Storage of Slides.Cine film and photos

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by pamyb, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. pamyb

    pamyb TPF Noob!

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    Hi
    I am moving into a flat with limited space and I need to store my collection of slides, old cine film and photos. They will have to be stored in a garage or loft :grumpy:

    Can anyone help me regards storage. I know the temperature is the one thing that is important as well as damp.

    These are very previous to me.

    I suppose the answer is to have them put on DVD -if that is the case does anyone recommend anything I could buy and also what software.

    I have a Mac as well as a windows XP laptop.

    Many thanks
    Pam:D
     
  2. JamesMason

    JamesMason TPF Noob!

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    Yea i would scan them and store them on a dvd and external drive. How many do you have ? Cost and practicaitly can be an issue when there is a lot of em

    you could also put them in a self storage place
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    If the images are really valuable to you I would recommend that you take a dual approach:

    1. Get some very good archival storage materials to store the originals.
    Recommended sources:
    Light Impressions: Light Impressions
    PrintFile: Print File - Archival storage supplies, photo storage boxes, acid free albums, d

    2. "Backup" the originals. Get a good scanner, scan the originals, and archive at least two copies of the scans. My scan archive has pairs of files. One PSD format file, for full quality printing and editing, and JPEG file, for easy viewing.

    Temperature and humidity are important considerations. Unairconditionaled lofts and any garages are horrible choices for image storage unless you live in a very cold dry climate.
     
  4. cooltouch

    cooltouch TPF Noob!

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    I'm faced with a similar situation -- archiving my images, at least. To do this, I bought a good scanner and a slide duplicator. The scanner is an Epson 4990 that I bought second-hand. It will scan 35mm negs and slides, medium and large format. The duplicator is an Opteka. It attaches to the front of a lens. I've been using it to dupe slides with my crop-body DSLR, and it actually works very well. The dupes are sharper than the scans I get with my Epson. I can also dupe my slides faster than I can scan them with my Epson, and that can become important if you have a lot of slides to scan -- like I do.

    I've posted a report here, showing the sort of results I got using three different digitizing methods:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...negs-digital-whats-worked-me.html#post1709011

    I have read recently that many folks prefer not to archive their image files to CD or DVD, claiming that they don't last more than 2 or 3 years. Hmmm, that's the method I've been using -- archiving to DVD. This seems strange to me. I have music CDs that are over 20 years old, computer software on CD that's almost that old, and movie DVDs that are 8 or 9 years old, and they all still work.

    Anyway, these folks prefer to store their work on hard drives. Terrabyte drives being as cheap as they are now, this seems like a viable way to go. Others back their files up to the internet to places like Smugmug. Still others do both -- hard drive and Internet.

    So, there are options available. Which way you go is really up to you. But as for storing your originals, I would say it's best to keep them with you because chances are wherever you live will be environmentally controlled, or find an air-conditioned storage facility.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Thanks for the look at what has worked for you Michael...the old Yashica Mat did a good job back in the day, and the Epson scan of the plane's propeller and engine looked great!

    A question about the Opteka slide duplicator...I looked at their web page,and $59.99 seems like a good deal for an off the shelf solution. I have a question though: the Opteka web site mentions *their* optics...does the Opteka have some type of glass element in it? I mean, it looks like it is designed to mount to the filter threads of a lens, like say maybe a 70mm Sigma Macro or a 90mm macro, or a zoom lens. I would prefer if it used no factory-supplied optics; can you clarify how the Opteka works for us?

    I have a zillion old Kodachromes, which do not scan very well compared with E-6 slide stock,and it seems like it would be hugely faster to slide dupe onto a good d-slr. Was your work done with an APS-C body? And how much of the slide image can you get and at what focal length range or lens reproduction ratio was the Opteka useful for you?
     
  6. Randall Ellis

    Randall Ellis TPF Noob!

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    Many people will contribute anecdotal evidence for the stability of CDs and DVDs, which is fine, for them, but that's all it is - anecdotal evidence. Go to the library and research what archivists have found about these storage media and you will see that there are a large number of factors that can impact their lifespan. You will also find that opinions vary about lifespan even under ideal conditions, but generally speaking, the lifespan of a transparency is still considered greater than that of a CD or even of a DVD. Unless you have millions of slides, 8mm reels, etc. you should be able to stow them under the bed in archival storage products. My personal recommendation is Archival Methods since we're throwing out vendor names.

    Scanning these media are certainly fine, but know that loss can occur with this method as well no matter how well cared for. If you do digitize them, try to get the highest quality scan and the best quality storage media that you can afford - I strongly recommend against relying on bulk CDs or DVDs for this purpose, they are the lowest quality of materials and have fared the worst in professional testing in most every report that I've read. You should also consider something other than local physical media for storage. Storing images on a professionally managed remote host (storage server) often provides far greater reliability of electronic files than any form of local storage. What ever your course of action, you should take a moment to read this, from the Library of Congress. It will introduce you to the basics of caring for physical media...

    - Randy
     
  7. cooltouch

    cooltouch TPF Noob!

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    Hi Derrel,

    Glad you liked the scan from the old Yashica Mat. It was a great camera. Like a dolt, I sold it when I bought a Rolleiflex Automat. Honestly, I think the Yashica took better pictures. Gonna have to get me another one soon.

    About the Opteka, first of all, I bought mine on eBay from 47th St. Photo. They were a few bucks cheaper than Amazon. It was about $50. I just dropped in at eBay to have a look, then Amazon, and there are no Opteka duplicators on eBay currently, and Amazon has only a few leftover ones. Another one that's still common on eBay is the Bower model. Which in retrospect, I wish I would have gotten because it appears to be more flexible -- it can be adapted to take film strips, for one thing, which the Opteka I bought could not do.

    All slide duplicators that I know of, whether they take a T-mount or mount to the front of a lens, have at least one optical element. The Opteka's element is multicoated, and is glass. It would be possible to eliminate the element, but it would require about 6" or so of extension tube for the lens I use. I also tried it with my manual focus Tamron 90mm macro lens (with adapter for EOS), and it still would need about 6" or so of extension tubes to get into focusing range.

    The Opteka element can be used by itself attached to the front of the lens as a 10x close-up lens. Same is true with the Bower. It appears to be a high-quality optic. If any image degradation is occurring because of the element, it must not be all that much because the Opteka gives me sharper images than the Epson 4990.

    Yeah, the DSLR I used was APS-C -- aka a 1.6x crop body. Canon XS (1000D). Being a 10.1mp camera, it renders images from 35mm that are about 3900x2500 pixels, which roughly corresponds to a bit better than 2400dpi scans.

    I've used two Canon EF lenses for duping: an old EF 35-80, which was a kit lens that came with the original 35mm Rebel, and a 28-80 USM, which was the kit lens that came with the Elan II/IIe. They're nothing special as far as lenses go, but they produce sharp images. I'm sure a better quality lens, like the 24-105L, would produce nicer ones.

    Anyway, I have found that to produce a full-frame image with my 1.6x crop body camera, I have to set the lens's focal length at slightly less than 80mm -- maybe 75mm or so? Because my camera does not show the entire image frame in the viewfinder, it takes a bit of guesswork, but once I've established the correct focal length, I just leave it there.

    I have another duplicator that I bought off eBay -- it's a Cambron zoom duplicator, but the same unit can be found in a variety of brand names. Well made, and allows you to move the slide holder around to aid in cropping. This uses a T-mount, and as a result, I can't fit the full slide image in the frame (because of the 1.6x crop factor), but I have a number of slides that could use cropping anyway, and I've found this one very handy for that. It's basically the same as this one:

    Zoom Slide Duplicator by Kalt. T Mount. In box *unused* - eBay (item 380154934542 end time Oct-02-09 00:12:46 PDT)

    If you have a full-frame DSLR, one of these is the way to go.

    I have several thousand slides that I've been going through and digitizing, and I've found that the Opteka has speeded up this process immensely. I can dupe 6 to 8 slides per minute with the Opteka, compared to 1 slide every 2 minutes with my Epson.
     
  8. cooltouch

    cooltouch TPF Noob!

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    Hey Randall,

    Thanks for that link. This is a must-have bookmark.

    For sure, proper storage of ones photographic media is of the first order of importance. I have all my slides and negs stored in archival sheets, and I have them stored in hanging files in file boxes, and the boxes I have stored inside my house, where the temperature and humidity are controlled.

    I wanted to digitize my images, not just for archival purposes, but to have them more easily available for view and for possible stock photo sales (I've sold a few images as stock and hope to sell more). But I also don't have much money to spend on this, which is why I've gone the route I have, namely doing it myself.

    Remote storage of ones images is becoming more prevalent, and looks like a viable option. I would not feel comfortable relying on this sort of thing as my only digital backup, though. I've already been through one hosting service disk crash where all my data was lost, and don't want to repeat that experience.

    I'm curious what you mean by "bulk" CDs or DVDs -- do you mean off-brand stuff? The DVDs I'm using right now are Memorex. I bought them in a 100-pack, and while they were bought in bulk, I don't regard them as generic bulk.
     
  9. Randall Ellis

    Randall Ellis TPF Noob!

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    Brand names tend to fare better in professional testing, but there are media specifically designed for long term storage, and those are the ones to which I was referring. I'm not familiar enough with the current brands, but if you look around you should be able to find media that is specifically designed for long term data storage. Kodak used to make these, although they may no longer do so. The materials used were designed to be more resistant to the expected long term problems for this type of media. My specialty is physical photographic media (prints, negatives, glass plates, etc) so I'm not the most informed person to ask, but that may get you on the right track. So long as you have the originals, and can visually check them once a year, you should be fine no matter what media you use (just check your digital media annually for data loss and keep two copies of each disk on hand so that you can duplicate if its mate goes bad)...

    EDIT: A quick review of bookmarks yielded this link. Note the different levels of expected long-term reliability for each type of media...

    http://www.twocatdigital.com/archive.html

    - Randy
     

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