Scanning film with a Wetgate
Posted on the 19th July 2018
The Wetgate Film Restoration Technique.
Regardless of the cine film format 8, 9.5 or 16mm that you have if you want to get the best results from your old films then we always recommend using a wetgate.
All of the films that come into our studio are cleaned by hand, this removes dust particles and small amounts of mould. However, this will not get rid of any surface damage such as projection scratches or vertical lines and any pitting off the film surface or on the emulsion. This restoration method is not just for professionals it is fast becoming an integral part of the service that we provide to all our clients.
To achieve the best results from your films wetgate is often required. The results can be amazing, our scanner is capable of applying wetgate to all format of films 8, 9.5 or 16mm. This is not the same with all scanners!
Films that have been regularly viewed over the years then stored away are very likely to have visible signs of wear and tear. This damage is very noticeable when scanning and typically seen as vertical lines or scratches on the emulsion.
The way wetgate application works is straight forward however, not all scanners have the capability to apply this process so it is a question that you must ask when deciding which company to entrust with your films.
The process itself is fairly simply and cost effective. We use Isopropanol 99.9% because of the high percentage of alcohol. This fluid is applied to patented sponge rollers the film is then covered with the solution and passes through the LED at a scanning speed of around 5-15 frames per second.
The solution evaporates once the film has been scanned through the LED. Any scratches or vertical lines are filled with the solution and the result is that light travels through the film with less refraction. This results in their being less visibility of the damaged film.
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