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Thread: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

  1. #1

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    Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    Hey guys,

    Iíve got a negative I shot recently that Iíd really like to make some prints of. However, it got a single scratch on it while I was tray processing. When I made a contact print, the scratch is very noticeable. In thinking about how I might fix this, I recalled an old video I saw of Ansel Adams Printing in his darkroom, where I think he used an x-acto knife to scratch at the emulsion to make the area lighter. I tried that, but it just scratched off the complete emulsion and made it pure wight. (I might be completely mis remembering the video). How do you guys deal with scratched negatives? Is there anything like white out that is archival and comes in various grays?

    Thanks,
    Ethan

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    Pencil
    sin eater

  3. #3

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    Re: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    what was the red paint used to block areas on a negative called?

    or scan the neg and fix it in photoshop?... go digital print?

  4. #4

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    Re: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    Opaque.

  5. #5
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    Re: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    Look at what William Mortensen did with pencil on print or negative

    Many of his prints were one offs he spent forever making the print what he wanted

    http://50watts.com/Monsters-and-Mado...liam-Mortensen
    sin eater

  6. #6

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    Re: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    For pencil on the print (I'm wary to try anything that goes on the negatives, damaged prints can be re made, damaged negatives can't), do you just get a white pencil and go over the mark a few times?

  7. #7
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    Re: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    Itís not easy for me

    Everybody learns by doing

    Try fixing the print thatís what Mortensen did

    But my wife hand touched up Playboy chromes with paint. Marnie could touch up anything

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan View Post
    For pencil on the print (I'm wary to try anything that goes on the negatives, damaged prints can be re made, damaged negatives can't), do you just get a white pencil and go over the mark a few times?
    sin eater

  8. #8

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    Re: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan View Post
    How do you guys deal with scratched negatives?
    Curse, weep, and make sure it doesn't happen with the next negative.

  9. #9

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    Re: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    The "red paint" is called Crocein Scarlet - which actually comes (or came...not sure if still available) as a powder to be mixed a various dilutions (depending on the desired extent of visible density build up/contrast flattening desired to chosen areas of the final print) and carefully applied to those areas of the negative. Used "extra-strong," Crocein Scarlet can also become an effective means of retouching negative areas of lighter to medium densities - as these densities can be matched by the scarlet...but this takes practice as the red color, very close spectrally to "safelight red," adds quite a bit more density than visual inspection might indicate. But I, personally, have had very little success in using Crocein Scarlet to retouch in very dense areas of a negative. I can get close if I make the mix as strong as possible - but the problem here is that such a strong mix tends to build up the surface of the negative physically, which can lead to newton's rings in my glass negative carriers.

    Then there is Kodak Liquid Opaque...which would be great for spot retouching, if only if it were actually, truly opaque! (Oh...how I would love to find something - truly, absolutely opaque, which would add no dimension to the negative...and which could be applied...precisely with no bleed-out...to those very small, clear spots on my negatives - usually too small to be noticed unless the print is very large...which mine often are. Does this exist? I'd pay dearly for this!)

    The problem with scratches such as you describe is following them precisely with a given retouching media...much the same issue as following a long, skinny clear area where dust had fallen on the negative prior to exposure - although scratches are somewhat easier due to their tendency to wick the media into themselves. Theoretically one should be able to wipe certain "washable" media crosswise over a scratch, and it would just be left in the scratch and nowhere else - but I've never gotten this to work with any consistency.

    There is (or was) a solution made by Edwal called "No Scratch," of which I still have two bottles...to be applied by wiping sideways over a scratch with the idea of filling it in while leaving the rest of the negative pristine. Note my use of the word "idea," which is why my two, thirty-odd year old bottles are still full.

    Finally...there is the blade! Yes, with some practice, a very steady hand, nerves of steel, and preferably a great and powerful binocular loupe...one can become somewhat adept at slicing the negative - on the opposite side of the scratch, but following the scratch precisely...not for the faint of heart!

    My advice? Create some "disposable" negatives, go ahead and scratch them...and then practice!

  10. #10
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    Re: Scratch on negative, how to remove defect from print?

    Adams Retouching Machine

    I have one

    never use it
    sin eater

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