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  1. #1
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Vinegar smelling film

    Hey guys,

    I've heard that with antique films you have to watch out for vineyarded films, but with all the antique film I've used, I've never come across it (even with film from 1947...) but today I did, some Panatomic-X in 70mm

    My question is, because vinegar is an acid, should I avoid running it through my camera? Or is it "safe" just damaged with bad images as a potential outcome?

    The film I believe is from / expired 1968.

    Thanks!


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  2. #2
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    If the film smells like that before processing it is very likely totally bad. The smell comes from support going bad. And yes, the smell is acid and will not be kind to your camera either.

    PE

  3. #3
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    Vinegar smelling film

    How strong is the smell? Is the acetate base moist or sticky? Has the film become stiff or brittle? What about shrinkage?
    These are the things that happen to acetate as it decays. I can't answer what to do with undeveloped film, though.

    As long as the film isn't sticky it shouldn't hurt the camera if its kept clean. Brittle, shrunken film might not go through the camera without breaking or tearing out the sprocket holes. (Try running brittle film through a projector at 24fps!)

    You can't undo "vinegar syndrome." The chemical reaction is autocatalytic. Once it begins, it can be slowed down but not stopped. There are cleaners that can remove excess acetic acid which will slow the process. Keeping the film cold will also slow it down.

    Segregate any vinegar syndrome film from other film. The acid vapor can cause other film to start breaking down, too.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  4. #4
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Vinegar smelling film

    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    How strong is the smell? Is the acetate base moist or sticky? Has the film become stiff or brittle? What about shrinkage?
    These are the things that happen to acetate as it decays. I can't answer what to do with undeveloped film, though.

    As long as the film isn't sticky it shouldn't hurt the camera if its kept clean. Brittle, shrunken film might not go through the camera without breaking or tearing out the sprocket holes. (Try running brittle film through a projector at 24fps!)

    You can't undo "vinegar syndrome." The chemical reaction is autocatalytic. Once it begins, it can be slowed down but not stopped. There are cleaners that can remove excess acetic acid which will slow the process. Keeping the film cold will also slow it down.

    Segregate any vinegar syndrome film from other film. The acid vapor can cause other film to start breaking down, too.
    Oh wow, thanks Ron!

    Also Worker,

    You mention "sticky" I have a separate film that does NOT smell vinegary at all, and is just slippery, like oil, but doesn't smell bad at all, is that also a concern?

    Should I separate that from other films too? Or is that just some kind of oil?

    Thanks, I will NOT use the film. (the Pan-X) but can I wash the can and use it? Or will there be residual stuff in the metal that will damage future rolls I run through the can?

    Thanks guys


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  5. #5
    AgX
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    Was this a long roll of film? Or just 5m?

    I assume that oily stuff to be plasticizer. But to be more precice I would have to look into the decay process.

  6. #6
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Vinegar smelling film

    Quote Originally Posted by AgX View Post
    Was this a long roll of film? Or just 5m?

    I assume that oily stuff to be plasticizer. But to be more precice I would have to look into the decay process.
    It is just 5m BUT it does not come in a regular usable film canister, just a metal 5m spool, and still has to be Re-spooled onto the normal plastic Kodak/linhoff spools, and inserted into the kodak/linhoff re-usable canisters (with felt opening).

    I'm not sure if that's clear, or helpful.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  7. #7
    AgX
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    I asked because the more compact the mass of film is the more likely the decay to expect. See it as something between the extremes of a single small sheet in paper envelope and a 1000' 70mm roll in tight metal can.

  8. #8

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    To the tune of the William Tell Overture:

    "To da dump, to da dump, to da dump, dump, dump..."

    Then get going with 4x5 and use sheet films on polyester bases.

  9. #9
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    Randy, Stone;

    The items brought up by you, Randy, are all items to be concerned about, but mainly after the film has been kept processed, as an estimate to see how well the final negatives were kept and will keep. However, if the vinegar smell is there to start with, that means bad keeping to the raw stock and the acid has thus leaked into the emulsion itself. There is no way to tell what damage has been done before processing, and no way to say how badly that film will damage a camera.

    PE

  10. #10

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    I have a couple reels of my father's 16mm film that has that smell.
    And the smell was STRONG STRONG STRONG !!! It was like stop bath concentrate.
    I made the mistake of opening the 16mm can in the house PHEW !!!

    I had the film converted to DVD, but I would still like to keep it.

    PE, do you know if Kodak still sells the packet of acid absorber? I recall reading about where you would put the packet around the film to absorb some of the acid and slow down the deterioration.

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