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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma, USA
    Shooter
    Med. Format RF
    Posts
    680
    Just some thoughts...fold lock negative sleeves are superior. If you use print file archival negative page perservers when pulling out the negative a small static charge is created. The static charge attracts dust.

    Some enlargers and neg holders are better than others. One of the best is a Leica 1c or Valoy. Very easy to see and remove dust. Once dust is removed, the condenser protectes the top of the negative from dust migration. LPL 7700 enlargers with glassless carriers are decent at viewing and blocking dust once the carrier is inserted. Not so for a Omega B-22. It's gaps and bellows allow dust collection.

    My home DR is the laundary room. Before printing I wipe down surfaces with a wet rag. During heating months I use several methods to ensure the house has adequate humidity. Humidity reduces airborne dust and static.

    Using the right equipment along with simple housekeeping I have avoided dust problems despite printing in a room with a laundary dryer.
    Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 02-23-2012 at 10:48 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    RJ

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    2,622
    I cut my teeth on large Cibachromes which can't be retouched, and sometimes work in print processes that
    requires multiple separation negs and masks,up to a dozen per print, so being careless with dust is not an option.
    In fact, dust control is about half the work in the darkroom. I have a special room dedicated to fussy film use.
    Prior to something critical it is all swabbed and mopped down. There is an industrial electronic air cleaner in there, triple-filtered air lines, and if needed an antistatic gun. Also have a machinist's inspection light to spot
    tiny bit of dust on a neg or carrier. I wear a pure dacron clean room smock which leaves no lint. Even the sponges are specially chosen. Worth the extra effort. The room is due for another cleaning soon because some
    black and white FB printing has been done in there recently, and FB does produce stray fibers. My biggest problem is with the floor - it's an old slab prone to efluoresence when the water table rises and can't be fully
    sealed. Vacuuming that would be voodoo. Just have to keep mopping it with a bit of vinegar or stop bath in
    the water.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    79
    Images
    3
    Jim Jones,
    I hope the therapist is ALREADY in the budget. Ya think?

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Seattle, Washington area
    Shooter
    Large Format
    Posts
    451
    Grounding the enlarger is also beneficial to minimize static charge.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Shooter
    8x10 Format
    Posts
    2,622
    Just peruse any catalog or website of a cleanroom supplier which caters to tech industries and you can get all kinds of relevant ideas. For that dream darkroom which you'll never actually build, you can
    even get special static-dissapative Formica for your countertops. But at a more affordable level,
    sponges and chamois wipes which don't degrade, and things like woven dacron outer clothing can
    make a significant difference.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    The highest state
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,921
    I have made over 100 prints in the past two weeks and this is exactly what I am finding too.

    I also notice dust more on the 35mm than 120 due to the greater degree of enlargement needed to attain the print.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    What I do and don't:

    - I don't clean my darkroom very much.
    - I don't clean my film backs/camera bodies very often.
    - I don't use an air cleaner in my darkroom.
    - I NEVER vacuum clean since it stirs up more dust than it catches.
    - I use compressed air to clean the film and the neg carrier before it goes in the enlarger.
    - I store my negatives in archival and air tight (dust free) clam-shell binders (this helps a lot).

    It is very very rare that I actually need to spot more than two to three spots in a print. I believe this is because I don't stir up any dust and because of how I store my negatives, for the most part.

    The antistatic devices Max is referring to seem great too, but so far I haven't needed any of it.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Los Alamos, NM
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    2,055
    My experience is similar. My basement darkroom is certainly subject to dust, and it doesn't get cleaned very much. I keep my negatives in sleeves, blow off any incident dust with canned air (actually Freon), and print. I have less problems with spotting the darkroom prints than I have with scanning negatives in a much cleaner but busier area.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Shooter
    Multi Format
    Posts
    1,066
    My darkroom is in the basement. I hardly ever clean anything, like Thomas indicates. I keep negs in Printfile pages, but in books. I am very attentive to using Dust Off on each neg, both sides, after placement in the carrier, just before insertion into the enlarger. The humidity in the basement is 45% - 55%, sometimes a bit lower in the winter.
    If I make 10 - 12 16x16 prints from 120 negs (usually 2 of each), when I go to spot, after toning, etc. I may have an average of 2 spots per print.
    What I think helps for me: Very little cotton in the darkroom (just what I am wearing and a towel), an Aristo cold light head (I used to use a condenser, and noticed the drop in dust immediately when going to the Aristo (1982), and there is no traffic in the darkroom unless I'm working. I also have a drying cabinet I built attached to the wall, right next to the sink, and negs are hung there right after Photo Flo.

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