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Scanning dirty negative, positives
Old 06-27-2009, 11:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is the best method for cleaning dirty negatives and slides? I
want to scan some old negatives. They were all stored in "Print file" sleeves and stored in file boxes but that was not enough! I have canned air but I still have a lot left. Too much "spotting" to do! Any suggestions will be helpful!!
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Re: Scanning dirty negative, positives
Old 06-28-2009, 12:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If it's just dust spots, one can wash the negs (or trannies) in clean water
and simply hang up to dry, preferably with some easy flo!

If they have been scratched or colour faided, then you have a lot more work
to do on them.


Cheers,
Joseph



PS....Oh! thank you jford.......and some years back one could also buy cans
of compressed gas, either CO2 or nitrogen. (I believe) which could do a good
blow clean.


Joseph
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Re: Scanning dirty negative, positives
Old 06-28-2009, 10:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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To elaborate on Joseph's reply - work in a clean, dust-free room. Turn off fans, a/c, close windows, etc., if necessary. My lab abuts what is currently a construction zone - for the last several months, if I don't "button up", the room gets a coating of dust within 24 hours. Your mileage will vary depending on your environment.
if the dust is simply setting on the film, brush it off carefully. Puffs of air are good - but they raise dust, too, and it WILL settle - usually on your film, and it will invite friend dust spots. On the other hand, using a brush generates static, which also attracts dust. There used to be available a brush with a little radioactive material in it, to minimize static. Don't know if it's still available. Never used it myself. I used an ear syringe to puff air directly on the tougher spots, after a gentle brushing with a lipstick case, soft camel-hair brush. Inspect the film with a 10X magnifier before scanning.
Spots, or particles that are hardened into the film (due to dusty conditions when the film was drying, or unfiltered rinse water, or bad handling) require that you wash the film strip. Soak in clean, cool (say, 65 F- NOT HOT) distilled water, then rinse with same, then with distilled water with a bit of Photo-Flo (a nonionic surfactant). You can GENTLY remove some "crud" with a spotter's brush when wet, but be careful about wiping with any real force because the emulsion may be softer now.
In spite of how it sounds, in my experience, once you've got suitable space and tools, cleaning the film is easier than digitally de-spotting.
Good luck
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Re: Scanning dirty negative, positives
Old 06-28-2009, 12:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Another option... If you're scanning with a scanner that uses digital ICE, that can do a lot of the work for you.
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Re: Scanning dirty negative, positives
Old 06-29-2009, 11:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have scanned multiple negatives that I have taken over the past 20 - 25 years. Some of which I did not care for well. Not being a professional photographer I did not plan on doing anything with them later. Well I changed my mind as I am going digital with most of my photography avocation. This image was taken in 1987. One scan has the digital ice turned on, one has it turned off. The digital ice is a process that occurs with the scanning, not a post scan process. I have more images that I have scanned from negative film posted under my profile. Hope this is helpful.

Digital Ice On



Digital Ice Off

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Re: Scanning dirty negative, positives
Old 07-01-2009, 10:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks everybody.
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