Scratch dust expert wanted

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by ryunin, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. ryunin

    ryunin TPF Noob!

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    Ever since I have had my film developed both by pro labs and a friend who is experienced in darkroom stuff, I have gotten straight scratches on some of the frames. Lots of frames have some kind of white powder like looking mess on them. Both the scratches and the white mess is on films from both my film cameras, Nikon FE and Nikon F75. Nobody knows where these things come from.

    Here is a typical example of such a picture, you can see some straight scratches and a lot of white dots all over the picture.


    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30580444&l=beae0a0d71&id=1054563092


    It is really frustrating as the solution seems to be very far away and hard to find. I actually decided to develop my own films to avoid this problem, but the picture I have posted is just from my first home developing with my experienced friend. He himself has no idea what the problem is. I would appreciate any kind of help to find out what to do about these.
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    it is strange that you would have the same issues with two cameras, however, you could have some dust or piece of grit in the film plate and as the film advances it is stratching the film.

    the othe stuff looks like dust, which is very common not only in the darkroom but especially true when scanning
     
  3. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Look closely at the negative.

    Are there scratches and dust on them ?
     
  4. ryunin

    ryunin TPF Noob!

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    The tiny white dots are invisible on the negative. But the straight scratches are there, you can see them on both sides of the film. THey are not everywhere and have no "rule" of appearance, quite random, always perfectly straight and thin, as if they were marks of a super sharp knife.

    The "milky way" is revealed though. It is a blueish stripe all along the negative apparently some kind of liquid that dried on the film when it was hang drying. It left some spots on some frame and on the scanned photographs they cause subtle light stripes.

    Also, about the dust - I can clearly see two or three fresh specks of dust that has just landed on the negative but not any of the tiny white spots.
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    the milky look sounds like the fixer is too old or is spent
     
  6. ryunin

    ryunin TPF Noob!

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    its a kind of "milky way" looking stripe, not milky look of the whole film and it is very likely the blueish liquid stain on the film

    anyway, I have just developed historically my first film and it looks like it is developed very well, just we'll see how much dust and how many scratches it will have

    actually it happened thanks to my girlfriend who helped me make sure we do everything properly and checked the key list and timing, although she had never heard of film developing procedures before
     
  7. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    then did you have enough liquid in the tank to more than cover the top of the reel

    if not , when you agitated the fixer whould have gotten on the top edge enough to help, but left that milky stripe as it wasn't enough
     
  8. ryunin

    ryunin TPF Noob!

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    my friend who developed the film has loads of experience, i don't think he would make a mistake like not using enough fixer, i hope


    i have just scanned my first developed film and as i am a complete beginner, it is a bit strange that my work seems a bit cleaner and there are absolutely no scratches anywhere - but my film came from Nikon FE, not F75, so that could mean that my FE doesn't cause scratches

    i have several stains / some liquid didn't dry enough and left some stains, when the film was hung drying i suppose, but that should have some simple fix

    i am happy that at least this time no scratches and will try to use F75 again and develop the film on my own, too and see what happens

    overally, although i didn't want to repeat the mistake of underexposing, all images are one or two stops underexposed, so next time i will add even more exposure / we checked the developing time that my friend suggested / 6 minutes in D76 one to one solution/ carefully so i hope that underexposure is not actually having underdeveloped the film

    we had the right temperature when the developing stuff was ready but the temperature might have dropped a bit in the cold bathroom, maybe 2 degrees Celsius during those 6 minutes
     
  9. ryunin

    ryunin TPF Noob!

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    A bit off topic, but I'd like to share a picture from the first film we'd developed together with my girlfriend. I cleaned almost all the specks in the Photoshop. I set up the camera, my gf, who never photographs anything, took this one. It's her composition and focus, though and I think she did it quite well.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30581336&l=2caa55447e&id=1054563092

    For some reason it won't link you to the photograph mentioned, instead it links you to the next one. It is also cleaned in Photoshop and from the same negative.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
  10. Proteus617

    Proteus617 TPF Noob!

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    My lab sends me negatives exactly like these. They claim the white junk is the result of issues with the fixer. White junk is junk on top of your negative after development (hopefully). A rinse in photo-flo and/or a brush and blower can get rid of most of it. Black junk is usually something on your negative during exposure and is there to forever. The scratches can be happening in camera, during developing, during drum scanning, or even when sliding them into a negative sleeve. Are you planning to handle these digitally or print them in a darkroom? If you are only scanning, then the easy answer is photoshop or gimp. If you are printing, you will be surprised at how an enlarger is tolerant of all but the worst scratches (the difference between the collimated light source in the enlarger and the diffused light in the scanner). Most of them just disappear.
     
  11. ryunin

    ryunin TPF Noob!

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    So that's interesting.

    I have had Ilford XP 2 Super developed today to see how a pro developing job would look like concerning dust and scratches. It was the same camera, FE, that caused no scratches yesterday.

    From the lab I got a negative, that is scratched on several frames and has much less white mess on it than I had yesterday developing at home.
    So it seems the scratches have nothing to do with the camera, as it would be weird that the camera doesn't scratch a single frame and then scratches several on a different film. That's my guess, only.

    It's good to hear that the scratches are hardly visilble on blowups. They are a bit tough to remove in the photoshop, quite a lot of work for me, but yes, possible.

    About the white dots - if they are dust sticking to the neg during drying, it means even lab machines that process color films cannot avoid dust? I hoped they would dry in a dust proof tank somewhere in the machine.

    I don't see any black dirt or spots anywhere on my negatives.
     
  12. Proteus617

    Proteus617 TPF Noob!

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    Not a lot of work once you get the hang of it, just a few seconds. I use Gimp, but I'm sure photoshop is pretty much the same. Here's the basic process:

    Zoom in to 200% or more (don't go crazy)
    Select a your cloning or healing tool and a brush a tiny bit bigger than the width of the scratch.
    Select your source area right next to the beginning of the scratch.
    Drag your mouse all the way down the scratch, the source will follow in a parallel sort of way.
    Presto. Scratch gone.
     

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