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Spotting pens for black and white prints

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Hi All,

 

Wonder if any of the people shooting and printing black and white could tell me where I could find spotting pens for retouching traditional prints in the UK?

 

When I was at college we used packs of varying shades, but I can't remember what they were called now and it seems that photographic retailers only want to stock products related to inkjet printing these days.

 

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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There's a company called Spotpen. Don't know if they're to be had in the UK. You could get a set from Freestyle or B&H in the US, though.

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Honest answer?

 

Don't.

 

Get some quality paint brushes from 0000 to 0 or 1 and the full set of Spotone inks. A £1 pallette for mixing and you will be able to do every shade and hue under the sun, even when sepia toning or using selnium, or using warm tone papers with a hint of olive.

 

Where pens fall down is in your inabilty to do dry brush spotting. This is the most important thing you will ever learn about spotting: keep the brush neither wet nor bone dry - just a touch damp at the most. You can build up density slowly and get perfect - and I do mean perfect - results on even very large areas with practice. Mix plenty of water into the ink so the density is low and just build it up. Use some scrap paper to dry off osme of the ink from the brush after wetting in the ink. I also use reject prints (with the border allowing me to test hues) to ensure everything is matched up for the target print. This way you not only get FAR better results but you also cannot make mistakes so easily. If you goof up, just rewash, dry the print and try again. With small spots that need inking in, you don't even need to hue match as the human eye simply cannot spot tiny areas of different hue.

 

I spot batches of prints as this way once you match the hue for groups done on the same paper and dev things are v fast. Even with single prints I am often done within 5 mins. Its seriously quick once you have the knack.

 

Pens always have the same wetness and have nowhere near the flexibility as inks and paint brushes. I remember this advice from someone a decade ago and they were absolutely right. I have one beautiful neg blighted by flare, leaving a ghost on the bough of a tree with seriously degraded density and a serious one inch ghost hexagon on the trunk. With a 5x4 neg printed to 22" I have to spot these in and it takes hours, with a little here and a little there throughout the day. The result is such that you cannot find the original trouble areas and the print is beautiful. This would simply not be possible with a pen set no matter whard you tried.

 

Silverprint stock spotone and probably the pens. Nova Darkroom probably also does, along with Firstcall photographic etc.

 

 

Hi All,

 

Wonder if any of the people shooting and printing black and white could tell me where I could find spotting pens for retouching traditional prints in the UK?

 

When I was at college we used packs of varying shades, but I can't remember what they were called now and it seems that photographic retailers only want to stock products related to inkjet printing these days.

 

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by batmobile

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I use a little bottle of 'Black spotting medium', and camel hair brush, but I should have realized that there would be new fangled things like pens...

 

It says 18p on the cap so it is probably post 1970, but Johnsons of Hendon probably went out of business some time ago.

 

Have tried to use 4B pencil as well.

 

Noel

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Listen carefully to Batmobile - he echos my experience exactly. Get a fine brush and spotone. And some good drugstore glasses for the close work.

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Buy the ink and a couple of small sable rounds, Windsor and Newtons make a difference. Practice a bit, and then again in the hidden margins of your print to make sure you know how it dries. Its very easy.

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Man thanks to all who've replied.

 

I have seen the brush method used on occasion and was always intrigued, but I suppose I was being lazy and going for the easy (if less effective) option. I shall look into getting the inks and brushes, I used to paint and draw much before photography took over (I was originally accepted into art college on the strength of my draughtsmanship) so it'll be fun to have a brush in hand again and I suspect the experience will be far more rewarding.

 

Thanks again!

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Spotpen company 's all prodects are very best and you can also use as rafely in life long. I was used packs of varying shades, Mainly photographers are like to use it as well as photographic retailers, who are want to stock products. It is very useful to use as a ink-jet printing.

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Pens are worthless. Get dyes and artists brushes. Spoptone dyes are probably no longer available. Marshalls are second choice. Follow instructions above.

 

Then a mixing pallet and magnifying glass on a stand and some good light.

 

Then practice. There is no shortcut.

 

The good news is that 99% of this can be avoided with a proper darkroom workflow.

Film does not come with dust or crud on it. You allow it to go there one way or another.

 

Water and air filters. Do not reuse chemicals. Clean your darkroom and filter ambient and incoming air.

 

Glass bottles are the only ones you can properly clean and drain and see junk in.

The accordian bottles are the worst.

 

The next biggest enemy is a squeegee or cloth or finger or anything else you use to wipe down film. Use properly diluted photoflow and clean water-drip dry.

 

Cut down as soon as dry and store dust free. Clean before scanning or enlarging.

 

Cleanliness is next to Godliness in this case.

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Get some quality paint brushes from 0000 to 0 or 1 and the full set of Spotone inks.

 

I thought Spotone went out of business six years ago.

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