Forget what I said about the Stone Age.... now we're into pre-hominid techniques.
Would be brushes that contain Polonium-210. Alpha-Radiation decay half-time is 138 days.
Originally Posted by summicron1
The KGB bought all the fresh brushed containing Polonium, just in case they get a grudge on darkroom enthusiasts.
Needless to say ILFORD Anti-Staticum Cloths are designed to clean negs and lenses and cameras
and Flat screen TV's and Computer Screens and Glasses and Motorcycle Helmet Visors and Car Windscreens and everything else dust settles on or you want to stop misting up.....ever
We actually MAKE them here at Mobberley we don't 'buy them in' HOW we do not sell a million of these cloths a year I will never know, I know you expect me to be 'Pro ILFORD' but I love this product, I mean I really love it once you buy one you I promise you will never be without one.
Sales pitch over...apologies
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology limited :
Simon, maybe the reason you don't sell a million of these lies in the fact that they are impossible to buy. I don't know a sigle internet store in EU that stocks them.
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This is a double-prong problem. Drew is right: controlling the dust is the first step. I periodically blow out the bellows on the enlarger with compressed air. I am very fortunate that our community darkroom has built-in compressor ports; but if I didn't have them, I would still find a way (e.g., vacuum, manual air blaster). All the other advice from using Photo-flo to using compressed air, anti-static brushes, and cloths covers the second prong of the problem. However, I caution against overusing these procedures. I was working with a negative that had some dust. The more I treated the negative, the worse the problem got until a professional photographer friend of mine told me that overusing compressed air or anti-static cloths/brushes actually increased the static electricity.
The fix is in!
I have always placed the clean negative carefully into the (clean) negative carrier and then perform this high tech exercise (on both sides):
Dry your lips completely, then as you blow onto the negative use a camel's hair brush to simultaneously help matters along. It actually works. The reluctant, clinging pieces of dust are dislodged by the brush and the unidirectional air coming from your mouth gets those loose particles going away in only one direction.
Again, it actually works, even though it is extremely high tech. Make certain that those lips are dry or you will be washing your negatives once again. - David Lyga
The best way I've found is to breathe on the neg and let it dry to remove some static. Then just hold the neg by the edges and knock the edge next to the frame you want to print from hard against the baseboard. Give it a good, sharp rap. Turn it over and do the same on the opposing edge. You won't damage it but it's enough to dislodge any dust particles sticking to it. Of course, you'll still get the odd wee bugger that just refuses to move whatever you do.
Some hints. My own film room, where critical color work is done too, has all the walls and counter surfaces washable, including enamel paint (latex or acrylic
paint is prone to static). I wouldn't dream of having high-end enlargers and lenses in the same room as a sink line. I wear a 100% dacron cleanroom smock
which is lint-free (and only cost about $30 - and don't confuse it with an ordinary cotton lab coat or Tyvek suit). Recently I've been printing fiber-based
prints in that room, which produce lint, so I'll have to sponge the whole thing down before doing any tricky masking or color film work. But it's the best
insulated room in my lab, so easy to heat in winter. I have an small oiless pro air compressor in an adjacent room, with sub-micron triple inline filtration,
until the airline reaches the blowgun in my film room. I live in a foggy climate, so static is a minor issue; but when humidity does happen to be low, I have
an ionized antitstatic gun optionally available right there, to attach on the air line. My work station has a true industrial recirculating air cleaner with a lot
of expensive copper plates inside. Someone actually gave it to me; but one could use a simple residential circulating air cleaner too. It sits atop my black
Formica work station. For the purist, you can also buy antistatic Formica itself, like they use in electronics cleanrooms, but it's expensive, and would have
been overkill for my needs. I wipe my surfaces down with a lint-free chamois routinely. I have a halogen machinist's inspection light atop the air cleaner,
and a light box beside it. The air gun has a soft rubber tip, with the air pressure set at about 20 PSI, and the negs are blown off toward the air cleaner.
With the inspection light and a good pair of reading glasses, every little bit of dust is visible. I have things like microfiber cloths and PEC20 film cleaner on
hand for problems, as well as lens cleaners for things like filters or negative carrier glass (which I blow off after cleaning into the sink next door - filtered
air works much better than any cloth or chamois). All this might sound like a lot of fuss and investment, but actually, the whole nine yards cost less than
a typical SLR lens - and just how much film and paper can one afford to waste anyway? Since I work mainly in 8x10 format, being as clean as possible pays back pretty quick. But yeah, I know, this would just spoil the whole day of anyone who just loves to spend hours on end spotting negs and prints
either by hand or in PS. Hate to rain on your parade.