Cleaning Old Transparencies

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Gunslinger, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Guest

    I have quite a large collection of transparencies which I am hoping to
    digitise.

    On blowing up some of the older ones (25-30+ years old - mainly Kodachrome
    25/64) they appear to have small speckles like dust, however this does not
    blow away using an air brush, or using a small hand held vacuum cleaner of
    the type used for computer keyboards, or wipe away with a soft cloth. Some
    sort of wet clean is indicated.

    Can anybody suggest a safe method of doing this? While I appreciate that
    blemishes can be removed from the images once digitised, this can be
    laborious if one is to avoid affecting the detail of the photograph, and in
    any case I would like to conserve the original transparencies if possible.
     
    Gunslinger, Jan 4, 2004
    #1
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  2. Gunslinger

    T P Guest


    Use ASPEC liquid film cleaner.

    It is made specifically for this purpose, and is very effective.
     
    T P, Jan 5, 2004
    #2
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  3. Gunslinger

    Splasher Guest

    Sounds like mildew. Try Tetenal film cleaner spray but make sure the
    windows are open. You may find that the colours are spoilt anyway so you may
    find yourself making use of a package to make the images good.
     
    Splasher, Jan 14, 2004
    #3
  4. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Guest

    Thanks. Having drawn a blank with local camera shops, the only product I
    have discovered online is 'Pec-12' which seem to do the trick, if necessary
    after repeated application.

    Some sort of fungal problem is what I had suspected, interestingly B/W
    negatives of the same period seem to be unaffected.

    The contamination is not immediately obvious on normal viewing or
    inspection, only on blowing up or projection.

    As this only seems to affect older slides (25-40 years), is it reasonable
    to assume this may reflect poor storage conditions at some time in the past,
    or is there a natural process of gradual deterioration affecting
    photographic materials?

    One hears of movie stock commonly having to be 'restored' after similar
    periods of archival.
     
    Gunslinger, Jan 14, 2004
    #4
  5. Gunslinger

    T P Guest


    ASPEC is another name for the same stuff. I posted its name in reply
    to your original enquiry. It's the best tool for the job.
     
    T P, Jan 15, 2004
    #5
  6. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Guest

    Yes, thanks.

    I assumed from the similarity of the name it probably was. It certainly
    seems to do the job.

    My problem was identifying a retail source for any product, or indeed an
    awareness of the problem. Most camera shops are, perhaps understandably,
    these days geared up towards selling new kit and/or the digital market, and
    the more obviously consumer oriented accessories.
     
    Gunslinger, Jan 15, 2004
    #6
  7. Gunslinger

    T P Guest


    Pity you didn't say thanks the first time, and had to be reminded.
     
    T P, Jan 15, 2004
    #7
  8. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Guest

    Suggest you look at the first word of my response to the group, having
    followed your advice and noted the comments of other posters. No point in
    responding sooner until there is a result to report.

    As it happens I drew a complete blank with the word 'aspec' both in
    enquiries at the shops I mentioned and as a general web search. However, no
    doubt this set me on the right track, so again thanks.
     
    Gunslinger, Jan 15, 2004
    #8
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