Dusting Negs: Cloth or Brush???

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Max Power, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    Yesterday I went to the local photo shop to buy some paper and chemicals. I was also looking for a 'Staticmaster' brush; it was recommended in an article on dust control by Tom Halfhill.

    The salesman said he had never heard of a Staticmaster brush and only had Ilford static cloths. When I said that my readings had led me to believe that wiping negs with a cloth was a bad idea, and that a brush was the way to go, he looked at me like I was an idiot and said that he would never use a brush for negatives, only a cloth.

    So, what is the opinion out there?

    Kent
     
  2. lee

    lee Member

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    Max,

    the guy is an idiot. Find another store quick. Staticmasters are the standard of the industry. He doesnt have one so he cant sell you one but he is trying to sell you a cloth. I have a cloth too. I used it to wipe the glass negative carriers on my Durst 138s.

    lee\c
     
  3. bazz8

    bazz8 Member

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    I agree with lee never trust a salesman who does not have the product you have asked for(me I use a modified asma air pump and use a shot of air.

    regards
    Bazz8
     
  4. shyguy

    shyguy Member

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    the brush and compressed air are the trick.

    S.
     
  5. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    www.kinetronics.com (click on "photo products") works for me. When I switched to a glass negative carrier and using masks dust became a HUGE issue. Now I lay my carrier on a Tiger Cloth when changing negatives, and use a 4x5 sized Ministat (double brush gizmo) on all negatives and masks...dust is no longer a problem. They also make anti static gloves.

    Murray
     
  6. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    My own experience has lead me to conclude that the staticmaster brushes are no better than an untreated brush. I have been buying makeup brushes from Walgreens that are sort of like an oversized lickstick tube with a cover on one end that the brush retracts inside of. For wiping negatives and glass I have been using a micro-fiber cloth. Although I have not used them I am of the opinion that the electrically charged brushes that Kodak used to be make and which were sold by and may still be available from Calumet as a Zone VI product may have been useful. I have yet to use a Kodak product that did not work well. I also believe that the One-Pass roller/paper system would work well since it has its origins in clean room technology.
     
  7. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I really prefer a blast of air, but I don't have either an air pump or a cylinder in my darkroom, and I have a philosophical issue with paying money for air. So I have defaulted to a brush.

    My brush is a Staticmaster - but I've had it so long that the ionization function has died of old age. Frankly, I can't say that I noticed that its performance deteriorated as the radioactive element exceeded it's half life. I keep it in the original box, and I only use it for negatives, and I suspect that discipline has helped keep it clean over the years.

    Incidentally, while a blast of air is the best approach, it is critical that the air be dry and oil-free. Ordinary compressors, including those at the gas station, can put both water and oil into the compressed air.
     
  8. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    That Kinetronics Tiger cloth looks EXACTLY like my Ilford antistatic cloth.
     
  9. Jan Pietrzak

    Jan Pietrzak Member

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    Kent,

    When I first started in this game, some 35 years ago, some one show me how well a small sable paint brush worked. A nice size number 3 or 4 round just does the job. Some years later when I started teaching one of may student kept getting all sorts of scratches on his negatives. They showed me the neg/static cloth they used and how they used it. All my advanced student end up changing to a simple brush paint/watercolor, static master to much money, a soft make-up brush just fine, or the Kinetronics big or small. Just remember to keep them clean and free from dirt or oils.

    Jan Pietrzak
     
  10. eagleowl

    eagleowl Member

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    I've only ever used...

    ...a blower brush.
    The only exception to this was when I mis~handled a neg and got a nasty fingerprint on it-then I used the cotton glove(which I should have used to handle the neg :rolleyes: ).
     
  11. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    When I first bought the Ilford orange cloth, I thought it was magic! Wiped everything that even went near my photo related process with it! And I have to say, I got fewer dust specs. But I have to say its quite coarse by feel - so I just common-sensed my way to not using it on negatives. I think the brush is a great idea, as long as you remember that it will be only as good as its own cleanliness. Anything that moves dirt (other than perhaps air) does so by trapping it - even a brush to some extent, so make sure those brushes are clean!

    BTW - You are not that Jan Pietrzak, are you? :smile:
     
  12. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I use an untreated brush and an ear syringe as a blower. Works pretty well but I'm always willing to hear what is working for others.
     
  13. Jan Pietrzak

    Jan Pietrzak Member

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    ps

    Keep it clean, the first thing is that students want to do is put it on there face the first thing I do is to toss it. Being a person of the 60/70's the ear syringes work very well for me. Just can't get into canned air/stuff.

    Jan Pietrzak


    pps gnashing,

    Which Jan Pietrzak would you like me to be.
     
  14. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Sorry - just a by-product of growing up in Poland in the 1980's. There is a performer who was/is quite famous there, who shares your name. It just jumped out at me. I hope you didn't take any offense to my question.
     
  15. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I have "wired" my darkroom and dry working area with 5/8 inch air hose that is connected to an air compressor and moisture filter(VERY important). Air compressor is set to 30 psi. I have 3 stations with coiled hose coming down from the ceiling with spray nozzles on them, the enlarger, matting area and mount press. Dust has not been a problem since. In most cases while printing, a quick swipe with a Staticmaster followed by a blast of air on both sides of the neg does it. Once the paper is in the easel, another quick blast over its surface to remove anything that might have fallen on it and I'm ready to expose. It works great and I highly recommend the system.

    Bill

    www.billschwab.com
     
  16. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Bill, I've done the same thing in my NEARLY FINISHED darkroom (actually just an exposing room - I have a separate wet room). Anyway - I really wasn't sure what sort of tubing to use for the air - so I used 1/2" copper plumbing tube. I'm HOPING there's a way to connect the proper air fittings onto the end of it. Because I'm sure as hell not going to be digging that stuff back out of the wall with all the layers of wiring and plywood and drywall and compound on there...!! Anyway - any ideas about mating the copper lines with the right air fittings?
    thanks.
     
  17. thedarkroomstudios

    thedarkroomstudios Member

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    Blow, Brush & Wipe... anybody ever heard that mantra before? Blow off the big stuff, brush off the static-y fibers and wipe only if something stubborn has remained in place.
    (As far as stubborn things, Rexton is okay but nothing beats Pec12)

    Sparky, there's a whole mess of compression fittings out there, I'm sure one will convert to the size tubing you'll need to hook up to your compressor... make sure you flush the lines out real good before use, you really don't want any stray flux spitting out onto your negs.
     
  18. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I use a batter operated vacuum that was made for computer keyboards, I have seen any for the past fews years but I assume that they are still in production.
     
  19. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    I use a Kodak Static Eliminator. It is a camel hair brush attached to a static unit used in electronics manufacturing. The unit plugs into the wall, then it shoots ions at the negative, eliminating the charge that makes it stick to the negative in the first place. The negative does not attract new dust. The brush wipes the existing dust off. These are no longer available new from Kodak, but one is currently for sale on Ebay. One can be constructed by getting the unit from Simco (www.simco-static.com), getting a wand for it that looks like a pen with a wire coming out the end, and strapping a brush onto the wand.

    -Greg
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm also a fan of the wide Kinetronics brush for negatives, carrier glass, lenses and vinyl LPs. I use Dust-Off as well.

    p.s.--I think that Jan Pietrzak is alive and well and performing cabaret in Warsaw.
     
  21. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Sparky
    be very careful with the copper tube system, have a filter very close to the end where you are spraying, I have worked in labs in the past with copper tubing for air line and every lens was coated with pits and oiled. A filter should be helpful.
     
  22. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    You'll love it when it is done. I'm not sure about fittings, but I am sure you will have no trouble going back to hose as there are a million different compression type fittings out there. I would be sure to give it a good blasting to clean out the copper lines though. I would be concerned about left over flux from sweat soldering the fittings. Perhaps a filter before you go into the hose again would be best just in case. I used flexible air hose... and you're right... I wouldn't want to have to dig that stuff out again. I'm hoping to have moved by the time it needs replacing!

    Good luck with the project and new darkroom!

    Bill
    www.billschwab.com
     
  23. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    I use makeup brushes -- they come in a container that looks like a large lipstick. Buy them in a dollar store for a buck apiece. I also use them on my cameras to clean the inside and also for lenses.
     
  24. mkravit

    mkravit Member

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    The absolutely best way that I have found after 30+ years of printing is to use a dust roller. These are rollers that attract dust and are then rolled over a sticky pad to remove the dust.

    I roll over my negative and no dust.

    I also roll the glas in my nagative cariier. I find these work better than Static-Master brushes and compressed air which only blows the dust around the darkroom.

    I also print 16x20 palladium prints from 16x20 negatives. The ONLy way to keep these puppies dust free is with a dust roller.

    Check it out at http://www.startpcb.com/items/dust_removal_system.asp


    My best
    Mike
     
  25. PeterB

    PeterB Subscriber

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    Wow, those rollers certainly aren't cheap. Have you ever had any residue remian on the surface that you're trying to dust after using it?
    This product reminds me of the thing I use to remove dog hairs from my clothes and furniture at home ! Its a lint roller - just like fly paper on a cylinder, and you just tear a piece off when it loses its sticy-ness. (http://www.lintroller.com/australia/products.html)

    Although it may not be that great for use in the darkroom - since I imagine that it could release some adhesive where you don't want it to.

    Anyway, back to the darkroom topic at hand, personally I use compressed air and lint free tissues to clean my negs and the glass carrier plates.



    regards
    Peter Badcock