How to remove material stuck to negatives?

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by 35mmSlideFan, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. 35mmSlideFan

    35mmSlideFan TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    Recently, I came into possession of some negatives (120, 35mm, even some instamatic) and to my horror, some of the negatives had been so poorly stored before they got to me that there are remnants of prints and (I think) paper stuck to them.

    $neg.jpg

    Most of the negatives at issue are color, but there is at least one black & white as well.

    Any suggestions as to how I can most safely remove this material before scanning the negatives? Or is it a lost cause?

    I'm open to any suggestions.

    Many, many thanks!


     
  2. Orrin

    Orrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You might try re-washing the negatives with water. If you have a wetting agent, that would also be helpfull.

    The emulsion side will become cloudy when wet, but will clear after it dries
     
  3. 35mmSlideFan

    35mmSlideFan TPF Noob!

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    Thank you -- what sort of wetting agent? I'll gladly buy one -- can you recommend any?
     
  4. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The adhesive in this case is a gelatin coating on the film and/or prints. It should soften somewhat (and un-stick hopefully) with a soak in warm water.
     
  5. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Would Photo Flo be an option? or just water? I haven't had this happen before so I was wondering. (I've gotten water droplets splattered on a print and was able to run it back thru fixer and it was fine but haven't worked with damaged negatives.)

    I'd expect you'd need a way to hang the negatives to dry (of course many darkroom items can be found fairly inexpensively). I don't know if you (the OP) is a photographer or have ever done any darkroom work (I'm thinking it might help for you to know what the process would be if you haven't.)

    I'd start with whatever strip of negatives seem to have photos that you wouldn't be as concerned about. If you have any that are stuck badly or any that are important and you particularly want to salvage you could look up Film Rescue International Film Rescue International | Revealers Of Lost And Found Treasures , or other photo labs do some restoration too.
     
  6. 35mmSlideFan

    35mmSlideFan TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the replies. I (the OP) am not really a film photographer and my darkroom experience is extremely limited, but I have done it.

    I appreciate the ideas (soaking it in warm water, possibly using Photo Flo). Since there isn't really room for error, I'd really like to make sure I'm doing exactly the right thing before embarking on this.
     
  7. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Photo Flo won't hurt film or paper so don't worry about using it. It might help.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yep... soak in warm-ish (70F) water, 2 drops of Foto-Flo per quart of rinse water... use a turkey baster full of the water to gently try and dislodge the paper after 10-15 minutes of soaking.
     
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  9. 35mmSlideFan

    35mmSlideFan TPF Noob!

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    Thank you everyone, for you replies. Time for me to order some Photo Flo!
     
  10. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you need additional help, you might also look at this product. I would start with the gentle wash as advised above, but when you are done, this type of product will help restore your negatives to pristine cleanliness, and this product in particular is touted to help remove any residual adhesive stickiness.

    Good luck! :)
     
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  11. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you soak in distilled water you don't really need photoflo. Photoflo just helps water run off without streaking but if the water spent have impurities streaks aren't a problem.
     
  12. 35mmSlideFan

    35mmSlideFan TPF Noob!

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    This technique, using Foto-Flo, worked! I soaked for 15mins. The only difference is that the turkey baster did not quite do the trick. I did need to resort to some very gentle use of my fingers, but overall it was a great success! Mission accomplished! Thank you!

    My next question, which may warrant its own thread, is how to separate two color prints (circa mid-1960's) that are stuck together. The bottom of one print is stuck to the top of another. Almost the entire surface area is covered/stuck. This isn't as important as the negatives, but it would be nice to salvage these prints if possible.

    Any ideas?
     

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