Rollei Retro dust magnet

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Toffle, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I've got a few rolls of Rollei Retro 400 from a couple of years ago that I'd really like to get some nice prints from. Unfortunately, these negatives attract dust like no other film I've used.

    Usually a gentle burst of air or a light brushing is sufficient to prepare a negative for printing. I've probably printed one particular negative nearly a dozen times, and no matter how carefully I handle it, my prints end up with dust specks... I know it's dust because the spots are in a different place each time.

    I'm afraid to handle these prints any more for fear of simply wearing them out, but I would really like to get one clean print.

    Has anyone else noticed this problem with Rollei Retro? How do you print your negatives?

    Cheers,
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Member

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    Tom,

    Have you tried one of those anti-static guns on your film? I don't know how well they work on film, as I've never needed anything but compressed air to get negs ready, but I've used it on vinyl albums a lot, and it really works as far as removing static electricity goes.

    - Thomas
     
  3. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Ilford makes an anti-static cloth...available everywhere and quite cheap.
     
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    Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Thanks for the hints... I'll try the anti-static cloth before the "taser" solution. :D

    Cheers,
     
  5. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Tom, they're orange cloths - almost any camera store has 'em. Even ones that gave up the ghost on film and sell those little things now. Ilford makes 'em.
     
  6. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Tom,
    Is your enlarger properly grounded?
     
  7. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    An even better question is the operator/techie grounded? With the wrong socks, shoes and clothes, you can easily build up a 75kv static charge which will suck dust from 6 feet away. Your compressed air supply will do the same, air moving thru the hose can build a very high charge, ground the nozzle.
     
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    Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Those are good questions. My enlarger is a decidedly low-tech Hansa condenser type with no obvious grounding points as I might expect on an electrical device of this type. However, it is only with a couple of film brands that I seem to have a dust problem. Seems to me that I had some problem with Lucky films, but for me the biggest culprit is Rollei Retro 400. If I've had dust problems with Ilford or Kodak films it has simply been because I have been lax in my practice, and a simple puff of air is usually enough to rectify the situation.

    Thanks again for all the hints. I'm still hoping to nail this one print before I've handled the negative to death.

    Cheers,
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Toffle,
    In ye oldene dayz, before three-prong plugs, we would find a suitable grounding point--ideally a cold-water pipe; then back out one of the bolts holding the column to the board enough to slip the wire thereunder. retighten. End of problem.
     
  10. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    A little extra humidity in the darkroom couldn't hurt either. Hanging a couple of wet towels out to dry in the room can go a long way.
     
  11. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Hmmm - maybe this film is a bit too retro.

    I use Staticmaster brushes, followed by compressed air. I examine the negative in the negative carrier under the enlarger light to see if there are and dust particles, which I pick off with a flat watercolor brush.

    The anti-static gun is a good solution if it will work in this situation: there is no contact with the negatives. After it gets rid of the charge the dust comes off with a light brushing and a burst of compressed air.

    The Ilford cloth is a microfiber cloth. I have used a generic microfiber cloth for negative cleaning and it works. But these cloths retain the dust particles and I am always afraid I will scratch the negative with a bit of captured grit. Given the physics of the thing, I don't see how this cloth will do anything to relieve any underlying static problem.

    I haven't tried antistatic treatments, and I don't think I would want to.

    Photoflo should provide some static relief. Try using it at 1:100 with 10% alcohol and let it dry onto the film - don't squeegee it off.
     
  12. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Photoflo does help a bit, but there are some films that naturally attract and hold dust more than others. Ilford's and Kodak's 120 film stocks are pretty good at not holding dust. I seem to get more of it clinging to Foma's 120 film stocks. That hasn't stopped me from using Foma's products. It has just taught me to be more careful about cleanliness, and that is never a bad thing.