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winger
07-01-2013, 10:08 AM
Why would you burn them? They're not hurting anything.

Once they start to degrade, they can actually self-ignite (chemical process). You can't stop the fire on them and can only hope to stop the fire in whatever is nearby. The best way to dispose of them is to burn them in a controlled way before they catch your house on fire.
The same base was used for early motion pictures and there were several movie theater fires because of it (though, granted, the films were being lit by pretty hot lights for projection at the time).

Here's the best site I've found for how to test and store old negs - http://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/5.-photographs/5.1-a-short-guide-to-film-base-photographic-materials-identification,-care,-and-duplication In case anyone else comes across this thread while looking for info.

AgX
07-01-2013, 11:21 AM
Bethe, you know it, but I would like to emphasize that nitrate film produces toxic gas when burning. One reason more to be carefull when doing so.

winger
07-01-2013, 12:04 PM
Bethe, you know it, but I would like to emphasize that nitrate film produces toxic gas when burning. One reason more to be carefull when doing so.

I have a large back yard (2 acres). I'm also working on rigging something up so I'll be standing a few feet away using a long match and not holding the neg. It does come in handy being the daughter of an engineer - something genetic in the thought processes, I think. Something for others to consider, though.

(And this is yet another time I miss being at the lab and having a fume hood handy, not to mention the chemicals).

Tom1956
07-01-2013, 12:19 PM
If you're that worried about a fire, I believe I'd buy a cheap safe and keep them in there. I realize nitrate film is much like guncotton, but it's not nitroglycerine. Of course everybody is the measurer of his own safety. At the same time we do live now in a society of alarmists. I guess my point is, if you don't extract the highest possible image off these films now, once they're burned you won't get a do-over. GL

Tom1956
07-01-2013, 12:44 PM
Strike what I said earlier. Have a look at this interesting link:
http://motion.kodak.com/motion/Support/Technical_Information/Storage/storage_nitrate.htm

AgX
07-01-2013, 02:12 PM
This is aimed at tightly rolled film, as most what one can read on this issue.

clayne
07-02-2013, 03:29 AM
I have a large back yard (2 acres). I'm also working on rigging something up so I'll be standing a few feet away using a long match and not holding the neg. It does come in handy being the daughter of an engineer - something genetic in the thought processes, I think. Something for others to consider, though.

(And this is yet another time I miss being at the lab and having a fume hood handy, not to mention the chemicals).

I wouldn't sweat this. Just burn a small portion, collect the data, and move forward with whatever choice. Burning a small clip is not going to result in a toxic disaster or immediate risk.

AgX
07-02-2013, 04:14 AM
That burning was about letting burn the whole lot after reproduction.

polyglot
07-02-2013, 07:53 AM
I see no need to burn it at all. Segregate the nitrate into a biscuit tin with a couple vent holes and keep it under 38C/100F. It's survived a century in a hot house, it'll be fine for the move as long as you don't leave it locked in a steel shipping container out in the sun. We're not talking about 5000 feet tightly wound, with much higher concentrations of gas and the dense packing causing self-heating from (and therefore acceleration of) decomposition.

winger
07-08-2013, 12:22 AM
Here's one from the pile of envelopes (with about 7-12 each) in a wrap labeled "1912 Europe" (he was married in 1912). I really like this one for some reason. Most of the others so far aren't as interesting (and maybe my great-grandmother took this one instead - she was a painter as well as a bacteriologist). This is on the larger roll film (mentioned earlier, film about 90mm wide, image 83mm x 140mm).
71225

I haven't done any others from this group, yet, I've been doing the baby pictures and shots of my grandmother and her sisters. There's also a trip to England (and maybe more) on smaller film from the 30s.

StoneNYC
07-08-2013, 02:29 AM
Here's one from the pile of envelopes (with about 7-12 each) in a wrap labeled "1912 Europe" (he was married in 1912). I really like this one for some reason. Most of the others so far aren't as interesting (and maybe my great-grandmother took this one instead - she was a painter as well as a bacteriologist). This is on the larger roll film (mentioned earlier, film about 90mm wide, image 83mm x 140mm).
71225

I haven't done any others from this group, yet, I've been doing the baby pictures and shots of my grandmother and her sisters. There's also a trip to England (and maybe more) on smaller film from the 30s.

It's lovely.

I went through this with some film that had expired in 1947 and that I just exposed 6 months ago. I was able to get results from the film, but after PE explained to me WHY it's so dangerous to keep them in the house, I scanned and then burned all my nitrate negs.

The reason was that he explained that the reaction happens when the film switches from one environment from another, so it could also cause a reaction going from humid and hot to cool and dry, but that it had the most chances of reacting to hot moist temps.

But the biggest and most important thing to remember is that it makes its own oxygen, so even in the freezer, in a sealed container, it can ignight, burn, and catch the whole fridge/freezer on fire.

It's really dangerous to keep in the house (again according to PE) and think about it, are old negs more important than your current images that might be lost in a fire, or your life or your children's lives?

So scan it, and get rid of it... If you look in my gallery, you'll find a shot if my nitrate burning on a picnic table :) I figured I would document the event.

Admittedly I have a few more unshot rolls of nitrate verichrome, maybe once shot I'll burn them and record it on color film to get more of the burn color :)


~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk

polyglot
07-08-2013, 03:02 AM
Admittedly I have a few more unshot rolls of nitrate verichrome, maybe once shot I'll burn them and record it on color film to get more of the burn color :)

It's no safer for being unexposed. Why would you burn the films with images and keep the equally-dangerous but of no-artistic-value blank ones around?

Tom1956
07-08-2013, 03:09 AM
It's lovely.

I went through this with some film that had expired in 1947 and that I just exposed 6 months ago. I was able to get results from the film, but after PE explained to me WHY it's so dangerous to keep them in the house, I scanned and then burned all my nitrate negs.

The reason was that he explained that the reaction happens when the film switches from one environment from another, so it could also cause a reaction going from humid and hot to cool and dry, but that it had the most chances of reacting to hot moist temps.

But the biggest and most important thing to remember is that it makes its own oxygen, so even in the freezer, in a sealed container, it can ignight, burn, and catch the whole fridge/freezer on fire.

It's really dangerous to keep in the house (again according to PE) and think about it, are old negs more important than your current images that might be lost in a fire, or your life or your children's lives?

So scan it, and get rid of it... If you look in my gallery, you'll find a shot if my nitrate burning on a picnic table :) I figured I would document the event.

Admittedly I have a few more unshot rolls of nitrate verichrome, maybe once shot I'll burn them and record it on color film to get more of the burn color :)


~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk

That's an award-winning (or winnable) shot.

Clovis Blevins
07-08-2013, 03:21 AM
One might think you guys were talking about storing mixed thermite or ANFO given the tone of imminent danger. Light a wad of fresh clothes dryer lint and compare it to nitrate film. You'll probably switch to a clothes line. Yeah, probably not a good idea to store it in a cardboard box under the curtains in your kid's bedroom, but certainly not worth getting your panties in a bunch if stored properly in a fire resistant container away from flammable materials and ignition sources. What amazes me is that someone can be so scared of nitrate film, but have no qualms about pulling a car in their garage that holds 120lbs of gasoline right under their master bedroom. Strain at a gnat...

StoneNYC
07-08-2013, 04:08 AM
It's no safer for being unexposed. Why would you burn the films with images and keep the equally-dangerous but of no-artistic-value blank ones around?

Oh I know that, I keep it in a metal box in a feezer in a garage not attached to the house...

I just want to shoot it before getting rid of it. I've just been busy or not had a good shot to use it on.

I SHOULD get rid of it... Soon...


~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk

winger
07-11-2013, 01:04 PM
OK, after doing some burn tests on pieces from edges of many pieces, I have more questions. If a piece of film is nearly 4 inches by 5 1/4 inches and has a hole/tear on one end (as if it had been attached on a spike or pin and then torn off), is that indicative of being pack film? These tend to be in groups of 1 or 2 good ones or 12 of similar timing. And when did that go from being nitrate to acetate (and there are several different types of acetate)? I can only find dates for Kodak and I am fairly sure my great-grandfather used others (at least Agfa-Ansco) at times. Almost no shots have edge codes or writing.

When doing burn tests, I'm taking a piece from the rebate that's about 2 inches long, holding it upright in kelly clamps and touching a match to the top. Some have obviously been nitrate as they burned right down fairly quickly. Some have fizzled out after 1/2 second. Others, curiously, have burned down a little ways then stopped. No real flame, and they look different when burning than the ones I'm sure are nitrate, but the test result is still sorta in between a positive and a negative. Literature I've seen states that only nitrate based film will burn down from the top. Oh to still have access to diphenylamine in sulfuric! I miss the lab (we used that stuff all the time). I'd much prefer to have two test results that agree.

Why, oh why, did he shoot with several different sizes of cameras and film? There will be an envelope that says "children 1922" and there will be 2 or 3 sizes of frames in that envelope. And no notation of whether they are his daughters or a mix of daughters and cousins. No envelope has a list of who besides the main subject is in any shots.

AgX
07-11-2013, 01:18 PM
There is no general point in time for that change. There had been bans on nitrate film base in some countries but only concerning certain uses.

Changing to less flammable base material was difficult for the manufacturers for technical and economic reasons.


Nitrate-base cine-print film for cinema use has to be considered the most dangerous form due to circumstanstanes:
-) mass of material
-) extreme heating in case of failure
-) lot of people on confined space

Nevertheless Kodak introduced it first for their home-cinema materials.

StoneNYC
07-11-2013, 01:19 PM
OK, after doing some burn tests on pieces from edges of many pieces, I have more questions. If a piece of film is nearly 4 inches by 5 1/4 inches and has a hole/tear on one end (as if it had been attached on a spike or pin and then torn off), is that indicative of being pack film? These tend to be in groups of 1 or 2 good ones or 12 of similar timing. And when did that go from being nitrate to acetate (and there are several different types of acetate)? I can only find dates for Kodak and I am fairly sure my great-grandfather used others (at least Agfa-Ansco) at times. Almost no shots have edge codes or writing.

When doing burn tests, I'm taking a piece from the rebate that's about 2 inches long, holding it upright in kelly clamps and touching a match to the top. Some have obviously been nitrate as they burned right down fairly quickly. Some have fizzled out after 1/2 second. Others, curiously, have burned down a little ways then stopped. No real flame, and they look different when burning than the ones I'm sure are nitrate, but the test result is still sorta in between a positive and a negative. Literature I've seen states that only nitrate based film will burn down from the top. Oh to still have access to diphenylamine in sulfuric! I miss the lab (we used that stuff all the time). I'd much prefer to have two test results that agree.

Why, oh why, did he shoot with several different sizes of cameras and film? There will be an envelope that says "children 1922" and there will be 2 or 3 sizes of frames in that envelope. And no notation of whether they are his daughters or a mix of daughters and cousins. No envelope has a list of who besides the main subject is in any shots.

Take a NEW piece of film and test that, learn how it burns, then compare, that way you have an example of guaranteed safety film.


~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk

BrianShaw
07-11-2013, 01:25 PM
Re: your rant: I'm always more concerned about the lack of identification than differing neg sizes. At least you know the pricipal subject. I have some prints that I remember being told who they were, but never wrote it down and now the person who knows is long deceased. Frustrating... to say the least! I have one last chance at identification -- but that old cousin is a real ball buster so I know I'll have to buy her lunch, vacuum her house, draw her a bath, and who-knows-what-else to get information out of her. And what's more... she'll proably feign memory fade to ensure I'd have to come back later and do all it all over again!

winger
07-11-2013, 01:29 PM
Take a NEW piece of film and test that, learn how it burns, then compare, that way you have an example of guaranteed safety film.


~Stone | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk


Stuff now is on a polyester base which isn't going to do anything similar and wasn't used until after 1950. The big question is whether these are nitrate or acetate. Each decomposes, but the acetate mainly creates an acidic environment which will further the decomposition, but not burst into flames. My plan is to separate into nitrate and acetate so I can deal with the nitrate ones first as well as keep them separate.
I have burned a known acetate one and it didn't really even catch. The ones that sorta catch and then stop before going all the way are the ones I can't really ID. I'll likely either make a third pile or call them nitrate.

What's irritating is that there are ones from 1922 that refuse to catch fire and ones from 1926 that do burn. Why couldn't he stay with one type of film?

AgX, I'm just looking to see if someone knows when any other companies might have switched. All the lists I've seen only give dates for Kodak and there were other choices out there. But I would SWEAR I saw a list somewhere and now I can't find it. My google-fu is letting me down.