Fighting dust
Old 12-29-2018   #1
Asprine
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Fighting dust

I would like to start a discussion on dust. Since its a lot of work cleaning up every image in post production. Maybe we can share some insides and tips so we can spend less time behind a computer and more time behind a camera.

I'm using a Epson 750 flatbed for most of my scanning. I have a glass holder for large, medium en 135 format. But also use the Epson frames without glass.

In my workflow i vacuum before scanning, use gloves, and a dust rocket and a microfiber rag to clean the setup an neg after every negative strip.

Still the static electricity of the scanner draws in every speck of dust floating trough the house. Turning the house into a cleanroom is not an option with kids and a cat.

Tricks i have seen or heard of but have not tried yet:
- Air compressor, dusting off the negative before every scan.
- Anti-static gun like Zerostat, originally for LP's but apparently also work on your negatives.
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Old 12-29-2018   #2
Kai-san
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I do not know what climate you live in, but dry air could be a problem. If you have a possibility to to increase the air humidity in your house that would probably help. Otherwise I would try the Zerostat. I have one myself, but I only use it for my LP's. With film I do not have much of a dust problem, but then I live in a climate that is cold and wet; at least at this time of the year.
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Old 12-29-2018   #3
Ko.Fe.
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We have kids and cat. And I'm scanning 135, 120 and 4x5 with my flatbed Epson.
Dust is present, but few spots and only.
I'm using plenty of Photo Flo. And Rocket Blower, not just a blower.
No Ilford rug or anything to touch negatives and glass. No glass negative holders.
No gloves, either.
I'm drying my negatives in the bathroom which is not in use. It has minimal air flow.

If your scanner is prone to static accomulation, study how to make static discharging.
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Fighting dust
Old 12-29-2018   #4
joe bosak
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Fighting dust

I use an epson 850 with holders that have glass. I don't usually have too much of a dust problem. My scanner is in the kitchen/diner so may be a bit more humid (or the periodic humidity keeps dust down anyway), and there are no carpets nor pets or children at present. I use microfibre cloths to clean the scanner and holder glass, a can of compressed air when necessary, and i usually wear so-called lint free cotton gloves.
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Old 12-29-2018   #5
charjohncarter
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I do all things that Asprine does, I also find that the glass (ANR) is hard to clean. It has oil and dust that does not wipe off easily so I wash it for each session. I also reduce film dust by rinsing even after the PhotoFlo with filtered water, then wipe the film between my first two fingers. I then hang the film in a 4 inch width (about 4.5 feet long) of black plastic pipe and cap the pipe. It takes all day to dry but the film is dust free.
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Old 12-29-2018   #6
giganova
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I hang my negatives in the shower and scan them right after they are dry. The longer I wait, the more dust on the negatives. But overall, I am not having much of a problem with dust and only use canned air to blow the dust from the negative and the flatbed scanner before I scan.
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Old 12-29-2018   #7
Dan Daniel
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Ilford Anti-Staticum clothe is very good for dust control. I use it on the glass of an Epson 750, on the plastic parts, and the negative carriers. I will also occasionally spray the plastic parts with Novus #1 plastic cleaner (Brillianize is another brand, same idea). This is basically a wax in a carrier medium for cleaning plastic and making it anti-static.

The Anti-Staticum clothe also helps on negatives themselves. After blowing off, I'll hold the clothe over one palm and gently wipe the negative over the clothe (any wiping of negatives scares me because of the potential for scratching). Keep the clothe (any clothe you use for cleaning) in a plastic bag when not in use to keep it clean and free of grit.

If you can get the scanner into a small space, it will be easier. An air cleaner is helpful. When I had a scanner set up in a small bathroom I would mist the air with a spray bottle of water with a few drops of Photo-flo. Wait a few minutes for the mist and dust to settle.
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Old 12-29-2018   #8
giganova
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
It takes all day to dry
Interesting. My negatives are bone dry and ready to scan after two hours -- and I live in a high-humidity area (Washington DC).
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Old 12-29-2018   #9
ajtruhan
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Color or bw? Digital ice works great.
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Old 12-29-2018   #10
charjohncarter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
Interesting. My negatives are bone dry and ready to scan after two hours -- and I live in a high-humidity area (Washington DC).
In that tube it takes way longer than in open air. But I love no dust on the negatives. I must live in a dusty place because before I did the tube they always had lots of dust.
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Old 12-29-2018   #11
Huss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asprine View Post
I...and a microfiber rag to clean the seetup an neg after every negative strip. .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
Ilford Anti-Staticum clothe is very good for dust control. I use it on the glass of an Epson 750, on the plastic parts, and the negative carriers. I will also occasionally spray the plastic parts with Novus #1 plastic cleaner (Brillianize is another brand, same idea). This is basically a wax in a carrier medium for cleaning plastic and making it anti-static.

The Anti-Staticum clothe also helps on negatives themselves. After blowing off, I'll hold the clothe over one palm and gently wipe the negative over the clothe (any wiping of negatives scares me because of the potential for scratching). Keep the clothe (any clothe you use for cleaning) in a plastic bag when not in use to keep it clean and free of grit...

microfiber cloth - NO!
anti-static cloth - YES!

I was surprised how well my antistatic cloth worked when I had to clean my light panel to scan medium format film.
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Old 12-29-2018   #12
jbharrill1
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I was having some minor (obviously thats relative) dust issues about 7 months ago after moving to a new house that seems to be a dust trap.

-Hang negatives to dry in this tiny little closet I have turned into a darkroom. Its prob 3ft x 5 ft max. I've weather stripped the door so no light will get in. The weather striping also controls air flow so dust won't be flying around.
- Once negs dry hit them with an anti stat brush then they go into print file sleeves
-Before scanning I will anti stat brush the entire glass of the Epson v600 I'm using. Then give each strip another brush with the anti stat brush. Once in the holders hit them with rocket blower and scan.

Obviously I'll still get dust on negs but its a LOT less common now and if I do its much easier to fix one or two little spots compared to 10.
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Old 12-30-2018   #13
ChrisPlatt
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Fortunately my current place is not very dusty, but my parent's home was.
In my first darkroom there a Staticmaster brush was part of my printing ritual.
They are still available but expensive now.
It worked well however I'm not sure I'd choose to use one today for health concerns and cost.

I also have a Zerostat gun - also quite expensive now - which I use for vinyl records.
If needed I could use that in combination with a soft brush.

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Old 12-30-2018   #14
Ronald M
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Close one room and clean it all. Filter incoming air. Run a hepa air filter to keep the room clean.

You need t make sure what you think is airborn dust is not really debris from water ( 3 micron filter solves it ) or debris from plastic chemical bottles.

My experience has been every emulsion has defects. There were programs to remove this available to commercial places. Probably can not get them now.

The big test is if the film has loose dust, it is from air somewhere or bad storage, or if it will not come off it is settled on while drying or not cleaning bottles or using plastic ones.

Only solution is to clean up one thing at a time starting with developing tanks, storage bottles, film drying area, water dirt, and proceed to a clean room for scanning and wearing lint free clothing and no shoes for use in just that room. Examine the negs at each stage with magnifying glass to see where the spots occur and solve each problem from the beginning.

My experience is scanning with a high rez scanner shows lots more than a print will.
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Old 01-02-2019   #15
Asprine
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Thanks for sharing everyone!
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Old 01-02-2019   #16
Steve M.
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As mentioned, hang the negs to dry in the bathroom w/ the door closed (and ideally after a shower), then cut, sleeve and scan right away. The key to getting dust off negs is to prevent the dust from getting on the negs is to prevent it from flying around in your space. A shower will trap all the dust and bring it to the floor/tub.

I had tons of problems w/ dust in New Mexico, but in Florida they went away. Big difference in ambient humidity.
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