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  1. #1
    winger's Avatar
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    Projecting old Kodachromes

    First off, I've never been much of a slide shooter, so I admit my ignorance on this. In the assorted stuff my parents have sent me from my late grandmother's house are a few boxes of old slides (most in Kodachrome mounts). They range from my dad's childhood (1940s) to the early 70s. I have a project in mind using them that would mean projecting them (and maybe for a minute or two). How safe is that and how long can a slide be projected before there's a chance of damage from the heat of the bulb? I've really only projected slides for a few seconds each in an average show and very rarely.
    And, as a side note, yup, the colors of the ones in Kodachrome mounts look perfect and the other ones are a little off.

  2. #2

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    I've researched this and have learned that while Kodachromes are forever, that in 1 minute of projection, they can be ruined. They can take time and tide, but not the projector bulb.

  3. #3
    winger's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tom! I was worried it might be something like that. I'll have to find a way to minimize the "bulb time." Or maybe copy the ones I want to use onto fresh stock (I won't care as much if I burn out a copy as I'll still have the original). Any thoughts on the best available slide film to use for copies would be appreciated, too.

  4. #4
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Scan them if you are really worried, but the emotional umph of projectig them to a darkened room of knowing relatives should not be passed up, even if the colour fades a touch for the 20 seconds in front of the projector bulb set on dim.
    my real name, imagine that.

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    I’m not saying that projection doesn’t do some harm to transparencies but I have often left slides (35mm, 645, and 6x7) up on the screen for several – 10 or even 20 minutes at a time - without any noticeable effect. Projectors have a fan to whisk heat away from the film. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    Thomas
    Thomas

    No art passes our conscience in the way that film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
    — Ingmar Bergman

  6. #6
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Slide dupe film for Kodachome was a specialist thing and was discontinued long ago.

    Fuji CDU is good for e-6 transparencies, and it still turns up on the auction site from time to time.
    Be prepared to tweak exposure, gelatin cc filtration fine tuning, and do H-D plots of 3 colours of a step wedge/ grey patch target read through a denistometer to nail the exposure and filtration with this process, once you have found an e-6 processor or your own efforts that deliver consitent development results.

    Very rewarding when you pull all of the required stars into alignment, but not a task that is taken lightly.

    I usually build a list of needed dupes and gear up the process to get it done right once every two or three years, as a batch effort in my 35mm slide duper, or polaroid process camera using an enlarger head inverted as the adjustable light source, and filter it to daylight with filters in the head, and tweak film response with CC filters in the lens path. That lets me go between the tow camer rigs and keep the flash/daylight ambient metering working.

    In between, a roll of 400 or so feet of CDU that I snip from lives in the back of the freezer, with updated exposure and filtration from each run written on the can with a sherpie so I can try to spont trends to cut the testing cycle the next time I pull it out.
    my real name, imagine that.

  7. #7
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    Projecting old Kodachromes

    I left a Kodachrome slide in my window for a whole year I see the affects of light on it, it seems fine... It's a direct sun window getting hit at least half the day.

    I'm not saying that a projector won't do damage just surprised the bulb would after only 1 minute.

    Also I would agree that duplicating it would probably be the smart move

    Dwayne's Photo still does it I believe.


    Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  8. #8
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Taylor View Post
    I’m not saying that projection doesn’t do some harm to transparencies but I have often left slides (35mm, 645, and 6x7) up on the screen for several – 10 or even 20 minutes at a time - without any noticeable effect. Projectors have a fan to whisk heat away from the film. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    Thomas
    Agree. A good projector puts very little heat on the slide because of the fan. My Dad and his friends used to leave a slide up for a long time while they were discussing the qualities of it. Those old slides still look great!

    He used a Golde projector, and I have a couple of Aeroquips, and neither one seems to heat the slide much.
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!
    For all practical purposes, they've taken Kodak away.


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

  9. #9

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    It's the light, not the heat. Look at any poster taped up in a store-front window. They turn from full color to cyan and black in weeks--in freezing cold weather, just from the sunshine.
    I say that if the lady wants a slide show with her valuable old Kodachromes, keep it short. No need to project it for more than 5 seconds. Scan it, dupe it, or whatever to print it. But protect it.

  10. #10

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    Some time ago, I read a study done that compared different slide films. I think it was done by Wilhelm Research. If I correctly recall, while Kodachrome has a very long archive life if kept in the dark, it tended to fade faster than some of the E-6 films when projected.

    However, nearly all of our family slides taken in the late 1950's through the 1960's, and even newer were shot on Kodachrome and projected. No doubt some of those were projected many times with some of those being viewed in the projector for extended periods while stories were being told. For the most part, they seem to have held up very well. But of course I am relying on memory as to how they looked years ago and even my memory can fade over time, so I can offer no scientific proof.

    Dave

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