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Question about 40+ yr old slides...

Jace Santos , Aug 03, 2004; 07:56 p.m.

I was helping my grandma clean her attic because she cannot anymore, and I came across her and my grandfathers old slides.

WOW, its like a blast from the past. But sadly they have been sitting in an attic in a wooden chest in New Orleans(100+ degree weather poutside, and probaly upwards of 150 in the attic) for 40 years. Many, most in fact, are damaged. Luckily some of the better one just have some cracking at the outer edge, and its looks like its cracking on the slide, meaning the slide is still 100% there.

What can I do now to save them from not getting them damaged anymore, and I plan to get some of them printed, is it safe?

Responses

Jace Santos , Aug 03, 2004; 07:58 p.m.

Also, will film scanners be able to take them? SO far ALL slides Ive done have come back with rounded corners, but these are pointy corners. I know that may be stupid, but finding these is tempting me to get that film scanner I want, tomorrow. I know mY mother and grandmother would love them too.

John Shriver , Aug 03, 2004; 08:14 p.m.

If they are 35mm slides (24mm x 36mm picture area, plus or minus) in 2 inch square mounts, then a typical film scanner should scan them just fine. However, if they are 828 size (28mm x 40mm), 126 size (28mm square), or 127 size (40mm square) then you will need to buy a larger format film scanner to be able to scan them.

If they are color slides, and have decent color at this point, they must be Kodachrome, no other color film could survive decades in a hot attic. If they have turned pink, they must be Ektachrome (too bad). However, you might be surprised how much the Applied Science Fiction "Restoration of Color" feature (available with Nikon scanners) can fix pink Ektachromes.

To protect them from further damage, at least keep them in a climate controlled area, with air conditioning, and reasonably low humidity. (Low humidity isn't easy in New Orleans). Fungus really likes to grow on film!

Fungus might be what's been causing the cracking of the image. Any black spots when you look at them with a magnifier?

Jace Santos , Aug 03, 2004; 11:22 p.m.

Most of them are just blank mounts with the number of the slide written on them, but every now and then I get one that says Kodachrome. And the ones that do say it, look like the blank ones, so im pretty sure most of them are KC. They look IMO suprisingly well for being as old as they are. Hopefully I will have a scanner soon, so i can show you fuys some. :-)

Jace Santos , Aug 03, 2004; 11:26 p.m.

Oh yeah, some of them have very tiny black marks on them that look like dust, but arent. The spots arent big at all.

Alot of them seem to have a blue line through the center, and bluse spots throught the frame.

Panos Voudouris , Aug 04, 2004; 08:09 a.m.

I recently did that with my parents' 25 year old slides. I got a Minolta Dual Scan IV and managed to salvage most, even some pretty damaged and faded ones. The only thing I would recommend is that if you can afford it, get a scanner with ICE, like the Nikon or Minolta 5400. Dust and scratches will be a pain to remove and clear manually. Apart from that, all that was needed was a bit of cropping and adjusting the colour-balance to compensate for the fading.

One thing I did when I got them, was to remove them from their original mounts and place them in new plastic ones. It took me a week and a half to do about 350, at about two hours per weekday and most of the weekends (that's re-mounting, scanning, cleaning-up).

BTW, the slides were Agfa, Ektachrome and Kodachrome.

John Shriver , Aug 04, 2004; 09:37 a.m.

You can identify Kodachrome by reflecting light off the emulsion side. On a Kodachrome slide, there are obvious differences in the thickness of the emulsion, depending on the colors. Sort of looks like a bas-relief. I don't know any other color slide film that is like that.

The black spots are fungus.

You definitely want a scanner with ICE, it will do a very creditable job eliminating the fungus with minimal loss of sharpness.

Cheapest option is probably a used, or refurbished, Nikon Coolscan IV. This has the full ICE3, so that you also get the ROC feature for any faded Ektachromes.

J. Bradley Deal , Aug 04, 2004; 10:22 a.m.

Hi Jace, I have been doing the same thing. I use an Epson 3170. I can scan 4 slides at a time. It is not the highest resolution for 35mm in the world but, for 40-50 yr old memories it does a very good job. I have scanned about 600 so far. The software has some automatic color restoration and level adjustments built in. For viewing on screen it is fine. I have also printed a few in 4x6 at Sam's Club. I also did a slide show on my lap-top at a family get together and it was a blast for everyone. BTW the scanner cost less than $200. I would decide would your final goal is first before investing money in equipment

Ron Andrews , Aug 06, 2004; 10:33 p.m.

I was in a similar situation a few years ago when I "inherited" my grandfather's slide collection from other relatives. I had a few scanned onto a PhotoCD (the older high-res foprmat, not PictureCD). The cost of that prompted to me to get a film scanner. I concur with the recommendation to get a "Digital Ice" enabled scanner. Although ICE is not always recommended for Kodachrome, I've had success using it. There may be a small loss in detail, but it does a great job of eliminating dust and scratches.

Here's a link to some of the scans of those 40 year old slides:

http://homepage.mac.com/randrews4/PhotoAlbum9.html

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