scratches on the negatives

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by miklosphoto, May 28, 2008.

  1. miklosphoto

    miklosphoto Member

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    Hi there,
    anyone who could give me a useful advise here, appreciated.
    I am developing my own B&W film, one roll at a time. Everything is under full control. As soon as the film is dried I cut it in 6 (35mm film) and insert them into the plastic sleeves (Print File Archival Storage Page for Negatives, 35mm, 6-Strips of 6-Frames). The next day I pull then out and scan on Nikon Coolscan.
    I see a lot of tiny hair scratches, not the thick long scratches what you'd get improper handling, but really tiny once.
    I attached an example.
    Any suggestion how to avoid these?
    thanks for any help.
    Miklos
     

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  2. DannL

    DannL Member

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    I had a very similar problem with a Kiev 60. There would be long hairline scratches on most rolls. Eventually I determined there were microscopic particles of grit stuck to the metal rollers in the camera. On top of that the rollers were not turning freely. By fixing those two issues I've had no more trouble. Something to consider when troubleshooting your problem.
     
  3. miklosphoto

    miklosphoto Member

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    I have eliminated that possibility already. If scanning straight after the film is dry, it is perfectly clean.
    Thanks for the idea.
    Miklos
     
  4. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hi, must be scratching by the sleeves, then. Would look for sleeves that are not quite as tight or some other way to store/protect them.

    Jon
     
  5. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    Might be worth closely examining the archival sleeves. Rough edges could do this while inserting and removing the strips.
     
  6. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    The scratches in the sample you attached are white. With scratches first we need to know whether they are white or black.. White = back of film, Black = emulsion side. You are lucky. The black ones are much harder to fix, except in photoshop. They are scratches that remove the image.

    You used to be able to buy No Scratch, a liquid that you could smear on the back of the film. Since the scratches are grooves in the film, the No Scratch filled them in and being of a similar index of refraction to the film base, the scratches disappeared. Of course you would need to clean the film off after printing.

    Maybe you can't get No Scratch anymore. No Problem! Use Nose Scratch! Rub your finger on the side of your nose, and smear the oil you get from there on the back of the film! I'm not kidding, it works! This is a time honored technique. Still, you need to clean the film afterward.

    Speculation on the topic of whether No Scratch was in fact harvested from teenaged boys: No definitive answer.

    If all else fails, use scanning fluid.

    These small mystery scratches are often observed. They can result from handling on the light table, or perhaps even from passing fruitflies racing to catch a banana.
     
  7. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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  8. Scandium

    Scandium Member

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    Dow Corning High Vacuum grease works well, also. It is silicone-based and doesn't oxidize as does 'nose grease', so you don't need to remove it. The stuff is so tenacious that it is difficult to remove, anyway.

    I also found some silicone grease at the local hardware store that does just as well and costs much less.

    $g
     
  9. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Hard to beat the cost of Nose Grease. I'd be a bit leary about anything that I can't remove, personally. But thanks, it is interesting.
     
  10. miklosphoto

    miklosphoto Member

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    Thank you guys for the answers.
    Now, can I use the No Scratch with a scanner too? Nikon Coolscan 5000, I wonder if the liquid would damage the scanner?
     
  11. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I don't know whether the Nikon scanners have provision for using scanning fluid, but if they do, that would be the way to go, because it does, I understand, give a better scan, especially with Black and White. It is available for my Epson v750, which is a flatbed, not strictly a film scanner.

    But, why bother with it, unless you have need of using fluid for some reason other than the scratches? From what I saw in what you showed, it doesn't seem worth any kind of trouble. It wouldn't be hard at all to remove the scratches from the scans - at least that is what it looks like to me. Or have I got it wrong?

    Anyway, I don't think we are really talking about any real kind of liquid; it's just a thin coat of oil. Won't drip. I doubt it would hurt, but don't take my word for it. Haven't done it, so don't know.
     
  12. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Hi, No-Scratch is like turpentine, so I wouldn't put it in the scanner in fear of making a mess!

    Jon
     
  13. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    It would seem likely the scratches are caused by the neg sleeves. I'm wondering if it makes a difference whether you are using a fixer with hardener or not. Does a fix with hardener make it less likely to get scratches such as this? I'd like to hear from someone with technical knowledge.
     
  14. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I've copied a portion of the image you supplied and increased the contrast substantially so the scratches are easier to see; attached. Now that I see them better, I have to say that it seems extremely unlikely that they are from the negative sleeves. It is far more likely that they result from microscopic particles on your pressure plate in the camera. They are very straight, parallel lines. If caused by the sleeves, they would not have such a regular appearance; they would be more random.

    If this is true, hardener won't help, because the scratches will be there prior to processing. Hardener can help if the scratches occur after the film is processed.

    Your pressure plate may appear to be clean, but I suspect that it is not. These problems can often be extremely hard to isolate.
     

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  15. markxnj

    markxnj Member

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    You may be winding or unwinding your film too tight.

    Mark Watsopn
     
  16. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    Perhaps. But if he's using the type of 35mm sleeve that loads on the sides, where the negs have to be slid in their full length, with very little slack, then yes, these could be the cause. Especially if there's some sand, dust or other grit in his immediate environment that gets on the negs or sleeves prior to being used, such as can be caused by static electricity in a dry environment, or just a dusty interior.

    There are the kind of sleeves that top load; these could be a better choice in such an environment.

    My personal film processing is also fraught with the constant battle of dust. I have a bathroom, tile only, not carpet, within which I remove all towels, do a thorough vacuuming, then run a humidifier, while the film is in the final rinse. Then I hang the negs from a dedicated shower curtain hung in the shower, close the door, and place a sign indicating do not open upon penalty of ... well, you get the idea. It's something one has to constantly fight.

    FYI, I work in a large semiconductor cleanroom, and am used to a pristine work environment. Which is one reason why my garage-based darkroom frustrates me so, having to trudge through a dusty garage to get to the darkroom, and also why I don't do the final rinse and dry in there, but rather the clean, humidified bathroom.

    ~Joe
     
  17. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    Do you have your thumb on the pressure plate area when rewinding you film into cassette?
     
  18. rwyoung

    rwyoung Member

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    And remember, time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

    Another vote for nose oil.
     
  19. Saganich

    Saganich Subscriber

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    Scratches from pressure plates in cameras are not consistent between rolls but are within on roll of film. Check carefully a roll that is scratched and if you should see similar scratch patterns on multiple areas of the same roll of film you know it is the camera. Making your conclusion based on one no-scratch observation is meaningless.
     
  20. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I thought that time flies like an eagle. Better check.
     
  21. miklosphoto

    miklosphoto Member

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    Actually my first thought was to blame the camera. I used to have a camera where I had this issue but not the current one (EOS-3). I tested several rolls by scanning them before inserting the negatives into the sleeves. No scratches.
    I like the idea given by Joe VanCleave, but I do not have that luxury.
    Joe, do you know which ones are the top load sleeves? I want to try those, sounds like a good idea.
    thanks
    Miklos