Slide and Negative cleaning

sydney heads
12th January 2008, 11:19
Hi everyone!
I am wondering if any among you have experience with cleaning and preparing either of the film mediums ready for scanning.
I have an extensive slide library at home on many subjects, dating back to 1970.
Aside from the eternal dust particle problem, some are affected to some small degree by mould.
Needles to say, I dont want to use any wet agent until I am sure that I will not damage or ruin the slides.
I would certainly value any help on this subject.
Cheers
John.

Gavin Gait
12th January 2008, 11:33
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=641

treeve
12th January 2008, 11:35
also
http://aroundcny.com/Technofile/texts/mckaylet052701.html

benjidog
12th January 2008, 15:52
Good luck with your springcleaning Sydney.

This is a topic worthy of mention as many of us have shoved photos into the attic or some other inappropriate place where they are at risk.

For those of you with colour negatives I would suggest you think seriously about purchasing suitable storage for anything you care about. There are several companies in the UK, including Jessops, who make albums for this purpose and I am sure there are companies around the world making similar artifacts.

Those who have been on this site for a while will also be familiar with my regular nags to those with digital photos stored on computers. Remember to back up onto CD or DVD in case your hard drive fails. There is another thread on this with various options described.

Regards,

Brian

K urgess
12th January 2008, 16:47
Having been through this myself I've tried washing to clean negatives and slides but only as a last resort.

A soft lens brush will remove a lot of dust from the film itself but the main problem is always keeping the scanner clean enough. Since you have to scan a slide or neg at somewhere near max scanner resolution to get a meaningful size then every spec of dust and scratch on the scanner bed shows up.

I've reduced my physical slide cleaning to a quick brush and fitting in a GePe or Boots glass slide holder that's spotless. Besides, after 30+ years the cardboard mounts are all coming unglued.

Any further cleaning I do with a cloning tool in the photo manipulation software. You can achieve amazing results with just about any software that has the tool. The choice is yours, we all have our own preferences and so it's what you like personally that works best. Mould marks are easy and scratches disappear like magic.

If it's uncleanable electronically then I put it to one side for more intense cleaning or worst case, bin it.

My slides have all been in closed slide cases and a lot in glass slide mounts but they are still suffering from age. Especially the ones that journeyed to the tropics with me.

Patience and multiple backups are the answer.

sydney heads
12th January 2008, 23:15
Thank you all, especially treeve! That link is a great starting point!

Just an extra note, most of my slides have remained either in the plastic box the film company sent them in, or in 600 capacity wooden slide cases. I also have two plastic-paged albums with sleived pockets for the slides, and these appear to be the biggest culprits for mould. I suspect for some reason they sweat more in this medium.

treeve
12th January 2008, 23:29
I have for years kept my slides in the round cartridges for the projector.
In cardboard boxes that they came in, never used sealed cases of any kind.
Plenty of air, temperature control - kept the cartridges in a dry room.
All the older ones that I kept in sealed boxes developed mould and crazing.
I always transferred the slides into plastic non-adhesive snap slide frames.
The card usually started a craze across the surface which ended up splitting
the film. I had to throw away so many I decided to give them an airing and
to remove any possibility of paper mould or adhesive mould. It worked.
Best Wishes, Raymond

Baltic Wal
14th January 2008, 16:29
I have the same problem with my slides taken in the 60's and 70's. Some having just been kept in the old slide boxes. The negatives are kept in protective sleeves.

My problem appears to be with the scanner. I have a Canon 9950F. No problems with prints but when using negatives or slides I get stripes down the picture.

I know I will get a solution from you boffins.

treeve
14th January 2008, 16:34
There is a problem with scanning film .. the shiny surface.
Older negatives and slides have a front and back, scan the dull side.
I also get problems with scanning newer film material ... it is more
often than not better to set the slide/negative up with a white
illuminated background (without any texture) and to photograph
with a digital camera. That way you are copying what is intended
to be seen, projected colour and the balance as you would get
when projecting the slide or enlarging the negative.
Best Wishes, Raymond

K urgess
14th January 2008, 16:47
About 90% of my gallery is scanned from slides and negatives and I've had no problems apart from dust and a delicate scanner bed.
The Epson comes with frames for various size negs and mounted slides.
I just mount them up and let it get on with it.
The other thing you have to remember is that you should also clean the light source when scanning slides and negs.
Salaams
Kris

Norm
15th January 2008, 02:39
I never thought about cleaning the light in the scanner. I do have a problem keeping the glass scanner bed clean. It seems to get a lot of greasy looking streaks on it, no matter how many times I clean it. Nothing seems to do the job properly. LCD screen cleaner fluid has been the best so far, but not perfect.

treeve
15th January 2008, 02:54
Are the streaks on the upper surface or under? I used to service
photocopiers, and the only thing that cleaned the glass without
streaking was alcohol or carbon tetrachloride, but we are not allowed
to use that now ... ethyl alcohol is the new liquid. Make sure you use
a clean new cloth each time, cotton wool or non-scratch duster.
Chances are there may be grit dust or other particles left on the
plate, so dust off with a lens blower first. Once that glass is etched
you have had it. I used to take the glass and the glass drum out,
took ages, but the clearness of print afterwards was worth it.
The heat from the light can evaporate any moisture carried oils and
deposit them on the underside of the glass, it forms a streaky oily
appearance. As I say, don't use the same cloth twice, it may well
make matters worse if you don't. Isopropyl alcohol is another fluid.
Best Wishes, Raymond

andysk
15th January 2008, 23:11
Good luck with your springcleaning Sydney.

This is a topic worthy of mention as many of us have shoved photos into the attic or some other inappropriate place where they are at risk.

For those of you with colour negatives I would suggest you think seriously about purchasing suitable storage for anything you care about. There are several companies in the UK, including Jessops, who make albums for this purpose and I am sure there are companies around the world making similar artifacts.

Those who have been on this site for a while will also be familiar with my regular nags to those with digital photos stored on computers. Remember to back up onto CD or DVD in case your hard drive fails. There is another thread on this with various options described.

Regards,

Brian

Couldn't agree more Brian, but I would make a couple of comments ...

Firstly; if using 'plastic' file pages for slides, prints or negs, you must ensure you get the archival quality (acid free) ones. Otherwise the acid in the PVC will leach out over time and effect the item being stored. I get Clearfile ones from 7dayshop.com in Guernsey. Other suppliers are Arrowfile in London, and as Brian has said, Jessops.

Secondly; maybe I have been lucky, but the only slide film I have that has crazed or otherwise been damaged was an Agfa one in the mid 1970's which was screwed up by Agfa during processing - and they replaced the film without asking. My slides, and those of my father dating from 1958 have been kept in the loft in a combination of slide boxes, straight magazines and file pages, so far no detrimental effects. I am not advocating everybody should do that !

Thirdly, to summarise digital storage, I keep mine on the main hard drive, on DVD's, and backup each week to an external hard drive (I use a Maxtor 300Gb Onetouch). I am shortly to buy a second portable hard drive, Freecom or similar, to keep off the premises. Don't forget vto look at them now and again to ensure you can still read the files. Sounds a bit over the top, but electronic storage is more susceptible than film stock to deterioration, and even more so to changes in hardware and software to access them.

Also, I am planning to g3et a portable viewer, Epson, Jobo or similar, to download images to from camera cards when in the field, while retaining them on the cards. ust a few thoughts, though it does seem as if I am a bit paranoid, but you only get one chance ....

Cheers

Andy