My regular exercise before I put negative in a negative carrier for enlarging.
- Wear gloves.
- Carry the camel hair brush in the pocket.
- Take negatives carefully from sleeves.
- Bursh it gently on both sides.
- Put it in a negative carrier.
Occasional problems: Tiny strand(2-3mm in length << 1mm of width) which are invisible to eyes got magnified on the prints. Sometimes right on the face which is very distracting esp., when I try to show the prints to my wife.
May I know how to get rid of those strand?
I don't wear gloves but wash/dry my hands before handling film carefully from the edges.
I use an antistatic brush first and then an air blower, both after placing the film in the carrier if it happens to be glassless.
Almost never got any dust printed (it actually amazes me).
I also keep the brush clean and in its box when not used.
If your gloves are usual cotton ones they may well be the source of fibres. I suggest using polyester antistatic gloves if you have to use them at all.
This and air blower is where I would start.
Good Morning, Baachitraka,
Dust almost never adheres to the emulsion side of a negative. After putting the negative in the carrier, hold it under the enlarger lens (light on, of course) to check for dust. Then, to the extent that you can, check again after sliding the carrier into place. Dust can settle on the negative as the carrier is inserted. I don't have much problem with that, but occasionally, I'll need to remove and re-insert the carrier two or three times before finally lowering the condenser head, even though I use an antistatic brush. It also helps to use MF and LF negatives so that any small inperfections in the negative are less noticeable in the print.
I use the camel hair brash and air compressor.
What kind of gloves are you using? If cotton gloves, that could be the source of your "strands". I usually don't use gloves and I have a blast of air as the last step. Even with that, sometimes junk gets on the film. I don't think it's possible to eliminate it completely every time.
I have a large quantity of powder free poly gloves. If I have to use gloves, that's what I use.
If it is a glass carrier, you need to get the dust off the two sides of the glass in contact with the negative. If it is a glassless carrier, I usually would put the negative in the carrier first, then try to get the dust off of it. You need to have a bright light shine on it and hold it at an angle to see the dust. Randomly brushing the negative just puts dust from the brush on the negative. You need to see each dust particle and remove it. I think a blower works better.
Originally Posted by baachitraka
Mine is old focomat Ic with a primitive negative carrier, I thinking to upgrade with any modern one.
I bought it in a supermarkt for EUR 5.00(100 pair), which are polyester and powder free.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
In the winter time, if you can operate in your darkroom without heavy shirts or sweaters, you may eliminate a source that you carry with you with every step in the darkroom----I try to wear only a t-shirt if I can. This becomes especially important when loading sheet film holders in the dark, warm winter shirts or sweaters, I have found, are not good to wear when loading sheet film, fibers will stir with even the smallest movements.
I recommend using compressed dry air to get all of the dust off your negatives before printing. It works miracles for me and I hardly ever have to dust my prints. Very rare that I have to, even 35mm to 16x20 inch (40x50cm).