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Dirty, Negative Thoughts



Recently, I've reached the conclusion that ANY handling of negative, no
matter how carefully orchestrated, embeddes dirt into the emulsion that
CANNOT be cleaned off; and that what separates a "clean" lab from a "super
clean" lab lies not so much in the processing as in the environment in which
the processed camera rolls are leadered and prepped.         My conclusion is
based upon a few observations:

1) Short ends are almost always dirtier, even when they are stapled between
full size rolls when processed.  (Does the processor detect the short end and
"pour on" more dirt to celebrate?---I think not)  
2) Carefully winding to a spot on a camera roll and physically examining it
for any length of time deposits at least some dirt which DOES NOT come off in
an ultrasonic cleaner, and can be removed only by putting the film through a
FULL rewash.  (This, to me, is a key observation.  So often, we think that
physically handling processed film only produces "surface" dirt which can
easily be cleaned off---but experience shows that this is simply not the
case.) 
3)There appears to be some correlation between dirt level and the time when
the processed negative is leadered and packaged; namely, that first film
prepped on a given day tends to be the dirtiest.  One might blame this on a
film cleaner that is being used again after several hours rest----but once
again, I find that dirty rolls prepped early in the day cannot be cleaned up
later by using an ultrasonic cleaner.  A full re-wash does the trick, though.

Anyone agree with me?    I feel that entirely too much attention (and blame)
falls upon the processor,  and that far too little attention is paid to those
handling the negative after processing.  I also feel that far too much trust
is placed in the hands of cleaning machines.  I am tired of cleaning negative
before transfer only so that I can say, "Yes, I cleaned it."