This is topic A Dry Film in forum 16mm Forum at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on September 24, 2012, 03:26 PM:
I have just bought a 16mm feature printed in the mid-50s and it is quite frail, by this I mean it is limp and tears easily, it's also very dry. It smells old, if a smell can be described like that.

Can members suggest a treatment which would give the print more stamina and bring it back to life?

I constantly read about various products, all of which have their own supporters.

UK film dealer, Paul Foster, offers FILMGUARD, but at £45.99 this is not much less than I paid for the film!

However, would Paul's product do the trick for me, and incidentally, does anybody know what's actually in it?
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on September 24, 2012, 04:41 PM:
Hello Maurice, a good soak in Film Renew won't do it any harm
as it is a very gentle treatment and will make your film more supple.Just remember to decant the film onto a metal spool as
the liquid might discolour the plastic spool and can loosen tape
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on September 25, 2012, 02:34 AM:
Thank you, Hugh

I should have said that the film was full of cement joins, most of which just fell apart when handled.

It took over two hours to check the 2-reel film as each of the joins had to be remade using a CIR splicer with tape.

Therefore, your kind suggestion to use Film Renew is obviously impracticable.

I need to use something which will not loosen the nice new tape joins.
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on September 25, 2012, 05:21 AM:
I've been using Film Renew for ages on vintage acetate prints with cement and tape splices and find it superb. So long as your splices are made well you will not have a problem. [Smile]
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on September 27, 2012, 07:50 PM:
"Can members suggest a treatment which would give the print more stamina and bring it back to life?"

Ironically, yes, a digital transfer.

Seriously though, I'm supposing Maurice justs wants to run his print through on a projector once, or, er, maybe twice...

Maurice, is it at all possible to identify what sort of film stock this is first, let alone anything else.

I wouldn't bathe a baby before knowing it was definitely made from cotton extract. [Confused]

As for "film, er, renew"... just what vintage are you using Hugh & Lee?

No slur, just interested.

BTW. 2 hours on a contest...I've spent days!!! [Wink] [Smile] [Smile]
Posted by Lee Mannering (Member # 728) on September 28, 2012, 03:39 AM:
Some of my own 16mm B&W prints are so ancient they need love when projecting that’s for sure but a good dose with FR does help. The main problem with trying to restore or improve the condition of 70 or so year old prints is the time it takes working on them inch by inch and it can be a great way to clock up the hours that’s for sure. In the end it is extremely rewarding if you can bring one of the old musty prints back to projectable condition isn’t it. Carry on the good work Maurice.
Posted by Rob Young. (Member # 131) on September 28, 2012, 05:27 AM:
I agree totally Lee, but surely I'm not the only one who has actually done more harm than good by putting the wrong chemical onto a print?
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on September 28, 2012, 06:40 AM:
This is a 2 x 1600' feature still in its original Watsofilms Film Library cardboard boxes. It is a re-issue print of The Goons' 1952 "Down Among The Z Men" which was reissued by E J Fancey in 1958 as "Stand Easy".

The print starts off with the main titles saying "Stand Easy", but when these all come to their end there is a join onto a lighter film which is, I assume, the original "Down Among The Z Men". This, and the remainder of the film is on "Ilford Safety Film". There is no date code.

The film is very dry and, as yet, has not been projected. I do not want to use any magical lotion which will disturb all my carefully made tape joins.

By the way, when I collected the film from the seller I told him that it was originally called "Down Among The Z Men", to which he replied:- "That's why they all sing a song with that title."

He didn't know what Z Men were (he's younger than me), so I told him about the British Army Z Reserve scheme which was to keep demobbed soldiers "on their toes" for a couple of weeks each year. Not many people know that.............(thank you, Michael.)
Posted by Wayne Tuell (Member # 1689) on October 17, 2012, 01:46 PM:
Filmrenew is only mineral spirits with a synthetic wax added. It can be made for pennies on the dollar compared to what you pay for the "brand name" IF you think I am kidding, I got banned from Urbanski's site about 5 minute after I posted this. What a pathetic ass he is...LMAO

I use filmguard on all my new stuff but never tried reviving dry films with it. Search the archives and you may find the answer.

What we have been using is 40-42 lavender oil 60% - 20% Castor Oil - 20% Camphor Oil. These are natural plasticizers and will make you film pliable again. IF you wish to give it a try, you simply put a couple teaspoons of the mixture in a lab can use something metal to elevate your film on the reel because you do not want the mixture to touch the film...(metal reels are best) seal can and check in a couple weeks. Once the film has absorbed all the mixture through the vapors, wind off film to another reel now and repeat. It is NOT an overnight process.
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on October 17, 2012, 02:33 PM:
Hi Gents,the Film Renew I have is from a batch I bought in 2003
from Urbanski in two gallon containers ( that's 7 pints each container to us in UK) and have found it to be a good lubricant
& cleaner. Very gentle but it did come with a long list of warnings
etc,probably by law, but on the whole a very good film treatment
and would heartily recommend it to anyone wishing to care for
their films.
Maurice, is this the film"Down among the Z Men" that has a very young Diana Dors in it?
Posted by Roy Neil (Member # 913) on October 17, 2012, 08:18 PM:

[ June 27, 2013, 02:27 AM: Message edited by: Roy Neil ]
Posted by Michael O'Regan (Member # 938) on October 18, 2012, 03:11 AM:

You got kicked outta Larry's???
Posted by Wayne Tuell (Member # 1689) on October 18, 2012, 01:27 PM:
Yep Mike it is true, looks like I broke one of Larry's rules that no one knows about [Razz] one of his fan members tattled LMAO
Posted by Michael O'Regan (Member # 938) on October 18, 2012, 02:22 PM:
I'm surprised, to say the least.
Posted by Pete Richards (Member # 2203) on October 18, 2012, 07:30 PM:
So Wayne, you just have the film sit above the mixture, on a reel and let it soak up the vapours?
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on October 18, 2012, 08:09 PM:
I can't see how it would help in cleaning or lubrication,but it
might just be the ticket for an old acetate print, and as Wayne
says for next to no outlay.
Posted by Wayne Tuell (Member # 1689) on October 19, 2012, 10:19 AM:
@ pete Yes, elevated in a sealed can absorbing all the vapors is what you are after. The three elements "I" mix & use were confirmed by a plastic & rubber engineer in the mid-west as natural plasticizers...

@ Hugh It is not meant for cleaning or lubing, only to help make dry prints pliable again. FilmGuard would be for cleaning & lubing. I personally have not used filmguard to try and make dry film pliable again...that would be a question for
Brad. I do remember reading where he use two identical trailer one with filmguard one without and fastforward several years, the trailer with filmguard was a fresh as new and the trailer without was drying out.

Peter Goed used to make LFP (liquid film plasticizer) which is good, but I think he had a hard time getting his raw materials at a cost that keeps the price worthwhile for manufacturing.
Posted by Michael De Angelis (Member # 91) on November 10, 2012, 05:09 PM:
I do not suggest for anyone to make their own type of "Bromide" as a film treatment.

The film must have been extremely dry, in that the cement splices separated.
Generally Film Renew will not separate cement splices that may have also been poor.

Film Renew was manufactured as a replacement for Vitafilm that at the time went out of business. Larry Urbanski brought the liquid to a lab whereas chemists resurrected it as a tried and true film cleaning product. Although Film Renew has similar chemicals it should not be equated as a paint thinner/mineral spirits.

Film Renew is a moderately drying liquid that should not be left on a film and if so, it may create spotting. I have used Film Renew on film that did not properly take-up on a reel because it was warped resulting in an "egg shape" on the take up.

I back wound the film and placed a minimal amount in the bottom of a metal film reel and can checking and ran it every 3 months. After a year the film was back to its normal shape. The film absorbed and some evaporated out of the can too.

Film Renew necessitates several applications to bring the film back to life.

If the film also has a very slight vinegar odor, the same treatment will help to eliminate any degradation. Many collectors admonish this theory as it masking the
vinegar odor by not conditioning it back to being new.
Contrary to opinion, I had this experience, it's successful and the vinegar smell and slight warping of the film has been eliminated.

Films should not be given a bath using Film Guard. This is a very slow drying liquid and will loosen the adhesive tape splices making them milky in appearance with the possibility of separation. This should be used sparingly. Do not use the spray nozzle it will make it more difficult to dry off.

Here is one method: take a Kleenex facial tissue and be sure it's a soft non recycled, white, chemical free and unscented.

Fold it into a square pad, allowing it to wrap around the film. I use a small camel hair painters film brush dipping it into the bottle and wiping it onto the tissue. A collector friend of mine uses an eye dropper and places one drop onto the tissue. I'm more conservative. Run the film between hand cranked re-winds on 10 to 12 turns flipping the tissue to only use a clean side. Less turns nearing the end of the reel. If needed you may wish to reapply another drop or wipe onto the tissue. If you place a small wet spot on both sides of the film with the brush this will spread the liquid but it will spread a certain length. Note that the sprocket side of the film retains the liquid as small pores and leaving it wet if not completely removed. It's a judgement call on your part. Then run a tissue to absorb the excess. Determining on the film, It may take several passes but you will notice that the film surface will be clean, smooth, shiny and not wet. When you determine that a final pass with tissue, it's good to use a velvet cloth as a polishing cloth. I use a remnant swatch of material that's about 12 inches square and alternate the cloth by flipping it to another area. It's great and removes any residual tissue accumulation and dust.
This application will be smooth, not wet and the film will remain lubricated permitting more film programs with less to no maintenance.

It takes some experimenting and it's worth it.
Posted by Michael De Angelis (Member # 91) on November 10, 2012, 09:22 PM:

True, I've read the MSDS for Film Renew. Larry sent me a copy before there were home PC's and it's a classified Stoddard Solvent as mineral spirits are too.

After reading its MSDS, I tried mineral spirits as a film cleaner and relaxer on film and did not appreciate the results.
Especially the film smelled as paint for a long time, where Film Renew did not.
I'm not comfortable with having residual fumes degassing from a film reel that may
have a potential in being combustible.
These are my experiences, whereas you have had your own successes.

I should mention that Kodak once had their own film cleaner and it was
1,1,1-Trichloroethane, which is banned as being harmful by depleting the ozone layer.

Larry did not steal anything. There was a time period when Vitafilm was not available.
I'm sharing a testimony by William Stewart about Vitafilm.
Vitafilm is an excellent product and does the job, but it has a strong odor.

Posted by Wayne Tuell (Member # 1689) on November 12, 2012, 06:57 PM:
Michael, to make it easy, all different levels of solvents have different numbers. IF Larry is not actually shipping what is on his MSDS, that would be a serious violation...maybe he needs some federal type guys to pay him a visit.

Try using the orderless next time.

As for a relaxer...I have purchased film from Urbanski that he soaked for a long time because it was warped and he told me himself that filmrenew can't always relax film...take it for what it is worth.
Posted by Hugh Thompson Scott (Member # 2922) on November 12, 2012, 08:03 PM:
Hi Gents, I might just mention that Trichloroethane doesn't
just affect the ozone, it is absorbed through the skin and causes
serious damage to your internal organs.I used to clean prints
with it years ago but was warned off it by my late father.
Posted by Michael De Angelis (Member # 91) on November 12, 2012, 08:40 PM:

You are an accomplished film hobbyist.

I am not making false claims and insinuating that products are
being illegitimately manufactured or misleading. The MSDS states: Film Renew.
Larry has not made any serious violation.
Larry does not need feds to pay a visit.
I think this thread is getting too funny.

Maurice asked a question and I decided to reply with my experience.

I used the Film Renew to relax the film and this was before I had known about the
other product of Film Guard. I discussed my success about the same issue
on an earlier post, on this forum.

It took about 2 yrs to relax my print of The Music Box. Maybe other people
would need to wait longer.

Thanks for your help. I once used odorless mineral spirits/ paint thinner and to me it's not worthwhile.

You said that I should take it for what it's worth, and to make it easy, that's an insult, and to the film community.
This is a discussion and not a challenge.

I'm not here to twist anyones arm.
Hobbyists are entitled to select any application that they choose.

I was also respectful to you, in your post by replying:
These are my experiences, whereas you have had your own successes.
I'm not refuting anyone.

Wishing everyone the best and enjoy the hobby.
Posted by Douglas Meltzer (Member # 28) on November 12, 2012, 09:17 PM:
Lots of information in this thread, however from this point on let's leave out anything having to do with another forum and stick to what will help Maurice's film recover.

Posted by Bill Brandenstein (Member # 892) on November 14, 2012, 07:33 PM:
Well, what fine chemistry we have here!

People's claim to use WD-40 on film has always seemed suspicious, yet now from reading this thread and the links in it I see that WD-40 is mostly Stoddard Spirits. That does NOT make it the same as FilmRenew, but does give it that in common.

So it seems like film treatments can be grouped roughly into these categories:
primarily solvent for soaking (FilmRenew, Vitafilm)
wax/paraffin lubricant
silicone lubricant
oil-based lubricant

...and a number of products are a soak, cleaner, and lubricant.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on November 16, 2012, 05:54 AM:
A big thank you to everybody for their assistance. I ran my film and it projected perfectly and quietly, so at the moment it stays as it is.

In answer to Hugh's question. Diana Dors is not in the film, the lady is Carole Carr. He may be thinking of Frank Randle's 1953 "It's A Grand Life" in which Diana played an army corporal. (Available on region 2 DVD.)
Posted by Wayne Tuell (Member # 1689) on November 17, 2012, 03:12 PM:

These are the CAS numbers on Filmrenew's MSDS it really is that simple double check them with the kodak suggestions and look up those particulars and see what they are.
CAS # 8052-41-3
CAS # 64742-47-8
Posted by Jeff Missinne (Member # 3373) on November 18, 2012, 10:53 AM:
Back in the days of di-acetate and humidor cans, there was a mixture; you would put a few drops on a blotter and put the blotter in the can to keep the film pliable. I learned about the stuff from a lady who ran a rental library for years and always used it with excellent results; and I remember the ingredients but have forgotten the proportions. In fact, I mixed up a batch of it years ago but have lost my notes. ($#!+) [Confused] I spent a frustratingly fruitless night on the web looking for the formula.

The film moisturizer was made from eucalyptus oil, glycerine, camphor, and menthol. I did find references to this mixture in several old books and articles on home movie making, but none of them listed the proportions of the ingredients.

I suspect this is the "miracle film plasticizer" that Aussie bloke is selling on line for $50 an ounce...
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on November 18, 2012, 02:08 PM:
Just found details from BJ Almanac 1960 for a Film Preservative.

I have opened a new thread.

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