My observations in 5 cases of 50+ year old slides.

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by dehk, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. dehk

    dehk Member

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    I recently bought 5 rectangular trays of slides from a thrift store. Its mostly Kodachrome but mixed with maybe a 1/3 of Ektarchrome. All Processed by Kodak between 1954 to 1957.

    My Observations:

    - Ektachrome, All faded to Magenta, most I can fix with color restoration during scan.

    - Kodachrome, Looks as good as it was developed yesterday.

    Sadly Mama didn't take kodachrome away, but kodak did. :unsure:
     
  2. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Heh. There's a restaurant in the neighborhood with a 50s-60s retro decor theme. On some of the tables they have lighted slide displays that look like they were made for travel agencies (my guess, anyway). The slides are a mix of Kodachrome and other stuff. All of the non-Kodachrome slides are basically faded to nothing, just a slight yellow shadow. The K-chromes, on the other hand, oddly looks like they've lost all their color, and a b&w slide remains.
     
  3. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I have Kodachrome slides form the 40's, as well as 8mm movies from 1938 thru 1989. They all look great. Old Ektachrome does fade, and some has a pattern on them. Don't know if it's some kind of fungus or what. In any case, Kodachrome is the best. Too bad it's gone.
     
  4. dmtry

    dmtry Member

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    Which modern alternatives I can use for slide archiving?
     
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  5. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Those Ektachromes, any idea (e1-e6) what E process was used?
     
  6. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    The E-2 process was quite unstable, it was used for amateur Ektachrome films until 1966 or so. Professional films used the E-3 process, which was even more unstable, even for a while after E-2 was replaced by E-4.

    I have plenty of lurid magenta E-2 Ektachromes from the 1950's and 1960's. But I also have good-as-new ones. It's all a matter of storage conditions, high heat will kill them fast. I have a friend who had a great collection of railfan E-2 slides, which were wonderful until he moved and stored them in his daughters attic for a few years. Now they are all magenta, and fungus-infested to boot.

    If stored at temperatures under 75F, E-6 Ektachromes will be quite stable.

    All the E-4 and E-6 Ektachrome I shot from 1973 on looks like new -- but I've kept it under climate control. Most of it was High Speed Ektachrome, which I shot when it was too dark for Kodachrome 64. Often with the ESP-1 push processing envelope.
     
  7. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I would be interested to know how Fuji professional slide films fare over the same period. I haven't shot slides in over a decade and they (all Fuji) are in dark storage. I suspect they will be fine many decades from now.
     
  8. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Was wondering about the same thing, well the modern equiv anyways. Don't want it all look like the ektachrome i found 50 years from now.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have all of my father's slides from the 1960s and 1970s. Most of them are Kodachrome but some are Perutz, Agfa, and Fujifilm. Hardly any are faded regardless of manufacturer.


    Steve.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My fathers Kodak processed Kodachromes from the 50's and early 60's have definately faded, Ferrania slides bought commercially in 1955 in Italy are almost lost. Early Kodak prints (pre C41) have also faded appreciably.

    No issues with the Kodak and Fuji E3/4 films I shot from the late 60's onwards until the switch to E6..

    Ian
     
  11. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    My father's Kodachrome slides from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s look as though they were shot and processed last week; the colors are as rich and vibrant as - I would guess - they day they were shot. His Ektachromes from the 1950s and early 1960s (when he apparently gave up on the film) are of uneven condition: some look almost as good as the Kodachromes; others have a blue cast. Perhaps the determining factor is the quality of processing? His small collection of Fujichrome slides - all shot between 1974 and 1976 - look like s#*t: all have faded to magenta (all are in Fujichrome cardboard mounts). Dad's collection was stored for its entire life in his "man cave" (i.e. his basement den, with a humidity of around 45-50 per cent (humidifier) and a year round temperature of 18-20C (68-70F range, more or less).
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    None, Kodachrome was unique that's the point.
     
  13. bishy

    bishy Member

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    There is a suggestion in the Wilhelm Research data, modern E6 Ektachrome films have dark storage fade rates similar to Kodachrome in the least stable dye, however light fading rates below Fujichrome. The data is over twenty years old now, so there may have been improvements made to both ranges of Kodak and Fuji films.

    Only time will tell...how stable the modern E6 films will be.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2012
  14. zumbido

    zumbido Member

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    But, but... I'm always told that film is immortal and only d*****l files spontaneously rot? :wink:
     
  15. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Film = Elves
    Digital = Orcs
     
  16. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I've been scanning slides taken by my grandparents from the 40's through the early 70's. Mostly on Agfachrome, but some Kodachrome and Ektachrome. The Kodachrome looks as good as new. The Agfachrome has a variable amount of fade, with some looking decent, and some pretty bad. It's still correctable digitally. The Ektachrome has mostly gone red, and isn't easily fixable. The Agfachrome does seem to have been attacked by fungus the most of the three types, but none has avoided the fungus completely. Storage wasn't ideal at my grandparents house, or my Dad's where it spent some time in a humid basement.
     
  17. Ap507b

    Ap507b Member

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    I have a few boxes of Fujichrome that I shot as far back as back as 1986. I can't see any evidence of fading or colour shift in them & they look just as fresh as the Kodachrome that I shot in the same period. I have read horror stories that E6 slides of this age should be quite degraded by this age, but I am just not seeing it with mine.
     
  18. John Shriver

    John Shriver Member

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    BradleyK: Ektachromes with a blue cast? That's not fading, that's normal. If you shot Ektachrome, especially the early ones, in open shade, you got blue slides because they were lit by blue sky. Kodachrome always had a warm color balance that hid that.

    L Gebhardt: The Applied Science Fiction ROC (restoration of color) can really do a great job on magenta Ektachrome slides. Still part of Nikon Scan, if you have a Nikon scanner and the operating system (real or virtual) to run Nikon Scan on. There was also a ASF ROC Photoshop plugin, but it's an orphan of Kodak's "buy and destroy" of ASF, and surely doesn't work with any current version of Photoshop. You probably would need a dedicated ancient copy of Photoshop to run it, and probably a legacy OS in a virtual machine to run that Photoshop on.

    Yeah, look at http://www.asf.com, ASF ROC supports Photoshop CS3 on Intel Mac and Windows Vista. Wowza! Who knows if you can actually buy it from that site anymore.
     
  19. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    The TV station I worked at in the late 80s had setting for faded Ektachrome 16 mm TV episodes. We had one setting for the Rockford Files and another for Start Trek. The Rockford file prints were terribly faded after only a few years and had a terrible Magenta hue. Star Trek was faded and had a cyan shift.