How to keep dust off of negatives?
Old 08-12-2019   #1
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How to keep dust off of negatives?

I have been self processing B&W film for years. I donít know why but when I scan my negatives, color or B&W I have to digitally remove many dust lines and spots. I clean the scanner and microfiber wipe the negatives. I also steam up the bathroom and take them down as fast as possible and put them in sleeves. Then use photo flow.

What does everyone do to not have to fight dust spots on your scanned negatives? Iím almost ready to send all my film out to a lab for developing and scanning. This was never a problem years ago
Just some old cameras.
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Old 08-12-2019   #2
Dan Daniel
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Drying cabinet.

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Old 08-12-2019   #3
Erik van Straten
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Before scanning, or printing, I wipe my negatives clean with a microfiber cloth. I have a professional double focal loupe that I keep on my head all the time to detect dust. I remove dust with a microfiber cloth or a large brush from badgers hair. Badgers hair is very good for removing dust.

I scan prints as soon as they are dry. They do not get the time to get dusty.

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Old 08-12-2019   #4
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My solution was to not look at film scan at 100% but rather at print resolution say 25 or 50% view in LR. I'm working on a MAC so another think I would do is make a print to PDF at size I would print the image say 11x14 or 10x15 and look at that to see if I'd missed any spots. We've gotten so used to reviewing digital shots at 100% that we think everything needs to be reviewed at 100% which may not always be the case.
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Old 08-12-2019   #5
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I deal with the dust problem all the time. Before scanning, I wipe down the area around my scanner with a damp paper towel. I wipe down the glass plate on the scanner with an anti-static cloth. Finally, I carefully brush the negatives with soft brush just before scanning. This approach doesn't eliminate all dust spots, but it significantly reduces what I have to correct in Lightroom.

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Old 08-12-2019   #6
Steve M.
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Scanners magnify not only grain, but dust too. What used to be a dust problem for me when I scanned negs, went away once I started wet printing. I use a glassless negative carrier in my enlarger, but even w/ a glass holder, I had very few problems w/ this. A drying cabinet is not necessarily better than simply hanging the negs up to dry in a bathroom after running hot water in the shower for a spell and closing the door until they're dry. No peeking! The air will rush in, and w/ it, the dust. Just leave them be for an hour or so, take them down, and immediately cut them into strips and put them into print sleeves.
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Old 08-12-2019   #7
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I believe Erik's comment about scanning as soon as the negatives are dry is definitely a best practice. I have deferred to a lab for processing that scans my negatives to DNG so I can work them just like my digital camera raw files. They email me zip files with the images, which are "straight scans" with no additional processing and the subsequent dust spotting I have to do is very minimal to none. No doubt they run the entire roll through the scanner before cutting and sleeving the negatives to mail back to me.
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Old 08-12-2019   #8
Kostya Fedot
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I'm not touching my negatives. Photo Flo and Rocket Blower only.

And printing under enlarger is way better than scanning in terms of the dust and scratches.
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Old 08-12-2019   #9
Erik van Straten
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Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post

And printing under enlarger is way better than scanning in terms of the dust and scratches.

Depends on the type enlarger you use. A light point source enlarger reproduces every small scratch or irregularity on the negative. A diffusor enlarger (coldlight) or an enlarger with reflected light (the old Leitz enlargers with their convex reflectors above the lamp) are very dust friendly, above all when filters are used for variable contrast papers.

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Old 08-12-2019   #10
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I've greatly reduced my dust problem. (1) I squeegee my negatives after a wash, photoflo, and then a final rinse with filtered water. I squeegee with two fingers and I do it twice (35mm and 120). (2) THEN I dry in a 4 inch wide black plastic pipe that stands vertical. I takes much longer to dry and I could speed it up with an air filter and small fan. But I don't care how long, so I didn't include that.
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