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Negative cleaning

Discussion in 'Digital Image Editing & Printing' started by velocette, May 14, 2019.

  1. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    I'm scanning some very old, 1960's Instamatic negatives that were very poorly commercially processed, scratches and lines etc and are also filthy. The lines and major blobs I can obviously remove by cloning but I'd like if I could give them a good clean first to at least reduce the workload. Any suggestion on the best method of achieving this or currently available fluids. Lighter fuel has been mentioned.

    I'll try the usual warm bath with wetting agent but as the dirt's been there since they were processed in the 60's I think they need a bit of a 'kick start'. Luckily from the Instamatic I moved onto 35mm and processed myself meaning later negatives require far less work.

    Any tips appreciated,

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I think the warm bath, using deionised water, with wetting agent would be the best starting point. Lighter fuel I'd think risks dissolving the film base, I don't see why it would remove dirt.
  3. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Scanning software can remove many blemishes, I use Vuescan and it removes a lot, especially lighter scratches.
  4. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    Thanks for those, I'm using Vuescan which does a good job but there's a limit to what any software can probably do. The negs are probably scrap but I'll have a go at washing them.
  5. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Many years ago we had some sort of oil that had the same refractive index as film base. It really did work for dealing with scratches on negatives if you used a negative carrier with glasses. Bubbles could be troublesome. The mess to clear up was appaling. But it did work.
  6. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    We used to always finger wipe the side of our noses and sweep down the strip of negatives. However, I agree that if they really are dirty, a warm bath first then more treatment afterwards. A little at a time.

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