This is topic Vinger Smell in forum 8mm Forum at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Jason Stauffacher (Member # 2672) on May 26, 2013, 02:05 AM:
I bought an old 1938 8mm film with some great shots of that era. Love the time capsule nature of it all. But what does the vinegar smell mean? Do I need to air it out? And part B of this question is, how should I store my current films? I have some old ones, and some I have filmed of family on a Super8 camera and so they are just 2 years old. Advice much appreciate. Cheers.

-Jason Stauffacher
Posted by Maurizio Di Cintio (Member # 144) on May 26, 2013, 02:41 AM:
OK, first off: if a film has vinegar smell, keep it separated from other fims, as this syndrome is "infectitious" and contagion is almost sure to happen. Also it's a good measure to wind and rewind films like these: it won't stop the syndrome from worsen (which is impossible once the process has started), but it will slow it down; needless to say, it is a good precautionary measure to take the habit to screen/wind/rewind films in general at least a couple of times/year, as this will let the substances released by the film out instead of remaining 'inside' the spool windings like a soaked sponge.

This should be done with all non-Kodachrome stocks on a regular basis: if the syndrome hasn't begun yet, chances are it won't, provided you stick with this simple rule AND store the films in a ventilated area, with mild room temperature (between 15-20° Celsius) and humidity not exceeding 60%. Do not use cardboard boxes: they impregnate the fumes from the film, nor wrap the films in any plastic wraps/foil: the film must be able and 'breathe' if you want to prevent the syndrome to start.

Kodachrome films are less prone to this problem because of their peculiar and highly standardized preocess (including lso final washing and drying, which are critical as long as VS is concerned). Nonetheless if you care for these films the same way you do for non-Kodachrome ones, they will certainly outlive you: some early Kodachrome shots taken in the early 1930's still have excellent color. Hope this helps.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on May 26, 2013, 08:49 AM:
Jason ...

Does her film have a magnetic soundtrack?

I have heard (and not quite sure of) that if a standard 8mm film has a mag track, it could possibly be the magnetic soundtracks "glue" that is causing the problem.

At any rate, I have a standard 8mm feature of "Birth of a Nation" with a magnetic soundtrack, and it has vinegar syndrome and as the previous post states, i also seperate it from my other films.
Posted by Jason Stauffacher (Member # 2672) on May 26, 2013, 10:44 PM:
this is an old film circa 1938 in Mississippi, and has no sound. So does that help your understanding? Cheers.
Posted by John Hermes (Member # 1367) on May 27, 2013, 01:50 AM:
Kodachrome was introduced in 1935. I have been transferring film for about thirty years and have seen lots of vinegared Kodachrome. It doesn't seem to be any less prone to vinegar syndrome from my experience. The main factor is age. I rarely see vinegared home movies after the early 1950s, but a lot before that, be it B&W or Kodachrome.
Posted by Steve Klare (Member # 12) on May 27, 2013, 07:59 AM:
I bought a film with vinegar smell once. It made me pretty annoyed because it was one I'd been looking for for a while and it wasn't cheap (full feature...). It turned out it was actually a polyester print, and therefore couldn't have vinegar syndrome. Once it aired out a while it was fine.

I'm not sure if some chemical had been applied that gave it that smell, or if it was in a collection with vinegar prints and the cardboard boxes absorbed it from the air, but the moral of the story is not every film that smells of vinegar has VS.

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