How to get dust off film for scanning.

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Eric Stevens, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Eric Stevens

    Eric Stevens Guest

    For my sins I have recently been attempting to use my Epson V700
    scanner to digitize some 35mm Fuji negatives.

    I find that no matter how I try I cannot get rid of dust. The best
    examples are barely tolerable and the worst look like a blizzard.

    I've been using various combinations of brush, bellow and conductive
    cloth but nothing seems to work. In fact, I think my efforts are
    making things worse for me by building up an electrostatic charge on
    everything around me. Its not that the atmosphere is dry at the
    moment. We are just seeing the last of a tropical depression and the
    humidity has dropped to 60%.

    What am I doing wrong or, better still, what should I be doing right?

    Thanks in advance to all and sundry.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jun 6, 2010
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  2. Eric Stevens

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Two points.

    My problem is with film, not slides (slides are yet to come).

    My scanner is an Epson V700 which has a double lens system - one to
    focus on the image and the other to focus on the surface to detect
    dirt and scratches. The V700 comes with ICE technology. See

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jun 7, 2010
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  3. Eric Stevens

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Thanks for the suggestion. I was thinking of doing that except for the
    fact that today (in New Zealand) is a public holiday.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jun 7, 2010
  4. Eric Stevens

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Now thats a good suggestion. I won't do it your way but I will rig up
    a pair of antistatic brushes designed to clean vinyl LP records.

    Second thoughts. These brushes use carbon fibres. Am I introducing a
    scratch problem? I don't think so. Vinyl records are likely to be
    vulnerable to scratch damage also. Still I will tread cautiously.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jun 7, 2010
  5. Eric Stevens

    Eric Stevens Guest

    That was my point.
    It's film, which has been out of its plastic sleeve only for scanning.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jun 7, 2010
  6. Eric Stevens

    Eric Stevens Guest

    As far as I can tell, everything is clean.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jun 7, 2010
  7. Eric Stevens

    Eric Stevens Guest

    I wouldn't use the air out of an ordinary oil lubricated compressor.
    Probably you are thinking of 'canned air' which is not actually air at
    all. Depending on the 'air', this can cause a static electricity
    problem, but its worth a shot. Many thanks.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jun 7, 2010
  8. Eric Stevens

    Eric Stevens Guest

    Just using a single antistatic brush makes a vast improvement.
    Virtually all traces of general dust have now gone. Unfortunately I am
    still dealing with remnant hairs from our ancient Balinese cat who
    died at the age of 21 about 18 months ago. All the brush seems to do
    with these is align them. So far the 'heal' tool in NX2 seems to be
    able to deal with them.

    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Jun 7, 2010
  9. Eric Stevens

    Pete Guest

    The only thing it doesn't stick to is the cat.
    Pete, Jun 7, 2010
  10. Eric Stevens

    Ken Walls Guest

    It's far easier to just shave them when they're dead.
    Ken Walls, Jun 7, 2010
  11. Eric Stevens

    Peter Irwin Guest

    Staticmaster brushes are still made:
    The 1 inch brush is rated at 250 microcuries, so it would almost
    certainly be very bad to eat, but pretty safe when used as intended.
    The manufacturer can probably tell you if and where you can buy
    them in NZ. They used to be commonly available in photography stores,
    but seem to be less common now because of the drop in demand for
    film related products. As I remember, they were not cheap
    and the polonium isotope had a relatively short half-life, so you
    needed a new cartridge for the brush after a couple years or so.

    Peter Irwin, Jun 8, 2010
  12. Eric Stevens

    Al Dykes Guest


    Don't rush. The Staticmaster web site says the active bit should be
    replaced annually. I dunno if they used the same radioactive element
    years ago but I'd check.

    If you call up the manufacturer about 20 years old goods you might
    find people in hazmat suits knocking at your door.
    Al Dykes, Jun 8, 2010
  13. Eric Stevens

    Bruce Guest

    I still have my original Zerostat and I still use it occasionally for
    film strips before scanning. Actually I *always* use it on the film
    strips, I only scan film occasionally these days. ;-)

    It is also very useful when loading negatives into the enlarger. But
    I don't suppose very many people subscribing here do that now ...

    The price for the new one seems high. New Zerostat pistols sell in
    the UK for no more than GBP 45.00 which is less than US $70.
    Bruce, Jun 8, 2010
  14. Eric Stevens

    scott nalter Guest

    Without going to look this up and wading through tomes of websites, I have
    to ask. Could one use the radioactive source from an old smoke-detector to
    make an effective anti-static brush? Or are the particles emitted (and rate
    of decay) by the americium unable to accomplish the task as effectively? I
    was thinking that the americium from this readily available and often free
    source might make a nice replacement for all those anti-static brushes that
    have lost their "oomph", without having to pay an arm and a leg for yearly
    polonium refills, for 400 years.
    scott nalter, Jun 8, 2010
  15. Eric Stevens

    Bruce Guest

    Apologies, for a proper comparison I should have deducted UK Value
    Added Tax (sales tax) which is included in the price. Without taxes,
    the Zerostat costs no more than GBP 38.50 which is less than US $60.

    The $100 price quoted therefore seems excessively high.
    Bruce, Jun 8, 2010
  16. Eric Stevens

    Peter Guest

    My Marantz amp=pre amp just sits on a shelf, connected to nothing. At one
    time I thought I would use it for TV surround sound, but current systems are
    so good and so cheap, that it is not good for anything but an honorable
    Peter, Jun 8, 2010
  17. Eric Stevens

    Peter Guest

    That would be two decades
    Peter, Jun 8, 2010
  18. Eric Stevens

    Peter Guest

    Too much decay reminds me that I have a dentist appointment.
    Peter, Jun 8, 2010
  19. Eric Stevens

    GMAN Guest

    cant wait till you are gone.
    GMAN, Jun 8, 2010
  20. I have finally bought a new separates stereo, last year, after 20 years of
    longing:) It's Cambridge Audio, with Mordaunt-Short speakers, and a
    Pro-ject turntable. It made my life better. I can even get brand new
    records, I got Sinatra and Talking Heads and Beachboys:) It's and
    integrated amp, tuner, cd and gramophon.
    Tzortzakakis Dimitris, Jun 8, 2010
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