are 35mm negs with very fine scratches..

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by Sean, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I'm hating life right now. Just processed 2 rolls of tri-x 35mm, possibly some of the best work I've done in 10 years on these rolls. The negs look awesome, yet my camera has most likely ruined several areas of the negs with very fine scratches, some very long. I am holding out hope that maybe they will still be printable. The scratches are on the non-emulsion side and are very faint but if twisting the neg under light you can see them in the reflection. I have no idea how they got there, I examined the pressure plate and it was spotless. I took a roll out that was in the camera mid-roll and sure enough there they were but when taking out fresh film from the roll they were not there. Maybe this is what I get for selling my M6! :sad:

    Anyway, I won't be able to print for a few months so am wondering if any of you guys have managed to print negs with these very fine scratches on them. Maybe they will come out ok using my cold light head, I am not sure. grrr...
     
  2. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I've heard of a product called Edwal No Scratch , maybe this can help? Sure don't want to loose these negs!
     
  3. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    I would print them irregardless of the scratches. I would not put much hope in the cold light head, you are enlarging after all. The Edwal sounds like a good idea. Lastly, a reshoot possible?
     
  4. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    Sean,
    old film material is sometimes copied on special immersion oil carriers. I've tried this once. It is a mess, but it worked in the sense that it was at least an improvement. Try immersion oil used for microscopes. You can clean the film with isopropanol afterwards. There might exist some oil that matches the refractive index of the film carrier even better. Good luck.
     
  5. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I guess first I'll try printing them, then the edwal no scratch, then reshoot. I do have some hope after reading about edwal no scratch working for fine base scratches. I think my emulsion is in the clear so maybe I'll be ok.
     
  6. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    another quick trick for scratched emulsion is to soak the film in about 80F degree water . That swells the emulsion and on fine scratches it helps to reconnect and fill in the scratch. It can't hurt. 'm taking it was B&W film. Color would have to be about 5 degrees warmer than what you processed it at.
     
  7. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    nose oil!

    you rub your finger on the side of your nose (or forehead, etc) and then over the scratch on the neg... (you need to blend it around a bit) Works very well! Saved me several times! I clean them afterwards with some film cleaner stuff.
     
  8. Matej Maceas

    Matej Maceas Member

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    I've been having the same problem recently, at first I thought it was the camera but now I suspect it's the reel in the developing tank. The reason is that my mother has also started to have the same problem, with two other cameras. The only common factor was our development gear... She also shot some slides which were developed in a pro lab and they were not scratched.
     
  9. gma

    gma Member

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    Avoid using a condenser enlarger. Scratches will be less visible or not visible at all using diffuser enlarger. The oil from the skin rubbed into the film base side idea will certainly help also, as weird as it sounds. I have used that technique. I have not used any of the proprietary scratch eliminator fluids.
     
  10. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    If you were shooting in a dusty environment you may have gotten dirt into the felt of the cassete when changing film. If you also remove the film for developing by pulling the leader out instead of popping the cassette it would compound the problem.Tell me, is this factory loads or bulk loaded film? You need to clean the cassettes occasionally for the bulk loads and toss them when they get rough looking. I've also seen cheap cassetes get a fine bit of rust inside them and make scratches.
    Aother boo boo I've done is to forget to open the gate on the reloader when I start winding the film in. Talk about scratches!
     
  11. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    If they are very faint and on the base then you may have nothing to worry about. I noticed a few scratches on my 35mm film base and thought they would be ruined. I printed them with a diffusion enlarger and could not find any problem with the prints. Good luck.
     
  12. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    On the base side, worry not unless you really see something on the print. Use a low f/stop in the enlarger as another possible correction if you do see something.

    It might not be your camera. Did you use a wetting agent? Did you squeegee the film when drying? Did you filter ALL of the water, even the wash water? Like with a real filter, not just one of those wire meshes? Unless something exceptional happened I would not suspect the reels.
     
  13. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Looks like Sean already located the source of the problem - it is either the camera (most likely) or the film canister (see above quote). Seems like there was another thread this past week and someone suggested using a pair of hose to located any burr, etc. Sounds like the best solution.

    Sean, are the scratches always in the same place on the negative. Since it is on the base and not emulsion side, that gives you a place to look - somewhere on the camera back from the roll to the take up spool. Where were they in relationship to the film when the back was open. I think you have already found it, you just don't know it yet.
     
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  15. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Hi Gary, I am overly protective with camera and film, I'm going to have another look at the camera and see what I can find. It's also factory loaded 24exp rolls
     
  16. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Well my water is rainwater and filtered through a 1micron filter so I think it's ok. In the past I've always wet my fingers with a little wetting agent and squeegeed the film that way, and at first I thought maybe that did it, but after looking at the roll of film that was currently in progress I could see scratches so I'm pretty sure it's the camera. Some good news is that the scratches did not show in the film scans, usually when they show in my scans I know they'll show on the print.
     
  17. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Are you bulk-rolling? Could also be your loader.
     
  18. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    na, just 24exp factory rolls of tri-x
     
  19. sergio caetano

    sergio caetano Member

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    Nose oil (as already said). It works better than it sounds.
     
  20. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Skin oil has been my usual cure for such catastrophes. Wipe it across the scratch with a thumb, but don't leave fingerprints. The side of your nose or behind your ear works as a source.
     
  21. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    hmm, how do you wipe oil from your skin to the neg without leaving smudges or fingerprints?
     
  22. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    you go around in little circles... you blend it into the rest of the neg. be bold :smile:
     
  23. bazz8

    bazz8 Member

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    fine scratches

    nose oil what brand your own works very well
    have tried baby oil read somwhere that baby oil in a neg well
    just over the size of your neg and filled with baby oil depth 1 layer of
    masking tape very messy and to me was a desperation measure
    on my durst I have printed some 50-60 year old negs that looked shocking yet the marks did not show at all
    regards'Barry Treleaven
     
  24. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    Sean, since I use film that has been regularly handled since the 1950's, I see that non-emulsion side scratching a lot. The cold light head with the f-stop open wider than you would normally prefer and a very short shot can help. When I bought this place the aerials were done on an old 1940's box enlarger with a warm halogen light head, when I switched to the brighter and cold light of the copy cameras virtually every scratch "disappeared", but no loss in the emulsion side information.
    Now I do extreme enlargements with the least being equivalent to a 10 x 12 from a 35mm, maybe that simply keeps the non-emulsion from being in focus, but honestly the old enlarger at the same scale would just be a mess really, now poof all gone.
     
  25. inthedark

    inthedark Member

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    I have also heard but never used, petroleum jelly lightly on the scratched side, but I would imagine that unless you have a glassless neg carrier it would cause bizarre newton type rings.
     
  26. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    Thinking positively, my gut feeling is the scratches won't show up especially if you use a diffusion enlarger. Maybe you could carefully look at them under a loupe or camera lens. You might get a better idea what caused them and if they will show up in printing. Certainly don't do anything to the negatives until you find out how the prints look under normal printing techniques.