OH NO.... scratched negs help?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by angrykitty, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. angrykitty

    angrykitty Member

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    So I'm in a small town in Poland and seeing as how there are no pro labs, I went ahead and had my color negs done in a local 1 hr place. I gave them 37 rolls of film I shot in Africa and told them to please be careful and take as many days as they wanted. Silly me, I didn't want to risk damage by mailing them.

    So long story short, some rolls came back pretty scratched. Particularly my precious Namibia sand dunes. And particularly those shots on the roll which were some of my favorites... In fact it kind of makes me wonder... literally the better the picture, the more damaged it is.

    Well, I've been scanning in some roughs and some of these are just looking beyond digital repair.... I must fix them. But how? I've really only done minor scratch touch-ups in PS LightRoom with scans, but this is beyond that.

    It's a roll of Tudorcolor xlx 100. example attached. The whole roll has the same horizontal stripes throughout, and some have these squiggle scratches too. Not for the faint hearted.

    :blink:What to do? :sad:
     

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  2. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Oh My ...
    I can't even comprehend how they managed to destroy your film.

    That looks worst than the scratched Kodachrome I got back from Dwaynes.
    I guess the final days of developing resulted in some brutality to lots of film ...

    Ron
    .
     
  3. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

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    Sorry, your hosed on the negative. Photoshop does have a great healing tool, though, and you can always make a digital negative for contact printing. Sometimes I get a chance to restore some old photographs or tintypes and I've used this tool with great results. It looks like a bandaid on the toolbar, if I'm not mistaken and you can adjust the size for detail work. I'll see if I can download a scan from a tintype I worked on as an example.
     

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  4. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    I'm sorry to hear about that. This can be the most infuriating experience. I have a few negatives like that, but in my case, I was processing them and can only blame myself. One thing I noticed is that scanning such negatives
    often highlights even the tiniest scratches, but if you optically print it on a diffusion enlarger, most such scratches
    will not show up on the print, and whatever is still there can be corrected by a dab of nose grease. If you insist on scanning, wet mounting can also help tremendously.

    P.S. Beautiful photo! I hope you can recover it and the rest of the negatives.
     
  5. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Looks like a lot of dust and fibers on there too. At least you can clean off the dust and fibers and get rid of about 1/2 of the damage.

    Did you go back and show them what a mess they made? They should be ashamed.

    (addendum...)

    BTW, personally I have made it a habit to get the standard lab scans to CD when I get my film developed. That way if the negatives do get messed up I have that first line of defense. Most labs take the film straight to their scanner so one has a decent chance of getting clean scans.

    I have had film chopped smack in the middle of the frame throughout the roll when they were cut and sleeved. That $2.99 CD saved the day on that one.
     
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  6. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    It's probably no more than a couple hours per image with a postprocessing software. In this case it is pretty easy as the stripes are over uniform areas. When they are over complicated textures you have to work at 500% with a 5 pixels width and it can be pretty boring. I repair scratches every day, but they are much smaller and much less evident. Bigger scratches are not necessarily more complicated to repair than smaller scratches. I am also investigating a way to totally eliminate any kind of scratch.

    Those kind of scratches don't look normal. Something very bad happened. I would go back to the laboratory and speak to the boss.

    After an experience like this, I would either go digital or start developing myself. Actually, I already develop by myself, so I'll never had such a bad surprise.

    Fabrizio
     
  7. Pgeobc

    Pgeobc Member

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    Many years ago, someone made a liquid that could be wiped onto the negative that would sort of heal over scratches. I do not know if it is still available or not. However, Fluid scannin does much the same thing with that fluid one uses for that process. Try fluid scanning.
     
  8. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    If your scanner has ICE, turn it on, it will alleviate some of the damage, but with a case as drastic as this, you will still have to do some work.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Good lord, that is horrible!

    First, you should go get your money back. You should not have to pay a single grosz for that processing.

    Then, try to determine if the scratches are on the base side or on the emulsion side.

    If they are on the base side, the nose oil trick works absolute wonders, and a diffusion enlarger, as opposed to a scanner, will also help.

    I am not sure if the nose oil trick works with scans.
     
  10. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Dang, that's horrible.

    On the bright side, GREAT PHOTOGRAPH!
     
  11. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    First off, it depends on whether they are scratched on the emulsion side or the base side.
    If it's on the base, you might recover by putting some fluid on the film. If it's on the emulsion, you're probably screwed.

    If you have Photoshop it will be possible to digitally repair the images. As said, the scanner can automatically remove a lot of the damage if you have one with the infrared cleaning option. (AKA: "F.A.R.E." or "I.C.E.") What's left, you can do by hand. It shouldn't take you more than 15 to 30 minutes to do the job if you have a good workflow.

    Crop/Resize the image to the desired dimensions then apply the "Noise > Dust & Scratches" filter to the WHOLE IMAGE.
    Set the parameters for the filter until you JUST make all the damage fade. Ignore the fact that the rest of the image gets blurry. (We'll fix that later.)
    In your "Window > History" panel, click the paintbrush symbol in the left column next to the line for "Dust & Scratches."
    Click "Undo" or go back one step in your history via the History panel.
    Go activate the HISTORY BRUSH from your tool palate and set it's blending mode to "Darken" and opacity to 100%.
    Set a small brush size, as small as you can yet still be workable. (5 to 10 pixels)
    Zoom in to 200% of 300% original size and paint out the scratches.
    If you have scratches that are DARKER than the surrounding picture set the blending mode to "Lighten" and repeat.
    Touch up your work with the "Healing Brush" when you're through so as to blend the pixels together.

    With practice, you should be able to touch up a whole image in 10 to 15 minutes. I have repaired damaged Polaroids using this trick and you might never know there ever was a problem if you didn't look REALLY closely.
     
  12. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    First I would scan them with ICE, they will look a lot better by doing that. The rest of the scratches are easy to remove in PS on pictures like this. Maybe some content aware fill would fix a lot of the scrathes, and then use healing brush and clone stamp on the rest.
     
  13. Leigh Youdale

    Leigh Youdale Member

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    Years ago I read advice for scratched negatives in black & white that recommended wiping glycerine on the negatives before placing them in the negative holder on the enlarger.
    You might like to think about trying the same method but using wet scanning with the glycerine. Experiment with just one frame to see if it works. Probably not going to be perfect but chances are it will be a big improvement on what you've got at the moment.
     
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  15. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    That's awful!

    Unfortunately, scratches are permanent. I'm not so sure about the dust and what looks like lint. I don't know the color process but if that were B&W, I'd try washing it and re-treat it with photo-flo. I'm guessing there's something similar in color process as well. Please don't try washing it yourself until someone who knows about the color process chimes in. I'm sure if you just soak it in H2O, you are going to ruin your negs.

    Then the only thing you can do, really, is to have it scanned and fix it digitally. I know scanning places will do what they can and charge you for the service. If you can accept amateur work, if you want to e-mail me some of the images or send me a CD/DVD, I'll do what I can do to help (at no charge). PM me if you want me to try.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    if your retouching efforts are not fruitful, you could always do a whole scratched-up series.
    i have had to do that before with water damaged images where emulsion dissolved ...

    good luck !
    john
     
  17. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    How's this? Some quick work on my darkroom grain manipulator enlarger reel developer fixer easel tool.... :whistling:
     

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  18. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I'm going to play devil's advocate and ask, have you considered that it might be your fault? The dust on the neg is obviously a scanning issue. But Africa is less-than-ideal for keeping dust and sand out of your camera and I could easily see some getting inside and on your pressure plate, which would explain the straight scratches (of course the colour labs machine could do the same, but they might just tell you it's your fault anyway -I know people who have worked in colour labs before and have had a "list of excuses" for why the negs were messed up to cover their ass). If you have negs before and after the trip that are perfect, then obviously it's not your fault, but if you had a roll since at a different lab that comes out like this, you might want to consider cleaning out your camera. It's just a thought, I'm not pointing fingers here. Just something else to think about and consider.
     
  19. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Woah I confess that I actually the result that you showed. Very cool! Go on and be heartbroken about what happened (I would be too)... but then print it anyway. Looks like something form another planet, I'd say print to b&w and see if something unexpectedly amazing results.

    Yes, for the few shots that really matter, they can be treated painstakingly in photoshop with the healing tool and some other tricks. If you happen to have duplicate shots then you can do some things with those.

    We don't usually talk about photoshop, but... hey, when you need it... And I have had some very precious but scratched b&w negs that I've treated that way and then had replacement LVT negs made for traditional printing (you can also use hybrid techniques).

    What can we say, sorry for your loss :sad: But again, the image that you showed looks quite interesting with all the damage.
     
  20. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Seventeen responses, and not a single mention of a visit to DPUG as yet ...

    Ron
    .
     
  21. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Wow I dont even... thats just crazy. Maybe send it out to get wet mount scanned?
     
  22. angrykitty

    angrykitty Member

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    no ICE :-( I have a primefilm 3600u which is the worst scanner ever in terms of speed and default color settings... but it had the highest res. for my price range. I'm sure ICE would make a difference... I didn't realize it was absolutely necessary when I was scanner shopping, just thought it was some fancy extra... LFMF
     
  23. angrykitty

    angrykitty Member

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    Wow... the what tool? Sounds like an actual darkroom lol. Wish I had a color one right about now...

    It looks good scratch wise but damn it, its just not the same...i want the smooth creamy silken texture the original film had... :wink:
     
  24. angrykitty

    angrykitty Member

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    nope... its just maybe like 5 rolls out of the 37, all with the same horizontal scratch pattern. The rolls are from different places, some from before Namibia. But yes the sand was brutal lol.The horizontal stripes are obviously from a machine, they are uniform throughout the whole roll.

    But It's only this single roll that really has noticeable squiggle scratches on top of it. I did wonder if maybe I did the squiggles by mistake, but I pretty much took it straight from the lab and into the scanner... I don't recall mishandling the film... It's almost like they DID something with this particular roll before giving it to me. They were commenting on how great the shots were... and all I ordered were negs and index prints... maybe they were further inspecting it and dropped it on the floor or something?
     
  25. angrykitty

    angrykitty Member

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    Thanx!

    My scanner is pretty bottom of the line, and as you said it does highlight scratches excessively. Some of my b&w negs looked fine printed under an enlarger but when scanned with this thing they showed every detail of damage. Also the higher the res, the worse it looks.

    Of course, they were never THIS bad... I'm thinking of attempting my own wet mount scans then editing for the web and then taking them to another lab to see how an 8x10 diffusion printed shot would come out... if I can find one that is...
     
  26. angrykitty

    angrykitty Member

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    wow, thanks! I'ma try a wet mount scan and try all that...