de-dusting of negatives : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

although i try to be careful with my negatives i end up having quite a bit of dust speckles on my scans with my nikon coolscan 4. as iceł doesn't work with b&w i have to photoshop-clean them quite a bit. what is the best way to clean them prior to scanning? i remember a thingy when i first went into b&w developing some 15 years ago, that was a roller device with a sticky, rubbery roll, that you swiped over the film. are they still around or is there something better?

-- stefan randlkofer (, April 15, 2002


I just use an anti-static brush and/or compressed air for that purpose. I'd be hesitant to use anything like a sticky roller, as it might leave a residue that would make any subsequent dust far more persistant.

-- Ralph Barker (, April 15, 2002.

As Ralph said, anti-static brush & plenty of compressed air is the way to go. A dust cover for your scanner is a good idea, too.

-- Chris Chen (Wash., DC) (, April 15, 2002.

Stefan: You might try chromogenic B&W film - for example Ilford XP2 or Kodak's version. It's basicly a color emulsion that should work with Digital ICE. By the way isn't the Coolscan IV a great little scanner? Doug

-- Doug Landrum (, April 15, 2002.

Stefan- When I worked in a lab, I was introduced to a film cleaner called PEC12. It's a citrus based product, which, when used sparingly with a very clean, lint-free cloth (or better, a disposable cloth pad the same company also makes) works wonders for getting any sort of persistent gunk.

A word of caution- this stuff, like any film cleaner should ONLY be used to clean the BASE side of the film (top)- NEVER use it on the emulsion side!

If I'v'e done this correctly, you should find a link to this stuff at B+H HERE

-- drew (, April 15, 2002.

opps. Let's try that again. HERE

-- drew (, April 15, 2002.

Bone head. Last try. HERE!

-- drew (, April 15, 2002.

The chromogenic kodak film especially the portra 400 b+w scans beautifully and you can use digital ice on the Nikon scanners which by the way is the best software cleaning tool. try it!

-- gary brown (, April 15, 2002.


I 2nd your recommendation of PEC 12. However, I don't think it's citrus-based (see the manufacturer's web site). Although they do warn of possible damage to some emulsions, I've used it on both the base & emulsion sides of many of my negatives (all modern, commonly availabe emulsions like Gold 100, Tri-X, Delta 400, etc.) & it has yet to cause any damage.

-- Chris Chen (Wash., DC) (, April 17, 2002.

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