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Thread: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-41?

  1. #11
    Embdude's Avatar
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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    I have a collection of my grandfathers slides and negatives going back to the 1920's. Of course the color E6 and C-41 date from the 1950's. The early E6 Stocks from the 1950's can be quite deteriorated. The Kodak stock seems best but all the Agfa and other stocks show major color loss and shifting. By the 1970's all the E6 stocks seem to hold up reasonably well. With the exception of the "commercial" slides, (something you would buy at a gift shop on vacation). These commercial slides have all faded and lost nearly all the colors except some faint reds. I have several sets of commercial slides spanning 4 decades and all have suffered this fate. The C-41 color negatives seem to have come out fine. I have less older ones and mostly all Kodak. The films that have fared the worst are the B&W safety film stocks from the 1940's some of these rolls have had the silver slide off the film and pool at the bottom of the can... Others have crazed and crystalized...

  2. #12

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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    Quote Originally Posted by Embdude View Post
    I have a collection of my grandfathers slides and negatives going back to the 1920's. Of course the color E6 and C-41 date from the 1950's. .
    The Kodak E6 process started 1976, before it was E4. Same with C-41 ...

  3. #13

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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    The C-41 process was introduced by Kodak in June 1972, replacing the C-22 process. E-6 came out in the summer of 1976, replacing E-4 and eventually replacing the sheet-film E-3 process. The last Kodachrome process, K-14, was introduced in 1974, replacing K-12. There were previous Kodak processes before the ones mentioned, but they were before my time.

  4. #14

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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    Based on the Ektachrome slides I inherited, Kodak made a marked improvement in color stability between 1961 and mid-1962. These images were taken with the same camera and stored under the same conditions.

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  5. #15

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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    Stability and archival of color images have changed greatly over it's history. To broadly state-claim-generalize E6 is superior over C41 as there are many variables that figure into this, NOT simple. Consider the Autochrome color image process dating back to about 1904 by Auguste and Louis Lumière.
    https://blog.scienceandmediamuseum.o...r-photography/

    Then this very long list of color image materials:
    https://filmcolors.org/cat/chromogen...sc&records=all

    Don't forget Dye Transfer print process and Technicolor for cinema and still images.


    What is fact, last generation of color films before the market for color film collapsed was excellent in Many ways. Having the experience of working extensively with these last generation color films and print materials, was a real pleasure, rewarding and now looking back a place in Foto history that is not likely going to ever happen again. The preferences for color films were, if long term color stability and images that needed to be archived for historical reasons ended up on 120 roll film or less preferred 35mm Kodachrome processed by the best K14 labs from that time as it has a proven record of color longevity ands stability. There are boxes family Fotos on Kodachrome and they appear much the same as when they were produced. Ciba-Ilfordchrome images were produced in Agfachrome RS or initially Ektachrome then later Fujuchrome as Fuji began producing absolutely excellent color transparency films. Ciba-Ilfordchrome images hold up over time and abuse. Then Fuji introduced a series of color print materials that is surprisingly excellent. Kodak continued to improve their color materials due to the advances made by Fuji. These advances and improvements included longevity and color stability over time. C41 and similar color negative films were used for vast production color images .. of less significance. Know C41 negative to color print was THE most common means for color prints. Their stability varied LOTs.

    IMO, it is folly to hold on to studies and information that does not apply to the specific image making materials as this IS over generalization in the worst way.
    What is not so good about YouTube videos like this, they have the potential to spread mis-information and does not account for the very long history and extreme variety of color materials invented, produced and used over the decades.


    Bernice

  6. #16

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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Kodachrome processed by the best K14 labs from that time as it has a proven record of color longevity ands stability.
    Only if not subjected to projection for any significant time.

    Kodachrome's main advantage was that it was drastically sharper at low frequencies than almost all other colour materials until the advent of DIR/ DIAR and subsequent coupler technologies in C-41 process materials. In terms of MTF & characteristic curve shape (not saturation/ colour contrast), K25 seems to have been the benchmark at which Velvia 50 was aimed.

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    Bernice - what is so so complicated about media like the related dye transfer and Technicolor processes is that all kinds of dye combinations could be used. Special movie sets ordered up special dye sets to match the costumes and decor. Dyes found to be relatively lightfast under intense split-second projection applications might prove poor under ordinary wall display print lighting. Prints that seemed to last forever in the dark in a limited edition portfolio box might fade easily within the period allotted for a gallery or museum exhibition of them, especially under the kinds of intense projector lighting popular in the 60's through 80's.

    Now we've got all the inkjet myth nonsense and its alleged pigments. Well, every painter with an ounce of training knows that even if these were in fact totally pigment based (which they're not), not all pigments are created equal, no by a long shot. If you want truly permanent colorants, fly to the surface of Mars and collect the ones already UV-proven. Of course, you'll be limited to a rather limited palette of oxides, and probably none of those will fit through tiny inkjet nozzles. Those kind of oxides barely fit through house paint colorant machine nozzles. But if we can't rely on any photographic colorants lasting forever, we can take solace in the fact that at least one thing will remain - the mythology itself, and probably associated deceptive marketing too.

    As far as Ciba: I could take two of the same print, use a popular spray adhesive of the day (in a sparkproof spray booth for testing purposes only, NEVER for routine usage - too deadly), display one under ordinary old-style tungsten bulbs, and it looked great 20 yrs later, while the other one behind window light completely faded in less than a week! That demonstrated the variable of a nasty once-popular adhesive itself. I did all kinds of comparison tests. Prints stored in the dark or hung in wall-reflected daylight still look like new after 40 years. But the same ones subjected to part-time direct sunlight or other intense UV sources now look wasted. All depends.
    Ironically, the ones I specially hermetically sealed for sake of steamy bathrooms still look great too!
    Last edited by Drew Wiley; 25-Feb-2022 at 19:39.

  8. #18
    bob carnie's Avatar
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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    Now we've got all the inkjet myth nonsense and its alleged pigments. Well, every painter with an ounce of training knows that even if these were in fact totally pigment based (which they're not), not all pigments are created equal, no by a long shot. If you want truly permanent colorants, fly to the surface of Mars and collect the ones already UV-proven. Of course, you'll be limited to a rather limited palette of oxides, and probably none of those will fit through tiny inkjet nozzles. Those kind of oxides barely fit through house paint colorant machine nozzles. But if we can't rely on any photographic colorants lasting forever, we can take solace in the fact that at least one thing will remain - the mythology itself, and probably associated deceptive marketing too.

    Drew

    I have moved my complete personal printing colour and black and white to Pt Pd with gum bichromate tones on top - to full colour gum bichromate over palladium using The Wet Print pigments that are considered quite LF with a Blue Wool Scale of 8. I also do inkjet prints for contemporary art projects.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	225057 - this is the brand new Cone Editions LED unit, we retrofitted it above our 33x 44 inch vacuum press. It has brought our exposures on large gums which are shown below from 25 min to 1.2 min.

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ID:	225058- This is Michelle Huisiman from Vancouver Canada, working in my dim room last month and that is a tri colour gum over Palladium, and as you can see she is getting pretty damm good results


    For my personal work I also do tri colours over pd and also a lot of multiple negative tonal shifts over palladium. Click image for larger version. 

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    We are very interested in any and all research in pigment structure and its Light Fastness, Colour Fidelity, light transmission capabilities ( I have been going down this wormhole for over 10 years and have been lucky enough to meet some very good mentors along the way like Sandy King, Ron Reeder . I can tell you that our working solutions (coating solution) would never make it through any printing heads that I am aware of but I do believe some very interesting methods of spray heads tied into flat bed tables will be incorporated in the coming future, as well a lot of research into various pigments, like earth colours, and even Drew space colours.

    We are now looking at UV printers that allow us to print on any surface, I am quite interested in a few of the possibilities .. for example
    -copper plates where we can print our images in register and take these plates off the printer and etch them for single and multiple colour
    -Currently we use Epson printer to make single separation negatives that we then have to take to a stripping table and join together for multiple colour work. (PIA)
    These units can be adapted with registration bars and using their sophisticated xy positioning one can make a set of 4 films already pre punched. ( YA )
    - Ink jet prints on any type of material that allow the UV radiation to harden the surface , so that its scratch resistant with protective UV coatings. This will be of interest
    to some of my clients that do extremely large prints to avoid glazing and mounting a substrate to diabond for example. In a museum or large gallery presentation this amounts to
    over 700 $ per image which when added up in a 30 print showing is quite astounding amount of savings.
    These units can be adapted with bright minds over the next few years to be able to do multiple coat , registered coatings for almost any application, and I hope to see the day where I am using
    the best ground stone with simple process.

  9. #19
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    Well, I certainly applaud your ongoing efforts, Bob. But there's still a quantum leap between working with just any colorants of good lightfastness and the elusive holy grail of a true set of CMYK nanopigments, a field which absolutely no pigment printmaker in history has ever addressed yet because the technology is just barely visible on the horizon. One of the advantages is that it equates to true visual transparency using actual pigment, the other, layers would bond far more reliably with less risk of failure over time. But alas, trying to find a non-organic process magenta is still the catch.

    Or just go back to the tried and true old method : get elected Pope, loot all of Germany selling indulgences, re-mortgage the Vatican, and doing so, you'll be able to budget Michelangelo the necessary highest grades of real ground lapis lazuli, malachite, mercuric cinnabar, precious red coral, etc - the tried and true process colors. But then you'd have to increase your print prices to $700,000 per print instead of $700. Always these tough business decisions ... And not many apprentices want to grind toxic pigments by hand these days anyway; they're too busy playing video games.

  10. #20

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    Re: Any film restoration experts here that can confirm if E6 is more archival than C-

    Drew, when you sell a print to somebody why don’t you simply up the price to include multiple versions precision-tuned to the customer’s display/storage conditions, such that each version essentially “ripens” to perfectly match the master version at time intervals following some non-linear function closely approximating the average aging curve for the particular image? Definitely an untapped niche market out there. I volunteer to apprentice with you. How far are you from Bakersfield?

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