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Thread: Provia processed film life question.

  1. #1
    JC Kuba's Avatar
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    Provia processed film life question.

    Does anyone have any insight on the life of processed Provia sheet film? When I look at the data sheets for other Fuji or Kodak transparency films they state the life in terms of time and storage condition, but in the Provia data sheet all it says is "As with all color dyes, those used in this film will discolor or fade with time." which is not very reassuring.

  2. #2

    Re: E-6 processed film life question.

    Quote Originally Posted by JC Kuba View Post
    Does anyone have any insight on the life of processed Provia sheet film?.
    I know it doesn't address Provia, specifically, but when I talked to someone at Kodak several years ago, he said that E-6 transparencies would last about 75 years.

    I would think most E-6 film would similar in this respect.

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    Re: Provia processed film life question.

    I've never heard of an issue or anyone worrying about it. Either you shoot film or you don't. They'll last longer tha. Any hard drive you put your scans on.

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    Re: Provia processed film life question.

    I recently dug out some old 35mm slides dating to the early 1980's. The Kodachromes and Ektachromes look great, the E6s are in pretty poor condition. All were kept in the dark in dust proof storage boxes in rotary magazines.

    Vinny, can you explain your comment about hard drives?

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    Re: Provia processed film life question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath View Post
    I recently dug out some old 35mm slides dating to the early 1980's. The Kodachromes and Ektachromes look great, the E6s are in pretty poor condition. All were kept in the dark in dust proof storage boxes in rotary magazines.

    Vinny, can you explain your comment about hard drives?
    Ektachrome is E6, unless it's really old and then it will be E3, E4, etc.

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    Re: Provia processed film life question.

    I have several boxes of 35mm slides my dad shot between the 1960s and 1990s. The ones from the 1990s look fine. The ones from the 1980s are starting to fade. The ones from the 1970s look pretty similar, although a little more faded. The one from the 1960s (only a few of them in color) have faded badly. I'm not sure what film my dad used, but it was probably agfa in the 1960s-1980s and rebranded fuji stock from the late 1980s onward.

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    Re: Provia processed film life question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath View Post
    Vinny, can you explain your comment about hard drives?
    I'm not Vinny, but...standard spinning hard drives are only rated for 5-10 years of usage. Of course unlike film, you can make an exact duplicate of scan files onto as many drives as you want and whenever you want. Therefore, assuming E-6 does fade after 7-8 decades, a scanned image + appropriate backups in multiple locations in timely intervals should last longer than the film.
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    Re: Provia processed film life question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I'm not Vinny, but...standard spinning hard drives are only rated for 5-10 years of usage. Of course unlike film, you can make an exact duplicate of scan files onto as many drives as you want and whenever you want. Therefore, assuming E-6 does fade after 7-8 decades, a scanned image + appropriate backups in multiple locations in timely intervals should last longer than the film.

    I've got some silver something cd's that are supposed to last a couple hundred years. But my new computer doesn't have a cd drive. I probably have some photos on floppy discs that are still good but no way to read them anymore. I don't know how long usb flash drives, compact flash, or sd cards are supposed to last. But I would imagine the media will still be good long after the hardware to use them is obsolete.

    My sisters just made printed books of family photos from slides taken from the early 50's to late 80's. Most of them are still in really nice condition. I do wish they had used better scanner and cleaned the slides first. But they did all work so I am very greatful.

    I think the Fuji Crystal Archive prints are supposed to last a long time. So anything I think important enough to keep gets scanned and uploaded to Costco and printed. I file the negative or transparency. I back up the scan on three hard drives. A copy is saved in Costco's cloud. And I have prints made. I just need to invest in a better scanner.

  9. #9
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    Re: Provia processed film life question.

    To be fair, a CD/DVD drive connected via USB is like $20 at Best Buy or similar. Yes, floppy disks are pretty much dead, but you could still get a drive operational if you really needed to. Digital media certainly can't be thrown in a drawer and found 50 years later and viewed immediately like a slide/negative, but with proper archival, conversion to new media / file types, etc., it has the potential to be more long-lasting. Of course if we are talking about doomsday scenarios with world-wide electronics destruction from the EM pulse generated by atomic weapons, sure, make sure you store those slides, negatives, and prints as best as you can .
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    Re: Provia processed film life question.

    I have my Dad's slides,starting in the late 40s. The first couple of years he was mounting everything in glass sandwich mounts with a Leitz binding machine. As everyone would expect the Kodachromes are spectacular, Anscochromes faded badly but still somewhat useable. Thankfully he shot Kodachrome by 1950. He did start to use some Ektachrome sometime in the 70s. All are in great shape. He stored in a dark, dry closet, in trays, nothing other than room ambient.
    Dad always used Kodak processing until he stopped with the slides around 1980.
    I really do believe that we are going to find that film is still far and away the best way to safeguard precious memories. I picked up a nice Nikon Coolscan 35mm scanner and the results from these slides are breathtaking. Most of what he shot was on ASA 10 and later, Kodachrome II, at a blistering ASA 25. Just some minor adjustments in Light room and inkjet prints blow people away.
    I have heard people's comments that we are in a digital "dark age" I believe it. I shoot a Nikon D800, wow, what a machine, I've come a long way from my first SLR, a used Pentax SP 500. I still shoot a ton of film. Process and print everything myself. Fuji stuff is certainly as good as Ektachrome, processing with these hobby kits does worry me, I never try to squeeze out the last few rolls out of a batch of chemistry. The Blix vs. Separate bleach and fixer is worrisome to me.
    If you're worried about longevity I would spend the extra money for the Fujifilm 7 bath chemistry. I've had good results with the 3 bath Tetenal kits but I've never used them past half their capacity.
    Best Regards Mike

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