It is easier to darken a print with Spot tone or similar than lighten a dark line which will be more obvious as you need to add white. I would fill the scratch and spot the print. If a client sent me a scratched negative the treatment depended on the quantity to be printed. For quantity printing we would clean up a good print and make a copy negative for reproduction.
Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?
Didn't Brett Weston use India ink on his thumb nail, not the hand with the Amidol stains, as in the Art Wright movie, to spot negatives?
Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand
Charlie, it is the dry cake type. Is it possible to use on the negative to deal with scratches? Thanks.
Originally Posted by Charles Webb
I have been playing with this a little in the darkroom. I tried Edwal No Scratch, to no avail. As I was doing this, I thought of a question that may seem stupid, but here goes.
The negative is scratched. That should mean that more light gets through to the paper, right? Yet on the print, the scratch is LIGHTER than the rest, not darker. Or am I not getting something?
Light scratches look white on the print because they scatter light away from themselves; the light which should have exposed the area under the scratch gets distributed elsewhere and just contributes to very faint overall glare. A deep scratch, on the other hand, will print dark if it goes most or all of the way through the emulsion. Try lightly scratching a piece of blank film before putting it in the enlarger and you should see this quite clearly. The more collimated the light source, the stronger the effect (i.e.--condenser versus diffusion enlarger).
Interestingly, the phenomenon leads to one way of fixing airbells (the small, round undeveloped spots caused by air bubbles): a needle is used to make tiny dimples or scratches, so that the light coming through the clear spot is scattered away and causing the spot to print light gray or even white.
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If Edwal No-Scratch doesn't work, I'd probably spot the print on that one. It's slow and painstaking work. My favorite brush--Richeson Miniature Series 9131.
Please remember, a white or light defect/mark in a print is caused by damage or a scratch to the Base side of the neg.
A scratch on the emulsion side of a neg will always print Black! Dust, dirt, hair or any thing else that blocks the transmited light through the negative will be light or white when printed. Nothing new here, it has always been this way. In past posts I have gone into more detail
so I won't waste more time and space explaining.
For you who choose not to believe me, run the test for yourself. The only way a scratch on the base side could
possibly print Black would be because the scratch goes
completely through the negative! A scratch on the emulsion side can be toned down and sometimes eliminated by light etching/abrading on the Base side of the film. Etch with a sharp needle directly over the over the scratch. This creates a slight diffusion when printed. A dust mark, hair or air bell can be treated in this fashion.
Also remember from past posts that you can cut an overlay out of Crystolean (Frosted acetate). Place it over the base side of the negative on a light table with the frosted side
up. Do your pencil/Dye work directly on the overlay.
Be sure to keep everything in registration by tapeing the edges. Large areas can be lightened with plain grafite and a paper stump. Don't have a paper stump, just cut several strips of paper 4 inches wide or so (typing) and roll it into the tightest 4 inch by a half or three quarter roll you can get, glue the outer edge. When dry use sand paper to round off both ends of your roll.
Rub the stump into your grafite the slowly beguin to work it in to hide defects, or build a little dinsity in an area.
Charlie, Fact, not opinion!
Originally Posted by Charles Webb
Thanks for this suggestion; it sounds much simpler. I do a similar thing with Spotone for spotting prints - I learned to let a few drops dry then pick it up with a damp brush.
Do you mix your stock solution the same? (5 grams dry power to 1 ounce water.)
I am sure that it would be possible to use what I call opaque. It came in red and black, but our strippers liked the red the best because they could see it easier.
To use it on a continous tone negative would work I suppose, but you would have to work very carefully. The neat part of opaque is you can completely wash it off if you don't like it. I think I would try the frosted acetate overlay I mentioned earlier with the opaque. I'll be honest I have never tried it, but I cannot see why it would not work if thinned enough. I also have never tried thinning it with water for my work, but it just might. Iwill guarantee
that if used with a #5 or 6 ought brush on the base side it
would turn any scratch in the emulsion to white in the final print. As I have said before I have repaired many scratched negatives for printing using a Sharpie. Sharpie has a pen that has a regular tip, and a very fine one on the other end. Sorry can't give a part number or catalog number for it. It was availible in Red & Black. I always
work on the base side when doing this because the thickness of the film sheet will cause a slight diffusion if you are focused on the grain. I also works with the larger negatives. Give it a try, let us know!
I have never considered retouching or repairing negatives to be rocket science. When you are working on thousands of negatives, one needs to try to cut some corners when and where he/she can. To be honest I have never measured how much powdered scarlet to a certain amount of water for a stock mixture. I simply use a one to two ounce clear bottle filled nearly to the top with tap water (today I might use distilled water since it is easily obtained.)
Then I use a triangle pallet knife and dip it into the powder, ( mybe a quarter inch on the blade) then slowly feed it into my bottle. Instant deep red. put the top on the bottle and wrap in several turns of paper towel then shake it until it is totally desolved. Unwrap it and check for red stain on the paper towel. If the bottle leaks you should try to find one that doesnt. The stuff seems like WD40 and finds it's way out of the bottle like Houdini. Also the stain on clothing usuall don't wash out. I have a red spotted white tile floor in my kitchen that I am sure will last forever. I then hold the bottle up to a light and see how strong it is. If the stain is dense enough it will stick to the sides of the bottle for a few seconds and gradually
runs down . The mixture at that time is what I use. If too thin and transparent add a bit more powder, go easy a little goes a long way. Don't fill the bottle two full of water,
you don't want it to be displaced when you add the powder.
A little bit on the tip of a kitchen knife would be just fine. As I say, alittle bit goes a long way.
The only bottle of Crocein Scarlet I have ever purchased is still about half full and I have been working on it for more than fifty years. (Hmmm, quite possibly why Kodak no longer offers it for sale)
Like most things in the dark room, it's pretty simple.