I'm looking for a technique that allows me to scan silver halide based film while the scanner automatically detects dust. unfortunately using a scanner featuring Digital ICE technology to automatically detect dust silver halide based film is impossible since the silver particles affect the infrared light in a very similar manner as the dust itself.

Is there a commercially available alternative to this technique that also can be applied to silver halide film?

  • Why not just use one of an almost countless number of products on the market to clean the negatives prior to scanning them?
    – Michael C
    Mar 15 '14 at 17:17

Short answer is no for the reason you've stated: silver grains in black and white film block light in the same manner as dust. Color images are made of dye clouds which are translucent and do not block light.

The only defect repair I'm aware of that works on b/w is SilverFast scanning software, which has a feature called SRD (not to be confused with iSRD which does an infrared scan like ICE).

SRD allows you to select areas to be repaired but, as the cited article says, it's time-consuming and not suitable for batch scanning. You're better off cleaning the negatives as best as you can and devoting some time to touching up the scans.

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