No, it’s not that Thin Blue Line. It’s a really aggravating blue scan line across all my color images. I haven’t been able to chase down the culprit, but I’m guessing I’ll need to take the scanner apart and clean all the mirrors and lenses really well. I’ve had this scanner since 2015, so it has seen its share of duty. I’ve easily scanned 5000+ negatives with it, but this has been a problem for a while now.
Notice the horizontal blue line, very faintly, going through the red part of the truck – about 1/3 way down from the top ? If you’re on your phone, probably not. It seems to disappear when viewed on certain phone screens. In the browser, it’s plain as day. It’s on nearly all the pictures. At first I thought it was dust on the scanner bed, so I hit it with my Giottos Rocket air blaster, then windex, soft cloth, more air blaster. Whatever was causing the line wasn’t something I could physically correct with cleaners. I don’t see any scratches on the film, so it’s likely something on the sensor or the mirrors internally. In the meantime, Healing is necessary.
Using the Heal tool in Lightroom has saved many a scratched negative. However, a thin blue line requires a lot more work since it travels across the whole image. Of course, equally frustrating was trying to get any usable images from the Lomography Konstruktor. The focusing screen is not much bigger than the negative, and it makes for a really horrible waist-level viewfinder. To improvise, adapt, and overcome, I stuffed my 10X watchmaker loupe into the viewfinder chimney. While it did improve my focusing ability, it made composition something of an art in itself.
It wasn’t a total loss. I’ve driven by this old red truck on the side of an abandoned construction project for a couple years now and finally decided to get some photos. I wandered around the site for about a half hour. There was a bulldozer, a red truck, and a giant backhoe. However, the camera doesn’t like making photos of distant objects. It’s really only good for 10-15 feet before the meniscus lens and focusing distance are just inadequate. It’s also a soft lens. Even when the focus is tight, it’s not going to be sharp. I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but it does. Usually I’m all for crappy toy cameras. This is going to be challenging.
It’s all good. Any challenge in photography leads to better photos overall. Building skills is essential, and using a horrible camera to make good images means when I have a good camera, my images should be much better! The other pro out of all this is the fact I got to use some more Kodak motion picture film in my still cameras. I’ve got 2 or 3 rolls left and I think I’ll save those for a camera with good focus. Maybe even do some portraits or night photography.