How do we restore old negative?


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Tze-Ming

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Apr 10, 2003
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#1
Hi everyone,

Need some advise. I have some very old negative (colour negs) that I have been scanning. The issue that I have that it is infected by fungus and also some cracking. :eek: :dunno:

What would be the best way to restore as I am trying to scan it into digital files. You advise is greatly appreciated. :)
 

Jan 23, 2005
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Singapore
#2
Tze-Ming said:
Hi everyone,

Need some advise. I have some very old negative (colour negs) that I have been scanning. The issue that I have that it is infected by fungus and also some cracking. :eek: :dunno:

What would be the best way to restore as I am trying to scan it into digital files. You advise is greatly appreciated. :)
Since no expert has responded I can offer you only some general non-expert thoughts.

Any restoration attempt bears the risk of more damage, so I'd scan/duplicate the negatives with the best possible quality I had available and retouch the digital/analog copies. Chances are that the decay can be stopped/slowed down by treatment, but it's not likely you'll gain anything back that is already lost.

Cracked gelatin sounds like the negatives are dry, which doesn't seem to be the environment for fungus to grow. Maybe it is an indication of changes in the storage environment, and both kind of damage occured at different times?

I think some stabilizers have antifungal properties, but soaking film that is already cracked in water bears the risk that the emulsion comes off. Maybe one can disinfect the emulsion by exposing it to vapors. But there's also concern about the chemical stability of the dyes, especially with older colour films.

All in all, I would guess it's better to treat the negatives as minimally as possible and use analog/digital copies to restore the images.
 

brian

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Aug 1, 2004
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#4
here's another non-expert opinion, if your fungus is just a light coating, you can try and scan it with an ICE scanner. Never tried it though. Of course your next problem is where to borrow an ICE scanner....
 

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