Restoring faded transparency

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by yellowcatt, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. yellowcatt

    yellowcatt Member

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    A friend has some frames from motion pictures that have faded to magenta,
    would I be correct in thinking that this would be a C41 process film without mask layer? Is any restoration of the colour possible?
     
  2. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    no, its most likely a an old roll of reversal(transparency) film stock, older films(other than kodachrome really) fade to magenta, sometimes yellow. generally they dark fade, some light fade however.

    you'll need to have it sc@nned and burned to a dvd so you can edit it on the computer in a dig!+@l program. make sure its in an editable format though, not just a standard "plays straight on your dvd player" format.

    -Dan
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If it has a black border it is a reversal film. If it has a clear border it is probably a print film.

    Some of these old films can be restored by soaking in strong ferricyanide solution. I would test a small piece first before I tried this. I have done it and if it is the wrong type of film nothing bad happens. If it is the right kind, the cyans are restored.

    Here is the 75 deg F process:

    Soak in ferricyanide solution until restored, but not more than 10 minutes. (50 g/l Sodium or Potassium Ferricyanide)

    Wash for 10 minutes in running water.

    Stabilize in old style stabilizer with formalin. (Mix up Photo Flo 200 as directed and add 10 ml of 37% formalin).

    PE
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's incredible, Ron. I wouldn't have thought there was an analogue solution for this.

    So does bleaching work on print film or reversal? Does it work with negs (I'm thinking about that VPSII/220 you sent me a while back--still have a couple of rolls, and the negs have a definite magenta bias, though correctable in printing)?
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Even for color?
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    David, it depends on the cyan dye. Sometimes, the cyan dye reverts to its colorless (leuco) form and can be reoxidized to the colored form. Unfortunately, some dyes separate into their two component parts and others decompose totally. Some films form the leuco dye for just a limited time or under some keeping conditions and this confounds the issue as they gradually fade away anyhow. I cannot say as I don't know which generation of films are involved.

    To answer your question though, any Kodak film might be regenerated by this method. It usually does no harm if the film is not regenerated, as long as you wash and stabilize afterwards.

    If anyone is really interested, I will ask around and get more information on the possible Kodak films that can be "fixed" this way. I think though that one of the Kodak guys who posts on PN referred to this not long ago.

    PE
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The OP refers to color, as does all of my posts.

    PE
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks, Ron. I may do some tests. Of particular interest is some 11x14" EPR that I have that's circa 1992 and has been going magenta. Some of it in opened packages has faded around the edges, so I would consider that unusable, but some is still sealed, so if it's gone magenta in an uniform way and might be bleached back to normal, it would be worth running some tests, 11x14" color transparency film being a costly proposition.
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    David;

    My suggestion only works with processed film.

    If it is raw unexposed film, then this does not work. Sorry.

    PE
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My thought was to shoot and process it, try bleaching, and see what happens.
     
  11. Photo Engineer

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    Won't work. Sorry.

    It must be processed first, then it fades, and then you apply this treatment.

    PE
     
  12. RPC

    RPC Member

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    How about 8mm Ektachrome shot in the early and mid 70s that has gone magenta? Any information you can find would be appreciated.

    RPC
     
  13. yellowcatt

    yellowcatt Member

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    So I gather that it depends on the type of film and the actual chemicals involved. I was wondering if the colour couplers were still present in the faded film if they could be restored by some form of reprocessing. I will pass this all on to my friend, I think the way to go will be to get a good scan done first before trying anything. If re bleaching does restore some colour then can scan again and photoshop will have a bit more to work with.
    If my friend still wants a transparency then there are companies who will produce a slide from a digital file.
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh, well...
     
  15. anikin

    anikin Subscriber

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    PE,

    Is there a similar procedure for restoring old RA-4 photos?
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    If they fade to red, and if the dye forming coupler is in the leuco form, this same method will work.

    PE
     
  17. hrst

    hrst Member

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    I tried this procedure on old Eastman 16mm print film that has gone red. My friend provided the sample.

    Didn't work on this film :sad:.

    The test procedure was;

    Presoak for ~1 min
    K ferricyanide 50 g/l for ~10 min
    Wash with running water for ~3 min
    Re-develop with Rodinal (1+10 for ~2 min) (Because ferricyanide bleaches the optical (silver) sound track away.)
    Wash with running water for ~5 min
    Stabilize with Jobo "3-bath E6 stabilizer" (with formalin), double strength for ~2 min.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  18. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Either the dye forming materials are totally destroyed, or this is not the type of cyan coupler that regenerates.

    PE
     
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

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    This is off the limits of Apug, but by means of algorithms, based on specific dye degrading over time, digital restoration has been done.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2010
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    This process that was suggested was provided as a shot in the dark [pun intended] to save the transparency.

    Steve
     
  21. hrst

    hrst Member

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    And, of course you can do almost the same kind of "algorithms" in analog way. That is, making RGB separations which can be manipulated for contrast and curve shape by masking or changing BW development, and finally printed back to color. But, it's sad to say but d*g*t*l is probably better here :wink: (if done right which is not easy, though).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2010