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Stephen Lloyd

Old and dirty negatives

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I have started to scan some very old negatives from the 1950s. Some have come out very well indeed but some are pretty grimy. Does anyone have any tested tips on cleaning them?

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Stephen, get yourself some PEC-12, the Archival Emulsion Cleaner, some non-scratch tissues, and some new cardboard mounts. If you're doing slides, cut them out of their old mounts, clean them, and scan them in a dedicated scanner. I suggest only doing special, important slides and negs  -- this will be a lot of work.

 

Chuck the Original suggested the PEC-12, which is the way to go. Thanks again, Chuck!

 

This is a scanned Kodachrome slide I did:

 

a-fisherman-sitting-at-the-waterfront-on

Edited by Ed Rooney
  • Upvote 1

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This scan is from an old negative (1980's) that I cleaned with Edwal film cleaner (wow, it's gotten expensive) and then used Digital ICE when I scanned it. I uploaded it through the archival route, though, so it bypassed QC.

 

decorated-facade-of-a-structure-in-the-n

Edited by John Mitchell

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Edo and all are welcome,

 

I do need to dig out the old scanner again and order some

PEC-12 and pads.

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Glad it's not old and dirty pictures   :)

Edited by Niels Quist
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If it's actual dirt and you still have your darkroom kit I'd consider a rewash, just as if rinsing after processing. Then a wipe of the squeegee and dry just like the old days. Tricky with individually cut negs though.

Edited by spacecadet

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Dirt and scratches are two different problems, although both can be addressed to some degree by an ICE (Nikon) or FARE (Canon) infrared cleaner. Bear in mind that this causes some loss of detail. Cleaning as recommended above will take care of the dirt/dust, if done carefully, but not the scratches.

Wet mounting is claimed to address that, although I have no direct experience with it (due in part to the fact that their special Lumina scanning fluid is not available, as far as I know, in Europe). It might be that whatever scanning fluid is available here would be good enough.

Check out http://scanscience.com/

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DD it's ok - it's dirt. I know the difference! These are my wife's family's negs (various formats, a few slides) going back  to the 1950s - some great shots of their older people when young plus some of their travel photos - one from the top of Sydney harbour bridge and you can see the land where the opera house is now. A lot of 127.  They've been in boxes and cards in Malaysia, so heat, humidity and storage issues are showing. If you ever see You Tube and Michael Rogges old videos on there, they feel similar. Maybe some have commercial value but nearly all is emotional

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I find that old negatives are much more problematic to scan than slides. I can never get as good results.

 

People say that Digital ICE (Nikon software) softens images, but I've never really noticed this when using the "regular" setting. It does a good job on both dirt and scratches IME.

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Ah yes, her name was Agnetta, and she was from one of those northern parts of Sweden,where the sun never shines, and when she felt the balmy summer air in Rome, well . . . but perhaps I digress?  :wacko:  

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Thanks to all for the suggestions. I now have PEC 12 and due to Ed memories of my old Abba poster. I will report progress.

 

A spin off is that my flatbed is a Canon 9950. 2006 vintage which was running well under Windows XP and not as well but ok under Win 7. Since I reinstalled it under Windows 10 the drivers appear to be a bit of a risk. The PC crashes when it is not active for a wee while. It appears to be post driver. And my laptop simply does not want to know it. Anyone had similar? There are no Win10 drivers for this vintage 2006 hardware

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