Recommendation for dust control?
I'm shooting 4x5 and 8x10.
Does anyone have a good cure for dust on film? I'm running an ionizer. But, the impact is nominal.
I'm in inland southern California. So, there's plenty of dust.
3M Filtrete filter in your air handling system The Filtrete Ultimate Allergen Reduction Filter is the finest one and should help a lot. They also make other air filters as well.
You can try humidifying your home. The bulk of particulate matter that makes up dust is comprised of dead skin cells, and pet dander(more dead skin cells). The use of "hepa" filters with a whole house air handling system, or a portable single room air "purifier" is highly recommended.
I find working inside a changing bag to be the easiest way to control dust. I only go up to 4x5 but I do use Graphmatics. Badger Graphic Sales has some nice tents that should work well for 8x10.
When you say "dust on the film," do you mean you are getting dust on the film during or before exposure, which creates clear spots on the film and black specks on the print, or do you mean dust on the film during printing, which creates white spots on the print? The solution is different for each problem.
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Clean out the film holders. Vacuum. Run a brush under the groves where the slide goes. Blow out the light trap.
A good room air filter where you load film. I use a Hunter with HEPA filter.
Clean both sides of the dark slides and place it in the holder 1"
Stack the ones you wish to load on a clean surface.
Load the film and close.
Place into a suitable bag to keep dust off the dark slide and holder. If you let the dark slide get dusty, you will get dust back into the light trap and it will migrate to another film.
Extend the camera bellows and vacuum out the inside. Place camera in a dust free container.
When you go to take a pic, remove the holder from the plastic bag, clean the outside of the dark slide, make the exposure keeping the dark slide clean, replace the dark slide and put the film holder back into the plastic.
The only dust can now come from the air when you extend the bellows to make a pic. I have no idea how to control it.
I keep my camera sealed up and all the film holders in a plastic picnic cooler that zippers shut. Clean clean clean is the secret specially that light trap and film retainer rails.
Thanks all. BTW - It's dust while loading film, not printing.
I'll try the suggestions and I'm sure there will be a big improvement.
I live in rural Iowa and drive a great deal on gravel roads and photograph in dry, dust filled environments. I have cut way down on dust problems by following the same basic procedure outlined by Ronald Moravec in post 6. The key is to create as many barriers between the film and dust as is practicable.
I would add to Ronald's post that static electricity is your enemy. When I clean both sides of the dark slides in the darkroom, I use an anti-static cloth. In the field, I again wipe the film holder with the anti-static cloth before it goes into the camera. I try to pull the dark slide out slowly and evenly to cut down on static build up. If there is dust floating inside your camera, pulling out the slide can create a charge which will attract the dust to the film. Gravity works and the dust will usually end up in the sky portion of the negative (which is toward the bottom of the film when in camera). Also, I use a 3M vacuum designed for vacuuming out photocopiers. The vacuum has a special filter to trap all but the most microscopic dust. I found one cheap on the auction site. If using a regular vacuum, do so in one room and load the film in another. You can also make sure the power unit of the vacuum is away from the camera or film holders if using a regular vacuum.
I know it sound anal to go through all of this. It is worth the few extra minutes spent vacuuming and wiping when loading film as opposed to having to spot each print. Personally, I hate spotting prints.
What Ronald said, and two other little things -
When loading the holders, wear a plastic apron or lab coat, or something that is not cotton, to minimize your own lint. I made this change in the 70's working in graphic arts transferring large film images, and it made a real difference.
Turn off the air cleaner when you get ready to load holders to minimize air movement in the room.
The earlier comment about humidity is helpful too. You can load film anywhere that is dark, so if you have a space in your basement (if you have one) or some such place higher in humidity, it will help minimize static electricity. I have used a bathroom in the past (some don't have a window, so it's easy to light-proof) and control humidity with the shower.
OK, three things.