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Old August 8th, 2011, 12:44 PM
Nick Masson Nick Masson is offline
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Default Cleaning Silver-Gelatin Negatives

Hey all,
I was wondering if anybody could tell me how to safely clean the emulsion side of BW negatives. I just had a role of FP4 developed and there is a negative that I plan to use to print an image for my portfolio; unfortunately it is a fairly thin negative and some markings and water stains showed up when I made my first batch of prints (the photolab left marks when developing the film -- reason enough to want to always develop my own negatives...). I was thinking that it would probably be safe to gently wipe the emulsion side with a micro-fibre cloth that has been dipped in distilled water (thinking that the negatives are developed in water solution before drying, so probably alright to rewet it?).

I would greatly appreciate any advice on what to do and what not to do to ensure that I don't damage a negative...

Thanks!
-NICK
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Old August 8th, 2011, 04:47 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Masson View Post
Hey all,
I was wondering if anybody could tell me how to safely clean the emulsion side of BW negatives. I just had a role of FP4 developed and there is a negative that I plan to use to print an image for my portfolio; unfortunately it is a fairly thin negative and some markings and water stains showed up when I made my first batch of prints (the photolab left marks when developing the film -- reason enough to want to always develop my own negatives...). I was thinking that it would probably be safe to gently wipe the emulsion side with a micro-fibre cloth that has been dipped in distilled water (thinking that the negatives are developed in water solution before drying, so probably alright to rewet it?).

I would greatly appreciate any advice on what to do and what not to do to ensure that I don't damage a negative...
Hi Nick,

Do not wipe with microfiber cloth. Since we do not know how the film was rinsed, the gelatin emulsion layers may have been softened to the point that residual calcium and minerals might scratch the surface. It's best to re-rinse in water for a couple of minutes with some 'wetting agency' added, and air dry hanging in a dust free environment. When you use demineralized or distilled water then the risk of calcium drying spots and iron particles from the water supply is eliminated.

Cheers,
Bart
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Old August 8th, 2011, 04:58 PM
Nick Masson Nick Masson is offline
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Great, thanks for the reply!
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