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Old Apr 4, 2004, 10:12 PM   #11
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And any photo worth saving will be saved in more than just the RAW format. They will be saved as TIFF/JPG/whatever and printed out. They will be saved to CD/DVD and hard disk. As times change, which they will, those cherished photos (if they are that important) will be converted BEFORE the ability to convert is lost forever. One can choose to adapt to change or one can wake up one day and realize they missed their stop.

Prints will fade with time, just as the prints of years gone by have eroded with time. You do what you can to preserve memories but you can't guarantee success....at least not yet.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 12:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by deexley
What are your thoughts on this subject?
What archiving options are there?
Will the software to view current file types survive?
I've seen this discussed several times in the couple of years I've had a digicam, and the four years I've had a filmscanner.

The consensus is that the digital revolution means that images will in principle last for ever without degradation once digitised, BUT you'll have to have the willpower, technical knowledge, and budget to transfer your life's work to each new storage medium as it comes along. You'll also have to train up your children and grandchildren to keep your archives safe.

For the moment, the first CD-Rs I wrote more than 10 years ago are still fully readable on my current (brand new) equipment. Modern colour photographic prints on waterproof papers will probably last a long time if well-processed and kept in the dark. Colour photographic prints from the 1960s to the 1980s are seriously at risk. Black & white prints from the 1930s and earlier are alive and well. Kodachrome colour slides are doing very well, and other colour slides if stored in fortunately favourable conditions.

Until recently, inkjet prints have been completely hopeless and disappear in months to years at best.

Writing your memoirs and publishing your images in a printed book (as my parents-in-law have done recently) is probably quite a good way of passing on your archives. This is rather expensive, even in monochrome.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 9:40 AM   #13
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I didn't go through the entire thread but if you have a digital picture worth preserving for future generations, by all means print it. But not with your ink-jet printer. Go to a photo lab to get them in real photo paper that will last more than a lifetime if stored properly.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 11:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deexley
Granted Music Cd's are fine, but the life times I refer to apply to the blank writeable disks we burn ourselves.
I also still have a 5 1/4" disk drive but doubt I can find any disks for it.
That's true. Each is different.

And as for 5 ľ", I thought you were talking about only reading them, not actually getting the media. ops:
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 12:52 PM   #15
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Dual-layer DVD burners are now being announced (to ship later this year) that will hold 8.5 GB instead of 4.7GB and "blue laser" burners will more than likely be coming out in a couple of years which could allow DVDs to hold around 22GB (of course digital pictures keeping growing as well...). As long as you, or someone that cares about your images, is still around to keep transfering them from one media to another every 5-10 years - they will last forever. I believe digital copies will have better longevity than paper printouts.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 12:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cczych
I believe digital copies will have better longevity than paper printouts.
Paper printouts will survive all sorts of technological changes and won't require changes of media. They can be forgotten in a drawer for a century and still be usable. Don't think current digital media could survive that kind of test.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 1:46 PM   #17
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The most reliable long term storage presently available is magneto-optical. Around 100 years in terms of projected longevity. Obviously, most are not going to purchase magneto-optical drives and media to archive their home photos, but for those of us in the business, it's a no brainer.

Professional tape (LTO Ultrium, Super DLT, DLT, etc.) have a shelf-storage life of over 35 years. Again, most will not spend the money to use this technology, but it's still much better than hard disk technology for archival storage. Hard disks can and do loose their magnetic image. It's not reliable folks!

High quality DVD media "should" last much longer than the 10 years mentioned in a previous post. Actually 75 years is the projected shelf life in most cases, but the problem is that the cheap media widely available is not of archival quality. If you search out reliable sources for archival DVD media, your images should be safe for extended periods.

But all the above methods require the intervention at periodic intervals by the photographer or someone with an interest to transfer the data to currently useful devices. The technological age has a near logarithmic curve so that future change will come even faster than current change.

Today's negative and slide originals can't be expected to last anywhere nearly as long as those old samples did either. I have 25 year old slides which are presently being scanned because they are rapidly degenerating beyond use. We have zero assurance that the slide material and negative material we use today will survive more than 30 years - and it's much easier to migrate a digital file forward than to reproduce a failing negative or slide.


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Old Apr 5, 2004, 4:27 PM   #18
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The manufacturers of blank CD's estimate the life of recordable disks as 5-7 years, apparently the layers begin to separate and the disk disintegrates.
I donít think you will be able to provide a manufacturerís reference to that because it isnít true.

Last year some Dutch ďtestersĒ supposedly determined that CDRs started deteriorating after a short period of time. I donít know what they were burning or smoking, but people with empirical knowledge that have been using a CD writer for years knew they had a problem with their methods. Typical of the misinformation highway, their obviously inaccurate results have taken on a life of their own. Now we have people saying that the manufacturerís themselves are claiming absurd deterioration of their CDs.

Iíve been burning since 2X was the latest and greatest, and have yet to have a CD that worked when they were burned stop working. CDRs that are over 10 years old still work fine. All that was available back then was the original cyanine dye based CDs. I have El Cheapo cyanine music CDs that have been in my truck changer for over 5 years and still play fine. That truck has never been in a garage and sits in the hot Florida sun and humidity. About the only thing that will deteriorate a CDR is light.

Quality makers of cyanine based CDRs claim 25-35 years. Verbatim claims 80-100 years for their Azo dye based silver CDRs, and Mitsumi claims 300 years for their Phthalocyanine based gold and 100 years for their Phthalocyanine based silver CDRs. I have no basis to disagree with anyone who claims those estimates might be optimistic, but I also have no reason to dismiss them out of hand.

That the 5 ľ floppy went the way of the dodo early in computing isnít an indication the CD will. DVD is just coming into its own and DVD players also play CDs. I would wager that the average new computer 20 years from now will have the ability to play CDs. And whenever they quit making provisions to read CDs there will be plenty of time to transfer it to a different media.

I do like to archive my raw files in raw format because it is efficient, but DVD recording is getting cheap enough I might also save them in TIFF in case Iím not around to convert them. Iíll switch to DVD for archive when my stock of Kodak Gold CDs is depleted.
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 4:33 PM   #19
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I also print the ones I want to save, and use an old-fashioned photo album!
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Old Apr 5, 2004, 4:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
...I would wager that the average new computer 20 years from now will have the ability to play CDs. And whenever they quit making provisions to read CDs there will be plenty of time to transfer it to a different media.
The average computer already does play CDs.
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