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Thread: On dust (or other nasty things on your film!)

  1. #11

    On dust (or other nasty things on your film!)

    I have written to all of the film holder manufactures at one time or another begging them to produce an all metal film holder. The film holder should be made of titanium because it is extremely light and extremely durable material. More importantly, it is not plastic and it is very conductive to removing static charges. Plastic is not conductive and builds static charges quickly. Plastic draws dust like fly paper draws flys and there an`t mush you can do about it. Each time you pull the film slide to expose your film it sticks out like an antenna collecting dust at alarming rates.

    To solve your dust problem I recommend you go metal. More specifically, I recommend that you replace the plastic film slides with home made metal ones and add a snap on ground. In more detail do the following:

    1. Using aluminum roofing sheet metal cut out a slide that is 1/2 inch larger in size than the plastic slide. Fold the edges of the metal slide over and hammer them so the edges of the slide is the same thickness of the plastic ones. The folded edges will add rigidity to the metal slide. The folded width of the metal slide should be the same width as the plastic ones and about 1/2 inch longer in length. On one end of the slide make a 1/2 inch 90 degree bend to form a curd handle. When the handle face away from the center of the film holder it means who have unexposed loaded film. When the handle faces into the center of the film holder you have exposed loaded film.

    2. Go to a camping store and buy snap together buttons that can be be installed in the same manner as gromets can. Dill a hole near the handle for a bolt to attach the male part of snape together button.

    3. Steel wool the entire slide and and spay paint it with a durable flat black paint.

    4. Attach the male snap together button to the slide near the handle in the hole you drilled.

    5. Attach a long wire or conductive cloth lace material to the female part of the snap together button using the gromet tools. This will allow you snap on a ground wire to the slide to ground the film holer when necessary. The ground wire should be long enough to touch the ground. When using the wire stand on the end that touches the ground to make sure it has good contact.

    6. Bitch loud and clear to film holder manufactures for the need of all metal film holders.

    Good Luck.

  2. #12

    On dust (or other nasty things on your film!)

    Stephen wrote: "I have written to all of the film holder manufactures at one time or another begging them to produce an all metal film holder... Plastic is not conductive and builds static charges quickly."

    Conductive plastic is widely used in the electronics industry for bags and rigid objects. Graphite mixed in is one way to do it. I wonder if conductive plastic could be adapted to film holders?

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 1999

    On dust (or other nasty things on your film!)

    Doesn't Hoffman produce all-metal holders in 4X5 through 8X10.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 1999

    On dust (or other nasty things on your film!)

    I know i'm little late with my opinion on dust (seeing as you posted in may and it is now October), but if you are still having dust problems, have you considered using an electric ionizer in your darkroom? (they electrically charge the impuritied in the air attracting them to earth) you buy them at home depot for a reasonable price. if you run it for a while before loading your film, it should solve the darkroom dust problem. then again, as you said, it could be dirty light seals.


  5. #15
    Robert A. Zeichner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Southfield, Michigan

    On dust (or other nasty things on your film!)

    Are these hairs you speak of the size of lint (practically invisible to the naked eye) or the size of human hair? If the latter, are you the source of hair? I know this sounds strange and I certainly mean no disrespect, but perhaps the source is your arms. I would recommend trying to load while wearing one of those spandex cyclists shirts, one with long sleeves. I would caution against using any kind of a changing tent except in emergencies. These things, no matter how good, eventually become dust bags. Also, check the camera again carefully. If your bellows interior is dusty, you will attract that dust when you pull the slide. Also, the dryness factor another respondent mentioned is really important. I generally run the shower in my bathroom for a minute or two and let the room get a bit humid. This also serves to wash down the dust to the floor. Also. Try sitting down and letting everything settle for a minute or two before unboxing anything. Then, invert the pile of film and overturn only a sheet at a time when you are ready to insert in the holder. I hope some or any of this helps you.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Virginia, USA

    Re: On dust (or other nasty things on your film!)

    Reviving this thread since we are in the middle of the pollen season. The clouds of pollen here in Virginia are sometimes a huge challenge when photographing in the field. Last time out my camera had a layer of pollen all over it by the time I was done. The negs unfortunately had a huge amount of dust marks on them too despite my best efforts to keep them clean. I'm putting field work on hold for the time being and doing some table top work instead.
    Brass is a metal alloy, not a lens type - MichaelE

  7. #17
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: On dust (or other nasty things on your film!)

    A major source of dust is our skin

    I use a small oil free compressor, with 3 filters, the last good enough for painting cars

    I regulate to 25 psi with clean/new oil free hose, handy in DR

    I really don't like spray can air, I have none

    The Merv 16 room air filter also helps, I gave my daughter the Hepa 16 machine, I doubt they bought new filters by now

    After living in a too AIR tight Leeds condo, I now live in far more free flowing HVAC with plenty of outside air' Air leaks!

    I washed the white pickup today as it was turning green

  8. #18
    Joe O'Hara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Marlton, NJ

    Re: On dust (or other nasty things on your film!)

    Just be sure that if you use an air compressor, it has an oil-less pump, or that the compressed air passes through an oil filter on its way to your film. And I would not trust any valve or hose downstream from that filter that has ever had oily air run through it.

    Personally I use "canned air" (some kind of halocarbon gas) but the idea of being able to blast the holders with unlimited quantities of high-pressure air definitely has its appeal!

    Giving the film a final blast from the duster spray can before closing the dark slide has made all the difference for me, in eliminating those exasperating dust spots.
    Where are we going?
    And why are we in this handbasket?

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