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  1. #1
    bmac's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Someone mentioned over on photo.net that you can fill scratches on negs with red crayola crayon. This seams odd to me. Wouldn't it just make a larger white mark on the print?

    Brian
    hi!

  2. #2

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    A white spot on a print is better than a dark spot.

    Retouching negatives is always tricky, and I wouldn't do it with a crayon, but it used to be a very common practice to retouch with crocein scarlet. In fact, this material was used for extensive manipulation of tonal qualities (see Lootens on Photographic Enlarging and Print Quality). I would think a crayon would be terribly inexact, but who knows?

  3. #3
    bmac's Avatar
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    I would think you would have more control over tonality with spotone.
    hi!

  4. #4

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    Actually, the best thing to use is a retouching pencil. Ohhh, my gawd I hate retouching negatives. I had a retouching class, 2 hours once a week for a year.

    Bleeechhh... you really have to have a "touch" for it. I never did get very good at it. Prints? Oh, yeah can do that one easily - color or black and white. Film?? Did someone say - Film??

    The best way to do it is to get retouching fluid and retouch on the back side using the retouching pencil. The fluid will give the slippery surface some "tooth" to grab the graphite from the retouching pencil. The retouching pencils are some special formulation (I have no idea what they add to the graphite) that is gooey enough to stick to the film surface.

    From my experience, (poor as it is) - you need to "stipple" the area in question with little dots and NOT try to fully fill in the scratch. There is an upside / downside to working on the backing side (hmmm...almost a limerick in there somewhere).

    The upside is it the retouching is easily removed if needed, and acts somewhat like an unsharp mask in softening the transition between your retouched area and the surrounding image.

    The down side is you have to not quite fill to the very edge of the area to prevent a halo being formed around the retouched area because of diffusion through the film base. Oh, yeah that's easy to calculate...that's the "touch" part.

    That statement is predicated on the idea that you're skilled enough to have matched the density of the area closely in the first place (haaaaa....haaaaa...haaaa - in my case).

    If it's a really important shot - pay a professional film retoucher. That's what I do.


  5. #5

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    Well in the past I've used pencil. But after reading the thread on Photo.net, where someone suggested trying a red sharpie felt tip, I gave it a shot. But first I located a water soluable one, just in case I didnt like the results.

    I had a hole in the neg, of course smack dab in the middle ofthe sky. I touched it with the red felt tip and printed. Sure you end up with a small white fleck, but that is easily spotted using spotone. Overall, it's a method word dabbling in. ;-)
    - William Levitt

  6. #6

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    Yeah, I can see using the felt-tip for a spot. It would be kind of like using retouching opaque and a fine (0000) brush. A light touch to the spot on the film, and then retouch the print.

    I'm just not sure how the felt tip would work for a scratch...hmmmmm... how would you get the tip fine enough like you can with a pencil by pointing it on 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper?

    They taught us to expose the graphite back about 3/4-inch or so, and then holding the pencil at an angle, to scrape it in a rolling motion to get a nice long tapered point about 1/2-inch long. I actually mastered that part! Unfortunately - they didn't grade for pencil pointing...

    The tricky part then was to come down at a 90-degree angle at the correct pressure to leave a dot of the density required. I have also seen people who are really good (like the professional I use), who can fill a scratch with little strokes so that you can't see it unless you're right up on the print and looking for imperfections.




  7. #7
    Sean's Avatar
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    How much does your guy charge for retouching? Just curious, thanks

  8. #8

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    So Steve, from your previous posts I guess you are old enough to know about the Adams retouching machines, are they any good? I never get scratches since I process one by one, and I am blessed by the gods and for some reason dont get hairs or dust in my holders, but sometimes I find I would like to retouch soemthing on the negative and was curious if these machines are worth the effort. Or should I just live with the light cables in the print? I know, I know easier to do it in PS, but bear with. me....

  9. #9
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    Being a portrait photographer who only shoots B&W now, I retouch every negative I print. I use an Adams Retouching Machine ( a new one- yes they still make them) but it is not necessary. You could use a light table. Also I don't believe many retouchers use pencils and retouching fluid anymore. Some retouchers use spotone but most pros I know use Veronica Cass retouching dyes(www.veronicacass.com). You use the same wet/dry brush method that you use on prints and you apply it on the front of the neg not the emulsion side.

    Michael McBlane



    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  10. #10
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