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Thread: Negative Retouching: which products?

  1. #1

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    Negative Retouching: which products?

    Hi all,

    I need to fix some scratches and pinholes on my 8x10 negs, and wanted to know which currently available products people are using for this purpose, pencils, brush ons, whatever. Thanks.

    GB

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    Re: Negative Retouching: which products?

    I would like to add to this question. I have heard of a liquid that can be spread onto the non-emulsion side of a negative, which allows the use of graded pencils to fill in dust and scratch marks. I have yet to see it. I have never been successful with liquid spotting dyes such as Marshal's. Anyone know about this stuff?

    --Gary

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    Just waiting to be developed..
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    Re: Negative Retouching: which products?

    I have never done it myself but my grandmother was/is a pro at it.
    She did thousands of them using the Kodak dyes. I dont know if they are still available but Kodak has a guide on there site.

    I also found a post in the archives of APUG. It details some users experiences and might be helpful for B&W.

    I hope this helps point you in the right direction.
    -Ian Mazursky
    www.ianmazursky.com Travel, Landscape, Portraits and my 12x20 diary
    PrePress Express

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    Re: Negative Retouching: which products?

    Kodak Retouching Fluid. An Adams Retouching machine can be picked up cheaply. Couple of books on retouching (Veronica Cass or the older Arthur Hammond book).

  5. #5

    Re: Negative Retouching: which products?

    I use pencils an H or HB works the best and Spot Tone dye. I also work on both side of the negative. Scratches are hard but give you good practice.
    Richard T Ritter
    www.lg4mat.net

  6. #6

    Re: Negative Retouching: which products?

    Quote Originally Posted by G Benaim View Post
    Hi all,

    I need to fix some scratches and pinholes on my 8x10 negs, and wanted to know which currently available products people are using for this purpose, pencils, brush ons, whatever. Thanks.

    GB
    I never had good luck using pencils, but I do use a couple of dyes (black and red). You will have to look for old stock or closing photography shops because as far as I know there is no dye for that purpose available now.

    Korn dye and veronica cass dyes work well.

  7. #7
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Negative Retouching: which products?

    Veronica Cass dyes were made by Pebeo (sp?).

  8. #8
    Louie Powell's Avatar
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    Re: Negative Retouching: which products?

    As Richard noted, ordinary spotting fluids or pencils can be used on negatives. LF negatives, in particular, have a coating on the non-emulsion side that will 'take' spotting. Spotone is no longer being manufactured (but can probably still be found in a few well stocked, older stores), but Marshall's makes a quite adequate substitute.

    It is also possible to use colored dyes. "Dye dodging" that involves applying colored dyes to the non-emulsion side of the negative. A magenta dye not only increases negative density, but it acts as a localized higher-contrast filter when printing on variable contrast paper, increasing local contrast. This tends to smooth out the effect of the dye. Yellow dyes act as lower contrast filtration. While it is possible to apply dye directly on the non-emulsion side of the negative (and theoretically, to wash it off if you change your mind), a slightly better approach is to tape a fixed and washed sheet of film to the negative, and then apply the dye to that sheet of film. That way, if you change your mind, you can simply remove the second sheet of film and throw it away. Transparent water color dyes such as Dr. Martin's work very well for this application.

    Kodak also used to make an opaquing solution that could be used to completely opaque out areas of negatives. The intended market was in the printing industry where it was used to repair flaws in litho negatives, but it could also be used in conventional photography. This stuff was available in both red and black and came as a paste in small jars. One would use a moistened brush to apply it to the negative, adding water as necessary to make it flow better.

    The problem with the opaquing solution is that it completely opaques the negative, resulting in blank paper white in the print that has to later be spotted down to match the surrounding area. Dye dodging is more controllable and can be used for everything from correcting pinholes and other minor flaws, to localized dodging to open dense shadows, and generally does not require that the print be spotted to correct secondary flaws caused by retouching.

    These techniques work very well on large format negatives, but they are not as easily done on smaller negatives Smaller negatives generally require (and involve) more enlargement, so very small problems in the negative can become problems on prints. But smaller problems are more difficult to correct. Some may recall the "Heisenberg uncertainty principle" in physics - that small effects cannot be directly measured because the measurement process interferes with the effect being measured. A corollary in photography is that you can't repair negative flaws that are smaller than the point of the pencil or the tip of the brush that you use to make repairs.

  9. #9

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    Re: Negative Retouching: which products?

    With spottone, do you use the regular print fluid, or is there one specific to negatives? I'm needing help for 8x10 negs. Are you all sure there's nothing currently available made for fixing scratches and pinholes?

  10. #10
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Negative Retouching: which products?

    Any kind of light opaque dye will work. Some will be easier to use than others. Go to an art store and buy some ink, such as India ink, dye or whatever. Then test on a scrap negative. Water soluble is good, as you can always rewash the negative if you make a mistake.

    Check out: http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe.../e70/e70.jhtml

    I bet Kodak still makes some of this, but it'll be very expensive.

    You can use regular spottone, if you can find it. There is no negative specific kind.

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