Finally! No more Newton rings on Polaroid scans!
After promising - a while ago! - my solution to avoid Newton rings on Polaroid photographs scans, I ended up slowing very much my activity for this kind of medium.
I work in cycles…
In the meantime, some of you requested this solution I had been promising, delayed only because in my mind I was hoping to “refine” and create a specific tool, with the help of a designer friend of mine.
The tool never materialized though, since my friend was heavily carried away by his new house renovations, while I got carried away by my life… and my laziness!
To cut it short, the solution I am presenting here is as raw as it could be, but here you have it, at least. It works like a charm for me, and my photos are now free of the horrible rings, like the one above.
I have also added some (very!) quick shots to illustrate the instructions.
1. You will need a small square piece of white plexiglass, 1mm thick (about 0,04”); the square must be larger than a Polaroid photo, say at least 1/2cm (0,2”). I cut mine 12x12cm (about 4.73”).
Note: use only matt white or very light grey plexiglass, not clear nor coloured, to avoid reflections from the scanner light (if clear) or unwanted colour casts on the white frame of the photo when scanning.
2. Get a set of adhesive silicone feets, 3mm thick (0,12”). I would not try thicker ones since the risk here is to have the photo placed too far from the glass of the scanner and get out of focus!
Place a silicone feet on each corner of the plexiglass, as shown in the photo below.
3. Now get some good patafix and stick 4 *small* rounded pieces on the back corners of the Polaroid photo (see photo below); then add 1 more in the back center of the photo. (You can also use small rings of 3M clear mounting adhesive tape, easily removable).
4. Turn the Polaroid and fix it to the plexiglass, on the same side of the silicone feet; make sure the photo is firmly attached and straight by pressing the photo using the first black frame of a cartridge (use the smooth size to avoid risks of scratches on the photo!).
5. Finally, put the plexiglas piece with the photo face down on the scanner glass, close the lid and scan away at high resolution!
This way the photo won’t be able to touch the glass of the scanner, but will stay close enough to come out perfectly in focus. If you notice the resulting scan is out of focus - check by inspecting the grid of the paper frame at full res -, try with thinner silicon feets; touching the glass with the photo is not the problem here, since you only just need to keep it raised enough not to let the plastic surface of the photo adhere to the glass surface and avoid the Newton rings…
I will truly appreciate your feedback and results if you try my method.
The photo on top of this post is titled “Lambretta 65” and was shot on Impossible PX 70 COLOR SHADE COOL film then scanned using the method described here.