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Re: filmscanners: brandnew user queries

Hello Bill

> (1) Store your slides in an airtight container with a dehydrating
> agent to keep fungus off the slides. Packets of silica gel is
> traditional, zeolite is the new rage  (you can buy this in bulk at
> aquarium supply shops. It's beginning to replace activated charcoal
> in water filters).

Fortunately, while humidity is high here, it isn't as bad as it is in, for
example, Bali (100%), Hongkong, or Singapore. The only solution in such
places is a heated closet. My 12,000 - 15,000 slides (mostly of the Himalaya
& Karakoram, Southern Mexico, Guatemala, and South America) are in plastic
pages in binders, and seem to be fungus-free. The only humidity problem I'm
aware of is rotting rubber foam in my cameras -- it has to be replaced every
2-3 years.

> (2) Anti-static brush:  I use the SW-030 StaticWisk from Kinetronics.
> It's a flat, natural bristle brush with a molded-lastic handle (the
> handle is conductive plastic, so it bleeds off static electricity
> through your body).  There's a fancier style that uses a tiny bit of
> barely radioactive material (polonium?) that I recall is supposed to
> actually attract the dust to the brush.  Don't remember the brand
> name.

Yes, it's the polonium version I'm interested in.

> (3) I use Falcon brand Dust Off.  They're much cheaper at Costco then
> office supply warehouses.  Be careful not to shake or tip the can
> before using it (otherwise you'll end up spraying something whitish
> that coats the film).  Also spray a light jet to clear the nozzle
> before blowing off your film.  I've heard rumor that these canned air
> products might not be good for film, but so far I've had no visible
> problem.

I've been wondering about this brand, whether it would be up to the job.
I'll stock up at Costco on my next visit.

Regarding your advice on monitor calibration: I realize it will be important
when I get ready to correct colours or print. At the moment I just want to
generate an archive of raw scans. I can't budget too much time for scanning
right now. I'm heavily involved in getting up to speed with the digital
audio workstation configuration in my computer, inputting,   editing, and
burning CDRs of several hundred hours of field recordings, and this is where
most of my time has to be spent.

> (6) No matter how good your scans are, DON'T throw away your original
> slides!  I've been scanning a lot of Kodachrome 64 slides on a Nikon
> LS4000 ED and when I compare the (good) scans to what I see under
> magnification on a light table there's clearly a lot of information
> on the film that's not getting into the scan.

My 50 most important images have been printed on 11" x 14" Ilfochrome by my
favourite printer, Rob at the Lightroom in Berkeley. Generally speaking
these are tack-sharp richly detailed images. In addition to the framed
display set, I also have a set in a storage box, protected by plastic print
protectors. Perhaps I should rent a really excellent flatbed to scan these
prints, rather than make do with slide scans which lose the ultrafine
detail. Do you recall the list's consensus on the best flatbeds? I realise
that it will take two passes per image with stitching to join them.

Salutations, David L


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