Archival Properties of Kodak's current Neg films

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Ektagraphic, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Does anyone have any info on the archival properties of Kodak's current Portra and Ekar films. I am considering using them more but I am nervous that they might not be as archival as Ektachrome. Thanks.
     
  2. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    I believe Kodak has designed them to self-destruct in 20 yrs to demonstrate its commitment to analog photography.

    :smile:
     
  3. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Probably about the same as in Ektachrome, if not even better. You see, the requirements for dyes in negative films are easier because the masking can correct for unwanted absorptions. Or at least what I've understood. In addition, Kodak has had more R&D in negative films recently.

    And generally, old chromes are usually more faded than negs at the same time.

    In addition, it's said that current motion picture negatives can last well over 100 years with good color when properly stored.

    I would say; don't worry.
     
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

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    All published data I know of is more than 15 years old.
    I doubt that Kodak has released any figures on film longevity themselves within te last decades.
     
  5. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    I think the biggest thread in the really long term is not only color fading, but the self-destruction of the cellulose tri-acetate filmbase still used for many 35mm films. Unfortunately, that stuff has a tendency to break down, causing the formation of acetic acid and its acrid smell as can be witnessed in some archives. It would be better if all films employed a polyester base, but one of the reasons I read that isn't used to much is that for cine-film, the breaking strength is to big and it might damage camera equipment if it gets stuck. Instead of the film breaking, as with tri-acetate.

    However, for normal SLR camera use, I think the stable polyester base would be preferable for long term conservation.

    Marco
     
  6. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Really? My experince has been the opposite, at least with family photos.
     
  7. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    The answer is most definitely longer than you'll be alive. I'm under the impression that modern E6 films are exceptional (100-300 years dark stability and 3 hours light stability) and I assume that negative films are at least 50 years.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    patrick

    why don't you call kodak tech support ?
    they have all that info at their fingertips
    and can give you hard facts instead of opinions ...

    good luck!

    john
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Older E6 are more faded than C41 or C22 negatives of the same or earlier. E4 slides fare a bit better. All of the E6 and C41 families were seriously upgraded in the 80s and 90s and the latest C41 were upgraded again about 2000 when the change from stabilizer to final rinse took place. The design of the latest C41 dyes resemble more those used in Endura paper which is quite stable

    PE
     
  10. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Thanks PE. I was hoping you could fill me in. I guess I am going to kind of say goodbye to all of the Ektachrome I have been using and use more Portra and Ektar. I just love the look of optical prints and it is kind of out of the question for me to get Ilfochromes made at this point.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Relax. Archival life is the least of your worries, and there is no definite answer to the question anyhow. Here is what you do: Shoot C-41 if you want to make RA prints, and shoot E-6 if you want to make Ilfochrome prints or color separations from a film original (or to project, of course). Shoot either one if you want to scan. Shoot E-6 if you want to push or pull or make RA prints from cross processed negs. If properly processed and stored, any one of these processes will outlive you and anyone who cares about the pictures.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2010
  12. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Hi Ektagraphic,
    I just went through a similar realization. I got really into Galen Rowell's type of work, it inspired me, and in that vein I shot nothing but chromes for my last two years in Alaska. At the time, I loved getting my rolls of slide film back, and pouring over them with a loupe on a light table. Now that I want to print them...well, let's just say scanning is not my favorite thing. (That's why I'm on APUG - I just don't enjoy the digital imaging process as much.) As good as that slide looks, it just won't look the same in a regular print. It's the transmission of light through the transperency, vs the reflected light from a print that has us so hooked on that slide look. But what do you really share with more people: slides in a box in the corner, or large prints on the wall? So I've decided that from now on, I'm shooting all negative films, exactly for the reason of the optical printing path. It's a fun hobby that I'd like to participate in as long as it's available.
    Best of luck,
    Jed