Scratched Negative

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Silverpixels5, Jun 15, 2003.

  1. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    I seem to have gotten a very fine scratch on the emulsion side of one of my 35mm negatives. Does anyone know of any ways to mask its presence other than spotting the print? I mean I could possibly spot it out since the scratch is on the ground in the picture and doesn't go across any area of great detail, but it is rather long (almost a third of the height of the negative), and my spotting abilities are below that of a novice. Any help on the matter would be greatly appreciated. I will post the pic in the technical gallery to show the scratch. It runs from the middle of the bottom, up through the little boy's foot. Hopefully it will be visible here on the screen.[/img]
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Buy some edwal noscratch, it actually helps with some negs.
     
  3. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    but will edwal no scratch work on the emulsion side? I could see it working on the film base but wouldn't it mess up the emulsion?
     
  4. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I use it on both sides when I need it. Haven't had a problem.
     
  5. Brett

    Brett Member

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    Firstly, this scratch appears to print - white. If the scratch is on the emulsion side, or if the emulsion is disrupted or removed, it will print black, and is more difficult to mask with Spotting.

    With respect to your comments on your Spotting abilities, this print will be very easy to Spot effectively, and as such, is a great example on which to practice or learn.

    Spotting is probably easier to show, than explain, but its major secret is implied in its name. Spotting is just that, take a very fine brush (number 00, and trim some more hairs out if necessary), and apply the paints in tiny dots to mimic the grain. Spread them apart to mimic the grain. How you spot a print, is governed by the print, or particular area of a print, in which the spotting will occur.

    With this print, as I said above, take a very fine brush, and some B&W paints (I prefer the ones that come in a pallet or tray, like water colour paints, and I find saliva is the best medium for viscosity and wet-ability, or adherence to the print, especially RC prints - but I have used black ink from a pen, when nothing else was available.), and start applying the paint in very small dots randomly along the visible scratch. At this initial stage, just spread them randomly along the scratch, and practice creating very fine dots, or spots, and don’t worry about trying to put them close together. When you’ve reached the end of the scratch, lean back and evaluate the print. Is the scratch less noticeable? Then repeat the process again placing new dots between the others, as needed. Sit back and evaluate it again, and repeat until you can no longer find the scratch when viewed from a distance. And remember one thing - it is usually easier to apply more dots - than it is to remove some, or reduce their size.

    Every area of a B&W print, is just a darker, or lighter shade of grey. You can create every imaginable shade of grey by varying the density of (or how close together are) the dots. Same principles as inkjet, or offset printers, etc, and similar to grain. A few small dots, widely spaced, will appear as a light grey, and where more densely packed together, will appear darker, or black. Always evaluate it at a reasonable viewng distance.

    Give it a try (or a couple of tries), and let us know how you went.

    Brett.
     
  6. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    Old films are restored and copied with immersion oil carriers at speciality labs. I once tried this "at home" with microscope immersion oil. It worked very well. All you need is a glass carrier and a drop of oil. Don't use too much to avoid a greater mess. To clean the glasses, simply put them into the dish washer.
     
  7. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Being a dodgy old timer who learned his photography long before products like Edwal noscratch was available I was taught to use nosegrease to deal with scratches. Simply run your forefinger along the side of your nose ot along your forehead and pick up a little of the skin grease to fill the scratch on the neg. It works.
     
  8. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Thanks for all the quick responses! The scratch is actually on the emulsion side, even though it prints white, for which I cannot figure out the reason. I looked for a good amount of time on the other side for the scratch when i first noticed it and saw nothing. When I flipped over the negative, there it was plain as day. I'll try the nosegrease thing this evening when I get home. Then if anything obviously comes up on the print I'll try my hand at spotting again. One question though about the nose grease technique...do I use my finger to appy the oil or a fine brush, seeing as how the scratch is on a 35mm negative and even my pinky covers half of the shot? Thanks again!
     
  9. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Use your finger, I know it sounds crude and certainly breaks the accepted rules that you don't touch the neg with bare fingers or place anything on the emulsion side, but it has always worked for me. I've had a look at the image posted in the gallery and the scratch does not seem too obvious and although it can be seen it looks like a scuff mark on the playground.

    One little tip about re-touching scratches, break the area into sections by spotting along the scratch leaving gaps. Don't try to start at one end and finish at the other you will end up with a dark halo along the length of the scratch.
     
  10. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Thanks for the tip! All this makes me want to leave work and go fix it now...lol.

    I know the scratch looks like part of ground on the computer screen but it really looks bad on the print. It looks like someone took a needle and ran it through the image.

    Anyways...I'll try all this helpful information this evening and let you all know how things turn out!
     
  11. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    If it's on the emulsion side and it prints white....are you sure it's not a hair embedded in the emulsion?
     
  12. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    yea i checked...I've had this negative for a few years and always reprint it now and then. I just printed a few copies the other day and noticed the scratch once the prints were dry. I probably printed this same negative a few months ago and nothing was there. The scratch just appeared out of nowhere....
     
  13. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I thought I had a case of that the other day. I was printing a pic to put in the travelling portfolio, choosing to print on some FB paper and noticed a whopping scratch. I have printed this neg a few times and hadn't noticed it before (including an RC one I gave to someone which included some spotting so I had examined it pretty closely) so I grabbed the very 1st print of it I had done and I could see the scratch, so it had been there all along! Did the nose grease trick on the emulsion side (1st time had to do that) and couldn't see the scratch in the print! When I have done the nose grease trickin the past, once I've finished with that neg (that night or maybe a day later) I clean it with some film cleaner before putting away in the neg sleeve.
     
  14. liza

    liza Member

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    I just soak the negative again in water 1 or 2 degrees celsius above developeing degree for 15-20 minutes. When the emulsion thickens again the scratch fills up and go away. I worked for me on several negatives.
     
  15. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    That sounds pretty good...I think i'll try that later this week. Thanks!
     
  16. Silverpixels5

    Silverpixels5 Member

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    Thanks for that tip Liza, as it made that scratch totally disappear! That little trick restored one of my favorite negatives. Thanks again!