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A Special Welcome to VALOI easy35 Users!
Here is how 35 mm Align strip looks in easy35 holder with the extension tubes removed.
What a joy to work with adapter with no wires attached!
Note the marks delineating different parts of the frame. The numbers represent actual sizes in millimeters, ensuring what you see in your camera viewfinder accurately corresponds to what you will see when you insert your original film.
Note from Vlad: The VALOI easy35 holder is designed with high precision and minimal tolerances. Some free samples of the '35 mm Align Strip' may not have been prepared with the same exacting precision as the holder, potentially causing issues when inserting and moving the sample through it. The easiest solution is to trim 1mm off the top of the sample strip using scissors, which should resolve the problem.
The central frame, is the one you will be using the most: it is your go-to tool for obtaining crisp film scans. This frame includes five Siemens stars - one central star and four near the corners. When you're ready, load your film strip into your easy35, Valoi 360, or any other film holder of your choice. You'll want to focus your camera on the middle star. Achieving the best focus should be straightforward as the star's design offers clear visuals when in focus. Now, check if the remaining four stars are also in focus. If they are, great! You're all set up to start scanning. Switch out the VTT strip for your own film and you're good to go.
If any set of stars is not quite in focus, it implies that your film holder isn't parallel to the camera sensor. You'll need to address this issue by scrutinizing and adjusting your setup, making sure all five stars are in focus. Given the VTT's high-contrast nature, making these adjustments should be simple.
The most challenging scenario (which hopefully won't come up) is when the central star is in focus but the corner stars are not, or vice versa. If you encounter this, the most likely issue is with the lens you're using. To put it simply, your lens may not be suitable for film scanning due to lack of a "flat field of view". This means that although your lens (or lens with extension rings) might work well for 1:1 magnification tasks, it might struggle with flat objects like film frames. While a macro lens might be perfect for photographing a flower or a bee, it might not deliver the same quality results with a film frame. If setting your lens to aperture f/8 doesn't solve the problem, you'll need to consider other lenses. A carefully curated list of recommended lenses can be found in this brilliant article. In any case, the VTT has already helped you identify and eliminate an unsuitable lens, saving you plenty of time and frustration if you're just starting out with film scanning.
The entire frame of the Vlads Test Target (VTT) is filled with a meticulously printed grid or raster. This feature is also beneficial for pinpointing areas that are soft, meaning they lack sharpness, as well as sections where the backlighting might not be even. It's an additional tool to ensure the best possible scanning results and further fine-tune your setup. This way, you can achieve the best possible film scans and further eliminate potential issues that could affect the quality of your scans.
The picture on left is the actually 1000x1000 pix cut-out showing grid structure.
The actual raster grain being 8x8 pixel (for 30 MP sensor). The highlighted area is 40x40 pixels at 100% view.
The left frame points you to the main product website and the developer's email address, which might not seem very thrilling, but I think it may help you find my other products for film scanning and darkroom printing. Interactive Parts Catalog below would be a great start.