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Author Topic: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?  (Read 3738 times)

TonyW

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2018, 06:02:42 PM »

The color is in the slides. They are positives. I have seen these before and always from store bought. If they are faded Ekchrome then they all fade the same. I think it is some kind of weird film and have no way of knowing the type. My post had no editing. I can reduce the red but yet to find a way to make it look like a "normal capture". Thus the original post.

Another sample. Thanks for all the replies,
I too am of the opinion that these examples are faded Ektachrome or equivalents maybe dating early 60’s. 

The processing may have been E2 or E3 and would have had an effect on the stability of the dyes as would the care taken in the processing stages.  In any case the reddish cast is typical of the fading of dyes with this process
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saiguy

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2018, 06:45:49 PM »

Thanks Garnick for your reply. That's about what I can get from SF8 at scanning phase. It is a weird film.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2018, 08:10:44 PM »

I agree, based on the evidence presented it's faded Ektachrome - some dyes fade more than others leaving the cast. SilverFast has tools that can repair this - more or less depending on how far gone. You can use Auto CCR, the Grey Pipette, Color Balance, ACR, Selective Color Correction, additively and non-exclusively.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2018, 08:34:46 PM »

Oh - one more thing - make sure you have the appropriate profile selected in Color Management Preferences.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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saiguy

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2018, 10:10:52 PM »

Thanks Mark and others. Surprising that so many slides can collectively fade over time, if that is what is happening. Have to deal with what I have. Using an Ektachrome profile as it is a color positive. I'll use the SF8 as best I can to get a good start scan for further tweaks.

Appreciate all input,
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Garnick

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2018, 07:47:58 AM »

I too am of the opinion that these examples are faded Ektachrome or equivalents maybe dating early 60’s. 

The processing may have been E2 or E3 and would have had an effect on the stability of the dyes as would the care taken in the processing stages.  In any case the reddish cast is typical of the fading of dyes with this process

I agree as far as E2 is concerned, but E3 was definitely better, IF all of the steps were adhered to as necessary, and of course E4 was another step up.  In the late 90s I was in charge of a Kodak Q-Lab for process E6, which was a very in depth and comprehensive procedure.  Controls run and analyzed every morning, as well as chemical testing and finessing as necessary.  It was a very intensive procedure, but it certainly kept the E6 process online and gave our customers confidence that the output was exactly as expected.  We were also audited by Kodak every three or four months to make sure the process was well within their parameters.  The Q-Lab certification brought in more business due to the very stable E6 process, which also had a positive effect on the rest of our services. 

I do agree that the OP's example is likely a rather old and faded Ektachrome.  Of course Kodachrome was also prone to fading to some extent, even though Kodak had very strict controls for Kodachrome processing labs.  However, with the proper tools and time one can often recover much of the colour and detail in such situations.

Gary         
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TonyW

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2018, 09:30:30 AM »

I agree as far as E2 is concerned, but E3 was definitely better, IF all of the steps were adhered to as necessary, and of course E4 was another step up.  In the late 90s I was in charge of a Kodak Q-Lab for process E6, which was a very in depth and comprehensive procedure.  Controls run and analyzed every morning, as well as chemical testing and finessing as necessary.  It was a very intensive procedure, but it certainly kept the E6 process online and gave our customers confidence that the output was exactly as expected.  We were also audited by Kodak every three or four months to make sure the process was well within their parameters.  The Q-Lab certification brought in more business due to the very stable E6 process, which also had a positive effect on the rest of our services. 

I do agree that the OP's example is likely a rather old and faded Ektachrome.  Of course Kodachrome was also prone to fading to some extent, even though Kodak had very strict controls for Kodachrome processing labs.  However, with the proper tools and time one can often recover much of the colour and detail in such situations.

Gary       
Interesting, I think even with the E4 process the film and process combined to make a not really stable system as far as longevity concerned certainly compared to the complex system that was Kodachrome.  E6 improved on this but still not up to Kodachrome life expectancy.

I was professionally involved with setting up colour labs also including C41, E6, R14 and print systems including the setting of QC systems.  Some of the larger labs ran several high volume processors running many tracks at 30+ ft per minute with developer tanks holding 1500-2000 litres and replenished being mixed in volumes of 500 litres.  The largest employing a full time technician whose job was to monitor and maintain machine chemistry processing control strips at regular intervals during the day and any time corrective action applied. 
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Garnick

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2018, 11:59:45 AM »

Interesting, I think even with the E4 process the film and process combined to make a not really stable system as far as longevity concerned certainly compared to the complex system that was Kodachrome.  E6 improved on this but still not up to Kodachrome life expectancy.

I was professionally involved with setting up colour labs also including C41, E6, R14 and print systems including the setting of QC systems.  Some of the larger labs ran several high volume processors running many tracks at 30+ ft per minute with developer tanks holding 1500-2000 litres and replenished being mixed in volumes of 500 litres.  The largest employing a full time technician whose job was to monitor and maintain machine chemistry processing control strips at regular intervals during the day and any time corrective action applied.

Hi Tony,

My experience dates back to 1968 when I started working in a custom colour lab in Toronto, Canada.  I was there for almost 6 years, managing the last year and a half.  Handled E3, in which we cooked every format from 35mm to 11x14 tranies.  A lot of work for Sears and Eatons catalogues then.  The fellow I worked was a Rube Goldberg sort of guy, always inventing a better way to get things done, including building some his own processing equipment.  Very interesting times indeed.  We certainly didn't handle the sort of volume you describe, but it definitely kept us busy.  Of course we ran C41, E3 and some R14.  Also an AutoPan machine for the large display trans on Ansco film, which was also processed in E3 chemistry I believe(it's been a long time).  A second AutoPan for large prints, and a 24" Keonite for the smaller prints.  I guess that's about all I can remember clearly.  Since 1974 I've operated my own one-man lab for professional photogs, mostly just printing and C41 processing, until stepping into digital in 2003.  Until I moved my business home in Feb. last year I was running a 9900 printer, but stepped back to a P7000(24") here.  Not doing much work here, but at least I have the printer I wanted.  Well, it seems we have hijacked this thread long enough now I suspect.  Sometime reminiscing can be cathartic, and sometimes not.   

Thanks for the conversation Tony.

Gary       



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LuLa - The source of ALL! -- "There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept" -- Ansel Adams
Even though a big part of my life has been spent dealing with negatives, they generally end up being positives -- gan

langier

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2018, 01:06:09 PM »

Just triaged my late friend's photo collection. The Kodachrome from the 1940s and 1950s made the test of time color-wise for the most part, but the Drewerycolor, Ektachrome (Probably E2, E3) and other chromogenic transparencies didn't fare quite as well. Many have faded to the ruby (grapefruit) red that sounds like what is described here, basically the drastic fading of the cyan dye layer. In the late 1970s early 1980s when this first cropped up, Kodak had a solution with procedures and techniques to copy the fading work onto newer film stocks to at least start the fading over again. About the same time, probably mid 1980s, the newer film stocks for cinema that were created to be more environmentally friendly (and this went for other products) stared having issues, opening a new can of worms...

Anyway, jump to the 1990s, Kodak had some neat software that I think was part of the Epson scanners from Applied Science Fiction that figured out the color fading issues and fixed it magically. Alas, APS was sold but I think similar software exists from Silverfast today. Otherwise, it's a matter of doing a Google search to find what techniques others have used, perhaps even something on Youtube...

Sometimes this will bring back the colors of the image reasonably well, other times, what you get is what you get. If the image is more important or dear than the colors, simply make it grayscale and be done with in. In any case, remember the issue of digital rot and print it out on good paper with good pigments and start the clock anew.
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John Nollendorfs

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2018, 01:13:05 PM »

Since  they are "store bought" slides, my guess is they were "print slides"  made from a master negative, and printed on C-22, or C41 processed print film stock like motion pictures were distributed.  The "red mask" is the result of fading, just like what you see from prints from the 60's and 70's. Kodak recognized the problem of fading slides and developed the E-6 slide process and film in the mid 1970's, (Kodachrome was considered the fade free champion) Kodak claimed E-6 films were nearly as fade free as Kodachromes.
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Garnick

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2018, 01:57:54 PM »

Since  they are "store bought" slides, my guess is they were "print slides"  made from a master negative, and printed on C-22, or C41 processed print film stock like motion pictures were distributed.  The "red mask" is the result of fading, just like what you see from prints from the 60's and 70's. Kodak recognized the problem of fading slides and developed the E-6 slide process and film in the mid 1970's, (Kodachrome was considered the fade free champion) Kodak claimed E-6 films were nearly as fade free as Kodachromes.

Hi John,

You're bringing back some old memories.  Many moons ago I used the Kodak C22/C41 'Print Film', but I'm wracking my feeble brain to remember the actual name of that product.  As you mentioned, it was/is widely used in the motion picture industry for 'printing' movies from Negative film stock.  I used it to produce slides from colour negs and it worked quite well for what it was.  As I recall, it was rather grainy, but I could be mistaken about that.  Funny how lost memories are kindled by one small bit of information.  Albeit, not quite enough info it would seem.  I also have a somewhat broken memory of a couple of Kodachrome labs in the U.S. that 'developed' a rather bad reputation for producing slides that had a propensity for fading after just a few years.  I believe Kodak finally closed them down eventually, but cannot say for sure, but of course all of that is moot now.  Here in Canada there were three Kodachrome labs, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver I believe.  It was when Kodak introduced the Q-Lab certification that they tagged Ektachrome-E6 as being in the same category as Kodachrome in the fade parade.  As I write, some old memories start to manifest themselves, so I think it's time to stop writing  ;)

NOTE:  I just Googled 'Kodak Print Film', and apparently that is the name of the film we were referring to and I had forgotten.  I suppose 'Print' refers to the term 'Print It', as used by the director to commit a segment to a final print.  Hey, sounds good enough for me. 

Gary   

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LuLa - The source of ALL! -- "There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept" -- Ansel Adams
Even though a big part of my life has been spent dealing with negatives, they generally end up being positives -- gan

Telecaster

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2018, 05:00:51 PM »

My dad's Kodachromes from the 1950s & '60s have held up very well. Mine from the 1980s look like I just got 'em back from Kodak.

This one is 57 years old. Besides level-ing & color balancing the re-photograph of it (Olympus E-M5 + 60mm macro) and then desaturating a bit it's unedited.

-Dave-
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2018, 08:17:14 PM »

My dad's Kodachromes from the 1950s & '60s have held up very well. Mine from the 1980s look like I just got 'em back from Kodak.

This one is 57 years old. Besides level-ing & color balancing the re-photograph of it (Olympus E-M5 + 60mm macro) and then desaturating a bit it's unedited.

-Dave-

So if Kodachrome has such a reputation for standing the test of time why did they switch to Ektachrome?

Dave, so how well did your '61 baby shot clean up from editing?

I gave it a go in ACR and looks like it fixes up pretty well, but it required a lot of back and forth tweaks to HSL, Split tone and white balance.
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Telecaster

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2018, 12:30:56 AM »

Dave, so how well did your '61 baby shot clean up from editing?

I haven't really tried to "neutralize" it as it was shot via tungsten flash bulb on standard Kodachrome. Instead I just desaturated a bit. (The re-photograph goosed the reds beyond the original too.) It is what it is.  :)  My dad sometimes used Type A (tungsten balanced) with flash, but this one was a one-off at the end of a roll.

-Dave-
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TonyW

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2018, 04:54:01 AM »

So if Kodachrome has such a reputation for standing the test of time why did they switch to Ektachrome?
...
I think the simplest answer was competition and in a word Fuji.
In reality I would say that a number of reasons:
  • Complex processing initially only done by Kodak until a legal ruling made Kodak open the process to other labs.  Still a complex process and not all prepared to invest in another specialised processing line.

  • Fujichrome and Kodak Ektachrome used the simpler E6 process eroding demand for Kodachrome.  As an example I could get E6 film processed in several pro labs in the city at least 4 times per day meaning I could take a test sheet for processing and assess the labs quality control by examining the film before committing to processing the real deal.  In spite of claims of specialised QC you could find variance in film processing running from slight magenta to slightly too blue (these should normally have been checked in QC and chemicals added to balance the process!).  In contrast there was nowhere locally equipped to handle Kodachrome.

  • Archival stability for Kodachrome in particular applies to dark storage.  Its colour stability not as good as some other films when exposed to light e.g. projection.  Other manufacturers film fading characteristics under these conditions much higher.

Probably many more reasons could be added.  There was a rumour, I think last year, that Kodak Alaris were considering reintroducing Kodachrome.  I suspect that due to the specialised processing this not likely to happen, I would be happy to be wrong though!

FYI a little more detail: http://www.wilhelm-research.com/pdf/HW_Book_18_of_20_HiRes_v1c.pdf
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 05:10:48 AM by TonyW »
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Garnick

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2018, 09:08:03 AM »

Hi Tony,

"In spite of claims of specialised QC you could find variance in film processing running from slight magenta to slightly too blue (these should normally have been checked in QC and chemicals added to balance the process!)."  Yes, I know exactly what you mean, and if that was a Kodak Q-Lab they were simply not abiding by the parameters set out by Kodak.  In 1995 I put my lab business into hibernation and took a job managing another lab in town.  They were not doing as much custom work as I was, but I brought along all of my customers as well, which required a few changes in my new surroundings.  That was also part of the deal.  Now to the E6 process.  It had been probably 20 years since I had done any Chrome processing, and that was E3.  The lab I moved to was running a Noritsu E6 machine for processing up to medium format Chromes.  Since I had a lot of work to do when I first landed there, it was probably a month or more before I had time to address the E6 process.  I had at least done some reading to catch up to some extent.  One day I asked the fellow 'in charge' of the E6 line to show me his graphs/plots of the process.  Well, the absent look on his face told me everything I needed to know, so we went from there.  When I asked how he managed the E6 line he said he would read the control strip and check the numbers on the densitometer.  Obviously he had no idea of the history of his process, so I immediately found some graph paper I had brought along and began to plot the E6 numbers to see what was happening.  Even though the control strips were close to expiry, it was very obvious that the process was at least a stop and a half overcooked.  When I asked the fellow supposedly in charge he said they would simply tell their E6 customers to adjust their exposure accordingly.  At that point I imagine the look on my face told him everything HE needed to know.  After running more control strips and diluting the first developer a bit I approached the owner and told him that I needed to do some emergency surgery on the E6 line.  I then made sure all of the racks were timed properly, as well as all chemicals at the proper temperature etc.  That was about all I could do at that point, but after a week of work I at least had the process back to where we could tell our E6 customers to exposure their Chromes as indicated by the ISO number.  About a month later I found myself at one of the Kodak buildings in Toronto for a four day Q-Lab seminar.  Of course I was the only one there who had no experience with Q-Lab other that what I had read before I joined the group.  I asked if they might perhaps forgive me for posing so many questions and they were all very understanding.  Made it through the seminar and then one of the techs(John Ball) spent a day and a half with me at the lab, going through all of the procedures required to operate a Q-Lab.  In 2000 I resurrected my own business in a building owned by another photofinishing company in town and of course they knew I had experience with the E6 process.  About a year later they decided to get into the Q-Lab business and bought a used Noritsu E6 processor, with which I was very familiar.  I helped them set up the Q-Lab and ran the process for a couple of months and then trained one of their staff to run it, since  I also had my own business to take care of.  After they were certified I also helped them with the process on several occasions, until digital caught on and the E6 process was phasing out. 

Oh my, I did get carried away again, didn't I?  As I mentioned earlier, once I start writing, the memories start flooding in.  I do apologize for such a long story, but of course it's up to the reader to bail out at any time.

One note about Fujichrome.  I recall back in the days when I was making 4x5 internegs to print enlargements from Chromes, the Fiji Chromes were always a pain in the nether regions.  For a few years they couldn't seem to get rid of the green cast in the D-Max.  None of the Kodak products exhibited this issue, but whenever I got a Fujichrome to print I would always make sure the customer would loupe the slide and make them understand that their deep shadows would carry a green cast to some extent.  Eventually Fuji did fix that, after complaints from various sources, but until then it was not a good situation.

P.S.  When I worked at the Toronto lab we had many shooters who would use the same routine you mentioned, have us process a 'test' trannie, take a good peek and then process the rest of the job.  Or, shoot one trannie and process.  Occasionally if there might be slight colour cast the photographer could add a CC filter to accommodate and shoot the rest of the job and get it in for processing the same day if possible. 

Again, my apologies -  :-[

Gary           

     


« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 02:11:07 PM by Garnick »
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LuLa - The source of ALL! -- "There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept" -- Ansel Adams
Even though a big part of my life has been spent dealing with negatives, they generally end up being positives -- gan

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2018, 03:42:02 PM »

I'm actually quite enthralled with the history of film processing outlined in this thread. Real world anecdotes from experienced professionals I find to be the most interesting and reliable. There's a lot of meat to chew on here since I used to work a darkroom as a prepress production tech for commercial printers. And I do think everyone has been on topic considering this is a discussion on why the OP has issues with ruby red color positive film.

I'm bookmarking this thread because the next time someone reminisces about the good ol' film days I'm going to send them here. Fortunately for LuLa in the last 3 or so years I'm not coming across a lot of discussions on this.

One last nagging issue with Kodachrome I've had concerning its early application in the '30's & '40's when the government sent out photographers to shoot rural and working class America now seen in large format Kodachromes on Shorpy is... who was meant to see and enjoy these images if it was so expensive and complicated to implement?

I mean if it weren't for the internet and Shorpy and Library Of Congress I would never have seen this high quality of Kodachromes outside the typical low quality family photos I've seen from amateurs and hobbyists.
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Garnick

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2018, 04:12:14 PM »

One thing I haven't mentioned here about Kodachrome is the 'Fungus' issue.  Yes indeed, it certainly does exist and has been well documented.  If any of you good folks have a library of Kodachromes, you might want to take a peek at some of them.  Or, perhaps not.  I recall reading about this quite a few years ago, but don't recall the reason for it happening, if indeed the actual reason was known.  I do recall that Kodachrome seemed to be more inclined to develop fungus than most films.  I recently did an audit of some my old Kodachromes 60s & 70s vintage and didn't see the issue there, but anything older might show it.  I have seen it a few of times in slides I had to scan for customers, and it was not a good sight.  In one case I asked the customer if he had a lot of chromes, and if so could I get one that he might not want any longer.  He did supply me with one and I tried every method I could think of to reduce the fungus enough to get a decent scan, but with no success.  Had the fungus been on the base I imagine it could be removable, but on/in the emulsion it's a useless endeavour in my experience.

Gary   
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 04:16:25 PM by Garnick »
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LuLa - The source of ALL! -- "There's nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept" -- Ansel Adams
Even though a big part of my life has been spent dealing with negatives, they generally end up being positives -- gan

saiguy

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2018, 08:29:07 PM »

Yes, fungus in the film is terrible. I think iSRD Dust & Scratch removal is useless there because it is not ON the film, but IN the film. Not only Kodachromes but Ektachromes too.

I am happy to learn why the slides are red. And learned so much more as well.

I have not found any film cleaner that works well or even at all. My Dad had a bottle of a Kodak product that got banned for toxicity. Maybe shelf life is way gone but all it would do is give me a headache. If there is food like stuff the cleaners just smear it around.
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Telecaster

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2018, 09:14:38 PM »

I went though my dad's whole *stash of Kodachromes in 2013 and didn't see any evidence of fungus. But they've been kept all along in a dry & dark place (assuming this helps). The oldest boxes date to 1956: ASA 12, or a whopping 16 for Type A!

-Dave-

*Not counting those in the possession of a cousin in Scotland…my dad took 'em along on his final visit, in the late '80s, and left 'em there.
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