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40 year old 35mm Ektachrome Slide has red tint

Drew Leyda , Dec 15, 2002; 12:12 p.m.

40 Year old Ektachrome slide has red tint throughout. I have quite a few like this. Some in bright sun, some indoors. Would like to scan into computer without tint. I have a CanoScan D1250U2F and I have ordered a SmartScan 2700.

Any ideas ???


Red Tint Example


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Al Kaplan - Miami, FL , Dec 15, 2002; 12:36 p.m.

Drew, that slide has more color than many 40 year old Ektachromes. They didn't hold up very well over time, nothing like Kodachrome did. I wouldn't hold much hope for "restoring" the color. You can digitaly correct color tints to some extent but you can't augment color that just isn't there anymore. If you scan them without tint you'll pretty much reduce them to B&W.

Kelly Flanigan , Dec 15, 2002; 12:52 p.m.

Try using the "curves" and "levels" before you do a scan; to boost what is left of the blues; and green; that are almost gone. This is alot of work; but sometimes one can save old images that way.

Curt Wiler , Dec 15, 2002; 12:54 p.m.

Applied Science Fiction's "Digital ROC" (restoration of Color) supposedly helps correct exactly this condition. While I believe I have the software - at least a demo - I have not tried it myself. Fortunately I shot mostly Kodachrome 40 years ago.

Tom Menegatos , Dec 15, 2002; 12:57 p.m.

If you have a scanner that supports ASF's Digital ROC you can try that. I opened up the image in Vuescan and ran the "Restore Fading" filter as well as some minor color adjustments and this is what I cam up with.

Vuescan - Restore Fading

Zibadun -- , Dec 15, 2002; 01:30 p.m.

Take a look at the tutorial on how to restore old slides at scantips.com

Lex Jenkins , Dec 15, 2002; 02:38 p.m.

Yeh, all my old Ektachromes turned orangey. It's unfortunate but normal.

William John Smith , Dec 15, 2002; 03:05 p.m.

I wonder if the color shift has to do more with processing and/or storage? It just happens that I was going through some Ektachromes last week that I shot in the late 1960's and the color is spot on. In fact I have been going through all my slides/negatives from the last 30 years and the only bad ones are b/w from my student days, which I processed (sic). Just a thought.

Bob Atkins , Dec 15, 2002; 03:55 p.m.

The tint is actually magenta. The other dyes have faded. You'll never get the original colors back fully, but with some work you can make it look much better by playing around with color corrections.

You might be better off scanning and converting to B&W though!

Dan Andrews , Dec 15, 2002; 04:07 p.m.

The reason why some Ektachromes hold up better than others is storage. Whether intentional or not, the writer whose 40-year-old Ektachromes are spot on may have stored his slides in ideal conditions: cool (below 55 F), dry, and airtight containers.

Any temperature over 55 F and you'll see degradation of color. Not sure which dyes go first, but the magentas seem to last longest, with far less fading than the cyan and yellow.

For comparison, if you shoot an Ektachrome today and store it at 85 F or higher for only four months, you'll find noticeable fading. After three years, all three dyes show significant loss.

Velvia is more colorfast, but it will still fade over time. Only the Kodakchrome process avoids fading of this type, because it is a completely different approach to emulsions.

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