I just got the app downloaded this afternoon after Abe updated my email address so that I could access the app in Play Store. Once done, installation was a breeze without any snags.
Here’s a walk through of my experience so far -
Once launched, the app was hunting and although returning a preview image, moving in and out of focus and constantly switching between colour and black & white and positive & negative previews. The steadier the phone, which is a Huwaei P9, the better the preview image and eventually the app would lock on and return a scan. This suggested that stabilising the phone and fixing its position above the negative to lock focus would help to settle things down.
I’ve got a homemade rig that I’ve used in the past for DSLR negative scanning. Basically, it’s an old 35mm enlarger with the head removed and replaced with the top plate from a Manfrotto fluid head video monopod. All I needed to do was to add a mini tripod ball head with a mobile phone adapter to hold the Huwaei and I was ready to scan.
Below: My scanning rig. The light source is a cheap LCD light panel from Amazon raised up on a stack of DVDs.
As soon as the phone was stabilised and locked into position I immediately started to get consistent previews and the app stopped flipping between colour modes. More importantly, each preview image was automatically converted to a positive image. With a little trial and error, I was able to work out the optimal distance need in order to return an in focus preview. The only thing not working is frame edge recognition.
I’m not sure if I had any influence on the next step or not, but if I tapped the phone screen the image seemed to begin processing and the app moved to the output screen. That said if I didn’t tap the screen it eventually returned a scan regardless. At the moment all the scans are reverting to negatives. Of the two buttons that appear on the output screen, the share button works flawlessly and I’ve been able to upload my scans directly to Google Drive without any problems. I haven’t tested saving directly to my phone gallery but I assume that will work too. The button with the landscape icon doesn’t work at all.
Once I had the phone stabilised so the app stopped hunting the entire time and I’ve not had any crashes.
Below - The preview image once stabilised, automatically returning a positive image.
Below - There seems to be some vertical and horizontal distortion even though the negative is under glass to keep it flat.
Below - Once scanned the image currently reverts back to a negative.
Below - Final output.
The following images are the result what is my minimum post-production routine in Lightroom. Apart from obviously being flipped from negative to positive, I’ve adjusted exposure, clarity and contrast and applied sharpening. They’ve also been cropped and straightened. I spent no more than a minute or two on each image. This is line with what I do for my professional event and press images.
Even at this early stage in the development process, I’d be happy to use these scans as digital proofs. The quality is certainly good enough for Facebook and Instagram. If the photos aren’t sharp then it’s down to my crappy focusing and camera shake on the day.
The film is Ilford HP5 400 pushed to 3200
ps - The odd overlapped split image effect in the last photo happened in the camera. I didn’t have the frame fully advanced so again it’s not the app.
Hope this helps.