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Dirty film survey?
I think there are a number of factors here. I agree that newer
emulsions do seem more prone to damage and dirt - but this has been the
case for some years. For the first few hours after processing, the
negative emulsion is still a bit soft and/or swollen, depending on the
precise drying conditions. Any handling done in that time is more likely
to introduce damage (eg the infamous rub mark in the super 16 area that
Rank gates have been prone to). And any dirt, film dust etc, once on the
surface of the film at that time, tends to get stuck on more firmly than
dirt that arrives later. Your 1980's material must have survived the
first transfer, and after that it would be bullet-proof.
So those 6am telecine sessions with neg fresh off the processor are very
risky. Lab processing conditions and telecine cleanliness are more
crucial than ever.
Perforating dust, emulsion hardness, slitting accuracy, can all vary
batch to batch, and combined with less-than-spot-on conditions in
camera, processor or telecine, can lead to a problem in one batch but
not in another.
There are plenty more points to consider, too many for one posting.
Thanks to daVinci Systems for supporting the TIG in 1998..
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