I recently used Microsoft Image Composite Editor to stitch this panorama together from scanned negatives. The film I used was Ilford Delta 100, and the camera is a Nikon FM with a 50mm lens. Each of the five frames were shot with the camera rotated 90 degrees (roll) on its ball mount (i.e. "Portrait style").

As you can see, the borders between the individual frames of the panorama are clearly distinguishable due to what appears to be tonal artifacts that present in the same part of the frame on each shot.

My question is this: What could be causing this tonal variation across the frame?

Should I be concerned about light leaking?

full panorama

*Edit: I do not know how these were scanned, though that could be a likely culprit. I had them developed + scanned commercially.

IIRC I shot these at f/16, 1/160s.

Here is one of the individual unedited frames. I've scaled it down by 50%. center frame

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It might be helpful to also post one of the full scans (the full frame, not full resolution) pre-stitching. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 23:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @junkyardsparkle will do in a couple of hours. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 23:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ What exposure method was used? What aperture? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 0:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ How were the negatives scanned? (Device? Holder? Backlight? etc.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 0:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark , my point is that you can overcorrect a non-existent vignette too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


They all look, for whatever reason, to be ever so slightly brighter on the left than on the right. It is especially noticeable in the sky, but it is also there below the horizon. This seems to have confused the stitching program somehow.

I doubt the source of the variable brightness is a light leak. The difference is way too uniform all the way down your strip of film. Light leaks usually have hot spots.

My best guess is that the scanning process somehow managed to illuminate the one edge of your film strip slightly brighter than the other as it was scanned. Have you inquired with the processing lab that developed your film to see what they might think?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I will be asking the shop I send these two which lab they use, and talking with them to determine if that might be the culprit. I'll be scanning these on my own as you suggested to compare. Thank you for all the help and insights! Definitely puts me at ease knowing it's likely the scanning that is the issue. I will continue to investigate. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 8:01

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