The Curse of the Curl

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Anton, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. Anton

    Anton Guest

    Hello, all

    I have at last got collected courage to digitize some of my
    old films which were processed in cheap photolabs and probably
    dried in a hurry. I have been storing them in rolls and now,
    after cutting them into strips I have been struck by the
    extent of lateral curl. My scanner won't just focus on such
    films, unless I use special film holder which is less
    convenient and also crops the frame by about 2 mm in heght and

    Do you have any suggestions as to how to flatten and old and
    heavily curled film (meaning alteral curl, from edge to edge).

    Thank you in advance,
    Anton, Jan 16, 2010
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  2. Anton

    Anton Guest

    Thanks for the reply, Nicolas,
    Yes. Right now I am keeping it in a spiral container, wherein
    the film remains laterally flat, in the bath with a hot shower
    on. I was going to keep it that way for a while (so it absorbs
    enough water) and then to start reducing the water flow, step
    by step, to let the film dry slowly and uniformly, until I
    switch the water off. Then, hopefully, it will be properly
    dried and flat...
    Just keeping them flat doen't help in my case. When I take the
    films back they get curl again as if nothing has been done.
    Some temperature and humidity conditions are probably also
    required. And can one keep a high humidity if the film is
    squeezed between pages of a book?

    But I do keep all my recent films under weight. In this
    regard, I got one more question: are transparent film sleevers
    suitable for long-term storage? Or do I need those made from
    acid-free papaer for that?
    Yes, yes and yes. But I do want to scan them. And the colour
    process is way more difficult.

    Anton, Jan 16, 2010
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  3. You might try higher humidity. It can take several days for
    After drying up the curl returned ((
    Will try keeping it in warm humid air for a longer time.

    Anton Shepelev, Jan 17, 2010
  4. But even film that has been so hung and dried can have a curl. I just
    developed a roll of FP-4 last week that had a distinctive lateral
    (edge-to-edge) curl even after being hung up to dry with weights.
    David Nebenzahl, Jan 18, 2010
  5. Well, your suggestion is moot in any case, since the OP has already cut
    the film into strips.

    D "gray beard but no expert" N
    David Nebenzahl, Jan 19, 2010
  6. Well, your suggestion is moot in any case, since the OP has already cut
    I can treat my strips as full-fledged rolls, why not?
    Anton Shepelev, Jan 20, 2010
  7. One question: are you planning on drying the film *on the reel*? I
    wonder if you don't risk having the film stick to the reel this way.
    David Nebenzahl, Jan 21, 2010
  8. On 2010-02-12 18:59:24 +0300, "Richard Knoppow"

    I don't quite know what a mounting press is. Do you mean
    you keep your films flat under a constant heavy pressure?
    How strong is that pressure? What kind of sleeves/packaging
    do you use for films stored this way?

    Anton Shepelev, Mar 13, 2010
  9. For what it's worth, what has worked for me well through the years is a
    50-50 mix of denatured alcohol and water. Take a damp cotton swab of this
    mixture and swipe it across the back of the print. Then place the print
    face down under some moderate weight overnight - a couple of books will do.
    In the morning, the prints are satisfactorily flat.
    Lawrence Akutagawa, Mar 13, 2010
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