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  1. #1
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Dust Free Negs for printing - Method.

    Hi,

    I am curious what you guys do to keep a negative clean enough to avoid dustmarks in a print. I am currently using a camel hair brush with a little rubber bellows on it, the kind I think was designed to keep slides clean. It works OK, but is not perfect, especially for 35mm. Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    - Thom
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #2
    Mongo's Avatar
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    Use this method at your own risk...it's what I do and it's worked for me so far, but I can imagine it could be dangerous to your negatives.

    I use one of those lint rollers that's got a sticky, rubber-like surface on it. Not the type that's paper that you peel off, but the type that you wash off under running water to clean the roller. Some of these are stickier than others, and I imagine if you got one of the really sticky ones you might risk pulling the emulsion right off of the film base. I picked up a few of these on eBay cheap, and they've worked very well. (eBay auction 4372799014 is the item that I use.)

    I lay one side of the film against the roller, then pull the film straight across the roller slowly...this turns the roller as the film moves across it. Then I do the other side of the film. No dust or hairs at all. Much cleaner negatives than I ever got using brushes or air. Again, I imagine you could destroy your negatives with this method if you were unlucky, so the risk is yours if you decide to try this.
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  3. #3
    Sean's Avatar
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    I have a neg carrier with a AN Glass top piece and mask on the bottom piece. I clean and air dust the glass, I give the neg a few burts of air and if needed use an anti-stat whisk brush. I place the neg on the metal mask and have a good look, if it's clean I close the carrier, and then air burst the top of the carrier and underneath. I rarely have any issues..

  4. #4
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Mongo’s idea sounds pretty good, and I’m going to try it the next time I’m in the darkroom. Presently, I use an anti-static brush in conjunction with a low pressure blast of air.

    But before I start a darkroom session, I wipe down the area, including the baseboard and all flat surfaces with a damp cloth. That way no dust is stirred up inserting and removing the negative.
    —Eric

  5. #5

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    I use a rubber bellows with no brush on it. I hold the neg so that the room light reflects off the surface and examine the surface. This shows up anything on the surface. Anything that won't be moved by the blower, I have a small brush (bought for spotting but never used for that) that I use to give the offending dust a tickle to move.

  6. #6
    dr bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nige
    I use a rubber bellows with no brush on it. I hold the neg so that the room light reflects off the surface and examine the surface. This shows up anything on the surface. Anything that won't be moved by the blower, I have a small brush (bought for spotting but never used for that) that I use to give the offending dust a tickle to move.
    Ditto!
    I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
    Truly, dr bob.

  7. #7
    raucousimages's Avatar
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    I purchased an Orec brand air filter and a small upright vacuum. The air filter runs on low all the time and I vacuum the floor each day. It is the best thing I have done to remove dust in the air. No dust in air, no dust on negs.
    DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

  8. #8
    FrankB's Avatar
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    My principle is to not let the dust get on the neg in the first place! That sounds facetious, but it isn't meant to be.

    All the water I use in film processing and washing is jug filtered. The film is then hung in an environment which isn't exactly dust-free, but where the dust is undisturbed before and during drying. The film is then cut and goes into neg bags not touching anything but my fingers, the scissors and the neg bag.

    Other stuff, I use glassless carriers and have a bulb-blower to get rid of the occasional spec.

    Sounds too good to be true, but I don't have a dust problem.
    The destination is important, but so is the journey

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Dust-Off and the Kinetronics brush work for me.

    For large format--wear a hat when you load those filmholders!
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10

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    I have a blower brush, but it's best to keep the dust away in the first place. I keep two air filters running 24/7 in my dark room to give the nearest I can get to clean room conditions. Having a floor you can mop, rather than vacuum helps too.

    David.

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