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Author Topic: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?  (Read 4634 times)

TonyW

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2018, 10:52:29 AM »

Hi Gary,
Yes, I think the problem was that some/many labs paid lip service to Quality Control and did not run QC correctly.  That is it seemed to me that they missed the whole point of QC being to identify processing trends heading towards Action Limits and then taking measures to stop the process before it became noticeable and going out of Control limits. 

Instead what seemed to happen is they only looked properly when a system was out of control and obviously having a noticeable affect on image quality i.e. trying to bolt the stable door after the horse has bolted.  The consequences of this type of reaction was at best to cost a lot of time trying to bring a system back into control at worst, financially at least, having to dump chemistry and start afresh.

Kodak had a good idea promoting Q labs however what they actually did was no different to what most pro labs were doing maintaining proper control of the various processes by a proper QC system in place and that system being used on a daily (several times) basis to identify system anomolies and to take corrective action before problems seen in the process run.  Basically being proactive rather than reactive.

Never used Fujichrome back in the day it was always Ektachrome 5x4 usually but occassionally Full Plate or even 10"x8" - never 35mm.  If memory serves Fuji did 'improve' the chromes by increasing D-Max in the Red and Green areas, thereby eliminating the poor response of earlier film?

As to fungus with Kodachrome I agree it does/did seem to be more of a problem than E6 processed film.   Seems the little blighters find the gelatin in Kodachrome to be much more flavoursome than other brands - that of course is my highly scientific theory without any real evidence to corroborate  ;).

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.
I believe some of the images were meant to be seen by the public and sold for advertising etc.  Ansel Adams for instance was commissioned for commercial assignments for the national parks and while he did extensive B&W work also often took  pictures in colour.  I understand (although never seen them - before my time!) that Standard Oil (Esso) purchased rights to some of them to promote driving in America.

Grand Central terminal featured some of his colour work in huge transparancies although I am not clear on the actual process I assume Kodachrome
https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2010/07/28/128831822/colorama

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.
Yes, if the fungus has eaten its way into the film then there is little you can do to clean it off and any dirt and scratch removal will not really offer much help and in that case you will have to resort to Photoshop magic to obliterate the offending marks and replace with friendly pixels

Kodachrome film contains silver like conventional B&W film.  Silver reflects infrared light therefore ICE, iSRD not suitable for dust and scratch removal. 

Digital ICE Professional however is claimed to overcome the limitations of these two forms of dust and scratch removal.  I believe Silverfast is able to handle dust and scratch removal with its own system depending on the scanner being able to support the features.

If you have not already tried PEC solution and PEC 12 pads may help in cleaning.

See Gary you are not the only one that can get carried away  :)
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MHMG

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2018, 11:33:02 AM »

First time trying to send a photo attachment. Hope it works.

The attachment shows what the "red" cast is, namely:

This is early "EktaChrome" or off-brand comparable slide/transparency film that was developed in older EktaChrome processes like E1-E4, and it is exhibiting severe heat-induced (thermal) fading of the dyes, which often manifests as a severe color shift towards reddish colorcast.  The thermal stability of the cyan dye in dark storage (i.e., not exposed to light) was far worse than the magenta and yellow dyes in these early EktaChrome-class materials. Hence, slides and transparencies processed with the early Ektrachrome processing chemistry "dark fade" towards a strong red color cast whereas slides suffering from too much light exposure caused by frequent projection fade towards a cyanish-green color cast because the magenta and yellow dyes, while having superior dark stability compared to the cyan dye, had less light fastness.  More modern E6 EktaChrome-class materials exhibit much better dark fade and light fade resistance than earlier EktaChrome type films, albeit their dark storage stability is still not as good as Kodachrome. Off-brands sold and often used to make vacation souvenirs for purchase by the public typically show even worse fading in amateur film collections because both off-brand film quality and the development process control quality suffered more. 

Best practice for long term storage for all film types still requires cold and moderately dry storage conditions (ideally freezer storage), not only to slow dye fading but also to prevent acetate film base decay (i.e. the so-called vinegar syndrome).  Because many amateur film collections have been kept for decades at typical ambient room temperature or higher, or in cooler but damp basements where mould can grow and eat into the emulsion layers, folks attempting to digitize these older materials often run into images that exhibit severe color casts from dye fading, acetate base deterioration (where film base smells awful and is often no longer flat), or worse yet, mould damage to the emulsion layer making the image more difficult to digitally restore compared to films showing moderate to severe color casts but no mould damage.

Kodachrome has a deserved reputation for much superior long term storage at ambient temperatures because Kodachrome dyes were not formed during processing like EktaChrome type films. Kodachrome dyes were added to the emulsion in a much more complex processing process that only large scale labs designated by Eastman Kodak could undertake. Kodachrome slides have excellent thermal stability but less light fade resistance than Ektachrome. However, most amateur slides only see brief exposure to the light of a slide projector. Hence, early Kodachrome slides are as a general rule in much better overall condition than early Ektachrome films.

Hence, your reddish slide is going to need digital restoration techniques to try to re-establish both proper color balance and image contrast. There are any number of articles on the internet on the topic of "restoring faded color slides", and some scanner software has some of the color and contrast balancing methodologies built in. That said, at the end of the day, a severely faded slide may just have to be scanned and digitally converted to a B&W image with the contrast boosted to extract the original tonality, then hand colored if need be after that.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 11:37:12 AM by MHMG »
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saiguy

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2018, 04:59:53 PM »

Mark,  The photos on your web site are stunning. I hope many viewers can benefit from your expert post.

Many of the reddish slides were shot in India in the 50's & 60's. They would have been stored there in high heat, high humidity conditions, more or less dependent on where in the country they were kept. They were gifted to my friend for whom I am scanning them now probably 1980 about. Since then kept in St. Louis MO. USA in dark room temperature.

They are plastered with mold/fungus or whatever it is. Think I just try to clean up sky areas and obvious blobs where it really jumps out at you. If some important shot he wants printed, you know the hours it would take to try to get something decent.

It's a great work you are doing,
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TonyW

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Re: Scanning ruby red color positive film. Any suggestions?
« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2018, 01:34:23 PM »

....
They are plastered with mold/fungus or whatever it is. Think I just try to clean up sky areas and obvious blobs where it really jumps out at you. If some important shot he wants printed, you know the hours it would take to try to get something decent.
...
Not too clear why you think it may take hours to get a decent result.  It will depend on how much clean up of fungus but as far as colour goes and IF there remains at least some dye structure in the film then restoration during scanning of this aspect should not take long at all.

Quick and dirty example Gevacolor transparancy (nearly 60 years old) processing similar to early Ektachrome (I think) this film process paid like Kodachrome.  Epson scan with tweaks to the histogram after preview and prior to the scan and auto color restoration applied yielding a good start for any clean up work in PS.  Silverfast may offer you even greater advantages
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