Dust Removal Alternative?
Old 08-01-2019   #1
Ionex56
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Unhappy Dust Removal Alternative?

Currently I'm scanning with a Nikon Coolscan V (LS-50) and Vuescan, touching up dusts and scratches using Photoshop's clone stamp tool. However, though this method is very effective, it's painfully slow. I spend more time cloning out the dusts and scratches than it takes to develop and scan an entire roll. Sometimes there is just way too much dust to correct... if I'm in a rush I might use my fingers instead of a squeegee to remove the excess water and while it looks perfectly fine under a loupe, once the negatives are scanned you can see a thick trail of micro-dust from the gaps between my fingers.

I found a dust removal plugin called SRDx developed by the same company that made Silverfast, another popular scanning software. However, I can't seem to get it to detect anything. Whether it is a negative or positive, B+W or color, contrasty or non-contrasty, PC or Mac, older version of PS or latest version, I tried everything and just can't seem to get it to work. My only hypothesis is that when the LS-50 scans at 4000DPI, the digital noise is smaller than the film grain, giving the plugin a hard time with detection.

If anyone could give SRDx a go and see if it works on their end (there's a free demo on their website), that would be appreciated. Anyways, I would like your opinions on how to deal with dust from scanning in a more time efficient way... maybe spending that $20 sending it to a lab is worth the 4 weeks wait because at this rate it will take me that long to scan, color correct, and remove all this dust
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Old 08-01-2019   #2
Glenn2
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Perhaps a better route would be to fix the problem rather than treat the symptoms. Is it possible to clean up the darkroom to eliminate most of the dust? A drying cabinet for film is another idea. Shouldn’t be too difficult to build something dust free and filtered. Have always felt that the drying time is when wet film is most vulnerable.

I have similar but not so serious problems and am looking at modifying a gun storage cabinet for this purpose. A small one is just the right size.

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Old 08-01-2019   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn2 View Post
Perhaps a better route would be to fix the problem rather than treat the symptoms. Is it possible to clean up the darkroom to eliminate most of the dust? A drying cabinet for film is another idea. Shouldn’t be too difficult to build something dust free and filtered. Have always felt that the drying time is when wet film is most vulnerable.

I have similar but not so serious problems and am looking at modifying a gun storage cabinet for this purpose. A small one is just the right size.

Glenn
Great points, Glenn. A film drying cabinet. That may be what I need. I guess a gun storage cabinet or clothing storage cabinet works, but any ideas for a more travel friendly alternative, or how to handle ventilation/filtration?

I try my best to eliminate dust during development and scanning, by leaving the shower on to collect any floating dust before drying, and using a rocket blower and lens pen (the brush side) to get rid of any dust I can see prior to scanning. Will be getting a new clean squeegee though and seeing if that helps.

Really wished I had access to a dust free room but sometimes it is what it is!
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Old 08-01-2019   #4
Steve M.
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Try the bandaid tool rather than the clone tool. It has softer edges, so it's easier to blend in. I wet print now (scanning....arghhhhhh!), and what you refer to is the main reason. Dig/Ice will work w/ colour, but not B&W. You're gonna have to deal w/ dust no matter what you do. I end up spending a lot of time spotting my fiber prints, but trust me, everything analog is easy on your nerves. It's just the opposite w/ digitized negs. I'm not dealing w/ a scanner/computer/monitor/software/inkjet printer. All that stuff is designed to be tedious and nerve wracking.
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Old 08-01-2019   #5
johannielscom
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Try the Ikea SKUBB with 9 compartments. Rip out all the 'shelves' you do not need. Keep the top and bottom one and craft a 'door' from whatever dust-free material you have. Voilą, portable drying cabinet!

Verrrry cheap and verrrry portable!

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60306272/
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Old 08-01-2019   #6
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I constantly fight dust when using my flatbed scanner. Before scanning, I wipe down all surfaces around the scanner (e.g. where I'll be putting negs on plastic holders) with a damp paper towel. I wipe down the glass plate on scanner before each session with an anti-static cloth. And I gently brush the negatives with a soft lens brush. Those steps get rid of most of the dust spots, but there will be still be some I'll need to remove in Lightroom.
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Old 08-01-2019   #7
Bill Clark
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I still have an analog darkroom. Only use black and white film anymore.

Do you have a darkroom? If you do, what do the negatives/prints look like when using an enlarger?

Any photos I want digital I use a digital camera. It was too time consuming for me to go the scanning route.

Digital won I guess!
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Old 08-01-2019   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ionex56 View Post
I try my best to eliminate dust during development and scanning, by leaving the shower on to collect any floating dust before drying, and using a rocket blower and lens pen (the brush side) to get rid of any dust I can see prior to scanning.
I do the same. Also, if I scan right after the negative have dried gives much fewer dust than having the negatives hang for a day. Makes a huge difference as a lot of dust in the air settles on the negatives. But the most important thing is to have the room where you scan the negatives super clean, no pets allowed, and regular cleaning. With all the above, I barely have any dust on my scanned negatives at all.
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Old 08-02-2019   #9
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Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
I still have an analog darkroom. Only use black and white film anymore.

Do you have a darkroom? If you do, what do the negatives/prints look like when using an enlarger?

Any photos I want digital I use a digital camera. It was too time consuming for me to go the scanning route.

Digital won I guess!
Unfortunately I don't have a darkroom. I wish I did though... I didn't start developing film myself until recently... growing up it all went to Costco or the local photo store and came back as 4x6s!

Digital definitely has its perks but I find that the film colors and especially how the highlights are rendered are very hard to replicate on digital. I have my share of digital when I need the convenience but I still really like the shooting experience with film though. Scanning is another story
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Old 08-02-2019   #10
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Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
Try the Ikea SKUBB with 9 compartments. Rip out all the 'shelves' you do not need. Keep the top and bottom one and craft a 'door' from whatever dust-free material you have. Voilą, portable drying cabinet!

Verrrry cheap and verrrry portable!

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60306272/
Thanks for the suggestion, Johan. What do you use to make the door/cover the front and back? I'll probably go this route or get something similar.

I also found this garment bag that seems to get all sides covered but I don't think it's long enough for a 36exp roll of film?
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Old 08-02-2019   #11
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Worked in a lab for years. We had specific film cleaning tools like the Kinetronics StaticVac that would take the charge off the film sweep and blow the dust away. Even film freshly out of the processor and completely dried would attract dust as soon as you walked across the floor with it in hand.

At home the next best thing is the Ilford Antistaticum Anti-Static Cloth. you use a real light touch but run the entire film from end to end though the cloth. It will remove the static charge and now a blower or suitable brush will work much better.

As always PEC-12 for anything blowing or brushing wont remove.
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Old 08-05-2019   #12
fs999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ionex56 View Post
I found a dust removal plugin called SRDx developed by the same company that made Silverfast, another popular scanning software. However, I can't seem to get it to detect anything. Whether it is a negative or positive, B+W or color, contrasty or non-contrasty, PC or Mac, older version of PS or latest version, I tried everything and just can't seem to get it to work. My only hypothesis is that when the LS-50 scans at 4000DPI, the digital noise is smaller than the film grain, giving the plugin a hard time with detection.

If anyone could give SRDx a go and see if it works on their end (there's a free demo on their website), that would be appreciated. Anyways, I would like your opinions on how to deal with dust from scanning in a more time efficient way... maybe spending that $20 sending it to a lab is worth the 4 weeks wait because at this rate it will take me that long to scan, color correct, and remove all this dust
SRDx is for b&w films. It doesn't work well, so I keep it off...
On the other hand SRD is for color films and uses the infrared scan to remove efficiently the dust.
For b&w films I use Corel PaintShop Pro's healing tool, which is very effective. You spot the dust, click and it's away without loosing detail.
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Old 08-05-2019   #13
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SRDx is for b&w films. It doesn't work well, so I keep it off...
On the other hand SRD is for color films and uses the infrared scan to remove efficiently the dust.
For b&w films I use Corel PaintShop Pro's healing tool, which is very effective. You spot the dust, click and it's away without loosing detail.
Hmm interesting. On the SRDx website it shows the plugin being used on multiple color scans.

I initially tried it on B+W first, and when that didn't work tried color... the plugin won't detect any dust at all, even when highlighting a large piece of dust manually. SRDx support hasn't been very helpful either. Just wanted to see if I'm the only one with this issue (maybe it's something with my scanning workflow or hardware), or if the issue lies with the software itself.
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Old 08-05-2019   #14
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Tidi Products make Kaypees, which are identical to old Photo Wipes, but with one extra ply. I have used these to wipe down every roll of film (after a bath in Sprint End Run) since 1982 and have minimal issues with dust. The End Run contains an anti-static component, and the Kaypees remove the bulk of the liquid, so films dry quickly. I am often scoffed at for this method, but can truthfully say I have spotted fewer than 25 prints since 1982.
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Old 08-07-2019   #15
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Hmm interesting. On the SRDx website it shows the plugin being used on multiple color scans.
Some color films don't work with infrared dust removal, like kodachrome...
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Old 08-07-2019   #16
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To the OP... You're using a CoolScan V. With mine, NikonScan with Digital ICE does a great job with dust/specs/scratches. Vuescan's "IR Clean" for me is not as effective and I find it creates some nasty artifacts in some cases.
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