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[filmscanners] Re: Cleaning slides and negs prior to scanning

> Can anyone suggest a good way to clean slides and negs prior to scanning?  I
> clean the best I can with a soft brush and light puffs of air but still wind
> up with dust on my scans.  I verified that the dust is not in my scanner.
> I'd like to get as much off the originals as possible as I don't like to use
> dust spotting tools as I feel that they degrade the image.

Hi Thomas

I don't want to sound anal but it's best to try and keep the slides as
clean as possible to begin with. Let me explain.

I don't currently have much of a problem with dust. I take them out of
the box, place in scanner holder and give them a firm blast with a
presurised air duster. I then hold the slide at a certain angle to the
light so i can see if there is a stubborn dust that needs another blast.
After scanning i get about a dozen dots a few pixels wide on the scan
(4000 dpi). This can be cleaned up with the healing brush or clone tool
in minutes.

In days gone past i used to store my best slides in pocketed plastic
pages in ring binders. This used to give me huge problem with dust. I
have now stopped doing this. I figured a less efficient filling system
was better than man years of dust spotting in PhotoShop! The same was
true when I went through a phase of getting my trannies cut in strips
and sleeved. To get a scan perfect it could take up to 30mins in

I'm quite sure I know what was happening now. I was careful never to
touch the film with my bare hands. I did touch the plastic sleeves and
pockets though. I think the grease on these worked its way on to the
film eventually over time. This then acted like a magnet to dust which
didn't air blast away.

With regard to dust spotting, you are right it does degrade an image. If
you showed a friend a spotted scan i'm sure they couldn't tell where you
have spotted so I wouldn't worry too much. I would even suggest you try
dust removal filters. They are not good with certain subjects like sand
or rocks but they can do wonders with some images. They will of course
degrade your scans to a certain extent but it will leave you time to
take more photos!

Hope this kinda helps!


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