What is Digital ICE?

Digital ICE. Why do we keep mentioning it?

A few of you may have been browsing our site and have wondered…

What is Digital ICE?
Why is it so good for my negatives and slides?
Do I need it?

The answer is YES. Digital ICE (or Digital Image Correction and Enhancement) is a great little technology invented by Kodak when digital scanning began to focus on 35mm film.

The problem with most scans of negatives and slides is that they have a lot of dirt and dust on them. Some have fingerprints, grease and oil, while others have hair, scratches and all sorts of fluff. As more people around the world began to sort through their photos and needed their images scanning, the more urgent the need became to “fix” the issue.

To get around the time consuming problem of manually cleaning and wiping down each and every single frame of film or slide, Kodak came up with a method that uses a combination of hardware and software. Digital ICE is designed to cut down that time and enable a better result for your scans.

Simply put, Digital ICE is a double scan. The first scan is the normal what you see is what you get scan of a photo negative. The second scan is the same photo scanned this time with a special infrared sensor. It is this special second scan that makes Digital ICE all so important.
The scan in infrared can detect all the marks and imperfections in a photo frame, and then the system or scanner uses this “map” of the “bad” areas to decide which areas to remove from the final image.

negative scan without digital ICE

Before Digital ICE is used

negative scan with Digital ICE applied

After Digital ICE is used








As I’m sure you’ll agree, the end result is a much more clearer and cleaned up image, saving a lot of time in Photoshop editing out each of the unwanted marks. Kodak’s technology is now in widespread use amongst many high end professional equipment, and the best results come from the scanners with the physical capability like the ones we use here at Pixsave. Digital ICE is also used on film reels, helping to restore and clean up many thousands of hours of old films and television episodes in remastering projects.

The next time you watch a crisp looking Blu-Ray of Ben Hur, thank Digital ICE for helping to bring it back to life.

Digital ICE isn’t perfect, as it doesn’t work on black and white film, but it does help to bring the best out of your colour negatives.

All of our negative scanning services include Digital ICE as standard for no extra cost, so everyone benefits from this marvellous piece of technology!

More about Infrared cleaning

For more in depth and technical information about Kodak’s Digital ICE