SilverFast iSRD Fighting Remjet

July 24, 2023  •  2 Comments

Zorki 4 in East AuroraZorki 4East Aurora While I made the mistake of letting this post sit for too long again, I believe this was my first time using a 35mm movie film with a remjet layer. Specifically, the photographs here were photographed with a 35mm Zorki 4 camera on 35mm Kodak Vision 3 250D color negative film.

The first difference was that the film is designed for development in ECN2. All of my color development so far has been done in C-41. In theory, even the 250D can be developed in C-41 but my understanding is that its sensitivity would then be more around ISO 400 rather than 250. I also wanted to try the native process instead of cross-processing in different chemicals. No problem, I got myself one of the ECN2 KITs and since the steps are similar to the C-41 KITs this did not pose a problem.

However, another differentiating feature of movie film is that it is coated with a black remjet that needs to be removed during processing. Automated minilabs had water jets on both sides of the film to wash the coating and quickly carry it away from the film. My home environment does not offer that luxury. What now?

Gingerich Auto Care, East Aurora - iSRD OFF, Kodak Vision 3 250D, ECN2.Gingerich Auto Care, East AuroraiSRD OFF

Gingerich Auto Care, East Aurora - iSRD OFF
35mm Zorki 4 camera, Kodak Vision 3 250D color negative movie film, ECN2 developer

In theory, a simple prewash in baking soda should soften the remjet and wash it off the film. However, it stays in the developing tank until the water is dumped. There is so much theory on the Internet about how to make this effective that it is hard to choose what method to go with. Some say to do several normal inversions, dump, repeat until the water runs clear. Others advise vigorous shaking, followed by thorough washing. There are even people who don't do a prewash at all, develop their film, and then physically wash the remjet off the film at the end of the cycle either with a fiber cloth or with their thumb!

Gingerich Auto Care, East Aurora - iSRD ON, Kodak Vision 3 250D, ECN2Gingerich Auto Care, East AuroraiSRD ON

Gingerich Auto Care, East Aurora - iSRD ON
35mm Zorki 4 camera, Kodak Vision 3 250D color negative movie film, ECN2 developer

For this first attempt at movie film, I tried the baking soda prewash and if my memory serves me well the vigorous shaking method. Everything seemed to go well as a lot of "dirt" came off when I dumped the baking soda solution. I refilled and emptied the tank several times until the water came out completely clear. Then the two developers and fix with washing in between each step. The ECN2 process was more demanding on water than C-41 for sure. The prewash and two extra thorough washes during the process definitely result in a higher consumption.

Little Red Caboose, East Aurora - iSRD OFF, Kodak Vision 3 250D, ECN2Little Red Caboose, East AuroraiSRD OFF

Little Red Caboose, East Aurora - iSRD OFF
35mm Zorki 4 camera, Kodak Vision 3 250D color negative movie film, ECN2 developer

When I hung the film to dry all seemed well. However, when I started scanning, I saw problems right away. There were specs all over like it snowed ash on the film. I was familiar with dust spots, water residue, or leftovers from a wetting agent but this was so much worse! There were so many specs! There was no way I would manually retouch them one at a time. If automation was not available, I would have written the roll off as an unsuccessful attempt and moved on.

Little Red Caboose, East Aurora - iSRD ON, Kodak Vision 3 250D, ECN2Little Red Caboose, East AuroraiSRD ON

Little Red Caboose, East Aurora - iSRD ON
35mm Zorki 4 camera, Kodak Vision 3 250D color negative movie film, ECN2 developer

While a lot of people are happy with and promote digitizing film with digital cameras and macro set ups, I use a dedicated Plustek scanner along with SilverFast software. The scanner offers IR scanning that the software's iSRD can use for automated spotting. While the use of it doubles the scanning time, which is slow to begin with, I usually have it on with all color negative film. It can't successfully be used with black and white negatives due to the film density preventing a successful infrared scan.

Taste & Red's, East Aurora - iSRD OFF, Kodak Vision 3 250D, ECN2Taste & Red's, East AuroraiSRD OFF

Taste & Red's, East Aurora - iSRD OFF
35mm Zorki 4 camera, Kodak Vision 3 250D color negative movie film, ECN2 developer

I figured why not try what it would be capable of in this extreme case. I turned iSRD on and let it do its magic. Were the results perfect? Absolutely not. But in my opinion, they were better than good enough and all of a sudden, the photographs were usable with minimum number of specs. I am really glad that was the case as I really liked the colors the film and ECN2 gave me. It created a whole different mood for these photographs from East Aurora, New York, compared to my previous many rolls from that beautiful village.

Throughout this post I am sharing three pairs of photographs. In each pair, one image is scanned without iSRD and the other one with iSRD. Feel free to click into them to see them large and compare. I did not do any additional manual spotting.

Taste & Red's, East Aurora - iSRD ON, Kodak Vision 3 250D, ECN2Taste & Red's, East AuroraiSRD ON

Taste & Red's, East Aurora - iSRD ON
35mm Zorki 4 camera, Kodak Vision 3 250D color negative movie film, ECN2 developer

In my mind, the availability of infrared scanning and automated dust and scratch removal gives the old-fashioned scanners an edge over digital camera scanning. Sure, it also has disadvantages and everyone will end up choosing what works for them but in this not so successful remjet wash I sure was grateful for the automation.

What advice would you give for remjet removal? Do you have a solution to automated spotting with digital camera digitization? Or do you have any questions or other comments? Please, drop me a comment on this post, I would love to hear from you.

Enjoy The Beauty That Surrounds You! #etbtsy


Comments

Daniel Novak Photo
Hello Bill!

iSRD is SilverFast’s proprietary name for dust and scratch removal and stands for Infrared Smart Removal of Defects. Epson and their SW call it Digital ICE. It relies on the scanner’s hardware to make two scans, one with visible light and one with infrared light. The infrared is used to remove imperfections from the visible light scan. The accuracy and quality is better than SW only dust removal.

Regards,

Dan
Bill Crowle aka #FlickrSpelio(non-registered)
I have slides with a lot of dust and or mould...

I have not figured out how SilverFast removes them but have copied and pasted in my ThumbsPlus edit and database..
What does iSRD stand for?
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