Negative spotting reccomendations?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Passage, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Passage

    Passage Member

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    More than occasionally I have clear spots on my 8x10 negatives from dust, lint, etc. Often the spots are a little too large to deal with on the Pt/Pd print, so dealing with then on the negative with some type of opaque material seems appropriate, and spot the print later. I'd appreciate any insight.
     
  2. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    I've just started in 4x5 and those clear spots on the negs are really getting on my tits ! Skies are the worst areas and I'm wondering aswell wether to spot the neg or the print. I have some stuff called 'perfect liquid opaque' which I think I'll use on the neg then touch in the resulting white spot on the print in the usual manner. I'm assuming negs are spotted on the emulsion side ??
     
  3. bwphoto

    bwphoto Subscriber

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    Good Question

    Hey all you 'older' guys out there like me, the great 'K' in the sky made some stuff, 'rubilith' maybe? it was meant for retouching and cropping negs, it was red, a thick substance you mixed a touch of water with it to spread more easily w/a brush. Is anything still made like this. I have tried pencil & spot-tone to no avail.
     
  4. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I've tried a red pilot pen on the base side of the negative (for enlarging to silver gelatin). It works, except it is hard to be very precise with it.

    Jon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2007
  5. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    I'm just learning this so can't claim great expertise, but lightly dabbing the emulsion side with a sharp pencil point seems to work fine.
     
  6. davido

    davido Subscriber

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    the kodak product was called Opaque. It's pretty hard to find now, but there are others who make opaque paint. Just go to your art supplies store, that's where I found mine. I can't recall the company and it's at the darkroom. I believe it was Windsor-Newton. they also sold opaque marker pens which is even more convenient.
    david
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Rubylith is a masking material that comes in sheets, so that's not what you would use for spotting.

    Pencil is usually too light for clear spots. Spotone can sometimes work, if you've got the right brushes, technique, and if the surrounding tone is amenable. Opaque and crocein red were used for opaquing spots that would be spotted on the print.

    Another technique that works well for tiny pinholes is to use a sharp stylus or a needle perpendicular to the film base to stipple the film base, which would diffuse the light over the pinhole and make it disappear in the enlargement. I've done this and it works quite well for tiny pinholes.
     
  8. Passage

    Passage Member

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    Thanks for all of your recommendations. The needle idea sounds like it's worth a try. Passage
     
  9. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    There is a technique called "dye dodging" that may be helpful in these situations.

    Fix out some unexposed and undeveloped film, wash, and let it dry. Bind a sheet of this clear film to the non-emulsion side of the negative. The aluminized tape used to bind slides works fine for this purpose.

    Working over a lightbox, apply a dye to the clear sheet of film in the shadow areas that are too thin. Try to make the application as uniform as possible. A Q-tip works fine for larger areas, while a fine brush might be needed to work details. Let the dye dry, and then make a test print. Apply additional dye as required.

    I use Dr. Martin's Transparent Watercolor dyes for dye dodging. Magenta tends to work well, especially if you print on variable contrast paper. The magenta dye acts to hold back light, while also increasing local contrast allowing detail in the shadow to appear in the print. Yellow dye will also work - it has the affect of reducing local contrast.
     
  10. photomc

    photomc Member

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    The product from Kodak was crocein scarlet, I believe. No longer available from Kodak, I'm afraid (I could use a bottle myself). Might be able to find some old stock or even someone that wants to get rid of a bottle. Not sure what is available at this time like it (thought crocein scarlet is used for other things).

    Small bottle would last a lifetime.
     
  11. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    It's available on eBay.
     
  12. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Yes spotting the negative is the correct way to deal with this problem. You can get very fine brushes (just a few bristles thick) from art supply and hobby stores. Use a loupe. There have been many solutions available for doing this., from the ones mentioned above, to others. Most 4x5 b/w films have a retouchable surface on the base side of the film. That means they will accept retouching materials. Normal practice is to apply retouching materials to the back, or base side of the negative. In retouching clear pinholes, the goal is to opaque them so they appear clear (white) on the print, which can then be dye-spotted down to the correct density on the final prints.