But the everlasting problem in an analog workflow seems to be the dust.
my darkroom is my workshop, too, a small problem 😉
Here the tips and tricks which accumulated over the years :
Kepp your camera inside / back inside clean.
Dry your negatives in an clean environment, best seems to be an bathroom after taking a shower (the shower takes the dust out of the air)
Put the negatives in sleeves
Keep your scanner/enlarger clean, use moist wipes, antistatic wipes, an airblower.
Be careful with compressed air, it may contain chemicals and it stirs up the dust.
On the negatives use antistatic brushes (e.g. Kinetronics)
If needed use moist wipes (careful !) to clean the negatives
Learn photoshop / lightroom dust removal techniques and patience
And most valuable : Learn to live with this imperfections
In my poll, I got lots of tips, here are the most valuable remarks :
Rodolfo Cardarelli I try to keep everything as clean as possible but it’s just impossible. I do not use ICE or other automatic technologies first of all because increase the length of the scanning and secondly because I want to keep control during the whole process. I am afraid repairing by hand on photoshop is the only viable solution, IMHO.
Warren Lilford Scan as soon as your negative is dry, blow the negs down once in the holder, blow down the flatbed top and bottom. a lot of it can be dust sticking to neg while drying or dirty developer to, 90% of stuff on my negs is from developing
Warren Lilford I think over time you learn what works, when i started my own developing the amount of crud on my scans was hideous but its got a lot better.
Andreas Cloos As Rodolfo wrote – try to keep everything as clean as possible (antistatic brush, compressed air) and the rest you gotta remove in Lightroom or Photoshop. Advantage is: the bigger the negative, the less difficult it is to remove the dust,
Carl Hall Hoover or blow the camera out every so often so that you don’t get dust stuck to the film right at the start. When you leave the film to hang do it in a room where there is less dust (ie in the bathroom after the showers been on).
Patryk Burchard I dry my films in „cabinet“ (made from carboard, shower curtain and some other stuff). Before hanging the film I put bowl with boiling water for 3-5 minute for steam to catch dust
Andreas Cloos I dry my film in a bthorrm where we also put our cat’s toilets – which means there is always some dust/hair. Never have it on the negatives, but everytime you open the flatbed scannre you can basically see the dust which is finding it’s place on the scanner glas. So that is where „my dust“ comes from.
Jonathan Gazeley Compressed air or a blower to get the dust off, and then light cloning in PS to remove the bits I missed.
Phil Marshall I
use a large garment bag with a light bulb on the bottom. Turn the bulb
on and unzip the top of the bag a little. The warm air rises up and
takes the dust out with it. Warm it up for ten minutes or so, before
putting wet film in. Looks crazy, but works great !
Than I took the linhof technika board of, easy. It got cleaned and some repaint.
Next was the front element fo the lens, using my trusted part of rubber tire it came of, the tubus also.
The back element followed.
Both lenses I cleaned with compressed air, a few spots I had to wipe careful with isopropanol or benzin (naphta).
The shutter did work after bathing in isopropanol and lots of dirt came of, but twice after drying – stuck.
So of came three very small screws, the front plate of, turning the „half screw of compur“ and away with the holding plate/ring.
Now you could pry of the time ring, but careful – no more firing the shutter now !
Cleaning all the parts so far removed, visual insprection, naphta bath.
Than I put some acid free oil (I prefer Ballistol) with a q-tip on the
sensible small mechanics, a few minutes later – a perfect working compur
I put it together again – and have a splendid working 150 mm 4×5 lens.
So far my new intrepid camera did not arrive, but I got another compur synchro with a nice 210mm lens.
I hate guys who put the screws seemingly with powerwrenches on the fine
treads, but with drops of oil, waiting,waiting longer, using a wrench
with rubber protectors and an lens wrench I got the lens board plate
Than my usual taking of the lenses, they are put away for a careful
cleaning if needed. Some paint flakes went away with the air blower,
small specks at the front element went of with isopropanol. A small
cratch is remaining.
Disassembly of the compur, bathing the components in Isopropanol, I even
put the very dirty mechanism in an ultrasound cleaning bath, than
applying small amounts of an lubricant seems to have got the shutter
working very well.
I´m developing and I´m scanning and I´m wetprinting.
But still I did not put enough energy in presenting my pictures.
I think its a problem lots of us amateurs face.
We take great shots, but what happens with them ?
They are presented on facebook, instagram, flickr, they are shown on a
mobile device or screen, sometimes they are printed in a photobook (now,
But lots of them are just waiting to be presented in some public place.
And – lots of places would love to present them – if you do not want to
charge them money.
Ask at your doctors office, the small shops with blank walls, and others you will see.
Maybe you get some sells or – even better- some shooting offers from them.
I decided to frame more of my prints. A new world is there, lots to
learn – and it is fun to present them physically on some wall.
So I bought siliziumkarbid, fine grain (lifelong lasting 1000g) 600 and 800,
the local glass shop cut me a 2mm glassplate the right size, tested it in camera
and went to work for about 40 minutes.
I used a second smaller glass plate, put a sucking grip on it.
Than I put the 600 powder on the new ground glass, added some water and began to grind. Hard work for my hands . About 10 min later I switched to the 800 powder, water of course and another 15 mins later I had my glass ready.
The result : a good groundglass, but not so bright as I hoped.
A few tips I got as feed back:
The general rule is that a coarse-ground screen will be brighter, but a finely ground one will be easier to focus.
Use WD40 instead of water, its going much more easy.
Use aluminium oxide powder.
Add a fresnell screen.
Broken and grounding – comparison
For working I put an vacuum holder (from and old car something device)
on a 9×12 glass plate I would have used for ambrotype. A spoonful
siliziumkarbide and a few drops water, and a few drops sweat…
20 minutes later the new groundglass in my international 8×10 back :
Here is an overwiev of lensboard parameters as far as I got the infos : Please correct and submit infos !
Sinar boards are quite complex. They are 139 mm square, outer rim is 4 mm thick (front to back) and 2 mm wide, recess is then 1 mm down from that, center area is 5 mm thick, recess is 3.5 mm wide. #1 hole is 35 mm, #3 is 60 mm.
140×140 mm, 3,5 mm thickness, a lighttrap on the inside
138x142mm bei 7 mm thickness (similar to the Stella von Herbst and Firl Görlitz)
Plaubel Peco Profia
166x166mm with rounded edges, the newer onees need a lighttrap on the inside
Plaubel Profia Z 13×18/5×7 : Adapterplatte auf die Technikaplatten, die gibts fertig bei Plaubel. Es gibt auch noch baugleiche 96×99 Platten von Toyo
74×81 mm : Baby Linhof Technika 6×9
96×99 mm, thickness 1.7mm : Linhof Technika 9×12 and Linhof Color & Kardan Color 9×12 ( plus Toyo, Wista, Tachihara, Shen-Hao, usw..).
129×129 mm : Linhof Technika 13×18
162×162 mm : Linhof Kardan, Kardan Super-Color
220 x220 mm : Linhof Kardan 13×18 u. 18×24
ca 200 x 200 mm : Linhof Kardan Color 13×18 u. 18×24
162×162 mm : Linhof Kardan from 1967 (Kardan Bi and later)
6×9, „Field“-4×5 and Misura : 110×110 mm
9×12 – 4×5″, 13×18-5×7″, 18×24 – 8×10″ „new“ 141×141 mm
9×12 – 4×5″, 13×18-5×7″, 18×24 – 8×10″ „old“ Oschwald (vor 1984), F-line 4×5 (1984 to ~2005) and Discovery : 171×171 mm
TOYO 4×5 C
158x158mm, 5mm thickness
162x162mm, rounded edges, lighttrap, 3,5 mm thick, 2,5 mm thick at the lens bore
Outer dimension of 3.64 x 3.7 inches (92.5 x 94mm),
Compur und Copal have the same dimensions 0, 1 and 3