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Author Topic: Cleaning marks from negative film before scanning  (Read 21787 times)


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Cleaning marks from negative film before scanning
« on: October 28, 2006, 11:10:25 AM »

we are currently in the process of scanning our collection of film using a 4000ED with a 210 slide adapter. I have a full-film adapter but it proved too unreliable to use in the long run because the scanner was not able to accurately detect the edges of the image frames in the film when batch scanning. consequently, we are mounting our negatives and using the new 210 slide adapter instead, which humorously will not run smoothly using Nikon's software. I have to use VueScan instead which has no problems with the slide adapter at all!

anyway, the problem.

a lot of our film is old; 10 years or more. we never stored it very well and some of it has marks and patterns on the emulsion side of the film. it might be sediment, or dirt, or... not sure. unfortunately, the marks cannot be eradicated by infrared (i.e., ICE) scanning.

we are therefore trying to 'clean' the film (which unfortunately has already been mounted but that's irrelevant). PEC-12 doesn't remove the marks. Kodak Photo-Flo helps a little. extremely dilute washing liquid works well.

when cleaning the film, we discovered that it would get 'sticky' after applying the cleaner and then drying it. we then tried wiping the film multiple times until it was no longer sticky.

in the scanner, there is an obvious change to the film. the new 'clean' image is brighter than before it was cleaned but there might be some pixel noise.

I'm concerned that we might be removing a standard protective layer from the emulsion side of the film, or perhaps even removing portions of the emulsion itself.

does anyone know enough about cleaning negative film to offer good advice? are we possibly cleaning too much if we clean until the film is no longer sticky?

(we have approximately 500 rolls of film to scan!)

Gregory's Blog: An Aussie in HK
Equipment: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-300 DO


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Cleaning marks from negative film before scanning
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2006, 01:24:47 PM »

The film clean a delicated operation, any abrasion, or dry brushed damages the film.

To cleanig a film, the process is with special detergent, or neutral, diluted in water at 20 to 25 C. And, As soon as the cleaning has been finalized, should be rinsed in water distilled, until disappear the trace of detergent, so that thus, the process of dried leave not spots of detergent or of lime of the water, drying in a place without dust.  (You can utilize adevelopper tank to clear the film)

The film endures perfectly 40C, if the filth is resistant, enlarges the temperature of the water.  

Another solution, is to carry the film to a professional laboratory so that they clean it.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2006, 01:26:50 PM by cescx »
Francesc Costa

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Cleaning marks from negative film before scanning
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2006, 04:11:35 PM »

There was a film cleaning material that was great, I think it was called "Zebra" or something similar. I tried to buy some just last week but couldn't find it anywhere, instead I was advised to use "Tetenal Film Cleaner", it's an aerosol and based on just one experience with some XPan film it seems to work fine, removing not just dust but also drying marks from giving the film a final rinse in a hard water area..

Great Scan's

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Cleaning marks from negative film before scanning
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2006, 03:16:02 PM »

...I use fim Cleaner.....From "Varn"...We've been using this in my pre-press shop since....1986....We by our supplies from Pitman......They are a graphic arts supplier in USA.....I clean all my scans-trans-(Oil Mount)....& Film that comes off our giga-setter...(96x60)Film...for screen printing.....With this product... it works great.....
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