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  1. #11

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    RE: cooler

    As I understand, you don't want them in a sealed container, so I'd add some ventilation (a few 1/2" holes in the top) to that cooler.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  2. #12
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    No notch codes and too large for standard holder sounds like they are from a "film pack" which was a very popular method of loading film until after WWII. The film was actually the same base as roll film, thus thinner than cut film. It was also a little larger and required a different negative carrier for the enlarger.
    Nitrate film will not have "Safety Film" encoded along the edge. Look through them. If any of the emulsions are beginning to bubble, I would burn them in a safe container. All others I would carry in a cooler as others have suggested. Although I know of no studies, I dare say that a large majority of problems with nitrate films happened in projectors, most of which used carbon arcs for light sources.
    Last edited by Jim Noel; 06-30-2013 at 06:18 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: misspeling
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  3. #13

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    Nitrate film was last made around 1950 so your negatives are at least 60 years old. They have survived this long without any special care. I really wouldn't worry but would get them copied as soon as possible. I would suggest copy negatives rather than scanning them. This is based on all the bad scans that appear on APUG and other web sites .If the images are important to you I would recommend that you avail yourself of a professional conservator rather than doing the job yourself.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    This is based on all the bad scans that appear on APUG and other web sites

    There can be bad scans and there can be bad copy negatives. It all depends on the skill of the person doing the job. Pick your poison.

  5. #15
    winger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof_Pixel View Post
    There can be bad scans and there can be bad copy negatives. It all depends on the skill of the person doing the job. Pick your poison.
    And I do NOT have enough film to copy even the best of these. And have never copied film onto film so I'm fairly confident my scans will be better than what I'd do with film.

    Until 2 years ago, these negs were who-knows-where in my grandmother's house. It's a 1832 brick house with no AC. I doubt it was ever below 70 degrees (the recommended high temp for temporary storage). The dates on the envelopes range from 1890 to 1940. None are yellowed much, none are bubbly in the least. According to one chart I saw, which had level 1 as no damage and level 5 as the worst, these are 1 or maybe near 2 (only some).

    As far as contacting the historical society in the town where the family lived, I don't know how well that would work. It's a small town where the negs were and my parents brought them down here. I may contact the historical society after I'm done, but they have no resources to help me.

    I tried to find a conservator and struck out. I also guess they'd charge a huge amount because of how many these are.

    What format would have made an image 83mm by 140mm? Those frames were shot in 1912 and really look like they had been on a roll based on the crookedness of some ends (making the film about 90mm wide?) I think there's a roll film holder with the RB Auto-Graphlex?

  6. #16

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    If the negatives are a non-standard size for what is available today you might consider X-ray duplication film. Several people on APUG have mentioned using it and that the price is reasonable.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by winger View Post
    What format would have made an image 83mm by 140mm? Those frames were shot in 1912 and really look like they had been on a roll based on the crookedness of some ends (making the film about 90mm wide?) I think there's a roll film holder with the RB Auto-Graphlex?
    That is 3A (postcard) format, which would have been shot on 122 rollfilm. 3A was 3.25" x 5.5" image size, which translates to 82.5mm by 139.7mm. The film stock is 91.75mm wide. Kodak discontinued that size in 1974, more or less, but there's gonna be more of it in September... (see this thread).

  8. #18
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    Bethe,
    What a treasure and what a pain! I would scan the nitrite negs (and then burn them) and pack the safety film in a cooler, as suggested. The cooler will simply maintain the temp within a certain range. As you say, they lasted this long with no special treatment. The cooler then becomes a portable file as well, keeping them together. If there is room, and you've weeded out the nitrite negs, you might put some of your own excellent negatives in with them- keeping the whole mess together for the move.

    I guess New England has seen the last of ou for awhile, huh? We miss you. Good luck.
    Whitey

  9. #19
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    I guess New England has seen the last of ou for awhile, huh? We miss you. Good luck.
    Whitey
    Though I really want to get back there, I don't know when it will happen. I'm a PSA member and the conference is in Maine this fall. If I'm lucky, I might make that. Otherwise, I'm hoping to get to the Cape some time so I can finally get some LF shots of the salt marsh behind my dad's cousin's house. If I'll be up that way, I'll give a holler first. (I need to buy a more transportable 4x5 than my Cambo, too.)
    Thanks for the advice! I might be doing some burn tests this week to help sort. I still don't have a date for the move, but it's supposed to be in July. I only have 3 Nate-free daycare days left, too. I know I don't have time to scan ALL the nitrate negs, but I'm going to try to get as many as I can.
    The ones from 1912 (thank you for the 3A info) are probably close to 100 by themselves. It was his honeymoon, I'd guess.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteymorange View Post
    Bethe,
    What a treasure and what a pain! I would scan the nitrite negs (and then burn them) and pack the safety film in a cooler, as suggested. The cooler will simply maintain the temp within a certain range. As you say, they lasted this long with no special treatment. The cooler then becomes a portable file as well, keeping them together. If there is room, and you've weeded out the nitrite negs, you might put some of your own excellent negatives in with them- keeping the whole mess together for the move.

    I guess New England has seen the last of ou for awhile, huh? We miss you. Good luck.
    Whitey
    Why would you burn them? They're not hurting anything.

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