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Mouldy standard 8 home movies

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  • Ed Gordon
    Don't scrub or rub the emulsion side, especially on old film, as typically it will be a softer less-hardened emulsion than modern stuff and may simply start peeling off the plastic base. Especially in damaged condition.

    I'm not sure if photoflo is effective against bacteria for colour film, as it's for B&W film, the silver on B&W film is a fungicide.

    Colour film unless Kodachrome, doesn't contain that and the organic dyes are a food for bacteria, and gelatin a culture.

    You want to use formalin (formaldehyde gas in solution) for the best anti-bacterial effect.

    Tetenal mirasol claims anti bacterial effects, which may also be effective.

    Vanbar sells that for $7.70 for a 250mL bottle concentrate (1+400 usage).

    They also have Tetenal C-41 and E-6 stabiliser on the shelf, it's not the site far as I can tell, so do not know price, but that is formalin.

    Otherwise $36 gets you Flexicolor Stabiliser III, which contains formalin, methanol, and photoflo equivalent.

    Formalin also has a hardening effect on the gelatin, so you can rub gently with fingers (I would use nitrile gloves when handling formalin solutions, you can usually find them at safeway/woolies under hercules tough task brand disposables for about $3-$4 a box).

    You can do all washing at room temperature. (dont worry its not a 100 litre bottle, thats total volume of what you can mix it up to, it'll be a 1 or 2 litre bottle).

    That is the one I would recommend getting or the Tetenal C-41/E-6 Stabiliser.

    Also there are film cleaning spray agents available, saw some the other day at Vanbar.

    There is also PEC-12 I do not know if Vanbar has it or not, but ebay has it, prolly will drop in vanbar tomorrow afternoon again though. Can check then.

    Also while laundry bleach / exit mould will remove and make transparent any bacteria and mould etc, it will also strip off the emulsion off film completely, do not try that.

    I would go with an anti-bacterial wash along with any else you decide, as you want to wash it in that solution, then dry it (don't rinse it off), so that it stays in the film emulsion and prevents this from happening again. If you're in Melbs, you could bring them over next week if you wished, I have plenty of chemistry here.

    Airtight box would be best with packs of silica gel etc for storage.‚Äč

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  • Joerg Polzfusz
    You can also try to clean the films with distilled water. (But remember to dry the film before spooling it onto the next reel!)

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  • Bren Jacques
    Yes it's a shame they've ended up in the condition they're in but it was all accidental and luckily they weren't completely destroyed. The are a lot of memories on these films and many family members who aren't around any more, anything I can do to get good results from them will be done. I'll have a try with IPA and see how it responds. There's plenty of splices to re-join and leaders to be added too so some of the larger reels are likely to take a fair amount of time to repair.

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  • Maurice Leakey
    I always use Isopropyl Alcohol, which i assume you mean mean by IPA. I also used it in cinemas when more efficient cleaners were banned.
    I suggest using a small amount as a test.
    Good luck.

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  • Osi Osgood
    I'm sad to hear of the loss of these precious memories. Clean with a proper film cleaning lubricant where possible to save as many of these memories.

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  • Bren Jacques
    started a topic Mouldy standard 8 home movies

    Mouldy standard 8 home movies

    Hi all,

    I've given myself a winter project to try and recover what is possible from a large amount of home movies that my grandad shot in the 1970s/1980s. After his passing they were kept by my uncle in a dry cupboard but discovered during a house move that a pipe had been leaking in there for some time and the films had suffered badly from this. They are almost all Kodachrome stock, some have survived much better than others.

    My uncle did have these 'cleaned' and transferred around 14 years ago but I'm very dubious as to whether they actually cleaned them and the scans were quite poor. I hope to clean the films up and get some very good high definition scans of them made up so the clarity is much better.

    My problem with cleaning is that much of the mold has eaten into the emulsion and anything wet will just lift the print straight off the base. I have read that pure IPA can be used although I will need to test this first as I have doubts. The mold is typical of damp film, blue and purple blotches throughout the print, there has also been transfer of the print onto the glossy side from them being reeled up, if this is cleaned off then the quality of the images will be much better as it will l remove the ghosting effect that this has created.

    I know that the mold isn't removable completely and I'm aware of the damage and how it has eaten into the emulsion itself. There is some agfa stock in there that has suffered the worst where it looks to have lifted the emulsion when damp, warped the images then dried out again causing very wavy and almost completely unrecognisable images.

    If anybody can advise on any tips or suggestions to clean these films then that would be appreciated. They mean a lot to my family as there is over 1400ft of family holidays and Christmases so anything I can do to improve them before HQ scanning would be great.