Fungus?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by John Orrell, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. John Orrell

    John Orrell TPF Noob!

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    Been going through a lot of my dad's old transparencies from when I was a child, some dating back as much as 30-odd years. I'm really disappointed to see that some are succombing to what I'm guessing are fungus attacks, indentified by random blue dots on the slides. I assume this is irreversible on the slides which have already been effected, but how can I prevent it from getting worse? The slides are stored in a warm but dry environment (in boxes of slide-trays on my wardrobe in my bedroom). I don't want these treasured photos to disappear before my very eyes :(

    The worst-effected slides are those which haven't been glass-mounted. Would I be wise to clean all the slides with isopropyl alcohol and glass-mount the lot? It could take me a while: there's about 1,500 of them!
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Obviously your storage environment is not as dry as you think. Fungus needs some humidity in order to grow. Your best course of action would be to get a dessicant and dry out the slides to stop the fungus doing further damage.
    The damage that has already been caused is irreversible, I believe.
    The silica gel sachets you get with cameras and electronic equipment are ideal. Dry them by putting them on a warm radiator overnight. Put the slides in sealable Tuperware boxes with several gel sachets. Seal the lids and then tape the boxes inside plastic bags. This will dry the air in the boxes and stop the fungus spreading - it will go into hibernation.
    Don't do any cleaning of any slides with alcohol or anything else. And don't mount them in glass.
    Check the slides in the boxes after the first 6 months and then once a year and dry out the sachets before re-sealing.
    You may wish to use a lab to make duplicates of the most badly affected slides. A better approach would be to buy a good neg scanner and put them on to CD's.
    You may find more information about storage in these PDF files. Both links will directly down-load them.
    www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/products/techInfo/e30/e30Contents.shtml
    www.wilhelm-research.com/pdf/HW_Book_18_of_20_HiRes_v1a.pdf

    **Edit** Just checked and the only information I can specifically find is regarding motion picture stock. It will hold true for slide film though.
    Kodak recommend careful cleaning to remove the fungus. They make no recommendation as to cleaning solution other than it should not be alcohol based.
    Do remember if you decide to clean the film first - all cleaning methods tend to cause film damage, usually in the form of microscopic abrasions.
    Try your cleaning technique out on an expendable slide and check it for damage under magnification.
     
  3. John Orrell

    John Orrell TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick reply & the advice.

    All the slides are in slide-trays: http://www.precision-camera.com/graphics/173856.jpg

    ...as they are stored ready to display as AV slideshows sync'd to music on CDs. Could I just not get away with putting some silica-gel sachets in the trays, because otherwise it will be one hell of a bind everytime I want to show any of them?
     
  4. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Yes, but you will still need to seal the carousels in plastic bags to isolate them from the more humid outside air.
    Or perhaps they might fit in those round Tupperware cake boxes?
    Plastic bags are the cheaper option, though.
     
  5. John Orrell

    John Orrell TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! Looks like I'm only looking for something to kill off the existing fugi then. I did find one website by a chap who's had good results using Tolnaftate, of all things (http://dermatology.cdlib.org/DOJvol8num2/correspondence/fungus/sugathan.html) but that sounds a bit severe to me, and he hasn't stated what the long term effects of using such as drastic substance are.
     
  6. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another source of silica gel is a large sporting goods store. They sell and 5 lb. packages for use in gun safes. It's very reasonable in price. I use this in my camera locker. To recharge (dry out) the larger packages, place in the over at 175-200 degrees F. for a couple of hours. It can easily be repackaged in 1 -2 oz. baggies. These bulk packs have a little humidity indicator that turns pink when they need recharged. Goof luck.
     

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