Cleaning Dust from Negatives

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by bvy, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I’ve been using canned air to clean dust from negatives, but recently it spat on one of them (I swear I didn’t shake it). Whatever it spat evaporated quickly and left a nice mark. I like the convenience and force of canned air, but I don’t like this side effect. Plus, canned air needs replenished; I’d like something reusable and inexpensive.

    I’ve been looking at something called a Giottos Rocket, and I’ve read of people using it to more safely blow dust off of negatives. I can’t imagine it blows with the same force as canned air though (does it?), but I’m wondering if it’s enough to do the job just as effectively.

    Also, I’ve been looking at an anti-static cloth from Ilford. It looks good for a quick, gentle wipe of the negative – perhaps for more stubborn dust.

    I’m wondering how effective one or both of these solutions would be in lieu of canned air. Or maybe someone has something else in mind. Thanks.
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Getting dust off doesn't usually require much force. The rocket would probably do fine. Just blowing with your mouth works well, though that requires caution too, it helps to swallow first:surprised:
    Soft camel's hair brushes work very well, either plain ones, or Static Masters.
    I use a Static Master when blowing doesn't work. But it's the same as a plain brush now since the cartridge expired years ago.
    Another device that works well for blowing, similar to the rocket, and probably cheaper, is a baby ear syringe.
    Hint, never let anyone "pet" the brush.
     
  3. JCJackson

    JCJackson Member

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    The Static Master with an active cartridge works well for me. The cartridge contains a low level radioactive isotope that emits gamma radiation that ionizes the layer of air next to the negative, dissipating any static electric charge. Static charges can make dust particles cling to the negative, and make it a magnet for any that may be floating around or hiding in the enlarger head. Static charges can be generated by simply removing negatives from a sleeve, brushing, or even blowing a stream of canned air across the surface. Although the idea of using something that emits radiation sounds a little frightening, it's perfectly safe unless you swallow it!
     
  4. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Do they still sell static masters?,mine is 25yrs old and do not do the job it once did.
     
  5. DLawson

    DLawson Member

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    B&H (just the page I checked first) still lists StaticMaster brushes and refills. I don't see the shelf-life numbers right off, but I think the cartridge is supposed to be replaced after 12-18 months.

    This is on my "should get sometime" shopping list.
     
  6. SAlred

    SAlred Member

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    At B&H a 1" Staticmaster is US$95 (!!!). The replacement cartridge is $65. Just looked at mine & the cartridge expired in 2005 -- oh, well, I guess I'll do without. I use an ear syringe to provide puffs of air sans saliva or other propellants...

    -- Steve A.
     
  7. jphendren

    jphendren Member

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    I use the large Giotto's Rocket, it seems to get dust off of 35mm slides pretty well.

    Jared
     
  8. meerkat

    meerkat Member

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    Gene Nocon recommends "nose grease" for stubborn marks!
     
  9. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    As for canned air, I couldn't be without my scuba diving cylinder !! Full bottle pressure is a little high at 3000psi but a regulator brings this down to around 30 and then a variable trigger allows fine adjustment. The best part is the air is very dry and highly purified, and it only costs £1.50 to fill ! This usually lasts for 2 - 6 months before refil.

    I find the nose grease as mentioned above good for very fine scratches on the neg
     
  10. Fireguy2002

    Fireguy2002 Member

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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    Don't know about that but maybe some sort of air brush tool from a hobby shop might work.
     
  11. Smudger

    Smudger Member

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    I had a Staticmaster once :then the Government heard about it, and I had to apply for an annual licence to possess a radioactive device.
    I can recommend the Kinetronics StaticWisk brush- nothing to wear out.
     
  12. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I tried that and it was a disaster. The only surefire way to clean film I've found beyond canned air is either rewash or using a clean non-oily fingertip to isolate large particles of crap from the emulsion. Other than that everything seems to destroy my film :sad:
     
  13. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I usually use canned air.

    Jeff
     
  14. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    $95.00 dollars is pretty expensive,think I take a pass on that one.
     
  15. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Smudger,do you have one of those kinetronics brushes.
     
  16. Smudger

    Smudger Member

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    I do . Works well.
     
  17. Existing Light

    Existing Light Member

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    A friend of mine told me he uses a coffee filter in front of the nozzle of canned air to keep the gunk from getting on his negs. I've never done it or seen him do it, though, so I dont know how well it works. I've never used canned air, so I dont know how forcefully the air comes out. Perhaps there's enough pressure to blow through the coffee filter and still blow off dust on the surface? Maybe there's thinner coffee filters? I've gotten to where I dont question some of the stuff he does :smile:

    I've always used one of those blower brushes. they're good for getting the dust off lenses, too :smile:
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    When I use canned air, it use it at a sallow angle to the negative and from 6 to 12 inches away.

    Steve
     
  19. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I once decided to clean my CCD with an air gun and it spat onto the filter of my DSLR. Much fun. Nice sized mark on there...
     
  20. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    The CO2 cartridges I get from cyberguys.com seems to be residue-less. Shook it up real good and sprayed it directly on a mirror, nothing there. If you like the rocket blaster but find it isn't strong enough, there is a foot-actuated air blaster available from
    micro-tools.com.

    As far as the static goes, I have an anti-static 'gun' left over from my vinyl LP days that still works.
     
  21. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    try pec-12. works for me every time. takes some experience though to get it right, especially with bigger film. try it with some pec pads and a rocket blower(or a baby nose blower/sucker thingy) you can get those at your local pharmacy. ask the pharmacist, they may give you one for free. mine did a year back. so I don't really care if I lose it, cause it was free :smile:.

    I generally use the canned air, I used to print at a place that had hookups to a compressor in every color room, so it was nice and convenient for that purpose.

    go easy on the pec-12 though... you DON'T need a lot, just a DROP or TWO on a pec pad. nothing more. definitely not soaked!

    -Dan
     
  22. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I use one of these:

    http://kinetronics.com/store/kse.html

    Costs a pretty penny but it always gets the job done over and over. I usually allow for negatives to get dusty in polyester sleeves, etc. so before enlarging I always pass a strip through the KSE and then into the carrier. I usually end up fighting dust on glass carriers more than negatives.
     
  23. Alessandro Serrao

    Alessandro Serrao Member

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    isopropilic alcohol