Dust marks on photos - what to do?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by fadingaway1986, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    Hey guys.
    My first ever traditional black & white film came back from Kodak today... I used Ilford HP5 Plus...

    I got them to do a develop only - which cost $6... And I was going to print them at work myself. (As Kodak charges $1/print for b&w and we charge 47c/reprint, So it makes it a bit cheaper - otherwise I would be paying $30 all up for a roll of film!)

    I printed them at work - and when they came out - they looked absolutely gross! There are white marks all over the photo. I assume they are dust marks... they just look like all these little dots. I thought that this might be from the printer - but I pulled the negs out and had a look.. and they look like they have fingerprints on them... I know it isn't something from the lens - as they are white spots and in my kodak training - they said that white marks are from the processing/printing end and black marks are from the photographer's end...

    Now, I tried cleaning the negs - but I can't seem to get the marks to move. (I cleaned it with the neg. cleaning solution that we have at work)...

    Is there anything I can do? These were my aunty's pregnancy photos. (About 12 of them are the photos of them, and about 12 are just ones I filled up the film with... The 12 I just "filled up the film with" look fine - or at least have minimal marks on them. The ones that I wanted - have marks all over them...

    I read the workbag - and it says Kodak's quality guarantee is that if you're not happy with them - they will process your next film for free... But I don't want them to process another of my films after this!!!

    Do you think there is much else that I can do?

    Thanks,
    Alecia
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    It is difficult to give you any advice without seeing an example. There are lots of faults and each has it's own cause. Could you scan one and post it - then one of us should be able to tell you what the problem is and the cure - if there is one.
     
  3. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    Here are the pics...

    First one is just a quick low-res scan...

    [​IMG]

    Second is a high-res scan - cropped to show what I mean...

    [​IMG]

    What do you think?

    (note: the greenness of the photo is because of our printer - but I did an emulsion change and its all good now.)
     
  4. Artemis

    Artemis Just Punked Himself

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    My advice would also be (besides from the advice on msn) next time try developing them yourself...
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Looks like some dust on the neg and some in the enlarger.
    Strip the enlarger down and clean all the parts - especially the condenser if it has one.
    Get some compressed air and dust it off as you reassemble.
    Use the air to blow off the negs when you put them back in and try printing again.
    Most of the dust marks look soft which is a good indication that it is dust inside the enlarger.
    Kodak processing labs have their faults but processing marks and dust isn't one of them (or not one I have come across before).
     
  6. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    Well... the prints were done at work... So I looked at the photos that came out before & after it - and none of them had marks...

    It's done on a noritsu digital printer...

    I'll see what I can do. But I don't know much about pulling that machine apart... I'll give the neg scanner at work a clean - and try printing another... But I can see marks on the negs aswell... & the marks are quite sharp on the actual photo - but my scanner is terrible!

    Hmmm... Will see how I go & let you know.

    Thanks,
    Alecia
     
  7. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Oh well if you can see the marks on the negs...
    If I could see the actual negs then I could give you an opinion on what has caused the problem. But if the fault IS on the negs then take them back to the lab and complain. They can either scan them and clean them up or pay the cost of you getting it done. The digital option is your only cure.
    But whatever you do don't tell them that you tried cleaning the film or they will say that is what has done the damage.
    If they try to tell you it is a film fault, don't believe them. I've seen lots of emulsion faults and this doesn't look like one.
    Don't let them fob you off with refunding just the film and processing costs either.

    The only thing I can tell you is that it is not a development fault - that would give thin spots on the neg which print black. Whatever has caused it has added density - which is why they print white - but it could be anything from crystalised chemicals in the dev to dust in the dryer.
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Say, Alecia... could it be just improper handling? I really doubt it happened at the lab, but maybe at the store. How is you film delivered? Is it cut? Is it in a plastic sleeve?

    As far as what you can do about it, for this session at least, consider showing your current prints as "proofs" and then scan the final selections for corrective art before printing.

    Good luck!

    -Pete
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It looks and sounds like scum from processing to me. Like they weren't washed properly. You can try rewashing them, but once dust and scum get dried onto wet emulsion it's almost impossible to get it off.

    Since you a printing digitally anyway, just go into PS and clone stamp them out.

    My experience with Kodak processing (both as a consumer and working at a lab where we sent them our K-14 (Kodachrome)) is that they do a crappy job, and they really don't care to hear your complaints. When I worked at the lab they lost or screwed up (mis-cut, dirty, etc...) so many customers' rolls of Kodachrome, that we stopped taking K-14 in. It wasn't worth dealing with all the ticked off customers, who of course blamed us. Once I had a Kodak service rep actually tell me over the phone that they were trying to discourage the use of K-14 because they've wanted to discontinue it for decades. I briefly attempted to use Kodak mail out processing when I wasn't working at the photo lab, but they never paid any attention to my instructions (don't cut the negs, print everything, no stickers on my photos, etc...) so I stopped.

    Find a lab that cares, do it yourself, or shoot C-41 BW.
     
  10. art tesian

    art tesian TPF Noob!

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    have you access to photoshop?, as these photos would be straightforward to fix,takes a little time,but easily done.
     
  11. art tesian

    art tesian TPF Noob!

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    still getting used to sending replies,I live in brisbane
     
  12. fadingaway1986

    fadingaway1986 I Burn Easily :(

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    I have photoshop on my computer. Unfortunately though, my scanner isn't very good. And I get very unsharp photos...

    I did try using the dust & scratch remover - but when picking up the dust - it was also taking away any sharpness I had left...

    Thanks for your help. I will try reprinting them today... And if that fails - I will try sending them back to kodak...
     

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