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Old Jul 31, 2008, 8:18 PM   #1
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I have a Pentax K10D DSLR and am throughly enjoying photgraphing things with it, but so far I have only transfered my images to my computer.

I realize I should store them on a CD in case of problems with the computer, but I'm not sure if a regular CD from Staples would do the trick, or do I need to get special CDs from say a camera shop to preserve the images exactly as I took them.

Also do CD's have a certain 'life' before they degrade, rendering the stored images unusable?

I'm a newbie at this digital image storage stuff, so would appreciate all the simplified help you could give me.

Thanks, Les
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Old Jul 31, 2008, 9:42 PM   #2
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TCav's rules for selecting blank CDs:
  1. Don't buy Store Brands. [/*]
  2. Don't buy anything that says "Made in USA."[/*]
And, yes, writeable (CD-R) and rewritable (CD-RW) CDs fade over time, but that time is several years. If you really want to keep your images secure, write the original images, and any that have undergone any significant post processing, onto CD-Rs so they can't be accidentally deleted. And write them onto two different CDs, each from a different manufacturer. And recreate those CD-Rs every 5 years or so.
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Old Jul 31, 2008, 10:12 PM   #3
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
TCav's rules for selecting blank CDs:
  1. Don't buy Store Brands. [/*]
  2. Don't buy anything that says "Made in USA."[/*]
And, yes, writeable (CD-R) and rewritable (CD-RW) CDs fade over time, but that time is several years. If you really want to keep your images secure, write the original images, and any that have undergone any significant post processing, onto CD-Rs so they can't be accidentally deleted. And write them onto two different CDs, each from a different manufacturer. And recreate those CD-Rs every 5 years or so.
I agree with TCav in general, execpt the stuff I bolded. And my differences are nit picky.

First, I doubt there are any CDs made in the USA - the label might be, but likely not the CD. Good idea to avoid anything with deceptive labels.

Second - you should update about every five years or so, but that time schedule means you should update to DVD, BlueRay, OganicHolograms, or whatever the next storage medium is.

Also a good idea to avoid anything that is rewritable for permanent storage, though external hard drives can be a good addition to CDs/DVDs/BRs/...

And keep those two copies in two different places. One at home, one at work/your brother's house/...
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Old Jul 31, 2008, 10:20 PM   #4
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BillDrew wrote:
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And keep those two copies in two different places. One at home, one at work/your brother's house/...
... Safe Deposit Box ...
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 12:22 AM   #5
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If you're really interested in top archival quality: We're talking a claimed 100 year life span for the Mam's! We're also talking $$$ as compared with the more pedestrian brands.

I don't know what good it does to have a CD that'll retain data for even a quarter of that time, since there probably won't be many machines around then that could play such antiquated technology!

I have used regular TDK CD's for some years now, with no problems.

Grant
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 9:42 AM   #6
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CDs (plain, vanilla, recorded CDs) work because they start off with a highly reflective base which is physically damaged with a laser such that portions of the surface are no longer reflective. The difference between the reflective portions and the non-reflective portions is how the data is stored.

CD-Rs use a highly reflective organic dye that is damaged by a 'write' laser' so that the surface is non-reflective. By it's very nature, this dye will fade, and at some point, a CD Drive won't be able to distinguish the reflectiveportion from the non-reflective portion.

The idea that a CD-R can be made to last 100 years simply by using a dye that nobody else uses, and applying more exacting manufacturing processes, is absurd. And the dye used in so called 'Archival' CD-Rs is very sensitive to the accuracy of the write laserin the drive, so many drives probably can use them, and many others probably won't be able to write to them such that the life expectancy of hte data is very much longer than for regular CD-Rs.

So don't take that claim of 100 year life too seriously.
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Old Aug 1, 2008, 8:16 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice, I think I was able to follow most of it. I bought a package of FujiFilm CD-R for Photo at the local 'good' camera store, not at an office supply store.

They are made in Japan, not the US as others recommended.

They could of brought in some archival, gold plated...guaranteed for 100 year jobs, but as other posters said, they're probably not worth the expense.

I will try to store in two different locations. Unfortunately my sister doesn't like me and I don't have a brother.

Now I can put in all my Pelican and Hot Rod photos. :-)

Thank you, as always , this is the place to go, for photo information.


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Old Aug 1, 2008, 11:07 PM   #8
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TCav wrote:
Quote:
CDs (plain, vanilla, recorded CDs) work because they start off with a highly reflective base which is physically damaged with a laser such that portions of the surface are no longer reflective. The difference between the reflective portions and the non-reflective portions is how the data is stored.

CD-Rs use a highly reflective organic dye that is damaged by a 'write' laser' so that the surface is non-reflective. By it's very nature, this dye will fade, and at some point, a CD Drive won't be able to distinguish the reflectiveportion from the non-reflective portion.

The idea that a CD-R can be made to last 100 years simply by using a dye that nobody else uses, and applying more exacting manufacturing processes, is absurd. And the dye used in so called 'Archival' CD-Rs is very sensitive to the accuracy of the write laserin the drive, so many drives probably can use them, and many others probably won't be able to write to them such that the life expectancy of hte data is very much longer than for regular CD-Rs.

So don't take that claim of 100 year life too seriously.
The dye is not reflective. The dye is either transparent opaque or transparent. The reflective property is the result of a metallic layer on top of the dye. The metallic layer is "protected" by a coat of lacquer.

The original commercial music CD's (pressings) used a pure aluminum reflective layer. As soon as pure aluminum is exposed to oxygen it corrodes and in the film thicknesses we're talking about aluminum oxide is transparent. The five year life we hear about is the typical life of a pure aluminum reflective layer. Later the aluminum was alloyed with other metals, principally chromium, to increase it corrosion resistance increasing the expected life into the 25-30 year range. The gold standard for reflective layers is gold which does not corrode.

If gold is the reflective layer then and only then can we consider the life of dye layer. CD-R disks use an organic dye. Not surprisingly Kodak and 3M are the major creators and suppliers of the organic dyes used in CD-R. Both have a vast knowledge of accelerated fading test and estimating expected life of dyes based on accelerated testing. Kodak'ssays their dye is good for 130 years assuming stored in the dark at normal room temps when not in use. They have also studied 3M's published material and say3M believes their dyes are good for 100+ years.

CD-RW use a different "dye" layer, a two state solid which changes from a crystalline structure and an amorphous structure (and back) as the result of the laser. Any solid of this type will eventually relax out of the crystalline state back to the amorphous state but I have seen no data estimating the rate of change.

DVD's increase the protection of the reflective layer by placing a plastic disk over the reflective layer increasing it's resistance to physical damage. This is good but it has the side effect of moving the data focal plane closer to clear optical surface of the disk which is a factor in making DVDs more sensitive to damage on that side of the disk.

My bet is that both Staples and the camera store are selling aluminum alloyed reflective layered disks and you'll have to order gold disks.

A. C.
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