We use horribly expensive film restoration software for dust-busting (as it’s 
called in the trade).  It’s part of a package that costs more than a decent new 
car, so I’m not recommending it for casual use.  (As a result my car is a 1995.)

It deals with both black and white dust and dirt (negative and positive), and 
can manually deal with large splotches, too.  Doesn’t fix scratches, that’s a 
few thousand dollars more!

Chemical stains require a different approach.  If the stains have a color to 
them, it might be possible to partially mitigate them working from a color 
scan, before removing all saturation.  You might have the lab “rewash” the film 
— which is re-running it through the processing machine — this might help with 
the stains depending on the cause.

Since this is new film, it may just need to be cleaned before scanning — or the 
transfer facility needs to clean up their space.  We use 4 PTR rollers on our 
scanner, which help capture most surface dust from the film (as long as the 
rollers are kept clean).

Jeff Kreines

On Jun 26, 2014, at 8:04 AM, Roger Wilson <> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> A few weeks back there was some conversation happening around removing dust 
> marks from a digital transfer of film. I am wondering what processes were 
> being suggested to use to remove the marks digitally. I recently shot a Super 
> 16mm film for a fellow filmmaker and we just got the transfer back and it has 
> lots of white dust marks on the transfer, there also appears to be some 
> chemical stains on sections as well.We are planning on sending the film back 
> to the lab to have it cleaned and re-transferred but in the case that some 
> marks remain on the film I am wondering how we can deal with it and hopefully 
> eliminate the problem. The shot images look awesome, with very sharp b&w 
> contrast so it would be a real disappointment to have these dust marks on the 
> final edit. I take huge steps in being sure the camera and mags are cleaned 
> and prepped in between rolls, plus I do scratch tests on all new rolls being 
> loaded in the camera. There is absolutely no scratches or build up of 
> emulsion on frame lines so I can only think this is an error that has 
> happened either during processing or transfer. 
> Any assistance is appreciated.
> Thanks!
> Roger D. Wilson
> Film Scientist
> 613 324 - 7504
> Without failure you can never achieve success. I have based my process and my 
> career as an experimental film artist on this statement; and I welcome it as 
> it pushes me forward as an artist to try something different, something new. 
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Jeff Kreines

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