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  1. #1
    SteveR's Avatar
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    Quick query on retouching TXP

    G'day all,

    Just a quick question, I've been very lucky and never really had the need to spot or retouch my negs in any serious way, but a handful of sheets from a recent job have contracted some pretty serious dust spots (I usually keep my film holders in good, clean condition, but on inspection, one of my Grafmatic backs was actually a bit filthy). The negs in question are on 4x5 TXP, which apparently had the base designed for retouching.

    I've read a bit about retouching using lead pencils, but couldn't find any detail on whether there are specialist retouching leads, or just regular sketch pencils (in the right shade, of course)? If I could just use my regular sketch set, which goes from very soft to very hard, that would be fantastic, and save me finding time to head up to an art store

    Thanks in advance guys.
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  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Yes, regular sketch pencils or leads will work. I've found HB the most useful.

    For pinholes or tiny dust spots, one method is to use a stylus or pin perpendicular to the base of the film to stipple the area over the pinhole, and that will diffuse the light passing through that part of the film and often eliminate the pinhole on the print.
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  3. #3
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    It is very hard to invisibly retouch dust spots on a negative. The usual method is to darken the spot so that it prints light and then retouch the print to hide the negative retouch.

    You can also scan, retouch and either print digitally or have negatives made from the digital file.
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  4. #4
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan View Post
    It is very hard to invisibly retouch dust spots on a negative. The usual method is to darken the spot so that it prints light and then retouch the print to hide the negative retouch.

    You can also scan, retouch and either print digitally or have negatives made from the digital file.
    Exactly what I was going to suggest. Fill in the missing piece of emulsion so that it is as close as possible to the tone of the surrounding area, going darker rather than lighter. Then darken it on the print with spot tone.

    On another note, for scratches on the base side, nose oil rubbed on the base and then smoothed out works wonders, even on 35mm. It would be even better on LF. I have made horrible, nasty scratches completely disappear on the print with this trick.
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  5. #5
    SteveR's Avatar
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    Taken me a while to get back here, but thanks for the insight guys, it's raining and blowing a gale here today, so I think it'll be a perfect day to have a try at retouching these negs. Luckily, of the two that need some help, one will be retouched on what will print as about a Z VII-VIII background, which will be dodged out to base white around the edges anyway, so hopefully it'll be an easy one. The other, well... somehow it's a big mark that prints as a black hole right in the poor girl's nostril, not a good look!

    Thanks again for the tips. Oh, and good old 'nose grease', I think I was about 7 when Dad told me that one, I thought he was pulling my leg (because my brother always made nose jokes about me... apparently I liked exploring my nose... I honestly don't remember... :P )
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