Is it possible to make a scratch in the negative film with an antistatic brush?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Henry Alive, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    Is it possible to make a scratch in the negative film with an antistatic brush?
    I do not understand the reason, but some scratches have appeared in my negatives that were not there before. I have been working with an Adorama Camel Hair Cleaning since four years ago, and this problem have not occurred me before. The brush looks like new and the film is Tmax 400, 120 medium format.
    Do you know another cause?
    Thank you,
    Henry.
     
  2. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Possible, if you have any tiny pieces of grit lodged in the brush.
     
  3. Henry Alive

    Henry Alive Subscriber

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    Thanks, Kevin.
    I have to say that the brush is completely clean.
     
  4. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Anything that touches film can potentially scratch it.

    I have seen a jet of air scratch film. Some idiot decided that he was going to use an air compressor to clean stuff in the projection booth but he didn't put a dirt trap in line with the hose and he blew millions of microscopic dust particles directly into the film, from close range at high speed. He basically sandblasted the film.

    When projected, the film looked like a cat had gone crazy and clawed the screen... millions of tiny, little black lines all over.
    The manager called me up and said, "The picture looks funny." (They always say "funny" when they know they did something wrong.)
    I took one look and said, "You used an air compressor. Didn't you?"
    The guy lied and denied it but I could tell from the way his face went white when I called him on it that he had used a compressor.

    The best way to keep film clean is to not let it get dirty in the first place.

    Easier said than done... I know...:pouty:
     
  5. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Were your negs in any type of sleeves? I scratched mine by inserting them into print file sleeves that weren't completely clean. I suspect my negs weren't 100% dry either. I identified my problem because the scratches were exactly parallel length wise and consistent.

    I guess anything is possible but it's hard to believe gentle touch with camel hair brush can cause scratches. I use one of those and never a problem from it.
     
  6. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I decided any activity of mine will be directed in "upward" motion (parallel to the shortest side). This way I will easily tell if a scratch was originated by dust during advancing, rewinding or reel loading (scratch parallel to long side of film) or by some activity of mine (scratch parallel to short side).

    After that, I will look for remedies. I have the occasional scratch (even more than one per pictures) and it takes me several minutes per scratch to clean them. Boring but necessary. Investigating the causes if the first step in solving the problem.

    PS In general the support side is considered to be more robust (scratches are more difficult to occur or less visible) than the emulsion side, but I don't know if this holds true when scanning (maybe scratches on the back side of film are more visible, when scanning, than scratches on the emulsion side, for whatever reason due to light reflection, refraction, or to focusing).
     
  7. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I wonder if the humidity where you brushed your film was particularly high. My guess is that the film, if out of a protective sleeve for a while, might have absorbed a good deal of moisture and softened up. That would make it much more likely to be scratched by contact with just about anything courser than angel's breath.
     
  8. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    is the scratch on the base or emulsion side?

    I have a synthetic blower brush that scratches the hell out of negs (base side) and so I dont use it :smile: I dont actually allow it near optics either after seeing what it does to film. Its a generic type sold by the millions....

    Instead I use an very soft paint brush (sable aritst brush that fans out). very gentle on everything and the blower part is not missed. They do nothing.