Significance of the Cup Test
  • Polystyrene foam like the canary in the mine: Like scanner drums, it is highly susceptible to attack by aromatic
    hydrocarbons in some scanning fluids. These are the same substances that damage legacy films by
    extraction of the plasticizer, which cause embrittlement and fire danger, which Lumina does not contain:
    Lumina is totally free of aromatic and cyclic hydrocarbons that can compromise drums an film. Additionally
    aromatic hydrocarbons are more toxic.
  • A scanning fluid that passes the cup test, is safer for film and scanner drums.
For this Test  you need
  1. Cups as used for hot drinks
  2. Two jars a bit wider than the bottom of
    the cup to support the cups during the
  3. Saran Wrap to cover the cup to prevent
    evaporation of the fluid during the test.  
  4. About 2 oz (60 ml) of  scanning fluid.
    Doing The Cup Test
  1. Sit the cups on the jar
  2. Pour the equal amounts of fluid in the cups
  3. Cover both cup and jar with clear plastic Wrap.  
  4. Allow to sit overnight or longer
  5. Inspect the cups and compare then with a new cup.
Start of the test
24 hours later, end of the test
LUMINA                    Other Fluid     
New Cup                             LUMINA                  Other scanning Fluid
LUMINA Information on use and safety
download the file
New!  See the Evolution of  Digital
Imaging and the Scanning  Fluid, Click
Here to view Power Point Show
    Lumina is packed in 1 Litre

LUMINA Approximate COVERAGE, I Litre Bottles
35 mm  6 frame
1 Litre
  • LUMINA is 100% safe for all scanners and film, even
    legacy film
  • Ultra Pure, double filtered, safe to use
  • Naturally odorless, needs no masking agents that leave
  • Free of harmful aromatic hydrocarbons like xylene,
    toluene or ring compounds and olefins that attack
    scanner drums.
  • Passes the cup test: safe for film and scanner drums
  • Because of molecular design, it  contains only what is
    needed for scanning
  • Evaporation rate is smooth and consistent with no
    fractions that flash off, causing starving edges.
  • More economical than cheaper old fluids
  • Needs no post cleaning. A wipe shortens drying time.
  • Highly stable produces no oily residues when stored for
    long periods
Are any scanning fluids
NO! All scanning fluids are petroleum distillates and all are
TOXIC.  There are no exceptions! But the degree of toxicity of
scanning fluids can vary a great deal.
Respiratory toxicity increases with volatility and the %  of aromatic
hydrocarbons in the mixture.
Beware of information sources that claim that any product consisting of
petroleum distillates is non-toxic. This is simply not true.
Reliable sources of toxicity data are among others National Institute of
Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA.
Can a fluid be detoxed by
adding odorants ?
NO!  An odourant kills the smell but it is not the smell that kills you: Carbon
Monoxide is odorless but can kill you.
Smelly Stuff
Can be Indicative of strong solvents that can extract plasticizers (Tri-Phenyl
Phosphate) from legacy films),  and damage equipment such as the Epson
Fluid mount tray. Smelly stuff can be indicative of a higher health hazard in
the environment it produces smog, and is ecologically unfriendly,
During storage can oxidize  and become oily, leaving residues on film.
Some scanning fluids contain n-Hexane. It is a neuro-toxin that damages
the nervous system of frequent users who inhale it.  LUMINA is free of
Flammability look for
Flash Point
Higher FP = Safer
Lower FP = Less Safe
FP Below RT:
FP is a measure of flammability. Ask your supplier for the LAB  measured
Flash Point. Do not rely on makeshift tests.
All hydrocarbon fluids have a flash point.  If heated they may reach the
temperature at which they can cause fire or explosion.
A safer scanning fluid is one whose Flash Point is higher than room
temperature. Indoor use of low flash point fluids poses serious risk, and
may void your insurance.   
It is a sound practice with all organic substances to minimize inhalation.
Operator Safe
Lower toxicity than other scanning fluids
100% Drum-Scanner
Will not stress scanner drums. For more info read the Drum Scanner page
in this website, under Kits 4 My scanner.
100% Film Safe
Free of all substances that damage even archival films with a cellulose
nitrate base.
Low Odour
Pleasant to work with.
More economical
Less is wasted in unwanted premature evaporation during application.
Not flammable
Flash Point above Room Temperature
Earth friendly
No smog-producing components
Molecular design
Contains only what is needed for scanning
NOT an oil
Dries clean
On flatbed scanners to prevent evaporation and drying up on edges- Less
work, less fuss.
Ideal surface tension
Binds' the assembly effectively during the scan
Stable in storage
Very long shelf life, Does not become oily or gum up, no readily oxidizable
Fluid Scanning Technology

The Naked Eye: Personal View
Reproductive Imaging
Wet Darkroom
Digital Scan

All Three Imaging methods:

Are subject to and limited by optic’s laws
Are subject to the imaging method’s capabilities and limitation

Transfers data from one medium to another
Laborious process
Low reproducibility even by same operator
Output media dependent
Good to poor fidelity to the original
Second generation duplicates unlike original
Reproductive Imaging Methods Compared

Transfers data from one decaying medium to another decaying medium
Laborious process
Difficult and laborious repetitive iteration or editing
Original always needed
Low fidelity of Second generation duplicates
Preserves data from one decaying medium to non-decaying numbers.
Relatively Simple process
Easy repetitive iteration or editing.
Original needed the first time only.
Identical second generation duplicates
Optical Limitations of DRY Imaging from Film

Light going through dry film is subject to some Scattering at the film grain. Consequences:
Lower contrast
Emphasized grain
Reduction in color saturation
Over emphasis on scratches and dust
Reduced dynamic range
Limitations shared by analog and digital methods but can be overcome for both.
Film Curvature
Correction requires glass: negative consequences:
Additional refraction, -Loss of sharpness and contrast
Use of Anti Newton Glass: Loss of sharpness and contrast.
Optical Advantages of FLUID Imaging from Film

Elimination of air / film interphase
Elimination of Light scattering at grain =
Higher contrast
Greater sharpness
Higher fidelity rendition of grain
Higher color saturation
Dust and scratch-reduction or elimination
Rich gradatio
PHYSICAL Advantages of FLUID Imaging from Film

Film Flatness = Uniform plane of focus
Glass needed only on one side
Glass can be placed in non-refractive position
On side of light relative to film’s emulsion
Avoids Anti Newton Glass
The Ideal Imaging Fluid

Causes no physical damage to Film or equipment
Not a solvent: Does not dissolve film backing or emulsion or drums, if drum scanned.
Chemically inert under use or storage conditions
Try the ScanScience Cup Test.
Operator Safe:
Low Vapour toxicity:
Free of Carcinogens, or target-organ toxics,
Free of aromatic Hydrocarbons, Olefins and n-Hexane
Not flammable under normal use conditions
High Flash Point
Non toxic?
No such thing, all hydrocarbons are toxic by ingestion
Imaging Fluids: Special Concerns with Legacy Film

Many Film variants
Nitrocellulose > Other cellulose backed films containing aromatic plasticizer: Tri-Phenyl Phosphate (TPP)
Fluids containing aromatic hydrocarbons can extract the TPP : cause dimensional changes
to film, increase brittleness.

Try ScanScience Cup Test: tests solvent aggressiveness of fluid against Polystyrene a polyaromatic polymer.
Fluids that damage polystyrene can also extract TPP and may damage scanner drum

Developers of the Drum Scanner run Into Newton Rings, they knew those could be eliminated by fluid mounting.
These guys tried baby oil, and it worked.
The first generation imaging fluid was born!
Results were great...

But the drudgery had begun.
As It turned out, baby's bottoms were better with oil, not drums.
Cleaning the drum required nasty, volatile and smelly stuff.
If it were possible to eliminate the cleaning that would be great!
There had to be a better way. A Better way?
A better way? Really?

Why not use the smelly volatile stuff used for cleaning the scanning oil as the scanning fluid.....
Voila, it evaporated after use no cleaning needed!
The Second Generation imaging fluid was born!
The cleaner, now the scanning fluid:  the smell was the same, bad.
Ah! but a great time saver. That was real progress.
With the second generation scanning fluids Baby Oil went back to being baby oil and
The cleaning drudgery was gone.
All That Happened In.... THE LAST CENTURY

Not bad for empirical DIY.
Primary on Newton

Light that strikes two reflective surfaces in close proximity and a slight angle to each other yields two wave fronts
which reinforce each other when in phase or destruct when out of phase.
each other when in phase or destruct when out of phase.
The result is a series of lighter or darker rings.
If the reflective surfaces are kept parallel, the resulting wave fronts are both in phase: therefore, No Newton rings!
But glass, if used to flatten film is a refractive element that degrades the image. A trade off.

Avoiding Newton Rings A better way

Filling the air space between the two reflective surfaces with a fluid:
Forces the film into a flat plane
Eliminates the air space between reflective surfaces, makes the surfaces parallel and banishes Newton Rings.
Without fluid scanning, drum scanners could have not become a commercial reality.
The same technology is available to all scanners
Oil-type Imaging Fluids Pros

Scanning Oils are practically Chemically inert to film and scanner drums.
The Oils high molecular contributes to their low volatility and solvency.
Oils have no tendency to flash off at the edges of the fluid mount.
Oil-type Imaging Fluids
Scanning Oils are stable in storage because they are devoid of the reactive and smelly
components natural to less pure petroleum
The Oils low volatility means no vapours released
Oils are essentially not flammable. Big plus!
The Oils high viscosity and low volatility help maintain a good temporary bond between the
the components of the fluid mount. No flash
First Generation Scanning Fluids

That was the good news!
Oil-type Imaging Fluids CONS

Like bad guests, they won't go away when the party is over and need to be forcefully expelled.
Removing the oil requires dry wiping / dilution with other hydrocarbon solvents
which are volatile, and potentially flammable.
Cleaning solvents solvent power must be high enough to remove tape residues. The added solvency can be
incompatible with the drum or the coatings of some scanner glass beds.
Scanning fluids The Second Generation

Main advantages: no clean up required.
Self cleaning, evaporate  quickly  after the scan.
Main disadvantage:
High volatility = vapour build up,
Highly flammable below the freezing point.
Gasoline-like smell,
Substances present: those  normally contained in less refined, cheaper, petroleum distillates.
Aromatic and olefinic hydrocarbons


The Ideal Imaging Fluid

A 'Lens'. -not a solvent: will not damage film or equipment.
Lumina is an inert optical medium
Earth and Operator friendly:  Good for your image and you.
High purity and consistent quality
Doesn't' t flash-off while scanning
Dries clean, leaves no residues
NOT flammable at Room Temperature
Low vapour toxicity
Similar Refractive index as film

The ScanScience Cup Test

Polystyrene foam is highly susceptible to attack by solvents, particularly those containing aromatic and cyclic hydrocarbons.
As a rule, these substances have greater solvency.
The cup at the center is a new cup. The cup at the left contained LUMINA for 24 hours.  
The cup at the right contained a second generation scanner fluid during 24 hours.
Try the test yourself before trusting your film or scanner to an imaging fluid
Bringing Your Images to Life
Preferred by Photo Artists and Archivists Everywhere
Copyright 2020 ScanScience Inc.