Protecting polaroids from UV light?
So as my stack of polaroids grow, I'm wondering what to do with them all. Once I have them scanned, I'm planning on covering a wall in one of my rooms with the polaroids. Since the room will be getting direct sunlight during most of the day, I'm wondering what is the best way to protect the polaroids to preserve them for the long run?
Are there special coatings that I can use? Most of my polaroids are "coaterless" I believe, so they do not need to be coated.
The few aerosol coatings I've looked at offered 'some UV protection'. I wasn't impressed.
I suppose framing them isn't a goal. Perhaps you could rig up some sort of display where they are held with mounting corners as simply as possible. Then you have options for covering them.
Regular glass filters about 43% of UV shorter than 380 nm.
'Conservation' types of glass filter a minimum of 97% <380 nm.
'Normal' acrylic, which must be made from gasoline judging from the price increases the last couple years offers ROUGHLY 70% UV filtering (this may vary from mfr to mfr, as it's not a guaranteed parameter).
'Conservation' acrylic claims 98% UV filtering, with slightly differing spectral properties (filters <400 nm, slightly into the visible blue spectrum).
Unless you happen to have happen to have the acrylic available to you, the cost, 'scratchability' and higher static charging than glass are disadvantages. Impact strength over glass is improved, and you could even screw a piece of acrylic over your own frame construction, avoiding the cost of custom framing.
One more thought. UV protection doesn't stop their fading completely. It just helps alot.
UV is the most obvious source of fading. The shorter wavelengths of visible light (blue, violet) are still energetic enough to cause some fading.
I have a display window with 99% UVF architectural glass. We still have to watch how long things are in that window as the sun sets on it every day. I've seen frames change color,etc.
Museums keep track of illumination levels and number of hours of exposure. Ignoring any reciprocity effects (related to, but different from our own film concerns), 100 footcandles x 1 hour = 1 footcandle x 100 hours.
You can't enjoy them if you keep them in the dark, but just keep in mind that 'protection' is relative, not absolute.
If you already have them scanned, why not just batch process print them from photoshop, or have them printed at a lab? Sorry this is not analog, but it will protect your originals.
Thanks Murray, your post was very helpful. However, like you mentioned, framing or covering each polaroid doesn't seem like an option to me the moment.
Patrick, that's a good idea. I really like the look of the polaroids though. Guess I am in a conundrum
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