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  1. #1
    bvy
    bvy is offline

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    Cleaning Dust from Negatives

    Iíve been using canned air to clean dust from negatives, but recently it spat on one of them (I swear I didnít shake it). Whatever it spat evaporated quickly and left a nice mark. I like the convenience and force of canned air, but I donít like this side effect. Plus, canned air needs replenished; Iíd like something reusable and inexpensive.

    Iíve been looking at something called a Giottos Rocket, and Iíve read of people using it to more safely blow dust off of negatives. I canít imagine it blows with the same force as canned air though (does it?), but Iím wondering if itís enough to do the job just as effectively.

    Also, Iíve been looking at an anti-static cloth from Ilford. It looks good for a quick, gentle wipe of the negative Ė perhaps for more stubborn dust.

    Iím wondering how effective one or both of these solutions would be in lieu of canned air. Or maybe someone has something else in mind. Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Getting dust off doesn't usually require much force. The rocket would probably do fine. Just blowing with your mouth works well, though that requires caution too, it helps to swallow first:o
    Soft camel's hair brushes work very well, either plain ones, or Static Masters.
    I use a Static Master when blowing doesn't work. But it's the same as a plain brush now since the cartridge expired years ago.
    Another device that works well for blowing, similar to the rocket, and probably cheaper, is a baby ear syringe.
    Hint, never let anyone "pet" the brush.

  3. #3
    JCJackson's Avatar
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    The Static Master with an active cartridge works well for me. The cartridge contains a low level radioactive isotope that emits gamma radiation that ionizes the layer of air next to the negative, dissipating any static electric charge. Static charges can make dust particles cling to the negative, and make it a magnet for any that may be floating around or hiding in the enlarger head. Static charges can be generated by simply removing negatives from a sleeve, brushing, or even blowing a stream of canned air across the surface. Although the idea of using something that emits radiation sounds a little frightening, it's perfectly safe unless you swallow it!

  4. #4

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    Do they still sell static masters?,mine is 25yrs old and do not do the job it once did.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike c View Post
    Do they still sell static masters?,mine is 25yrs old and do not do the job it once did.
    B&H (just the page I checked first) still lists StaticMaster brushes and refills. I don't see the shelf-life numbers right off, but I think the cartridge is supposed to be replaced after 12-18 months.

    This is on my "should get sometime" shopping list.

  6. #6
    SAlred's Avatar
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    At B&H a 1" Staticmaster is US$95 (!!!). The replacement cartridge is $65. Just looked at mine & the cartridge expired in 2005 -- oh, well, I guess I'll do without. I use an ear syringe to provide puffs of air sans saliva or other propellants...

    -- Steve A.
    Steve Alred

  7. #7

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    I use the large Giotto's Rocket, it seems to get dust off of 35mm slides pretty well.

    Jared

  8. #8

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    Gene Nocon recommends "nose grease" for stubborn marks!

  9. #9
    bill spears's Avatar
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    As for canned air, I couldn't be without my scuba diving cylinder !! Full bottle pressure is a little high at 3000psi but a regulator brings this down to around 30 and then a variable trigger allows fine adjustment. The best part is the air is very dry and highly purified, and it only costs £1.50 to fill ! This usually lasts for 2 - 6 months before refil.

    I find the nose grease as mentioned above good for very fine scratches on the neg

  10. #10
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    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    Don't know about that but maybe some sort of air brush tool from a hobby shop might work.
    -Chris

    "I'd Really Rather You Didn't Use My Existence As A Means To Oppress, Subjugate, Punish, Eviscerate, And/Or, You Know, Be Mean To Others. I Don't Require Sacrifices, And Purity Is For Drinking Water, Not People."
    FSM

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