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Cleaning film for telecine


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#1 Canney

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 08:03 PM

Hey I am going to be telecineing some S8mm myself. But what I need is some info on how I should clean the film myself. Like are there any special chemicals I need or should I just use some distilled water to get the dust off?
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#2 Dominic Case

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 08:24 PM

DO NOT use distilled water, or any other sort of water.

You will set, and soften the emulsion.

Labs use tetrachlorethylene for film cleaning. (It's the same as drycleaning fluid).

Isopropyl alcohol is another alternative - you can usually get this from electronics shops.

Don't be tempted to use acetone (for some reason some people think this is good). It will dissolve the film base.

The most important thing apart from the fluid you use is that you have a perfectly clean velvet cloth to wind the film through.

Not sure what other facilities you have (if you are telecineing yourself). But you might want to consider dry PTR (particle transfer rollers) instead of using any fluid at all.

http://www.screensou...nt?OpenDocument
http://www.sanlabsys...om/rollers.html
http://www.kodak.com...1.4.18.10&lc=en

or, the minority view (which I don't agree with). . .
http://www.film-tech...w3/review3.html
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#3 Dominic Case

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 08:53 PM

You will set, and soften the emulsion.

oops! that's WET, not SET.
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#4 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 11:56 PM

Dominic,

It's now perchlorethylene (PER) and I wouldn't recommend it for hand cleaning for health reasons.
Tetra or trichlorethylene is no longer available, banned product, used to clean very well.
Isopropyl alcohol is fine for hand cleaning but flammable. These new micro-fiber pads should do fine when moistenend with alcohol.
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 03:03 PM

It's now perchlorethylene (PER) and I wouldn't recommend it for hand cleaning for health reasons.


---WRS had no qualms about us hand cleaning film with that stuff.

& will it dry out your skin.

You can also use it for gluing cores together.

---LV


It's now perchlorethylene (PER) and I wouldn't recommend it for hand cleaning for health reasons.


---WRS had no qualms about us hand cleaning film with that stuff.

& will it dry out your skin.

You can also use it for gluing cores together.

---LV
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#6 Dominic Case

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 06:02 PM

It's now perchlorethylene (PER) and I wouldn't recommend it for hand cleaning for health reasons.
Tetra or trichlorethylene is no longer available, banned product, used to clean very well.

Tetrachlorethylene and perchlorethylene are alternative names for the same chemical. But I agree, like most of these solvents, you need to take care with them. I'd avoid breathing the fumes, for example - and yes it will dry out your skin. Perc is strictly controlled in many parts of the world, but is the chemical used everywhere in massive quantities as dry cleaning fluid.

The banned product you are possibly thinking of is trichloroethane - discovered to be an ozone depletant, and banned under the Montreal protocol since the 1990s. Yes it was the best!
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#7 Canney

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 07:22 PM

I use Isopropyll alcohol for cleaning all my electronic equipments but I used it water downed solution to 50% Isopropyll and 50% Distilled water. The strongest solution I got and usually buy is 70% Isopropyll and 30% inactive igredient water. Do I need like a solution stronger than 70% or will that due?

Velvet cleaning cloths and Isopropyll are two things I have plenty off and usually use to clean LP records.

I have about 150 feet of S8 film, 7min 30 seconds worth of footage that I don't care about and is what I use for test footage usually. I'll try cleaning it with the isopropyll and see but I'll wait till a day till I find out about the solution percentage.

Edited by Canney, 20 April 2006 - 07:29 PM.

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#8 Dominic Case

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 02:33 AM

70% Isopropyll and 30% inactive igredient water

One more time:-

DO NOT use distilled water, or any other sort of water.

You will wet, and soften the emulsion.

The same applies to water mixed with anything else.

Water in any percentage is NOT inactive when it comes to the emulsion layer on film.

I have used methanol with a high-quality cotton bud to remove individual spots of dirt that are healed into the emulsion. It works because the methanol absorbs traces of water from the atmoshere if I leave it out for a few minutes - and that is enough to soften the emulsion so as to release the dirt. It's fiddly work, and I wouldn't consider doing it on a small guage.

Running your wettened, softened film through a velvet would effectively ruin it.
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#9 Canney

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Posted 23 April 2006 - 07:47 PM

I'll see if I can find a pure 100% Isopropyll solutuion or some methanol as u suggest.

I got another question what If I just use the velvet dry on the film? Think I'll scracth it or not. I've done velvet dry on 35mm still negs and it didn't scracth it and it took a lot of the dust off.

Another idea I have (and am seriously thinking of doing) is most of the dust on my film are large pieces that were blown on during projection and tend to move around. I was think of puting some cotton or velvet padding on the ends of vacum cleaner attatchment and put this on a small almost sealed box. Then I would run the film through this and get dust off that way. I think the dust would come off. I often use a similar method when I'm doing a projection to keep dust from getting in the projector and stuck in the film gate.

The dust on the film I have isn't embedded in so I don't need to soften the emulsion and it should just wipe off. I think.

This is a new subject for me cause I am actually a Video editor, not a film guy. I was given a bunch of film to telecine to video. Not a problem for me usually, but when the film is dirty as hell you got learn new things and figure out how to clean it.

Edited by Canney, 23 April 2006 - 07:53 PM.

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#10 Canney

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 06:49 PM

Alright I did the crazy vacum cleaner and velvet wipe on the 50 feer of the film and it got most of the dust off the film with out damaging it. I'm going to try velvet and isopropyll on another 50 foot section. I'll post back when I do and see if I can get some before and after pics on here.
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#11 Dominic Case

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 07:45 PM

I got another question what If I just use the velvet dry on the film?

If the velvet is absolutely clean (brush it clean first), you probably won't scratch the film. One of the reasons for using a fluid is to reduce the friction that builds up static electricity on the film. Static will simply result in dust being attracted to the film immediately after you've wiped it clean!

Your vacuum cleaner trick would probably do a good job as it would remove dust from the air around the film and prevent it from being attracted back to the film.
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#12 Canney

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 09:39 PM

The following was all done on a test reel so not to worry.

Okay I've done some various cleaning on the film and I'll post the pics tommorow but I got a problem. I was using the velet with pure isopropyl alcohol to clean the film. But I didn't notice until I was done that the die in the velvet that was red in color had run pretty badly. I didn't have enough pure isoproyle to do an emergency wash so I had to use 70% Isopropyl, 30% distilled water. I know it would weaken the film but heh better that than red die dryed all over it. The first bath turned entirely red, I then did two more baths of the film on the reel entirely in the solution and got a lot of the die off. It only shows up on a few spots.

But the problem is I wasn't able to dry it in time because there was to much film so now it's got dry sploches and spots all over the film. Does any one have any suggestions as to how I can get this off before I try anything else.

But yeah I'll think I'll stick to the vacum and dry cleaning techniques.
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#13 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 10:06 AM

Particle Transfer Roller (PTR) film cleaning technology is effective in removing any loose dirt particles, and uses no chemicals:

http://digitalconten...k_receives_epa/

Eastman Kodak Company received the 2003 Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of Kodak's commitment to reducing ozone-depleting chemicals through the development of Particle Transfer Roller (PTR) technology for cleaning motion picture film. The Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award, presented as part of Earth Day celebrations worldwide, recognizes a commitment to helping prevent the release of ozone-depleting chemicals. Kodak was one of only four companies worldwide honored in 2003.

"Kodak has shown you can achieve top-notch motion-picture film quality while improving environmental standards," said Drusilla Hufford, director of the EPA's Global Programs Division. "You can enjoy your next film knowing Kodak's development of PTRs has eliminated the use of several hundred thousand pounds of ozone-depleting substances over the past 12 years."

The Particle Transfer Roller was developed by Kodak in 1989. It is a specially molded soft polyurethane roller that captures dirt and dust through contact adhesion without the use of solvents. Prior to 1990, nearly all motion picture film was cleaned offline in ultrasonic cleaning machines that used a solvent known as 1,1,1-trichloroethane for particulate removal.

Kodak developed and promoted use of PTR film cleaners that could remove dirt and dust from film online during conventional film printing at labs and while motion pictures are projected at cinemas. As motion picture film glides over the PTR, dirt and dust from the film stick to the roller. The process improves motion picture film quality while eliminating the use of environmentally damaging solvents. Over the past 12 years, PTRs have supplanted 1,1,1-trichloroethane as the primary method for cleaning motion picture film worldwide.

"The PTR innovation helps protect the high quality of our film product at theaters while also protecting the environment," said Eric Rodli, Kodak's president of the Entertainment Imaging division. "The PTR technology that we developed and shared worldwide is characterized by what's not there--dirt and dust on movie film--just as the stratosphere is protected by what's not there-ozone-depleting solvents."

Kodak has disclosed the technology to customers and competitors for their unrestricted use. FPC, a Kodak subsidiary, sells PTRs to motion picture labs, telecine facilities, and theater operators. PTRs are used in thousands of movie theaters around the world, including most IMAX theaters. The solvent-free process has eliminated the use of several hundred thousand pounds of ozone-depleting substances. Kodak estimates that when combined with the use of CFC-free refrigeration system upgrades in film manufacturing plants, the company eliminated more than one million pounds of ozone-depleting substances.

"It's remarkable that such a simple, compact innovation has had such a positive environmental impact worldwide," said Jonathan Banks, President of BHP, Inc., a leading manufacturer of motion picture film printing equipment sold to film laboratories. "Kodak's technology is a step forward for the entire motion-picture film industry."

The PTRs themselves are environmentally friendly in that they can be washed with water and reused once they accumulate dirt. One set of PTRs can clean an estimated 20 million feet of motion-picture print film. PTRs are generally only discarded once they harden, become physically damaged, or lose cleaning efficiency.


I led the Kodak team that developed PTR film cleaning technology for motion picture products, and presented the two SMPTE technical papers that introduced the technology in 1989-1990. The EPA award hangs in my office. :) They are widely used by lab, transfer houses, and theatres (especially IMAX theatres) for cleaning film.

The Kodak website has a list of solvents appropriate for film cleaning:

http://www.kodak.com....4.5.16.4&lc=en

And information about proper handling and recycling of perchloroethylene (tetrachloroethylene):

http://www.kodak.com...c_wetGate.jhtml
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#14 Canney

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 12:13 PM

Alright here are pics results from cleaning using two methods. A dry, clean velevet cloth and a vacum with velvet on the attachments to prevent abrasions, running the film throught a seald box as well.

Posted Image
Before cleaning
Posted Image
After the cleaning with a dry velvet cloth

Posted Image
Before cleaning
Posted Image
After cleaning with the vacum with velvet on the attachment

The dry velvet gets the larger pieces of dust off but seems to moves the dirt specs around. The Vacum gets it all.

I tried velvet with isproypll on the cloth to clean but the die on the cloth ran and got it on the film. I washed the film quickly and improperly with 3 baths off 70% Isopropyl and 30%distilled water cause I had nothing else to get the red dye off. I got most of the die off but now the film is sploched cause I could properly dry it in time. How would I clean it to get sploches off. Like you now how a sweaty glass leaves water rings on the table when you don't use a coaster. Any body have a suggestion.

I'm looking through the kodak links that were posted on cleaning right now.

I am thinking of attemtping another try with they isopropyll but with but will use a cotton marteial to wet clean it, then I will clean the dust and cotton bits off with the vacum and dry velvet teqnique.

What I am looking for is a hand cleaning method of removing sploches. I think one of the Iso chemicals on kodaks website mights actually be lying around some where I will have to look.

Edited by Canney, 12 May 2006 - 12:14 PM.

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#15 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 01:16 PM

More basic information about film handling, including cleaning small lengths of film with solvent based film cleaners:

http://www.kodak.com....15.12.14&lc=en

Well illustrated in Kodak publication H-23, "The Book of Film Care".
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#16 Canney

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 03:53 PM

Good news my idea for running the film through 2 wet cotton balls and 6 dry cotton balls for drying seems to work. I got half the sploches off and more of the red die. I will do it again but more slowly tommorow and it should get the rest of everything on there.

Plus that link of the film care book I have seen it before and yes it does contain a lot of usefull info for everything.
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