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Thread: Curled film

  1. #1

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    Curled film

    Hi All,
    I'm helping a guy who has B&W 35mm negs from the 1950's that he developed and left curled in the full 24/36 roll neg strip.
    After 50yrs + they are now like coiled springs,I intend cutting them into 6 frame strips & storing them in clearfile archival pages.They are also very dirty,they have travelled the world in plastic shopping bags.
    BTW I have darkroom equipment ,ie tanks,spools ,film clips,wetting agent etc ,also anything I'm short I can call on friends locally.

    1st question,how do I straighten them out without damaging them?

    2nd question, I want to clean them & have read the posts on cleaning ,the only detail I dont understand is when one soaks negs in an alcohol bath ,is this Isopropyl alcohol,neat or diluted?

    Caveat ,I live in Ireland and we may not have access to the types of agents available in the US,but again I can call on relatives there if needed.
    Thanks in advance

    Burkie

  2. #2
    David William White's Avatar
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    Can you tell him to reshoot?

  3. #3

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    I'll take that in the spirit I think it's being posted ,but CONFIDENTIALLY,the Interdimentional Warp Drive on the camera is faulty at the moment,so we can't be sure of getting back to the 1950's precisely!:rolleyes:

  4. #4
    David William White's Avatar
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    Yeah, sorry, I wasn't being helpful...except to point out you're probably in a no-win situation, and you'll probably need to get a waiver of sorts before you try to clean, flatten, then scan his neglected negatives. I once offered to scan, touch up, and print someone's old scratched negatives and they handed me a rowboat full of them. I think I did seven.

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Is there a reason you need them to be uncurled. When they were restoring the statue of David they were using distilled water and cotton tipped swabs. Just as a reminder that anything you do to those negatives can potentially damage them or decrease the lifespan.

    I recently found some of my negatives I stored like that in 1974. I unrolled them and put them in hanging negative pages. They really curled up bad but I alternated the direction of every other page. Other than convenience I found no reason to treat them to make them flat.

  6. #6

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    reshoot


    are you sure isopropol is the right thing? seems a little harsh to me...

  7. #7

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    I have similar negs from my father, same vintage and slightly older. My dad's film was stored in the original aluminum Kodak film cans, just wound up emulsion in on itself. The curl is from the film base, so not much can be done by way of treatment to liquid. For uncurling, I tried a lot of things, my best recommendation is to put the uncut roll in a very long Printfile type sleeve (labs use them to house film for clients who don't want it cut up). Then wrap the whole roll, against the curl, around something small, like a broom handle and forget about it for a couple of months. I have had some straighten, and some never give up. As my father in law used to say about replacing the screen in a curved window - "It's a booger..."
    For cleaning, I'm told by Kodak that pure Isopropyl alcohol (I got a gallon at Target for just under $30 US) is best for cleaning. I have personally used it cut 20% - 50% in distilled water for cleaning, works as well as I think anything. APUG member Photo Engineer mentioned that the denaturants used in rubbing alcohol are not good for film, but didn't elaborate.
    Here is a thread I started on this - http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/5...s-alcohol.html

  8. #8

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    Hi IC-RACER,the reason I need them uncurled is that now they would fit into a 35mm canister ,they are so tightly curled also they dont sit well in
    an enlarger,Re the David statue ,that is exactly my dilemma,I dont want to flatten the negs to store & then find that I'v damaged the emulsion.
    Btw did your 1974 negs print ok from the curled up position?

  9. #9

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    Hi Ghost & George,
    Yea Ghost I was thinking the same that pure Isopropyl would be too harsh,I use it sparingly on telescope eyepieces & camera lenses.

    George ,
    You have answered my question re the alcohol & have given me that great idea re un curling the negs ,I Do have pro single strip acetate film holder ,I get all my 35mm & 120 slides sent to me uncut so I have a stock in house ,THANKS

  10. #10

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    No Problem David,
    I have a quirky sense of humour too!!
    My problem is that this guys reaction to my suggestions depends greatly on when the question was posed in relation to his taking of his medication,his heart is in the right place & I want to help him & catalogue local events,but unfortunately at times ,his mind isn't,but C'est la vie!!

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