Whats the best way to scan an ambrotype?

I’ve not been too happy with how accurate the scans are of my recent ambrotypes. Is it best to scan them as negs, transparencies or as positive print as a flatbed scan?

Here I’ve done each way.

  • As a reflective flatbed scan with a black card background.
  • As colour positive film then inverted in PS.
  • As colour negative film.

I had been using the reflective system and making adjustments in PS to get the scans to look like the plates in hand, ok maybe with a little tweeking to improve the overall look. From these three comparisons though I’m liking the look of the image scanned as a colour positive!

It does make me wonder how one of these uncoated (unvarnished non black backed) ambrotypes would look contact printed?

As an ambrotype is basically an underexposed wet plate negative (long story short) can I take from these scans that my original exposure is overexposed thus giving me a half decent wet plate neg, or is there far more to it. I’ll have to look into it, I assumed making a wet plate neg was a little bit more involved with intensifiers and all manner of other things.