cursed: three types of dust/spots (thinking out loud)

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jss, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. jss

    jss Member

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    i've been trying to be more careful about dust, honest. i was so disappointed last night to see it again on my negatives, after a fun/relaxing outing at stanford.

    i uploaded a picture of my negative in the technical gallery.
    i'm seeing white specs and white lines. and black dust.

    thinking about it, the 'white' dust must be on the negative at the time of exposure. the 'black' dust must be on the negative when i put it into chemistry and getting embedded on the surface.

    i thought the used changing bag i got was a source of dust. so i loaded the film in my darkened bathroom/darkroom. there must still be dust.. i haven't tried using humidity or filters to reduce airborne dust. i should do this.

    i thought to try blowing the negative after i remove the dark slide, prior to pulling it put and dipping it into chemistry. but i think canned air may just bring up more dust in my bathroom.

    i think i will pick up a cheap humidifier (i need to go shopping for other items anyways) and try that. days like today i just feel cursed. it's so frustrating to have a problem, try to avert it, and get plagued by it again. we'll see. i dont think i'm giving up yet.. doing LF is too cool to let this stop me.
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

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    If your darkroom is in your bathroom, why nopt run the shower for a few minutes and get some steam going? That way you wont have another device to worry about.
     
  3. lee

    lee Member

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    Dust is a problem for a lot of people. There are several things that one can do to help with the dust problem. Holders can and do hold static that can attract dust. You can clean them but some think it is better to vacuum them. There is a spray that is used in the electronics industry that you can spray to help eleminate static. Vacuum the inside of the camera. That can be a large source of dust. As Brian said, run the shower for a few minutes before you load the film. The humidity will help keep the dust down. After the film is loaded maybe you could store the holders in a zip lock baggie with the zip lock zipped.

    Some of these may help but keep trying different things to see what works for your system.

    The dust on the drying negs is something that cleaning the area where they hang and then after they are hung up...leave and don't come back into the room until the film is dry.

    lee\c
     
  4. jss

    jss Member

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    ya, i thought about that a bit later.. thanks for the pointer..
     
  5. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Moving a little OT

    As I get closer to to using 4X5 these type of questions become more and more interesting. In the area I mix dry chemicals to prepare stock solutions I am considering some type of 'bathroom' exhaust fan for airborne particles. Not to exhaust them so much as to trap them and at some point clean or replace the filter.

    I see here an opportunity where loading and unloading sheet film under this type filter may work.... or may not, for dust collection.

    Anybody have an opinion? (Silly question, I know.)
     
  6. Poco

    Poco Member

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    One place not to overlook for dust is the light trap through which the dark slide moves -- that felt in there is usually full of it. Every 3rd or 4rth film loading I take the slides out, blow through the trap, rap it hard, slam the slide home through it etc...

    Also, when loading them up, I clean the holders and slides and stack them, slides closed, in a pile and only open the slides the bare minimum necessary to slip the film in -- less time and motion for dust to get in there. Who knows whether that really does anything, but in theory it should.
     
  7. jss

    jss Member

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  8. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I think they would counteract each other. The humidity would make the dust drop to the ground, the ionic thingy does the same thing but with ions. With the humidity, the dust will stay down until it dries out. If you are looking to filter the air, you are going to want one of those filters with the ion thingy plus a heppa filter.

    Brian
     
  9. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Dusty stuff

    Am I missing something, or is the most important thing to keep dust out of the freshly loaded film holders prior to exposing the film. If we accumulated dust during processing, I wouldn't it wash off anyway(?)
     
  10. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    Dust is the enemy of us all! - Several years ago, armed with my shiny new 4x5, I raced off to The Pinnacles, a bizzare corral formation in the middle of the desert near Ridgecrest and took some stunning photos - all ruined from dust spots everywhere. My camera was clean - vacuumed out, the holders were clean - vacuumed out. The air was just full of dust and very dry in the desert. I have achieved some success by doing the following:
    I brush off the dark slide with a lens brush before I put the pack in the camera.
    I remove the dark slide slowly so as not to create static or disturb dust nearby.
    I regularly vacuum out my camera and my film packs.
    I use a product called BANSTATIC from Fuji as an afterwash (replaces photoflo) It makes the film so slippery that nothing will stick to it. I use an Ion air cleaner in my darkroom.
    I use a lot of canned air to blast off negs and carriers.

    Even with all of this - I still have become pretty good with a 00 brush! The answer? Maybe do less enlarging and more contact printing. I don't usually have to spot AZO or alt process prints. All in all - my negs are plenty usable using these precautions. I don't have to spot very many of them and I do a lot of 16x20s.
     
  11. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    A little off topic but I am amazed how well Spotone works. I use it on Ilford fiber paper and even if I know where the spot is I often can't see it. I've also done some pretty large areas with success.
     
  12. AllanD

    AllanD Member

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    I use a " ionic air purifier" (i.e. a fan/filter + ionizer) and it works very well. I have it set so that it blows filtered air gently across the work area. The idea is to have it create a slight positive pressure over the work area, so that you are working in a pool of filtered air. Sounds complicated, but it simply means having a back and sides on the work area, and having the filter output blow into this area. The ionizer part of the air purifier really does make dust fall out of the air. I was surprised at just how well it worked.

    One advantage of a filter is that if you do use canned air to blow away dust, you can direct the jet at the filter and know that the stirred up dust is going to get pulled out of the air, not just redistributed !