I am about to embark on making a series of master prints from some of my best negatives (mostly Tri-X). Unfortunately some of these were developed under less than ideal conditions (hotel bathrooms etc) and are marred by dust and water spots, that I have been unable to remove with compressed air or an anti-static brush.
I have done some research and it appears that PEC-12 and pads are favored by many people. Kodak used to make a cleaner, but it may be discontinued. There is also one made by Edwal.
Obviously my prime concern is for the health of my negatives and I am curious to hear if there are any negative long term effects from the chemical contained in a cleaner such as PEC-12 etc.
Thanks in advance.
In my experience the Kodak cleaner just removes finger prints and other oily residue. Dust and water spots are frequently permanent damage.
"1:1:1 Trichlor has been banned for some time now by International Treaty for film cleaning and Perchloroethylene has replaced it (at least in some parts of the USA), but that appears to be on the way out as well. The reason for banning is that it is a ozone depleting chemical and for its' toxicity.
Perc (for short), better known as dry-cleaning fluid and used in motion picture wet gate printing operations for base scratch abatement, has been pressed into service as the next active solvent for motion picture cleaning, but we found it less effective than Trichlor as it has a higher volatilization point.
You probably shouldn't use this at home even if you can find it, as you need Perc resistant gloves, an organic vapor cartridge air mask and protective eye wear, as well as an semi-annual blood test to screen for blood disorders and cancer.
The thing about Perc, and even more so Trichor, is its amazing de-fatting capabilities; dip your finger in it and it will turn white instantly as the liquid evaporates, as all the fat from the first few layers of skin are instantly removed. The liquid also instantly goes into your blood stream and you can pass out from over exposure in about 10 minutes of use in a improperly ventilated room.
If you have to use it, and I would advise you don't, do so outside and very sparingly. "
Perc is mostly a problem as a Ozone reducing chemical. It is used in Motiion picture wet gate printing, where it hides film base scratches as it has almost the same index of refraction as the film base.
The movie folks will rewash Film to get rid of emusion side scratches, but the total wet time is much less than an Hour. I understand that some labs will just rerun the ECN-2 process for colour negatives, and run B&W through their B&W negative process. (running B&W through B&W reversal or ECN-2 would be a disaster of course.)
The ozone wory means that the Perc vapor should be trapped so that it does not get anywhere near where you might breathe, or out into the atmosphere. Carbon Tet was a REAL poison.
Charles MacDonald firstname.lastname@example.org
I still live just beyond the fringe in Stittsville
I work in the movie business and the horror stories of wet printing and the cleaning machines are the stuff of legend. Pretty nasty stuff.
In my experience labs used ultrasonic cleaning as standard pre-print procedure. I have no idea what the fluid involved was. They sometimes rewashed in an attempt to "swell the emulsion" to cure minor abrasions but that may have been voodoo to placate film editors?
And wetgate printing with (yet another?) fluid. I guess that's what you mean. That did work.
I usually remove water spots with a micro fiber and 91% alcohol. Sometimes I just use my breath. I have never had good luck with cleaning chemicals. I will use Pec-12 on the surface of prints. If you have embedded dust in the emulsion then rewashing is the way to go.
I recently cleaned a friend's Polaroid 55 negs, which he had set down on a towel when wet, with a cotton ball under water. They came out fine and I couldn't see any damage when I scanned them.