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Old Feb 12, 2012, 8:55 PM   #1
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Default Old Slides

First just because my last two post are about old photo gear, doesn't mean I want to hear old people jokes.

I'm in the process of scanning my old slides into the computer before they go bad. Question I have is; do slides get darker, underexposed looking, as they get older? Either slides get darker or I had a real bad time setting the camera exposure.
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Old Feb 12, 2012, 9:40 PM   #2
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I think the chemical processes continue after development, though at a much slower rate. I have scanned a lot of negatives from the '70s and '80s that show blotchy color patches and blown highlights that were not there when the shots were taken. The prints of most of them still look fine, though. Worst of all are Polaroid color prints, which have darkened almost to illegibility. The B&W Polaroids haven't darkened much, but exhibit pretty severe grain growth.
I used to believe that once film was developed, it was permanently fixed, but no longer.

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Old Feb 13, 2012, 3:17 AM   #3
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if you think that when you show a slide you put a lot of light through it from the projector. this also has an effect on the slide to, you can put too much and burn it. Like a print picture light i am sure will effect it over time. Plus today we are so used to seeing pictures on a nice big screen. just on more thing we had slides shown at our club a few weeks back and they dont look any where near the quality of digital projected images
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 7:22 AM   #4
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I like those two answers. Was begin to feel I didn't know how to take a picture back then and I (in my mind anyway) remember them being better looking at the time. Do have to admit that I'm taking better pictures now days but that probably due to all the new camera gear I now own.
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Old Feb 17, 2012, 8:12 AM   #5
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Slides only had very narrow DR, usually a maximum of 5 stops, so most of us used to be very careful not to blow the image out.

Better a bit underexposed than over, I expect that's what you were doing, don't worry there should be some good detail in those shadows if you scan them right. Scanning slides is pretty tricky, good luck!

Also the film degrades fairly quickly - leave a slide in sunlight and it's gone in 24 hours. On a projector they would be severely degraded in only a few hours. In the dark - well anything between 10 and 60 years, depending on the film. If you have 20-year-old slides, as I do, then I'm not surprised they are starting to go bad. Reminds me - I should scan my old ones.
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Old Feb 17, 2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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After scanning more of my slides in I have notice the following. Any area of a slide that was originally under exposed at all just keeps getting darker and darker and any area that was over exposed just keeps getting lighter and lighter. Correctly exposed slides (the larger amount or the slides) don't seem to have changed at all. No real technically data to support my findings, just something I noticed from viewing the slides and remembering what they originally looked like when first viewed (yes, I can still remember that far back. just don't ask me what I had for breakfast this morning). So far I have scanned eight if twenty one trays scanned, that leaves three binder of negatives and about fifty large photo albums of prints to go. Viewers on this board should be happy that there is no forum for old pictures to be posted.
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