How one can Make a Digital Contact Sheet

The scanning methodology described right here relies solely on my finest private outcome, I’m certain different easier strategies may give comparable and even higher outcomes than mine ones.


I feel that ultimately each analogue photographer has come throughout not less than a contact sheet in his life. Taking a look at my household images envelopes most of them have a single print with all of the roll images on it (though this can’t be actually known as a contact sheet as the pictures are method smaller than the precise unfavorable body measurement), it was a really quick method to have a look at the entire roll, select the precise picture to print and so forth.

In right now digital-analogue hybrid many can state that contact sheets aren’t any extra crucial as we have already got the entire roll prepared out there in our display screen(s) and, like in a contact sheet, we will inform every photograph aside simply by taking a look at its thumbnail. However, I needed to recreate a digital model of quaint contact prints, the place movie markings, sprocket holes and so forth have been clearly seen.


The next step described on this information have been carried out with these instruments:


A great unfavorable setup is key for good outcomes, 120 movie are the simplest one as a single scan go is enough to cowl up the entire roll. Identical story for twenty-four exp. 135 movie.

36 exp. 135 movie are slightly bit trickier as we have to carry out 2 scans and make the most of Lightroom merge operate with a view to get a single picture, no huge deal, we simply want to go away the central strip on the sting for each scans as it will likely be our reference for the merge.

One other necessary side to attain good outcomes the is that negatives should lay as flat as attainable, this method doesn’t contain any help body in any respect, subsequently the extra flat our unfavorable are the higher.

Movie strip placement

All of the unfavorable strips should be laid down over the scan mattress with the emulsion facet dealing with up. Right here is an instance of how I place my negatives strips for scanning, as you may see all of them are tightly packed collectively and all frames are principally aligned.

BW negatives for contact sheet
My Epson V850 with 3 unfavorable movie stripes appropriately positioned

As acknowledged above, when we have to scan a 36 exp. roll we have to scan the 4th or the fifth strip 2 instances as it’s used for the “panorama” merge in Lightroom.

Be aware: keep in mind to maneuver that movie strip from the leftmost to the rightmost portion of the scan mattress, in any other case the merge can’t be carried out

Vuescan in Motion

Contact Sheet Vuescan
Enter display screen of Vuescan after a profitable scan

As soon as our movie strips are positioned we will launch Vuescan and begin the precise scan course of.

With my epson V850 I often comply with NLP finest follow for output file setup, furthermore I set “Transparency 8×10” and a last scan decision of 1200 dpi. The V850 helps scan decision yup to 4800 dpi in 8×10 mode, personally I feel that is an excessive amount of out of scope from the ultimate objective I need to obtain with digital contact sheets, furthermore 8×10 mode lacks of Infrared cleansing capabilities subsequently scratches and mud received’t be cleaned out. Earlier than the precise scan I strongly suggest to carry out a preview earlier than the precise scan as it’ll assist us to type out any misalignment challenge, this step might be sped up simply by setting the bottom decision out there (75 dpi in my case).


As soon as all our scans are full we have to import them into Lightroom and carry out the unfavorable to constructive conversion thought NLP.

I personally prefere to “transfer” all my scanned picture immediately into Lightroom storage folder fairly than by copying them with a view to at all times have a clear scan listing.
As soon as once more I comply with the most effective follow as reported in NLP web site however this time we have to crop the entire picture to a single body with a view to present only a single photograph to NLP for proper conversion, in any other case the plugin will take into consideration all of the clean areas.

As talked about above 36 exp. movies must be merged earlier than conversion, to take action simply choose the two photos in your library and open up the merge device.

Acquisizione schermata 18.09.2023 alle 21.22.11
First 5 movie strip
Acquisizione schermata 18.09.2023 alle 21.22.17
Final 2 + 1 movie strip

In the event you look intently you may see that the leftmost strip within the first scan and the rightmost on the second scan are the identical, this trick will enable us to merge these scans in a single “panorama” image.

LR merge tool with 2 halves of a 35mm contact sheet
Panorama merge: make sure to select “potential” mode


For the reason that NLP conversion settings will probably be primarily based on that single cropped picture I strongly counsel to decide on the most effective one of many complete roll, this step is considerably much like the analogue follow as no publicity compensation will be carried out on each single shot however fairly each body will probably be uncovered with the identical quantity of sunshine.

CS before NLP
Freshly scanned contact sheet
CS Crop before conversion
Single photograph crop from the entire contact sheet
Contactsheet after NLP
Entire Contact sheet transformed with NLP

As soon as the conversion is full we’ve to revive the unique photograph measurement with a view to unveil the entire contact sheet.

Closing outcome

The ultimate outcome needs to be one thing that resembles “conventional” contact sheets.

The general high quality primarily is determined by roll flatness and good scanning procedures,
An general good indicator might be the movie markings above and under the sprocket holes: if they’re sharp and clear we may count on the identical additionally from the acute frames.

Right here under the total roll used on this tutorial


Contact Sheet Tmax400 Burrasca

Contact Sheet - AEB example
Clear instance of a 3 shot collection carried out with the AEB settings set at 0, -1 and +1

Be aware

Even when the scan decision is considerably low, particularly for 35mm movie, we may extract a person body by making a digital copy and the cropping it. In that case I personally like to incorporate the sprocket holes and the markings, they supply a form of pure framing to the image.
As an additional step I like to hitch all the one corp in a single stack, making it like increasing the entire roll the in click on over it.

CS album 1
Contact Sheet Album in LR – All cropped single photos are stacked and solely the principle contact sheet thumbnail is proven
CS album 2
Contact Sheet Album in LR – All cropped single photos are stacked and the primary one is expanded, displaying up all the one frames I’ve manually cropped


I’m very comfortable about these outcomes, for certain I’ll proceed to make use of this method, particularly with 120 movie rolls.

As acknowledged earlier than some could argue how this follow might be considerably helpful or not, from my perspective this process permits me to duplicate a method considerably exhausting to attain with out correct printing tools.

Hope this information will assist somebody who desires to duplicate the contact sheet type, please ship me a remark for those who discover out a greater or quicker technique to obtain the identical outcomes.

Joyful Capturing



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