white specks in negatives


#1

I’m printing my negatives on Pictorico Ultra Premium film. I have an Epson 3880.

I’m noticing a few white specks in the negatives where there should be ink. Nozzle checks are clean. Using a narrow platen gap setting. I’ve been taking the film straight out of the package, and blowing it off prior to putting it in the printer.

Does anyone have any thoughts on avoiding these?


#2

I’m going to assume that by “white specks” on the film you actually mean clear spots. If that is the case, then I get them too, but rarely with Pictorico films. (I could not say the same about other films that I tried long ago.) It is possible that the coating has flaked off, but I think it is much more likely from airborne dust that settled onto the film between removing it from the package and ink being deposited. I’d estimate that I get a clear spot or 2 on 1 out of 5 or 6 negs. Unless it’s really bad, I spot it out just like if it was large-format film. You can use ink for this with a dry or nearly dry brush. Practice on a scrap of film to find just the right mix of tone and moisture that wont bleed. I use dried ink in a 6 well watercolor dish and a barely damp 000 brush. Apply it in a stippling motion. If it is really bad I make another neg.

Blowing it off with canned or compressed air shouldn’t be necessary, and may actually attract dust by creating a static charge.

Also, make sure that the paper path is clean and free of any paper dust that may have accumulated.

 


#3

Yes, it’s clear spots…

Thanks for the tips.

When you do this, have you noticed if it bleeds into the adjacent area?

 


#4

It will bleed if it’s too wet. That’s why you want the ink you are using to retouch with to be dried. Dampen the brush, squeeze out excess water, draw it (like drawing a line) over the dried ink to pick up a tiny amount if ink, test on scrap to see if you have the right amount and dampness, when you stipple a dot on to the scrap it should make a solid dot - not a circle. A circle means it’s too wet. No dot means it’s too dry. When you are confident that you have it right, move on to the image. Be sure to lay a piece of clean paper on the neg to rest your hand on. A pair of strong reading glasses or some sort of hands-free magnifier is also very helpful.

 


#5

What I’ve done at times (when desperate) is actually mark it out with a strong sharpie and then re-touch the white-spot on the actual print.

Sorry for the late reply, yes, it’s dust that falls.

We keep a hepa filter running next to the negative printer as well as humidify. This helps but it’s not always a sure-fire way. The 45 degree tilt of the roll printers seems to allow for less dust than the flat printing of the 3880s.

 

best,

Walker