the printer. Today's modern printers and inks reach
further afield into reds, greens blues which were unprintable
years thus require color spaces that will make those colors
available. Because vintage color spaces like sRGB and later
Adobe RGB, (which many photographers still use) were
developed for vintage printers and monitors, those color
spaces of yesterday are inadequate today.  If you value
color, it is time for a change in color space or printer or both.

The representation of color is a 3 dimensional affair which
plots the chromaticity coordinates in the horizontal axis' and
luminance in the vertical axis. (2D graphs are a
simplification). This is shown in 3D Figures 1 and 1a, 2 and
2b, (on the right), where the base is the gamut of visible
colors, the CIE, shown here for comparison. The wire frame
in the 3D graphs represents color working spaces, i.e.
Adobe RGB and Adobe Wide Gamut RGB (AWG). The solid
color figure within the wire frame is the 3D profile of Canon's
Image Prograph 5000 set out against the color space in the
wire frame, and the CIE gamut in 2D as the base. Evidently
both color spaces are smaller in places than the printer
profiles. The wire frames are smaller than the printer profiles
which bulge -out. Where that happens, those colors outside
the color space will be unprintable, and not fed to the printer,
even though the printer is capable of printing them. The
printers call for a larger color space.

Therefor when you set SRGB as the color space which you
do by saving to a JPEG, you sacrifice millions of colours.
Fig 1
Fig 1a
Fig 2
Fig 3b
Fig 4
Film, like the eye sees logarithmically.  When the film's
sensitivity is exceeded by the light, the overload is local
and does not affect the surrounding areas.  But when a
digital sensor  is overcome
the output spills over
pixels.  Film-generated images have as result
a naturalness that is driving photographic artists back to
film.  Large-format film can produce ultra-fine detail,
beyond a digital camera's capacity
and almost all what the
eye can see, well beyond
 adobe RGB.   Know of a 220
MP digital back for 4 x 5? That is how many p
ixels would
be required to match digitally the content of 4 x 5 film.
Color also may be another reason for using film. With
film scans you are free to choose the color space which is
probably the most important decision you will make.
Most high-end printers of recent issue can math
the adobe RGB color space.
This is shown In 2D in
figure 3a.  This figure shows a large area which
represents the ICC range of colors visible to the
; The Adobe RGB color space is represented
by a
triangle, and the gamut of colors printable by
two printers, Epson 4880 and Canon IPG 5000.
This figure shows that one printer the Canon IPG
exceeds the colors registered in Adobe RGB. T
Epson does nearly as well.  Yet the Adobe RGB
color space is smaller tha
n the colors eye can see.
Figure 3b,
shows a better color space which
approximates what the eye can see: Adobe Wide
Gammunt RGB, (AWG).
 At the present time, no
printer is yet capable of matching this color space.
Advances in inks and printers have will continue
expanding the range of printable colors. Reaching
further to print all visible colors is no doubt the holy
grail of printer manufacturers.
Larger color spaces than Adobe RGB and sRGB, were already available before the introduction of Adobe
Wide Gamut
color space but they had big problems:  These color spaces bulged with false colors that
caused severe color shifts and distortions.  

Kodak, introduced the first big-color space when, tired of the inadequate tiny the color spaces available at the
time,  introduced ProPhoto RGB, which was much larger than then available color spaces.  From the extreme
of a color space, that was too small to render an image with fidelity it went to the extreme of rendering an
image with lack of fidelity because that color space bulged with false colors in the blue areas. The false colors  
existed only in numbers but are not visible to the eye.   This is shown in Fig 4. Imaginary colors in a color
space have the effect that the image's pixels are spread into the bulge of false and imaginary colors  
destroying the natural color balance. The result is major compensations and color correction in editing.
Adobe Wide Gamut RGB solved this problem, it adds no false colors and it only contains real, visible colors.
Adobe Wide Gamut is the preferred the color space for now and the future.
Printers still fall slightly short of filling Adobe Wide Gamut, and do not yet have profiles to match it, requiring
color adjustments, -though fewer, but not clipping any colors in film. Presently, Don RGB, another named
color space, comes closer to match available printers. As this is written, digital camera manufacturers such
as Canon  now use AWG instead of ProPhoto RGB in their latest version of their application, Digital  Photo
Professional (DPP).  With Wide Gamut RGB, Adobe has successfully created a modern color space tailored
to modern times.  

Film users are free to choose a color space for their scans but digital users can't always do that and many
find that their RAW files are tied to clipping spaces like adobe RGB. (sRGB, short for skinny RGB or other
unprintable words that begin in s), does not deserve mention in the realm of art printing.
Fig 2b
Fig 3a
NEW!   Focusing Target #9.17
Essential for all scanners, a must for flatbed scanners.
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We recently had an opportunity to scan an ideal image made with a 5 x 7 camera and B&W film, by well
Known photographer Craig Alan Huber from "In Platino Veritas Images" in Washington State.  This image
gave us the opportunity to show the differences between fluid scanning and dry scanning which are shown
here.   Thanks to Mr Huber for generously giving his permission use his image and post the results.

At ScanScience we scanned the negative on an Epson V750 using Silverfast 6i at 3600 ppi resolution, on a
16 bit gray scale, using
ScanScience tools and Lumina Scanning fluid. The result was an enormous 750 MB
plus file, which gave enabled us to crop various sections at high resolution and magnification.   This very high
resolution scan for such a large negative was chosen as it delivered the best looking image at high
magnification.  We also tried a scan at 6400 ppi, found no improvements, only bloated files that took longer to
scan, so we did not use it.

The optimum focus of V scanners is known to vary so we first determined the optimum elevation for our unit
by scanning the new ScanScience target. It turned out to be
2.6 mm,  so all scans including the dry scans
were run at 2.6 mm. (The negative was very flat so the un-sharpness of the dry scan was due solely to the
inadequacies of dry scanning, which throws away much of the quality.)

We show below two small crops of the image from the center and corner at 200 % magnification. Both
images are raw, with no manipulations whatsoever by the scanner software or Photoshop.
You can see many more wet/dry scan samples by clicking the ScanSamples tab in the main
Image 1, is a small section at center,
and you can see that hole in the mesh
of the source image.   
wet scan at left of image 1,  easily
blows away the dry scan on the right by
a large factor, -helped by the fact that at
center the lens is sharper. You would
not know the image was that sharp from
the dry scan. The detail in the mesh and
it contrast are phenomenal in the wet
Image 2 is a small crop from the left
corner of the source image.  The wet
scanned image is still sharper than the
dry, but the difference between them is
not as great because camera lenses are
less sharp at the corners. Notice also
that the blacks are blacker and contrast
is greater in the wet scan.
IMPORTANT: You can not use Epson
Scan to access the high resolution
optics in the V750 or V700. You must
use Silverfast or Vuescan.

Image from Source 5x7 Negative
Image 1
Dry Scan
Scancience Fluid-Scan
Image 2
This Just In From Australia:

    " I have been happily scanning and am very impressed with the Scan Science product. I posted
    about it on my blog here:"    Michael Hood's Blog

Extracts from Michael's Hood  Blog:

    " The cost of all the materials is pretty reasonable and very much worth the investment. Why pay
    for expensive camera lenses when a lot of detail is lost in the scanning stage? The Scan Science
    Lumina fluid is great and I appreciate the work that has gone in to making it perform well and
    (very importantly) be safe to use. I imagine it would not be very much fun to work with something
    that is more toxic and less tolerant. I urge anyone thinking about this using this method to not
    hold back and stop wasting time with lesser scans, fluid mounting is well worth it."
  • The images below show what can be produced using the ScanScience kit for the Epson V750, using the whole of  two minutes spent on preparing the
    fluid mount.                                             
  •                                                            These images are raw scans without sharpening or any other artefacts.
  • Notice the improvement in resolution, contrast and dynamic range The color images in the Samples page are equally stunning!
                                          SITE INDEX
  • This Page shows  a sample scan of Fluid-vs.  Dry-Scanning,  new announcements about
    our products and key info of interest to photogs.
  • The Scanner Kits page shows kits for your scanners. If you don´t find your scanner here
    send us a short email.
  • The LUMINA fluid page describes the technical advantages that make Lumina the best
    scanner fluid available: Not least the health reasons.
  • The Technical page gives you a broad  introduction to
  • The Samples page shows comparisons of Fluid Vs. Dry-scanned images from various
  • The Gallery page displays images by well known photographers scanned with our
  • Click on the About-US pageto find out who we are.
  • Click on the Contact-US to place your order or to discuss your projects and needs. We
    will send you a paypal invoice according to your directions. With PayPal you can use your
    credit card.
  • The BUYNOW Page has a link to the Price List and Catalog, and info on shipping to
    various locations.

Professional Photo Artists,   
Institutions and universities the
world over use our products to
produce high quality images for
galleries and archives.

We are into our tenth year of
Our business has
expanded thanks to word of
mouth from satisfied customers.
We are proud to introduce well known photographer
Charles Cramer magnificent landscapes published
in the May 2013 issue of Outdoor Photographer
Magazine and  grace our Gallery page:

"I have switched from  Kami mounting fluid to
Lumina. It works just as well, is safer, and the
odor doesn't cause headaches".
"I've done about 160 scans this summer of my
4x5s, and have found some nice images hiding in
my archives.  It's been great to use Lumina!"

Note: Mr. Cramer uses a Tango drum scanner.  
Visit our new Gallery page to see some of his
beautiful images.
<  Scans  >
The purpose of this section is two-fold: It acquaints you with the capacity of film as a recording medium compared to digital.
Perhaps more important to all photographers, it covers the most important points in choosing the color space when scanning
and when printing from Photoshop.