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 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
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
neighboring 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 pixels 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.
NEW!   Focusing Target
Essential for all scanners, a must for flatbed scanners.
Order yours now
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
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
Essential Knowledge
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."

To simplify the ordering process please locate
your scanner from the  
Buy Now
page and make your selection of items from the list.
If you need help deciding which items to order please contact us
indicating which scanner you have. If your scanner is not in the
list please contact us.
Using the ScanScience advanced techniques of fluid scanning our
business has catapulted to a privileged place in the advanced
scanning segment of photography.
Once you make your order we will send you a
PayPal  invoice for
the items you need.
You can pay the invoice using your
PayPal  account or certified
 For repeat orders or when you already know what you need
write us a short email at the email address below



  • Scanning on the Epson V750/700  
    You will be using the scanner holder with lid temporarily removed, The
    fluid assembly consisting if film, glass an overlay will be made
    separately and when ready will be placed on the holder with the glass
    on top.

  • Scanning on the Epson V850/800
    Prepare the fluid mount consisting of film covered by an overlay on the
    glass of the scanner holder; you do not need to remove the lid.

    You must use proper software for film scanning. We recommend
    Silverfast Ai Studio 8.

    The process is simple and inexpensive and is the only way to mine all
    the beauty in your film.
    We are proud to introduce well known photographer Charles Cramer magnificent
    landscapes. He reports:
    "I have switched from  Kami mounting fluid to Lumina. It works just as well, is safer, and the
    odor doesn't cause headaches. 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.
    Professional Photo Artists,  Institutions and universities the world over use our products to
    produce high quality images for galleries and archives.
    Our business has expanded thanks to word of mouth from satisfied customers.
<  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.  
Tools you Need With the Most Common Scanners
We support most scanners, if you have other scanner please enquire
    The scans shown below are unedited dry
    and wet scans.
    These scans show the difference in
    resolution of dry as compared to wet
    scanning. Wet scanning can do this
    because it is an optical technique.
    5x7 film was scanned in the Epson V750
    at the calibrated optimum focus of the
    scanner, in this case 2.6mm.  No
    manipulations of any kind were applied
    and what you see is the unedited scan.
    As you can see, the wet scans obtained
    through the ScanScience wet-scan
    technology are far superior in resolution,
    sharpness, contrast and dynamic range.
    Color Think Pro is unquestionably the premier color management software.

    CHROMiX ColorThink™ color management tool-set helps you understand
    color better than ever before.
    The ColorThink tool-set is an application composed of nine modules for
    visualizing, evaluating & solving color problems.
    We highly recommend CHROMIX Color think Pro: All the images in the
    forthcoming eBook from ScanScience

  •                                                           "Total Scanning  2"

    were made by ScanScience with Chromix Color think software.

    Click on the Chromix  image to take you to the Chromix Website.
    One of the of the most important decisions you are likely to make in scanning is the is the tagging your image with a working color space. Once you
    do that, the image is forever confined to the boundaries of that color space. The colors contained in the film that the working color space can't
    include, are permanently lost (clipped) to the scan and can't be recovered. Choosing, -after the fact, a wider color space in Photoshop is ineffective:  
    The loss is permanent and can not be undone.

    In scanning, the objective of color management is to record with maximum fidelity the colors embedded on film.  If you have scanned and captured all
    the colors in the film faithfully, the image's richness may not be fully evident in the monitor at hand, but since printers have wider gamuts than most
    monitors, the printer may print most colors in the scan even though you can not see them in the monitor. The richness of the colors in the scan are not
    lost, because the monitor does not display them or the current printer can't print them, they are embedded with the scan waiting to come to life and
    rescued by a better monitor or printer.

    Opting for fluid-scanning puts within reach the highest quality reproduction possible. To ensure it, the path from the scan to the print must be direct,
    as regards size and color settings, with the least amount of intervention by the photo-editor software. Best quality requires sizing the scan for the
    print and tagging the optimum working color space to the image from the start.  This means a color space that will not clip the colors on film nor one
    that will be too wide as to include artificial, mathematically created colors. If this is done, the colors resident on the film will stand better chance of
    being reproduced in print.  Although  Color Science can be complicated, the working principles are not difficult and distill into relatively basic

    Older color spaces and older printers were blind to a large portion of the visible spectrum including blues and greens. A weak color space like
    sRGB was then quite appropriate, because what it could not capture could not be printed anyway. The very wide color gamut reproducible in
    today's best printers requires a larger color space to match, fortunately new color spaces are available that more closely match the capabilities
    of the best printers. The only remaining shortcoming is in the media, (paper), which at its best,  falls short of reproducing the full brightness or
    intensity recorded in film, which is readily viewable in projection, a monitor, or a light-table.  

    A very large color space like Pro-Photo RGB is big enough to encompass all real colors, but at the price of including many unreal, imaginary
    colors. When sRGB was the only game in town, the distorted colors produced by pro-Photo RGB might have been worth the risk and a better
    choice than clipped colors. The imaginary colors in Pro-Photo RGB are merely mathematical constructs, devoid of practical significance, which
    can lead to severe distortions of the real colors. By today's standards Pro-Photo RGB has seen its best days.

    A large set of comparisons of many color spaces against the gamuts of several monitors and many printers is one of the many features in the
    forthcoming eBook, and these will help you attain the best color possible with fluid scanning. This eBook is

                                                                                                             Total Scanning +
    Like the highly regarded eBook "Total Scanning", which is available now from ScanScience, and is included on Total Scanning +, it will have the
    same built-in interactivity and linked-references to many interesting topics that take you right to the topic discussed at the source, the same feature
    that  made Total Scanning the ideal reference and teaching aid.
Nature is generous with color and the human eye the
marvelous gift that enables it.
To do both justice you need  to understand the color
capabilities of color spaces and printer profiles, which you
learn in ScanScience's forthcoming eBook
"Total Scanning 2"
The image above compares the color gamuts of 1- An old color space, sRGB,  -which many photographers still use, in 3D, 2- the color
profile of an inexpensive, amateur printer circa 2009, also in 3D and 3- The CIE LAB gamut of visible colors shown as the base in 2D.  As
can be seen, both the sRGB color space (shown in the wire-frame) and the printer's profile (shown in the solid format), come far short of
reproducing all visible colors, but the sRGB color space fails to fit the least. In it most greens fall widely short of the printable gamut of even
this very inexpensive amateur printer. The blues (which are not shown in this take, are equally clipped as would be seen if the image would
be turned around.
The best color printers of today in conjunction with the latest color spaces, come closer to reproducing a larger portion of the visible
spectrum. sRGB is the color space lamentably used in many point and shoot digital cameras, which are incapable of fine color reproduction.

Passing  the mouse over the image shows you the advantage of having the latest printer, -which  is wasted if you tag you scan with sRGB.
You will notice that many of the greens and blues not captured in sRGB would be printable with this printer.

One reason for Lumina scans is color so it is appropriate to say something
about color.  The color space you choose may or may not be able to
accommodate all the colors in the film. Avoid color spaces like sRGB, which
clip the film colors. Do not choose a color space like Pro-Photo RGB that
contains imaginary colors which distort the images color and can't be
printed anyway. The ideal color space will contain all the colors of the film
and be at least as large as the gamut of colors printable in the best
printers.   Whether or not you will see those colors in your monitors depend
on the monitor. DO NOT choose monitors which are color-poor and can only
see the sRGB color space.  One such monitor (Apple) boasts 5K resolution,
but can only see sRGB.   Only the colors within  the color space can be
printed, if the printer is capable. Today's modern printers and inks reach
further afield into reds, greens blues which were unprintable years ago.
Vintage color spaces like sRGB  were developed for vintage printers and
monitors, and are inadequate today.  You value color, reason why you use
LUMINA so it is time for a change in color space or printer or both. We
recommend Adobe Wide Gamut, and the best of todays printers  can print
some of the colors in this color space even though your Adobe RGB
capable monitor can't show them. This color space is almost as large as the
film gamut.

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 , (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.

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 eye; 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.
The Epson does nearly as well.  Yet the Adobe RGB color space is smaller
than 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.
Fig 1
Fig 1a
Fig 2
Fig 3b
Fig 4
Larger color spaces than Adobe RGB and sRGB, were already available before the introduction of Adobe Wide
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
Lumina scans can deliver the richest color so you
need to know about monitors, printers and color-
Bringing Your Images to Life
Preferred by Photo Artists and Archivists Everywhere
Copyright ScanScience Inc.2019