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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Help--Scratched Negatives Again!

    Okay, I posted once before on this and thought I might have a solution, but I was wrong. I keep getting very faint scratches on my negatives that show up on enlargements. The scratches don't appear on every negative so I don't think it's an in camera issue; I could be wrong. I have cleaned all accessible areas in the camera just in case, but everything is pretty immaculate inside. I develop in a single reel tank and am very gentle throughout the process. Once the roll is developed, stopped, fixed, and washed I hang to dry, never touching the film (aside from the very end of the roll). I do not have forced air/heat in my house so dust is at a minimum. The film hangs undisturbed in a closed room until dry. Once dry, I cut into strips, one at a time, and lightly dust with an anti-static brush to ensure the negatives are as clean as can be going into the sleeves. They are then stored in a sealed box and receive no trauma whatsoever. At printing time I do not drag the negative across the carrier, which is smooth anyway, so I don't think the problem occurs here. I didn't have any such issues until a roll processed on 12/17/06. After that, each roll has a couple of scratched frames. The only thing that changed in my process is the weather. My next step is to skip the Print File sleeves and store the negatives elsewhere. Any ideas on how I can diagnose the problem? I'm losing some good shots because of this problem. Thanks.

    Jmal

  2. #2

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    35mm or 120?

    You need to find out at what stage the scratch occurs. If it's 35mm are you using bulk load film? Do you have another camera that you can test with? Are the scratches parallel, or at random angles?

    Check the film immediately after you have dried it. It could be (for example) that your anti-static brush is contaminated with something.

  3. #3
    KenS's Avatar
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    ...I keep getting very faint scratches on my negatives that show up on enlargements.....

    I "solved" the similar problem I was having at one time with some "free film'.

    My "cure" at that time, was to take the camera into the darkroom and unload the film directly to the reel without 'rewinding' into the cassette. I later found out that the batch of film I had been given, had been taken out of the film canisters and carried in (and some outside) a plastic bag inside the camera case... the cause was particulate matter adhering to the 'felt' and leaving their signature on the film as it was wound-on.. or, on re-winding.

    My small ear syringe "duster" was appled to both 'sides' of the felt before inserting into the camera. That experience taught me to leave the film in the cannister until needed.

    Might I suggest that you try unloading your next exposed film directly to the reel, eliminating one 'pass' through the felt and see if this helps reduce the scratches.

    Ken
    Quando omni flunkus moritati (R. Green)

  4. #4

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    The rolls are 35mm and are factory rolls, not bulk loaded rolls. I keep them in the plastic canisters until I'm ready to use them. The anti-static brush is brand new, so it shouldn't be contaminated. I will say that after I started using the brush the scratches grew fainter. This would suggest that it helped a little. I've read about other people having problems with Print File sleeves, so maybe this is part of the problem. A friend just started having the same issue with his film, which he processes at a police lab and then files in another brand of sleeve, similar to Print File. I can't believe this doesn't happen to more people. I'm extremely cautious in hahndling the film, so I'm a little baffled at how sensitive it seems to be, not to mention frustrated.

    Jmal



 

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