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Photography Question 

Slight Scratches on Negative

Hello. I just got back a roll of 35mm C-41 black and white Kodak film, and there are some faint scratches on the negatives. There was one picture I really liked and wanted to get enlarged to around 11x14. Do you think the scratches will show on the print? Thanks in advance.

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5/9/2004 7:04:34 PM

doug Nelson   The scratch probably will show on a print. It may have been caused by a piece of grit in your camera or by sloppy film handling at the lab. There's a solution for you. Find a store or an individual with a film scanner. The scanning softwares usually have a dust and scratch fix algorithm (Digital ICE being a common one). It clones pixels over the areas it detects as not belonging. Scanned at about 4000 pixels per inch, you can get an 11 by 14.

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5/10/2004 11:31:22 AM

Jordan    Doug, thanks for the helpful response. You wouldn't know by any chance if the Fuji Frontier machines use something similar to the Digital ICE you speak of? Thanks once again, Jordan.

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5/10/2004 3:03:02 PM

doug Nelson   I'd be surprised if the highly regarded Fuji system did not have some sort of scratch fix. The time and effort you or I would spend trying to find out would probably be more bother than simply running it through a Fuji Frontier machine to see what happens. My guess is that you'll be pleased with the result. Try a 4 x 6 first to see if the scratch is handled effectively.

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5/11/2004 6:17:00 AM

Dave Hockman   Hello Jordan,
I am somewhat new to this forum, and I have noticed the majority of questions are answered by a few. I apologize if I am out of order here. I cringe when I see a lab tech treat negatives poorly when sleeving.
I am a film shooter that scans everything worth scanning. I will certainly agree with the previous answers. I would add that digital ICE and most scratch fix softwares will soften everything very slightly. Another alternative would be ,scan, enlarge to 100% minimum and fix the scratch with healing brush and/or cloning tool in PS. The fixed area will be a little soft but the whole print will retain sharpness overall. Good Luck!

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5/11/2004 4:38:43 PM

Jordan    I'm not sure if the negative was scratched during processing, printing, or sleeving, but either way it pisses me off. I once had them totally scratch up a negative to a picture I thought was really good and wanted blown up, and when they cut the negatives they always manage to cut the ends off. There is no way they could say the scratches are caused by a piece of grit in the camera either because most scratches run up and down, not left to right. I just bought a mailer for
A&I, hoping the $4 difference in price is worth it. Well anyway thank you very much Doug and Dave (not out of order at all, I wish more people would answer all the questions) you were both a huge help. Jordan

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5/11/2004 5:35:24 PM

Shirley D. Cross-Taylor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/7/2001
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  Hi Jordan,

A good quality lab can make a print from a negative or slide with a slight scratch. There is a substance that they can apply to the film to make the scratch disappear during the printing.
I hope you did complain to the lab.

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5/11/2004 10:57:40 PM

Jordan    Hi Shirley. I'll see what the cheap lab can do (Sam's Club). Hopefully, the enlargement will come out alright. It really surprises me though that the negatives end up looking like this b/c they seem very professional and like they enjoy the job. They also take the time to note that it's b&w film &correct the film for printing on color paper so there isn't any color cast. Thanks for the response, if this doesn't work out I'll see what A&I can do for the enlargement. Thanks again, Jordan.

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5/12/2004 5:14:41 PM

Bill Wassmann   The answers you received are all good and take advantage of modern technology. You didn't mention whether you are doing your own enlarging. If so there is an old darkroom trick with an unglamorus name:
nose grease! It will fill in fine scratches but not bad ones. We all have skin oils and old darkroom workers faced with your problem would rub their finger lightly on their nose and then on the neg (also gently).

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5/16/2004 1:31:55 PM

Tanya    I've had a problem with labs scratching negatives, and also lately with my pressure plate scratching rolls of professional film that cost a lot of money. The lab I go to uses a liquid scratch filler on the negative, and at 8x10 size I can't see the scratches on the print - and they were big scratches and there were lots of them. They don't charge me for the service to use the liquid, but they would charge me $25 to work on the image in a photoshop type program.

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5/17/2004 9:14:33 PM

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