Help with tiny scratches on negs

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jmal, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. jmal

    jmal Member

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    As the title suggests, I keep getting "random" fine scratches on some of my negatives. 35mm film, Nikon FM2n. They do not occur all of the time, but enough to bother me. They run lengthwise along the base side of the film, which means that something is touching the film across its length. It seems that this can come from roughly three areas: the camera itself (pressure plate, in particular), the film cannister, or my handling of the film. I never touch the film anywhere other than the edges and am very careful when winding onto my reel, so I don't think it comes from my handling. I also do not se any scratching of the base layer when I pull the leader out of the cannister, so this seems unlikely. The pressure plate in the camera seems most likely. The plate is immaculate and does not have any rough edges, as are all the internal parts of the body. So, given that it is clean inside, is there anything to cure pressure plate scratches? Of course any other diagnoses would be appreciated.

    Jmal
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Are you using bulk loaded film?
     
  3. jmal

    jmal Member

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    No, just using store bought rolls, which are kept in their plastic container before and after use.
     
  4. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Jmal,

    Make sure you (carefully) blow out your camera regularly. The offending particles are often difficult to see.

    Neal Wydra
     
  5. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    Yes, I would agree with Neal. I found that blowing out the camera every other cassette cut down on the number of minor scratches. In addition, I use Edwal's scratch remover when making prints with negatives that have scratches. It covers up the minor scratches very well and has saved several negatives for me. However, you'll have to clean off the residue before you store the film.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2007
  6. singram

    singram Subscriber

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    A long time ago, I bought a used FM2N and needed it right away. I literally took it out of the bubble wrap and loaded it with film for a job. It left scratches on the base side of the film too. I noticed that the silver screws on the take up side of the film transport were sticking into the camera body. I assume that the screws were of the wrong length and used when the camera was repaired at some time before I bought it. I ended up sending the camera back and bought a new camera instead, and it is the FM2N I own today- and no scratches.

    steve
     
  7. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    Skin oil from the side of the nose is the old timer's cure for fine scratches on the base. Rub your thumb on the side of your nose and then across the scratch. The oil is about the same index of refraction as the film base.
     
  8. jmal

    jmal Member

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    gainer--I know that trick and it works as long as it doesn't attract more dust. I would like to solve the problem rather than patch the leak. I will take the advice of others and blow out the camera often. I'll also re-inspect the insides and see if I can find any offending bits.