Scratched 35mm negs- how?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Bryce Parker, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. Bryce Parker

    Bryce Parker Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Medium Format
    I've been struggling with a really annoying problem, seems like its causes should be obvious but I'm at a loss.
    Frequently I find scratches on my 35mm negatives, lengthwise, and not too consistent. Sometimes they run a good part of the length of a roll, others only an inch. They are sometimes perfectly straight and sometimes not quite so. They appear before the negatives are placed in their sleeves, though I believe the sleeves may be part of the problem. The scratches are invariably on the non-emulsion side.
    I do not touch the film's back when I load the reels, do not load my own cartridges, and do not 'squeegee' my film in any way, just hang to dry without touching it.
    I blamed the pressure plate in my camera, and so replaced it. Well, the problem persists so that can't be it, or at least not the whole problem.
    I use the following products: Pentax KX and K1000, Ilford films, Print File sleeves, stainless tanks and reels, non hardening fixer.
    What am I doing wrong?
    And since I now have tons of scratched negatives, how does one go about applying nose oil to scratches, and removing it without making more scratches?
  2. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Thunder Bay,
    Multi Format
    Could be your negative carrier. When you push the negatives around to align them with the opening in the neg carrier, a small burr on the carrier will scratch the negs.

    Noseoil is just the oil from your skin applied to the neg where the scratch is. Rub your forefinger and thumb on the fleshy part of the skin between your nose and cheek. Your fingers pick up the oil from your skin. Rub this on the neg where the scratches are. Applied thinly, it will not appear on the print. I never remove it. I don't know what it will do to the negs in the long term. Maybe someone else does. I haven't had any trouble with negs deteriorating from the skin oils, but then I don't need to do this very often.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

    Dec 3, 2004
    Chicago, Wes
    Multi Format
    Dear Bryce,

    The only times I have gotten nice straight scratches along the length of the film, the culprit has been grit in the camera. Of course, if you blow your camera out each time then this probably isn't the cause. I used to get scratches that weren't straight back when I squeegeed the film before drying (many others do this without problem though).

    As for printing, I use Edwal No-Scratch and I clean it off with PEC-12 and PEC pads.

    Neal Wydra
  4. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

    Sep 20, 2002
    Nose oil is wiped across the scratch with the fleshy part of the thumb. Scratches from winding or rewinding should be very straight parallel to the film edge.