Instructions -
Custom Scanner Profile Service - Film Scanning

These instructions will guide you through the process of correctly scanning a profile target slide so we can make a precise scanner profile for you.


We keep the process as simple as possible for you as we do the really technical bit but you will need to be familiar with your scanner's driver software and to be careful in following the instructions.

Process Outline

Detailed Instructions

Most scanners have equivalent controls, that allow you to set scan resolution, brightness, contrast etc. Our example is based on a popular Epson scanner but you should find it easy enough to translate the instructions in terms of your particular scanner. If you get stuck please feel free to call us.

Accessing the Scanner Driver

Open the scanner driver / utility supplied by the scanner's manufacturer.

Settings at a glance

Select the most advanced mode (in this case "Professional Mode" to ensure that you have full control over all the scanner settings. This is important because you want to force the scanner to it's native behaviour rather than allow it to try to enhance images.

Here the document type has been set to Film - Positive Film.

The bit depth has been set to the maximum available of 48-bit color. (16 bits per channel)

Resolution has been set to 1200 PPI (recommended for 35mm film ).

Target Size is set to 'Original' which means don't scale the scan up or down.

Unsharp Mask (Digital Sharpening), Grain Reduction and Color Restoration have all been switched OFF.

Colour and Tone: There are usually controls for making colour or tone adjustments but we want to ensure that these are all turned off or non effective. Some scanners have a global setting of 'No Colour Correction' (Scenario 1 below). Others require you to individually disable or set a zero adjustment for any scanner controls that deal with colour or tone. (Scenario 2 below).NB. Use either Scenario 1 or Scenario 2 - not both.

Scenario 1

Drivers that HAVE a No Colour Adjustment setting

Our example scanner has a button labeled "Configuration" which brings up a new window as follows

Here we have selected the option for "No Colour Correction" and set the Auto Exposure to Low. The word Low here is miss-leading because it actually means OFF!

These 2 settings together are enough to tell the scanner driver to make a non-colour adjusted scan. The controls that adjust such things as colour, tone and histogram have all been de-activated.

Scenario 2

Configuring a Driver WITHOUT a No Colour Adjustment setting

If your scanner doesn't have a "No Colour Correction" setting you will need to go into each of the specific image adjustment settings available and make sure they are set in a manner that causes no color adjustments to occur. Our example scanner offers specific settings for Histogram,Curves and Colour. Below we show you how to make appropriate settings.

After Clicking the histogram button. The histogram window opens and looks like this.

You need to do just 3 things. The Histogram should now look like this.

A de-activated Curves adjustment is represented by a straight line graph. There may well be preset called 'linear' which sets the 'curve' to a dead straight line running from 0 to 255. If there is no preset you will need to do this manually, which is usually a matter of dragging the first data point on the curve to the bottom left corner (0,0) and dragging the last data point to the top right (255,255). There should be no data points in between.

Straight line (linear) curves adjustment.

The Color Adjustment window is simple. You just need to set everything to zero.

Scan output settings

Set TIFF as the type of file to output and select a folder in which to save it.

Making the scan

Now you are ready to make the scan. Don't forget to do a preview first to make sure you have placed the target correctly and check that the Selection Marquee (area to be scanned) is set wide enough to not crop any of the patches of colour from the target.

Check the scan and Email it to us.

Open the completed scan and check that it has processed properly. It should be reasonably clean of dust, hairs and so forth. We will do a bit of digital cleaning at our end but there is a limit to what we include in the price. Make sure your scan has not cropped out any of the patches.

You can email the scan to

We aim to get the profile back to you by email within 1 business day (usually the same day).

Using your new scanner profile

Once you have received your new scanner profile you need to use it when you scan. It's a quick and painless procedure which you can read about here.