We’ve been “oil mounting” transparencies that were to be enlarged significantly, or were dirty and scratched since we started scanning. It’s “standard operating procedure” for commercial scanning. With the near death of the color separators’ art, though, we realize that many folks don’t know or care about this. I found an old, dirty and scratched transparency in the bottom of a drawer. I decided to scan it at a huge enlargement with and without oil-mounting to see how obvious the difference was. Here’re the results.
TOP IMAGE 1500% enlargement, USM applied by scanner, NO OIL, NO TOUCH-UP. Note the prominent film grain, dirt and scratches.
Of course you rarely need to enlarge this much… but if you want to make a 35mm slide into a 2-page spread… or make a fine art print at 40×50 inches… it’s good to know that someone still has the equipment and skills.