View Full Version : what is the archive life of E6/C41?

13-Mar-2009, 16:46
i read a site today that was talking about these processes changing over time and it got me worried a little. i don't shoot fill to scan, i really just want this stuff to be around for a long time, and love that the kodachrome 4x5 positives my grandfather shot still look as good as the day they were processed. how many years can i expect today's color emulsions to last?

Frank Petronio
13-Mar-2009, 16:56
That's a really good question.

Oren Grad
13-Mar-2009, 17:20
Read the relevant sections of Wilhelm's book:


I don't think that E6 and C41 technology have changed radically since this was published.

16-Mar-2009, 23:00
e6 100 years. B&W maybe a lot longer

Ive been to my local lab and seen a woman pick up a roll of 120 kodak film that had been sitting in a box for 60+ years get processed and look great. hard to believe but its true. a little flat contrast, but workable. was probably super XX or something.

17-Mar-2009, 06:31
I think the answer varies wildly based on how you store the film. If kept in a cool, dry, temperature controlled space it is likely to be in the upper level of that range. A warm, humid, OR temperature shifting space will encourage the colors to shift.

17-Mar-2009, 09:38
I recall reading a book on photo archiving about 10-years ago although the exact reference escapes me I'm sorry to say. Stability estimates for most of the chrome films were well over 100-years with Kodachrome way ahead at about 500 years. Kodachrome now only available in 35-mm of course, so not much good for those of us on this forum. But Fugichrome archival qualities (E6) were not too far behind with estimates well over 100-years as I recall. And there is no reason to believe things have changed much since then. Slides have to be kept in the dark at a reasonably controlled temp and RH. And no photo projection. This question has come up a few times lately in my own discussions and I'm thinking to go back and look again for the reference. I remember the library where I borrowed it although I no longer live in that town. Bob