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Thread: Your solutions to dust?

  1. #1

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    Your solutions to dust?

    I find removing dust boring. It's a lot easier with CS5 most of the time but ...

    My procedure is this:

    Before loading 4x5 film into my cassettes I take a brush and clear away dust from the cassettes.

    I load the film in a Harrison tent (the pup) which doesn't seem to be as statically charged as my other portable darkroom bags.

    Prior to scanning I use a large giottos rocket air blaster on my negatives and the glass on my V750 scanner.

    I also wipe the surface of my scanner with a lens cleaning cloth.

    I still get dust ...

    I've read books where they recommend using wet wipes on the cassettes but am a bit leery of using wet wipes. I tried one once that actually left deposit of some kind.

    For the same reason and for environmental and monetary reasons I don't use canned air anymore.

    What are your thought on the dust issue? Any obvious improvements I could make?

    Adrian

  2. #2

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    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    If "solution" means complete elimination, there is no way. As long as there's film there will be dust issues. And even digital cameras have problems with dust on the sensors.

    For suggestions, you don't mention keeping film holders ("cassettes") in sealable plastic bags at all times except when a holder is in the camera and when you're loading and unloading film. That helps a lot in my experience.

    I assume you periodically vacuum your changing bag. Those things are dust magnets, I quit using them years ago.

    I'm sure there are many others but those are two quick and easy ones that come to mind.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  3. #3
    Octogenarian
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    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    In dry climates, simply pulling the slide from a film holder can cause enough static charge to attract dust from the inside of the bellows.

    A careful vacuuming the inside of a bellows with a crevice tool can help reduce the dust from attracting to the surface of the film.

  4. #4

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    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    Adrian, you say removing dust in scans is "a lot easier with CS5". I'm still on CS2; is there something about the healing brush that's a lot better in CS5? or, another technique?

    I'm told using a Wacom tablet is good for doing a lot of spotting. I tried it, but couldn't get used to it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    I'd add before loading holders you can vacuum the empty holders in and out. Using a brush will just move dust about, not get rid of it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    I found that vacuuming the holders and storing them in plastic bags virtually eliminated any dust problems I was having. I still get the occasional wayward dust or lint particle, but they are easily dealt with.

  7. #7

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    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianam View Post
    Adrian, you say removing dust in scans is "a lot easier with CS5". I'm still on CS2; is there something about the healing brush that's a lot better in CS5? or, another technique?

    I'm told using a Wacom tablet is good for doing a lot of spotting. I tried it, but couldn't get used to it.
    I don't remember whether CS2 has the spot healing brush (right above the healing brush in the tool box) or not. But if it does that's the brush to use for fixing spots. You can also use the cloning tool but that takes more time.

    If you want to remove or minimize everything in one fell swoop you could try this:

    Select the area (say the sky). Enlarge it to 100%. Then Filter > Noise > Dust and Scratches. In the dialog box that appears choose Threshold. Move the slider all the way to the left and then gradually move it to the right in increments of 5 pixels. After each move click and unclick the preview box and look at the image. The objective is to make the area in which you're working look the same when you click and unclick. Ignore spots when doing this, only look at the grain. When you see no change whether you've clicked or unclicked go to the Radius slider (in the same box from which you selected "threshold") one pixel at a time until you see that most of the spots, scratches, etc are gone. If you go too high with the radius everything will look blurred, so just go high enough that the spots, scratches, etc. are removed.

    This is a technique I learned in a workshop quite a while ago. It isn't as tedious as it sounds reading it, it all goes pretty quickly. I used it for a while and it seemed to work pretty well but I don't generally have enough spots and scratches to need anything other than the spot healing brush so I haven't used it in a long time. Hopefully it's viable with CS2, when I learned it Adobe was probably on PS5 or 6.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8
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    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    I keep the holders in anti-static plastic ziplock style bags when they are not in the camera or darkroom.

    Darkroom has a dust removal air cleaner going to keep the air clean of dander, dust, etc... No pets allowed in darkroom.

    Scanner (Epson) seems to draw in dust by simply lifting the lid. I have to clean that glass on that before each use, dusting at a minimum, sometimes cleaning with alcohol.

    Another unmentioned source of dust is the camera itself. Every time you extend the bellows it sucks in dusty air. I've been able to tell which speed graphic I used simply by the dust in the photo one occasion till I cleaned the camera insides out good. Pulling the darkslide could create enough charge that the film and holder attracts dust from inside the camera. In my case, cocking and operating the focal plane shutter could move dust around as well.

  9. #9

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    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    Every time I clean the holders, I use an anti-staticum cloth from Ilford and rub them down. I get very little dust. I would also suggest liquid mounting the film for scanning, it makes most of the dust transparent...

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  10. #10

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    Re: Your solutions to dust?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianam View Post
    Adrian, you say removing dust in scans is "a lot easier with CS5". I'm still on CS2; is there something about the healing brush that's a lot better in CS5? or, another technique?

    I'm told using a Wacom tablet is good for doing a lot of spotting. I tried it, but couldn't get used to it.
    Yes, in CS 5 there is content aware operations (both for things like the healing brush and for delete) where ps looks at what is behind what you are removing. It doesn't always work but it has cut down my de-dusting by half.

    I got the first CS and dutifully upgraded each time but the only upgrade that was really worth it was to CS5.

    Adrian

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