Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Dust, dust and more dust.

Dust! Don't you just love the way it manages to settle on to your equipment just as you make that all important exposure? The more you fiddle about picking every speck off, those bits 'standing in the wings' charge in at increasing speed  towards  your lens, negative and light sensor; so begins a  never ending battle fought everyday over the same territory! Should someone   come up  with a device that will send those particles packing you'll feel your prayers have been answered.

Welcome the Zerostat gun! one shot and those pesky particles are de-charged and falling from your lens etc. But come on! Can this really be true? Well No! after a few days of using this device I discovered that it attracted more dust than ever before! It was a nice idea while it lasted. Needless to say that this pistol has been consigned to history.

Really the only way to keep these little white specks from appearing on your final pictures is to be methodical in your approach. Checking your camera, lenses and enlarger regularly. But before you start this process it is a good idea to de-charge yourself by touching something that is earthed this will take the static out of your body and stop to some extent the static building up in the item you are trying to de-dust. Whatever you do don't use a cloth to clean your film strip, the static this induces will attract every bit of hair and dust in the universe turning it into a hair ball. If this happens its time to find another negative to print. I find that a puffer brush and a Kinetronice antistatic whisk brush work the best- in most cases removing the particle/s and hair in one go without a lot of fuss. Less fuss means more pictures printed with less spotting once the photograph is dry.

Remember never touch the bristle of your brush with bare fingers this will transfer microscopic particles of grease which will then be deposited to whatever you are trying to clear, making the job more difficult and in the case of old lenses will attack the coating.