Fluid Scanning Technology
"I have converted entirely to the ScanScience way and
abandoned my makeshift oil methods.
I never make dry film scans anymor
e. It throws away too
much quality....
Everyone out there who is serious about
getting the best possible scans needs to be doing wet
, 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 both 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
    alive. 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 compute 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 a significant 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 $25.00 with any kit or
    purchased without kits for $40.00.
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
USERS REVIEWS of ScanScience
Raw Scans, untagged with any color space can go directly to Photoshop to be tagged with a non-clipping,
nondistorting 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.
These modern printers are capable of printing the reds, greens, and blues today. The
vintage color spaces suited vintage printers, not today
's 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
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
The 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 a
result, a naturalness that is driving photographic artists
back to film. A large-format film can produce ultra-fine
detail, beyond a digital camera's capacity, and almost all
that 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 the content of 4 x 5 film

Color may also be another reason for usng film. With film
scans, you are free to choose the color space, which is
probably the most
crucial 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
-known photographer Craig Alan Huber from "In Platino Veritas Images" in Washington State.  This image
allowed us to show the differences between fluid scanning and dry scanning.
                                           IMAGES 1 & 2  ARE RAW SCANS WITHOUT SHARPENING!
At ScanScience, we scanned the negative on an Epson V750 using Silverfast 6i at 3600 ppi resolution, on a
-bit grayscale, using ScanScience tools and Lumina Scanning fluid. The result was an enormous 750 MB
plus file, which enabled us to crop various sections at high resolution and magnification.   This very
-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
but 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 the
center, and you can see that hole in the
mesh of the source image.   
wet scan at the 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
s contrast are
phenomenal in the wet scan.
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 t
he difference between them is
not as
significant 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 cannot use Epson
Scan to access the high
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 into 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
on the
, 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
check.  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 of 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
critical 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.
    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 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
 cannot 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 cannot see them on the monitor. The richness of the colors in the scan are not most 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 be rescued by a better
 monitor or printer.

             Opting for fluid-scanning puts within reach the highest quality reproduction possible. To ensure this, 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 a better chance of being reproduced in
 print.  Although Color Science can be complicated, the working principles are not difficult and distill into relatively basic concepts.

             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, 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. These comparisons will help you attain the best color possible with fluid scanning. This eBook is

                                                                                                            Total Scanning 2
    Like the highly regarded eBook "Total Scanning", which is available now from ScanScience and is included in Total Scanning 2, Total Scanning 2 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:
  • an old color space, sRGB, which many photographers still use, in 3D
  • the color profile of an inexpensive, amateur printer circa 2009, also in 3D
  • 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, since 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 were to 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
r 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 color of the imag 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 depends
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, and blues, which were unprintable years
ago. Vintage color spaces like sRGB were developed for vintage printers
and monitors, and are inadequate today. Since you value color, that's the
reason why you use LUMINA, so it is time for a change in color space or
printer or both. We recommend Adobe Wide Gamut. The best of today's
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,
and 2 and 2a, (on the right), where the base is the gamut of visible colors.
The CIE gamut is shown here for comparison. The wireframe in the 3D
graphs represent color working spaces, i.e., Adobe RGB and Adobe Wide
Gamut RGB (AWG). The solid color figure within the wireframe is the 3D
profile of Canon's Image Prograph 5000 set out against the color space in
the wireframe, and the CIE gamut in 2D as the base. Evidently both color
spaces are smaller in places than the printer profiles. The wireframes 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. Therefore, when you set sRGB as the color space,
which you do by saving to a JPEG, you sacrifice millions of colors.

Most high-end printers of recent issue can master 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
the Canon IPG printer 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 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 ProPhoto RGB
, the first big-color space when tired of the inadequate tiny color spaces available at
the time
. 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
were not visible to the eye. This is shown in Fig 4. Imaginary colors in a color
space have
an effect on the pixels of the image which are spread into the bulge of false and imaginary colors,
destroying the natural color balance. The result is significant compensations and color correction in editing.
Adobe Wide Gamut RGB solve
s this problem; it adds no false colors, and it only contains real, visible colors. Adobe
Wide Gamut RGB
is the preferred 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
though fewer, but not clipping any colors in the 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, does not deserve mention
in the realm of art printing.
Fig 2q
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
Fig 2a