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Thread: Dust spotting scans

  1. #1
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Dust spotting scans

    I have always done it at 100% of the maximum archived file size (360dpi, 30x40 inches), but that is brutal when you have allot of dust and a bit pointless when you know you are never going to print that large.

    What do you guys do?
    Last edited by Kirk Gittings; 26-Jul-2012 at 14:53.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
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  2. #2

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    Re: Dust spotting scans

    I'd like to do what you do, spot an otherwise untouched scan (with full info from the scanner and no clipping) and archive that, then size and tone the photo when I need it for prints or publication.

    In practice I end up archiving the huge 4000dpi drum scan, spots and all. I make a downsized copy of the files at around 20x24in. at 300dpi and spot those to give to my agency, use for portfolio prints and small exhibition prints. I've only been spotting the huge files if I need to make a large print for an exhibition.

    But really, I wish I had time to archive spotted files. Bravo to you for doing things right! My way means that I may have to spot a photo twice, but of course the smaller ones take less time.

    One nice thing about drum scans is there isn't so much really fine dust and fine scratches don't show up due to the wet mounting. So I'm just looking for bubbles (which rarely happen since I switched to Kami fluid) and small bits and hairs that got into the wet mount because my work space isn't clean enough. But it beats spotting Imacon/Hasselblad scans, they're a nightmare.

  3. #3
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    Re: Dust spotting scans

    I only do the ones I intend to print but I do them once at original size and then they're done.

  4. #4
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Dust spotting scans

    I do some test corrections on an image to decide if I am likely to ever print it (I am not likely to bother even doing a real scan of it either) before I bother with spotting.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
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    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  5. #5
    Still Developing
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    Re: Dust spotting scans

    I try to avoid getting any dust in the first place. I went this route when I started shooting neg which shows up dust 10x as much. It now takes me about 5 mins to spot a typical 4000dpi scan at 100%. Here's my process..

    - clean equipment
    - VERY bright light at a shallow angle to the film
    - Brush film with antistatic brush, brush backward on tough spot
    - clean film
    - use sensor brush to pick off last specks
    - use Aztek mylar which has no embedded dust.
    - check inside of drum and pick off larger specks with brush
    - brush outside of drum once mounted (clean the insides of scannner thoroughly once in a while)
    - oh, and build a dust booth

    http://cheapdrumscanning.com/why-drum-scan/dust/

    As for spotting - I mostly scan my images at 2000dpi unless I know it's going to be a 'good one' and then I do a 4000. I tend to quick spot my 2000dpi's at 100% and my 4000's at 50%. Generally enough to get a nice 24x30.

    Tim
    Still Developing at http://www.timparkin.co.uk and scanning at http://cheapdrumscanning.com

  6. #6
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Dust spotting scans

    On this batch of negatives the filter in my homemade dryer got cockeyed and wasn't doing its job. I didn't discover it till I started doing some test scans after developing and drying nearly 100 sheets of film that way-almost an entire project. Worst dust I have ever seen.........
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
    WEBSITE

    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  7. #7

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    Re: Dust spotting scans

    I do them at 100% if I plan to print it. I don't drum scan it unless I plan to print it. Somehow cleaning the film makes more of a mess for me to start with (I know that makes no sense). I spent about 3 hrs on an aweful scan this week which was snow and open sky, the dust had nowhere to hide.

  8. #8

    Re: Dust spotting scans

    Much like Tim, with these steps:

    - clean equipment
    - VERY bright light at a shallow angle to the film
    - Brush film with antistatic brush, brush backward on tough spot
    - clean film
    - use sensor brush to pick off last specks
    - use Aztek mylar which has no embedded dust.
    But, I spot every file I scan at 100%, and I always scan at full resolution (4000 spi with the Nikon 8000 and 6400 spi with the Epson). The wet mount prep takes too long to bother with a lower resolution scan.

    I still prefer spotting with PS rather than LR, which I find to be more of a pain than helpful. The newer versions of the Healing Brush and Stamp tools make the job much easier and the results much better. I just pulled a 72-hour spotting marathon, not so much because my film was dirty, but I've been working on some older, more challenging film that I can rescue with LR4 and discovered that my 1/2 neutral density filters often were thick with near-invisible grit that had adhered to the resin due to static.

    These days, it is possible to quickly determine whether the file has potential via LR4, so, I might play with it quickly to see if it will fly before investing the time in spotting.

  9. #9

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    Re: Dust spotting scans

    Oh yes! I know it too good how you suffer.

    Im doing the same for the last 4 weeks and for the next 4 weeks. Every evening from 9 p.m. to 12 p.m. It takes me 3 hours to dust spot one picture with PS, no breaks. My eyes are getting a square look after.
    Ive tried everything to avoid dust at the very beginning. But somehow there are a lot of spots in the scans, some are black (dust on film) some are white (dust on the scanner) and you can see everything like drying marks or faint scrathes and fingerprints. It is a very boring process.

    George

  10. #10
    Robert Hall's Avatar
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    Re: Dust spotting scans

    I pour a small Scotch and dig in at 100%. Less painful with a glass of something that took years to create. It makes me put things in perspective.

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