1. Kodachrome123

    Kodachrome123

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    Hello all - I’m new here. I have over a thousand of my dad's Kodachrome slides of mountains and rock climbing which I’m preparing for an exhibition. Many of them are over 20 years old and some go back to the late 50s early 60s and carry the evidence of their age in that there are hairs, smudges of grease and spidery like marks which might be a result of damp. My dad was careful about handling them so not much in the way of fingerprints thankfully. Does anyone have any advice on how to properly clean them. I have some high content alcohol liquid which I have used on a few slides I don’t need applied with a spectacle cleaner cloth. This seems to disturb the cardboard fibres of the slide holder and cause a ragged border round the edges when projected. Also where I can obtain proper lint free cloths for this purpose.

    I am choosing the ones I want for the exhibition and need to have them digitised. My scanner can only do 4 at a time and I have a thousand to do so ideally would like to have them done professionally. Jessops are pretty expensive - I think. It would cost over £600 to have a thousand slides digitised and cleaned so if anyone has any suggestions as to how to do this at less expense I would be grateful to know. My son says this would cost £200 if I sent them to Rumania to have them done but its a long way away and I’m not sure about this option.

    Could you also tell me how to post a picture via URL please. I don’t think I can bring a digitised picture from my Photos file.
     
  2. droj

    droj

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    Cleaning is one thing, scanning's another. I'd clean them myself for economy - and consider taking them out of the mounts (you'd have to cut the card) to do this more simply and effectively. Lens cloths (the main danger will be anything abrasive that will scratch the film)? Then re-mount them in clip-together plastic mounts (might be available s/h). You have a light box and a loupe for inspection purposes?

    The spidery growths will be fungal (mould). At worst it can etch into the image. At best it can be easily wiped off.

    I wouldn't send this irreplaceable resource off to Romania!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  3. Jao

    Jao

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    Hi there and welcome. I too have a large collection of slides, Kodachrome, Ektachrome and Agfa CT18. I have digitised them over a period of time. The one thing I have learned is that it is less damaging to clean the digital file than it is to clean the side it's self. It is very easy to damage the emulsion even with gentle cleaning. Given you are looking to exhibit some of this work I would be inclined to select the slides you want to exhibit ( I assume the images you are going to exhibit will be considerably less than 1000) and get those professionally scanned.

    Alternatively if you google cleaning Kodachrome you will find a lot of links, although many advise against cleaning, especially if damp has gotten into the coating.

    In terms of showing images on this forum, you need to have the original image in a third part hosting app such as Flikr or Photobucket and link the address through the little mountain scene icon at the top of the new post pane, the one to the right of the emoticon icon.

    Hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  4. ChrisR

    ChrisR

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    I'd echo the above re cleaning, adding that when I tried cleaning some 6*9 cm transparencies with IPA I found it pretty much impossible to get that particular gunk off. However, I'm not sure that demounting and remounting a thousand slides would be a task I'd undertake!

    Kodachromes are difficult to scan for a couple of reasons. One is they are sliver-based and so you can't use (or more accurately it's difficult to use) infra-red-based automated dust removal approaches. This means that repairing dame in post processing is more complicated. The second is that I understand they can scan with colour shifts, for reasons I don't fully understand.

    I have scanned a thousand or so mounted slides, around half of which were Kodachromes. I used a dedicated 35mm scanner (Plustek 7500i; the current version would start with an 8), and mostly the tricky but very powerful Silverfast software that comes with it (which has a specific setting for Kodachromes, and also the ability to mask off areas like sky where you can then apply infra-red dust removal). I hate the software and no longer use it, but it is certainly powerful.

    If you are selecting from your thousand slides, it will be very difficult to do them in their pre-scanned state (eg using a projector or one of those hand-held slide viewers). I think you'd need a decent light table and a loupe or magnifying glass. I decided to scan them all, and select post hoc, but I had time to do it over a year or so, doing a box over a couple of evenings while watching TV etc. However, prior to getting the Plustek, I had bought a cheap scanner, of a kind we usually don't recommend here, that scans onto SD cards. The advantage in your case is that it is very quick, as it's basically a 5 mp camera in a box. You can easily scan several boxes of slides per evening. The results will probably be awful as far as colour and so on is concerned, but it would give you a set of digital images from which you could make your selection for professional scanning. I'd strongly suggest using file names that link to any identifying information on the slide boxes to make the job of finding the selected slides later easier.

    If you have the DIY skills, there are examples around of projects where folk have set up their own rigs to photograph slides using a decent digital camera and a macro lens. You need a good white light source (some folk use a tablet screen displaying white, I think) and a mount of some kind to hold the camera exactly parallel to the slide.

    When you have a selection, have a good look around for companies that will do a professional job. I'm not sure anyone here has particular recommendations based on mounted slides they've had scnned, but if they do I'm sure they'll report them shortly. I've had transparency film cut into strips scanned by Photo Express, I think they charged about £5-6 for up to 40. I'd start with the providers mentioned in the Film Developing in the UK thread on here and check their web sites or ring them to ask if they offer this service. The other company I considered was Treasured Memories, but I didn't use them in the end so that's not a recommendation. (I decided that making a selection, then removing slides, sending them off to be scanned, then returning them to their proper place, was all too much hassle.)

    Oh, on adding images, if there's a file on your computer up to 1024 pixels across, you can use the "Upload a File" button at the bottom right when you are making a post like this one.

    Best of luck, and do please share some results with us if you can!

    EDIT, from their web site, Photo Express charge mounted slide scanning at £1 a slide for up to 10, 60p a slide for more than 60.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  5. Kodachrome123

    Kodachrome123

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    Many thanks for all replies to my questions. I have a mountain of queries but first off :

    Chris - I have an Epson Perfection V330 Photo scanner. How will this perform in replicating good images? Or maybe this is one you mentioned you wouldn’t recommend. Bated breath here. Yes I have been scanning 20 a day recently too and cataloguing them in files online. Drip drip gets it done.

    Droj - thanks. I don’t have a light box or a loupe which I hadn’t heard of but I’m learning. I do have a good magnifying glass on a fixed stem. This was my dad’s too so perhaps he used it for the same purpose. I also bought a great Kodak projector second hand with 3 carousels and this is how I view them all.

    Jao - I can’t see how I can clean a digital image. Can you elaborate please. Only an actual slide. I definitely don’t want to damage the emulsion on the slides though. I was told by an expert in a shop that Kodachrome film is three fine layers of light sensitive material, each picking up different colours. Amazing. But I expect you know that!!

    I’ll definitely share some of the images - spectacular - once I’ve got them on a third party hosting site. Ages ago I put some on Flickr but they must have updated their site and I can’t enter it now. Will investigate.
     
  6. ChrisR

    ChrisR

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    Plenty of guys here use older Epson flatbed scanners, and find them good enough, certainly for web use. The scanner is driven from the computer, and controlled by a program there; SilverFast was one, Epson Scan probably came with your scanner, and quite a few folk here (including me) use Vuescan Pro. The Epson 330 will definitely be good enough to get image to do your selection on. Depending on what you want for your exhibition (particularly size of print), it might even give you adequate resolution. Ignore the quoted resolution of 4800 dpi; the real resolution is probably less than half that. However, even 2000 dpi will give you a file you could make 8*10" prints from. Much larger prints, you definitely need better scans.

    With that scanner (and interpolating from what I know of other Epson flatbeds) there's a strong possibility you could set it up to scan 4 slides at a time, with the same settings for each slide of course. If you bought another slide holder, you could be unloading and loading one holder while scanning the other, which would definitely speed up throughput.

    Your fixed magnifying glass would almost certainly be good enough. You can use a tablet as a white box, or buy them quite cheaply on the evil bay.

    Cleaning a digital image is done in editing software like Photoshop Elements by using retouch and cloning "tools" in the software. It can be tedious, but you'd generally only do it for the selected few. You probably want to straighten wonky horizons, anyway!
     
  7. droj

    droj

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    Using the scanner you've got, as Chris said above really - workable but not the best (which would be a good film / slide scanner, but you'd be into the money for one of those). I'd dust each slide (on both sides!) immediately before scanning with a soft brush, or better, a blower brush (sold cheaply as lens brushes). And when actioning the scan, I'd use advanced mode in the scan software, and pay attention to setting levels to get the best tonal range from each slide - they will vary. This will maximise the results.

    It sounds like a worthwhile project. I wonder where you are geographically?
     
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  8. Jao

    Jao

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    Hi there, as Chris said, I meant cleaning up the digital file in photoshop. Using just the clone tool a lot of dirt and dust can be cleaned up. It is time consuming but you become quick and efficient quite quickly. I talk from experience! I have Slides going back 40 years but I have also scanned a cleaned ( in photoshop) the best of my father and my late father in laws slides.

    The best way to stop it being a daunting task though is to decide which slides are worth scanning, not all will be worth the effort. In the case of both my father and father laws slides we had several family slide shows with a projector and made some firm decisions about what to scan and what to just keep for projection. They were fun family events too!

    Going back to the issue of cleaning the slides themselves, the expert in a shop that you spoke to is only partially correct, the big difference between Kodachrome and other slide films was that Kodachrome had no dye couplers in the emulsion, these were added in the processing stage. Not having dye couplers in the film made for a very thin emulsion that gave fantastic clarity, colour and dynamic range. The down sides were that it took a very special process to develop the film and of most significance to your circumstance, the emulsion layer (with the image on it) is very thin and easy to damage.

    Hope this helps
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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