Do You Suffer From Dust On Your Negatives

Discussion in 'Talk About Techniques' started by Ian-Barber, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    I see to go through stages with this issue.

    Do you suffer from this issue and have you adapted your workflow in such a way that you have seen a reduction
     
  2. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

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    My darkroom is fortunately not very dusty, but what there is always finds its way on to my negatives mainly due to static, so a long while ago I bought a Kenro anti static brush and have found this very effective in dust removal and use it to sweep the negative before use. Unfortunately I don't think they make this item now but there are many such brushes on the market, it might be something you already have Ian but if not worth a try.
     
  3. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    I have thought about one of these but always wondered if they actually work.
     
  4. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

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    This is a trick question, right? ;) I'd have dust on my negs if my darkroom was in a cleanroom (you know, one of those rooms specifically for fabricating silicon wafers!) :) Seriously, though, I bought a fairly powerful electric anti-static brush about 30 years ago and the dust just falls from the neg after a few swipes on both sides.
     
  5. Ian-Barber

    Ian-Barber Administrator Staff Member

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    These Anti Static brushes keep getting mentioned, might be time to invest in one
     
  6. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

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    The brush works every time, I wouldn't be without it.
     
  7. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

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    I don't get a lot of dust - nothing really that blowing doesn't shift when scanning or even printing when I did that. I've always put it down to hanging film up to dry in the bathroom (lino floor, not carpet) after running the bath (steam to bring the dust particles out of the air), and using distilled water with wetting agent as the final step. Plus putting the negatives in sleeves as soon as possible.
     
  8. KenS

    KenS Active Member

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    I have found that the materials from which our clothing is made, has some effect on the 'amount' of static electricity generated just by 'moving' as we work in the darkroom... ie NO wool is allowed..... and 'synthetics' are 'checked-out' first.

    In our last residence, the humidifier on the hot-air furnace was always working somewhat 'below par' in the winter months, so I had a metal 'rebar' post inserted into the concrete floor up against a 'leg' on my bench but within easy reach of when I was standing at my enlarger. I got into the habit of always touching the 'grounding' post before taking the negative out of it 'sleeve', inserting it into the film holder and again before placing it into my Durst L1000 enlarger. My dust problem has never been completely eliminated... but it has been much reduced. I have used the anti- static brushes in the past.. the last one was somewhat 'effective' but when it seemed to have 'died' (age or overuse????) it was discarded. I had the intention of re-investing but found the 'grounding' (still 'earthing' in the UK?) of the metal rebar to be just as effective (and a LOT cheaper).

    Ken
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  9. Graham Patterson

    Graham Patterson Member

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    When drying film, I use the minimum wetting agent, hang it, turn off the heater, the light, and the fan, and leave it alone.

    When I am loading sheet film holders I make sure to vacuum them out, and wipe down the bench with a 'tacky' micropore cloth.

    Periodically I vacuum the whole room with a HEPA grade machine, and I am not above using an air cleaner for a few hours.

    It is generally not too dry here - in fact my darkroom tends to have a higher humidity than the outside - and that helps keep dust down. I also only use the darkroom for darkroom work which keeps unavoidable human shedding to a minimum.

    I make sure to wipe down surfaces after I have been weighing chemicals, and to wipe up drips outside the sink.

    All this is not perfect, but I rarely have to do a lot of spotting.
     

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