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Fungus or something else?

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  • Fungus or something else?

    I just checked some super 8 film that I shot in 1985 and it appears to have 'gone off'.

    I usually shot on Kodak film but on this occasion, I shot 7 x 50ft of Agfa Moviechrome 40 sound film.

    The film was fine when I got it processed and it has been stored with all my other films ever since (it was shot for a project that I abandoned at the time and now I want to digitise and resurrect the project).

    I have once before had a Kodak film suffer from fungus but these films are different. All 7 were kept on their original 50ft reels and in the paper packets they came back from processing in. The actual problem looks more like a brown chemical staining and I am thinking it's the chemicals in the Agfa film that have become unstable.

    If this is the case, has anyone else had experience of this and is there a way of cleaning it off the films?

    I am glad that this is the only time that I used Agfa film (as far as I can remember - I need to check several 400ft reels to be sure).

    I've attached some photos, all but one taken off my editor's screen.

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  • #2
    Reminds me a bit of Kodak Ektachrome 160. It was designed for a purpose then dumped in S8 as a consumer product. I used it a fair bit in the early 70's (1971 onward ) stupidly incorporating it into my film projects. If left with Kodachrome it reacts and damages your K40 films alongside. 2 X dud films end result!
    I separated my K40 from it after scanning the complete films for posterity and the 160 is a REEL mess looking very similar to your images.
    If anyone has 160 mixed in with K40 separate it asap.

    My Moviechrome has held up well costing a little less at the time I used it regularly. Always a bit hit and miss it could look superb then the next batch blue which I put down to chemicals being under temp in processing. (I managed a film processing lab for a good few years).
    Sad when these image memories are lost...


    • #3
      IS that the standard Ektachrome 160 or the G160? I used more of the standard one and a couple of Ektachrome 40 cassettes so I hope I don't get that trouble.


      • #4
        I think I shot one or maybe two Ektachrome 160 films back in the late 1970s? I recall that while good in low light, they were grainy and expensive (didn't you also have to pay processing on top?). I'm hoping they haven't 'gone off' and caused the same problem that you had Lee.

        I'm going to run all my home movies (around 4500 feet of film) in the next few days and attempt to do a reasonable/flicker free digital transfer. Once done, I will feel more confident about sending my films off for a top quality pro transfer, knowing I have at least made my own backups first.


        • #5
          Hello Gary,
          a well-known phenomenon with Agfa moviecrome from the eighties,
          search at google:
          Agfa moviecrome fungus?
          You will find:

          and others


          • #6
            Thanks Heinrich, the fungus marks on the YouTube video are almost identical to the one's on my films.

            Edwin Van Eck offers a service where the fungus is removed before scanning (his demo video showing before and after looks very impressive) but I will try some film cleaner on a short section of film first.


            • #7
              Just discovered that Alive studios in the UK can get rid of fungus too when they clean films sent for scanning, which is very good news as this is the company that I plan on sending my films to for 2K or 4K scanning after I have made my own backups transfers.



              • #8
                I had one Agfa moviecrome with that "fungus". Some people say this is not real fungus. Film cleaner did not have any effect. But with distilled water (aqua destillata) I could clean the surface of the film. Some people recommended that. The "fungus" was only at one side of the film.


                • #9
                  That's very interesting Heinrich. A poster commenting on one of the videos also used the very similar 'demineralised' water to clean fungus off and had 100% success.

                  I'm slightly worried that water is advised to be kept well away from film, although, 40 years ago I rinsed a few small sections under a tap after I had put on dabs of bleach to create a 'special effect' and that film has survived in good condition.

                  Don't think I will try film cleaner, as the general opinion is that it doesn't work on fungus. Being as my Agfa films are in such as state, if my test clean works (with distilled or demineralised water), I may as well try this method on them.