Is Kodachrome the only archival color film?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by snaggs, May 25, 2005.

  1. snaggs

    snaggs Member

    Messages:
    325
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Austr
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Was reading a thread on the Rangefinderforum.com and I realised that C-41 is not really archival (how long does it last?).. Is Kodachrome the only alternative to B&W for archiving?

    If so.. shouldn't we all be making more of an effort to keep it alive? Or does E6 last just as long? Why does C-41 not last?

    Daniel.
     
  2. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,758
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    NH - Live Fr
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I have read, but do not know it it is true, that the newest Fuji E6 films have 100 year or more dark keeping ratings. I also thought the newest C-41 films were much better. I guess we will know in 50years or so if any of this is correct.
     
  3. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Kodachrome had the best dark keeping qualities. This may still be true. What we know about the keeping qualities of other films is pretty much whatever the manufacturer chooses to tell us.

    For myself I believe that color film which has been developed can be best stored by being carefully packaged and frozen. This is my belief...I have no data whatsoever to bolster this belief.
     
  4. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Location:
    South Norfol
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I think the freezing colour film idea is correct. I read an article about restoring some colour footage and / or photographs of JFK that were shoot on negative film that had been frozen, and was still in good condition.

    Tom.
     
  5. snaggs

    snaggs Member

    Messages:
    325
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Austr
    Shooter:
    35mm
    What kind of packaging would you need to freeze it? Couldn't you just stick your negative binder (file) inside a freezer bag and put it in the freezer? :smile:

    Daniel.
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Current C41 and E6 technology, in accelerated dark testing(what ever that means) is claiming 100 year dark storage life, in the real world it will come down to how many times it is exposed to light, which can cause the dyes to fade on the emulsion, in the store I worked in, we used several slides in a sleeve to show a light table off, and there was noticable fade in the slides after only a couple of years. Of course with C41 it will depend on how many times you used the neg to make prints, as each time you do, it is exposed to the light from the enlarger, but even with some fade, you can correct the fade in the neg with color correcting filters.

    As far as keeping K process films alive, this, at least in the US would be a long uphill battle for a couple of reasons, 1. It is a highly caustic process to develope it, and most states will not allow the enviormental impact it can cause... 2. The general public at large, will no longer wait for days or weeks to get there slides back from the processor, in the world of 1 hour labs and digital instant gratification, you can't tell them it will be a week to get their stuff done, and unfortunately the bottom line to the big company is volume and not the specialized market such as us.

    Dave
     
  7. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    If your are going to freeze it I would recommend the use of a plastic bag then some stiffening material another plastic bag and finally wrapping in aluminum foil.
     
  8. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Freezing exposed C41 negs is probably not really needed, but all the manufactures do recommend keeping them in a cool, dark storage area and only exposue to the light when your going to print, once the emulsion has been fixed, the 'aging' process pretty much stops and the damage that can occur is due to the bleaching properties of light, we have seen developed C41 negs be stored in a trunk of a car, and still not show any real effects of the heat, but have seen negs stored in an area where they were in constant exposure to light, and they have degraded(faded) in a very short time, that is why we had to replace our calibration negs about every two months as they would begin to fade after being exposed everyday for a few minutes to calibrate the print machine.

    Dave
     
  9. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes col negs do fade, but it takes a while. I recently re-printed some col neg photos of myself as a baby for my parents. They were absolutely fine (I am now 46), yet had been kept in their original processing packs in a cupboard, with no special conservation measures.

    David.
     
  10. fingel

    fingel Member

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The best way to keep Kodachrome alive is if we actually go down to the store and buy some. My local Longs Drugs still sells 24 exposure rolls of K64, and I buy a roll or two everytime I go in.

    I would hate it if Kodachrome went away, I have been looking at old slides from when I was a kid and even before I was born and the ones that were shot on Kodachrome were still bright and colorful, the ones that were shot on Ektachrome or Fujichrome looked like crap. All these slides were stored dark and only projected once in a while. Some of the Ektachrome slides were shot fairly receintly (mabe 15 years ago) and they looked faded while some of the Kodachrome was shot in the 1940's and 50's and still looked wonderful.

    I don't know about the current E-6 films but what I have seen in the past does not leave me with much hope that they will be as good as the Kodachrome in the future.
     
  11. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbar
    I'm not a color specialist, but I thought that one of the Polaroid processes were archival or at least, very long lasting.
     
  12. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    HI Scott,

    The biggest problem with Kodachrome is not they can't or won't make it, the biggest problem you run into now is the states will not allow anyone to process them due to the highly enviormentally dangerous chemicals involved in the development of them, if I remember right, there is only one active lab in the US that is still currently processing K process films, and Rocky Mountain Labs in CO, does one run a year of the different K process films. I doubt that we will see the K process films much longer, and after they discontinued the ISO 25 Kodachrome, there really was not much left of it IMHO, the K64 and the K200 have never lived up to what K25 was.

    Dave
     
  13. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

    Messages:
    3,984
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    London
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    According to this book published in the late 1990's, Fujichrome E6 slide film lasted longer than Kodachrome when projected but Kodachrome performed better when kept in the dark. I've no idea about current technology colour films but I'm sure RIT or the Wilhelm Research site linked to above will have tested them.

    Bob.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    I saw this on the tube a short while ago. It was pretty interesting.
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june04/bettmann_06-10.html

    This, from the transcript is pretty wild:
    TERENCE SMITH: And how long will these last?

    HENRY WILHELM: Based on accelerated aging data, depending on the original condition, we're basically talking about thousands of years; not hundreds, thousands.

    TERENCE SMITH: Wow.

    And next November, the temperature in this in this 10,000-square-foot cavern -- Wilhelm likens it to an ice cave -- will be dropped to minus- four degrees Fahrenheit, bringing time to a standstill. For now, the collection is being stabilized at 45 degrees, temperate enough to allow a walk through time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2005
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,316
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    not sure, but the rumor is that PN55 film is panatomic-x. i've heard that some folks remove it from the sleeve + process it in film developer instead of the polaroid chemicals ... so it could have an archival wash &C.

    a few years back i asked polaroid abour the longevity/archival quality of their other film, and they were not able to give me any info. tracy storer uses one of those 20x24 polariod cameras, maybe he knows ?
     
  17. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

    Messages:
    3,221
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    S.E. New Yor
    Twenty years ago, the Lab that I was working for sent me to take the Kodak seminar on E-6 process control at their offices in Manhattan.

    The instructor was their top Tech Rep at the time and at one point he told us that every time Kodak made an improvement to Ektachrome, they did a major side by side evaluation and comparison to Kodachrome in an effort to justify discontinuing the K films and process. They never could.

    If that was true, and they have looking for an excuse to toss Kodachrome for that long, it is a miracle that it has survived for this long.
     
  18. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Quite agree. K25 was a classic. I still miss it. I actually have two rolls left in the freezer which I am saving for a special occasion. I now use Velvia (something else about to go) rather then K64 and never really saw the point of K200.

    David.
     
  19. fingel

    fingel Member

    Messages:
    298
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeh, the 200 isn't very good. The 64 is better. I still have some frozen K25 that I also am saving for special occasions. I send mine to Dwayne's in Kansas. I checked out Rocky Mountain's site. What a rip off for processing. I only pay $6 for a roll of 24 exp, or $8.50 for a roll of 36 at Dwaynes.
    Rocky Mountain wants $27.50 with shipping for 1 roll or $51 for 2 rolls. With prices like that no wonder nobody shoots Kodachrome.

    Check out Dwayne's web site:

    http://k14movies.com/

    I have had good results and great service (plus it is the only place I know of where I can buy fresh Kodachrome Regular 8 movie film)
     
  20. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Scott,

    If Dwayne is still doing it, then by all means, your getting a heck of deal at those prices, I can't even buy the chemicals to do it that cheap!


    But I still say, the Kodachrome will not be around for that much longer, the Kodachrome that Dwayne is getting is post production stock, as Kodak has announced they will no longer be producing the 8 mm movie film anylonger, enjoy it while it lasts....and thanks for the link, I still have about 100 rolls of K25, and it is good to know I can send it there to get processed.

    Dave
     
  21. snaggs

    snaggs Member

    Messages:
    325
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Location:
    Perth, Austr
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Ive never used Kodachrome, it was discontinued in Australia just as I was getting into Photography. Is it worth the effort to order some rolls from overseas?

    Daniel.
     
  22. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I wonder if there isn't something about processing or storage that is affecting the Ektachromes people are reporting as fading? I just ran across some Ektachrome (don't recall precisely which, but probably either E-3 Ektachrome 64 or the very first Ektachrome 100, then-new E-4 process) that I shot in a Brownie Holiday (127 box camera) in 1973. These two strips, two exposures each, have been knocking around with the few photos I have left from those days, have survived at least 15 or 20 moves, storage in a basement that occasionally flooded (they never got wet, but the humidity was very high at times), uncontrolled temperatures ranging from freezing up to 100 F or higher -- and they look as good as the day I got them back from processing, far better than the Kodacolor prints they were stored with, which do show some slight fading. The B&W prints in that envelope are fine, no surprise...
     
  23. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Can I ask a stupid question? In the UK, Kodachrome comes process paid. You put it in the envelope provided, send it to Kodak and a few days later it comes back as mounted slides. Is this not the case elsewhere in the world? It never occured to me that it could be hard to get processed.

    David.
     
  24. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,922
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I think you can buy it that way, but you don't have to in the U.S. You can actually just use Kodak mailers or take it to a drugstore or a lab in the U.S., but it still all goes to Dwayne's, whether you send it there yourself or not, just as in Europe it all goes to Kodak in Switzerland.

    Does Rocky Mountain really charge that price for modern K-14 processing, or is that for the older K-12 process? They specialize in obsolete processes, so I don't see why anyone would send K-14 to them, unless they wanted a non-standard push or pull that Dwayne's doesn't do.
     
  25. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Rocky Mountain does specialize in the older processes, which is probably what they are listing on their website, but they used to do the modern K process once or twice a year as well, they may have changed since I was working in the local photo store, I have not sent any K process film in for a long time now.

    The mailers we are getting here in Montana, are addressed to New Jersey as the processing address.

    These are the address for the only two labs I know of to do Kodachrome processing:


    Kodak Premium Processing
    16-31 Route 208
    P.O. Box 7000 Fair Lawn NJ 07410-7000
    Tel: 1-800-345-6973

    Dwayne's Photo if shipping other than USPS then use:
    ATTN: Customer Service Dwayne's Photo
    P.O. Box 692 415 S. 32nd ST.
    Parsons, KS 67357 Parsons KS 67357
    Tel: 1-800-522-3940

    Dave
     
  26. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,922
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    And I'm fairly sure Kodak Fairlawn is now just collecting it and sending it to Dwayne's.