Spotting B&W negs. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I've seemed to have scratched a nice neg and need some spotting advice. Apparently my Paterson squegee(?) is a little too hard, or I'm just heavy handed. I've heard that using pencil is the way to go, so what's the proper hardness for pencil lead if spotting the neg, or is it better to spot the print? BTW, does anyone know of a softer squegee?

-- Wayne Crider (, October 04, 2001



Why not just get a really good drum scan and fix it in Photoshop? Probably less fiddle.

-- Dominique Labrosse (, October 04, 2001.

Wayne: You will need a bit of retouching fluid, which should be available at your camera store. Then use a very soft pencil sharpened to a fine point. The best way to sharpen a retouching pencil is to fold a half sheet of fine sandpaper in half and tuck it into an envleop, then work the pencil up and down on the sandpaper in the envelop, rotating it as you work it. The point should be very fine. Work the retouching fluid to a fine edge. It is kinda difficult to do. The best bet would be to send it to a professional retoucher. Contact the portrait photographers in your area for some names. By teh way, I don't ever squeegee my 4x5 and larger negs. Just hang them up by the corner to dry. You can wipe them gently with a cotton ball if you feel the need to get the water off, but it will drain without spotting under normal conditions. Use squeegees to clean windows.


-- Doug Paramore (, October 04, 2001.

Smear a little oil from your nose and run it on the scratched line of base side the neg. Tiny scratches will show much less.


-- Aaron Ng (, October 05, 2001.

Wayne: Aaron is correct if the scratch is a small one. Another option is to use Edwal No Scratch. If the scratch is deep, retouching may be the only option.


-- Doug Paramore (, October 05, 2001.

I've thought about using Photoshop, but the problem seems to be the scanning. Apparently silver negs doen't do so well and I'm not interested in paying big buck for a high end scanning job; The neg isn't worth it from a standpoint of selling prints. I just like the shot.

The problem at hand is a tear dropped shape and not a scratch. The spot covers an area of water that may be easily fixed. I'll try the fixes listed.

-- Wayne Crider (, October 06, 2001.

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