Significance of the Cup Test
  • Polystyrene foam like the canary in the mine: Like scanner drums, it is highly susceptible to attack by aromatic
    hydrocarbons in some scanning fluids. These are the same substances that damage legacy films by
    extraction of the plasticizer, which cause embrittlement and fire danger, which Lumina does not contain:
    Lumina is totally free of aromatic and cyclic hydrocarbons that can compromise drums an film. Additionally
    aromatic hydrocarbons are more toxic.
  • A scanning fluid that passes the cup test, is safer for film and scanner drums.
For this Test  you need
  1. Cups as used for hot drinks
  2. Two jars a bit wider than the bottom of
    the cup to support the cups during the
  3. Saran Wrap to cover the cup to prevent
    evaporation of the fluid during the test.  
  4. About 2 oz (60 ml) of  scanning fluid.
    Doing The Cup Test
  1. Sit the cups on the jar
  2. Pour the equal amounts of fluid in the cups
  3. Cover both cup and jar with clear plastic Wrap.  
  4. Allow to sit overnight or longer
  5. Inspect the cups and compare then with a new cup.
Start of the test
24 hours later, end of the test
LUMINA                    Other Fluid     
New Cup                             LUMINA                  Other scanning Fluid
LUMINA Information on use and safety
download the file
New!  See the Evolution of  Digital
Imaging and the Scanning  Fluid, Click
Here to view Power Point Show
    Lumina is vacuum packed in 1
    litre bottles.

                 Worldwide Shipping is available.
LUMINA COVERAGE, I L Bottles, ~225 mls
35 mm  6 frame
1 Litre
  • LUMINA is 100% safe for all scanners and film, even legacy
  • Ultra Pure, double filtered, safe to use
  • Naturally odorless, needs no masking agents that leave
  • Free of harmful aromatic hydrocarbons like xylene, toluene
    or ring compounds and olefins that attack scanner drums.
  • Passes the cup test: safe for film and scanner drums
  • Because of molecular design, it  contains only what is
    needed for scanning
  • Evaporation rate is smooth and consistent with no fractions
    that flash off, causing starving edges.
  • More economical than cheaper old fluids
  • Needs no post cleaning. A wipe shortens drying time.
  • Highly stable produces no oily residues when stored for
    long periods
Are any scanning fluids
NO! All scanning fluids are petroleum distillates and all are
TOXIC.  There are no exceptions! But the degree of toxicity of
scanning fluids can vary a great deal.
Respiratory toxicity increases with volatility and the %  of aromatic
hydrocarbons in the mixture.
Beware of information sources that claim that any product consisting of
petroleum distillates is non-toxic. This is simply not true.
Reliable sources of toxicity data are among others National Institute of
Safety and Health (NIOSH), USA.
Can a fluid be detoxed by
adding odorants ?
NO!  An odourant kills the smell but it is not the smell that kills you: Carbon
Monoxide is odorless but can kill you.
Smelly Stuff
Can be Indicative of strong solvents that can extract plasticizers (Tri-Phenyl
Phosphate) from legacy films),  and damage equipment such as the Epson
Fluid mount tray. Smelly stuff can be indicative of a higher health hazard in
the environment it produces smog, and is ecologically unfriendly,
During storage can oxidize  and become oily, leaving residues on film.
Some scanning fluids contain n-Hexane. It is a neuro-toxin that damages
the nervous system of frequent users who inhale it.  LUMINA is free of
Flammability look for
Flash Point
Higher FP = Safer
Lower FP = Less Safe
FP Below RT:
FP is a measure of flammability. Ask your supplier for the LAB  measured
Flash Point. Do not rely on makeshift tests.
All hydrocarbon fluids have a flash point.  If heated they may reach the
temperature at which they can cause fire or explosion.
A safer scanning fluid is one whose Flash Point is higher than room
temperature. Indoor use of low flash point fluids poses serious risk, and
may void your insurance.   
It is a sound practice with all organic substances to minimize inhalation.
Operator Safe
Lower toxicity than other scanning fluids
100% Drum-Scanner
Will not stress scanner drums. For more info read the Drum Scanner page
in this website, under Kits 4 My scanner.
100% Film Safe
Free of all substances that damage even archival films with a cellulose
nitrate base.
Pleasant to work with.
More economical
Less is wasted in unwanted premature evaporation during application.
Not flammable
Flash Point above Room Temperature
Earth friendly
No smog-producing components
Molecular design
Contains only what is needed for scanning
NOT an oil
Dries clean
On flatbed scanners to prevent evaporation and drying up on edges- Less
work, less fuss.
Ideal surface tension
Binds' the assembly effectively during the scan
Stable in storage
Very long shelf life, Does not become oily or gum up, no readily oxidizable
Fluid Scanning Technology
Bringing Your Images to Life
Preferred by Photo Artists and Archivists Everywhere

                                     ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY
                                              OPTICAL FLUID

                  IMAGING FROM FILM

        The Naked Eye: Personal View
        Reproductive Imaging
        Wet Darkroom
        Digital Scan

    All Three Imaging methods:

        Are subject to and limited by optic’s laws
        Are subject to the imaging method’s capabilities and limitation


        Transfers data from one medium to another
        Laborious process
        Low reproducibility even by same operator
        Output media dependent
        Good to poor fidelity to the original
        Second generation duplicates unlike original

                  Reproductive Imaging Methods Compared

        Transfers data from one decaying medium to another decaying medium
        Laborious process
        Difficult and laborious repetitive iteration or editing
        Original always needed
        Low fidelity of Second generation duplicates
        Preserves data from one decaying medium to non-decaying numbers.
        Relatively Simple process
        Easy repetitive iteration or editing.
        Original needed the first time only.
        Identical second generation duplicates

 Optical Limitations of DRY Imaging from Film

        Light going through dry film is subject to some Scattering at the film grain. Consequences:
        Lower contrast
        Emphasized grain
        Reduction in color saturation
        Over emphasis on scratches and dust
        Reduced dynamic range
        Limitations shared by analog and digital methods but can be overcome for both.
        Film Curvature
        Correction requires glass: negative consequences:
        Additional refraction, -Loss of sharpness and contrast
        Use of Anti Newton Glass: Loss of sharpness and contrast.

 Optical Advantages of FLUID Imaging from Film

        Elimination of air / film interphase
        Elimination of Light scattering at grain =
        Higher contrast
        Greater sharpness
        Higher fidelity rendition of grain
        Higher color saturation
        Dust and scratch-reduction or elimination
        Rich gradation

 PHYSICAL Advantages of FLUID Imaging from Film

        Film Flatness = Uniform plane of focus
        Glass needed only on one side
        Glass can be placed in non-refractive position
        On side of light relative to film’s emulsion
        Avoids Anti Newton Glass

 The Ideal Imaging Fluid

        Causes no physical damage to Film or equipment
        Not a solvent: Does not dissolve film backing or emulsion or drums, if drum scanned.
        Chemically inert under use or storage conditions
        Try the ScanScience Cup Test.
        Odourless
        Operator Safe:
        Low Vapour toxicity:
        Free of Carcinogens, or target-organ toxics,
        Free of aromatic Hydrocarbons, Olefins and n-Hexane
        Not flammable under normal use conditions
        High Flash Point
        Non toxic?
        No such thing, all hydrocarbons are toxic by ingestion

 Imaging Fluids: Special Concerns with Legacy Film

        Many Film variants
        Nitrocellulose > Other cellulose backed films containing aromatic plasticizer: Tri-Phenyl Phosphate (TPP)
        Fluids containing aromatic hydrocarbons can extract the TPP : cause dimensional changes to film, increase
          brittleness.
        Try ScanScience Cup Test: tests solvent aggressiveness of fluid against Polystyrene a polyaromatic polymer.
        Fluids that damage polystyrene can also extract TPP and may damage scanner drums


        Developers of the Drum Scanner run Into Newton, Rings, they knew those could be eliminated by fluid mounting.
        These guys tried baby oil, and it worked.
        The first generation imaging fluid was born!

 Results were great...

        But the drudgery had begun.
        As It turned out, baby's bottoms were better with oil, not drums.
        Cleaning the drum required nasty, volatile and smelly stuff.
        If it were possible to eliminate the cleaning that would be great!
        There had to be a better way.  A Better way?

 A better way? Really?

        Why not use the smelly volatile stuff used for cleaning the scanning oil as the scanning fluid.....
        Voila, it evaporated after use no cleaning needed!
        The Second Generation imaging fluid was born!
        The cleaner, now the scanning fluid:  the smell was the same, bad.
        Ah! but a great time saver. That was real progress.
        With the second generation scanning fluids Baby Oil went back to being baby oil and
        The cleaning drudgery was gone.

 All That Happened In.... THE LAST CENTURY

        Not bad for empirical DIY.

  Primary on Newton

        Light that strikes two reflective surfaces in close proximity and a slight angle to each other yields two wave fronts
          which reinforce each other when in phase or destruct when out of phase.
            each other when in phase or destruct when out of phase.
        The result is a series of lighter or darker rings.
        If the reflective surfaces are kept parallel, the resulting wave fronts are both in phase: therefore, No Newton rings!
        But, glass, if used to flatten film is a refractive element that degrades the image. A trade off.

 Avoiding Newton Rings A better way

        Filling the air space between the two reflective surfaces with a fluid:
        Forces the film into a flat plane
        Eliminates the air space between reflective surfaces, makes the surfaces parallel and banishes Newton Rings.
        Without fluid scanning, drum scanners could have not become a commercial reality.
        The same technology is available to all scanners

 Oil-type Imaging Fluids Pros

        THE PRO’S
        Scanning Oils are practically Chemically inert to film and scanner drums.
        The Oils high molecular contributes to their low volatility and solvency.
        Oils have no tendency to flash off at the edges of the fluid mount.
        Oil-type Imaging Fluids
        Scanning Oils are stable in storage because they are devoid of the reactive and smelly components natural to less

            pure petroleum   hydrocarbons
        The Oils low volatility  means no vapours released
        Oils  are essentially not flammable.  Big plus!
        The Oils high viscosity and low volatility help maintain a good temporary bond between the components of the fluid

            mount. No flash  off.

 First Generation Scanning Fluids

        That was the good news!

 Oil-type Imaging Fluids CONS

        Like bad guests, they won't go away when the party is over and need to be forcefully expelled.
        Removing the oil requires dry wiping / dilution with other hydrocarbon solvents which are volatile, and potentially
        Cleaning solvents solvent power must be high enough to remove tape residues. The added solvency can be
 incompatible with the
 drum or the coatings of some  scanner glass beds.

 Scanning fluids The Second Generation

        Main advantages: no clean up required.
        Self cleaning, evaporate  quickly  after the scan.
        Main disadvantage:
        High volatility = vapour build up,
        Highly flammable below the freezing point.
        Gasoline-like smell,
        Substances present: those  normally contained in less refined, cheaper, petroleum distillates.
        Aromatic and olefinic hydrocarbons




 The Ideal Imaging Fluid

        A 'Lens'. -not a solvent: will not damage film or equipment.
        Lumina is an inert optical medium
        Earth and Operator friendly:  Good for your image and you.
        High purity and consistent quality
        Odorless
        Doesn't' t flash-off while scanning
        Dries clean, leaves no residues
        NOT flammable at Room Temperature
        Low vapour toxicity
        Similar Refractive index as film

 The ScanScience Cup Test

Polystyrene foam is highly susceptible to attack by solvents, particularly those  containing aromatic and cyclic hydrocarbons.
As a rule, these substances have greater solvency.
The cup at the center is a new cup. The cup at the left contained LUMINA for 24 hours.  The cup at the right contained a
second generation scanner fluid during 24 hours.
Try the test yourself before trusting your film or scanner to an imaging fluid.
Copyright ScanScience 2017
Copyright ScanScience 2017