Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
Wet mounting in analog enlarging is generally used to minimize the appearance of fine scratches on a negative, and to eliminate Newton rings that can sometimes be problematic with glass carriers (depends on the film too). It is essentially a last resort or "rescue" process.
I couldn't agree more.

You can still get dust while floating negatives. Dust spot problems can result from too thin negatives (low density), reusing wetting agents, handling the film while wet, and drying them in a less than clean environment. I'm constantly warning my students not to look at their film until it's dry and sleeve it immediately.

I put an eye dropper full of wetting agent in the film tank after the last wash and discard that wetting after using it two, three times on the same day. Prior to printing, I breathe on the film and wipe it gently with an anti static cloth.

Thin negatives that require less than the exposure to create deep black, will often reveal dust and scratches that would "burn away" with greater exposure. Also increased contrast in the printing paper will reveal more defects than may otherwise be apparent. Printing negatives in oil or other liquids is really messy. IMHO.

Best,

Doug