Yesterday I was reminded of just how fragile and prone to nasties  film is, and how (despite some shortcomings) easy digital files are to work with. I was scanning some old glass mounted slides of my family from the sixties through to the nineties, and all of them needed work.

Some were badly damaged by fungus – a left over of a household flood – and still others rom a period being stored in the original non-archival slide holders.  All of them were dirty (and they have all been stored in clear plastic holders in filing cabinets.

The Agfachromes (thankfully not many) had faded almost to non-existence while the Kodachromes and most of the Ektachromes are as good as the day they were processed, so far as color is concerned. Those that I scanned came up fine except to make they acceptable for printing I spent hours spotting and brushing out dags of one sort and another. Hardest to deal with were the spider-web like fungus damage.

The black and white and negatives were not damaged nor as dirty, being stored in closely fitting neg sleeves. So I checked some transparencies that were not mounted and still stored in sleeves and they too were unmarked. So in future I’ll forgo mounting and treat transparencies just like negatives. No mounts, just good old-fashioned sleeves.

Or buy an up-to-date scanner with Digital Ice to minimise the spotting.


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