No announcement yet.

How to scan frames from damaged film?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How to scan frames from damaged film?

    I recently found some old films that look like they were in a fire. A total of 3 canisters and reels with a CR logo on them. The letter C wraps around the R in a circle. I was told these films were from the 1930's or 40's. All the film is melted and stuck together and I was just about to slash it all off and throw it away to keep the reels but I decided to gently flake as much as I could off and examine the frames little by little with a magnified glass. To my surprise I started finding frames that are very clear. The films are black & white with scenes of a father and son steering a wooden speedboat. I can't just throw it away now. I need to try and save some of these images.

    My question is, how can I scan these on a flatbed scanner without damaging them further? all the strips I've flaked off are warped and very brittle. If I try to flatten a few frames they crack and the image is gone forever. Is there a way to soften the film so I can safely flatten them? Any suggestions?

    And yes I know this is crazy but these images are just too good to throw away.

    EDIT: Just realized I should of posted this in the Film & Digital Conversion Board

  • #2

    I would suggest doing a test by soaking a few frames in a film lubricant such as FilmGuard.



    • #3
      I would add to that that I would try some frames that you weren't going to scan when testing first, just in case of damage to good ones.


      • #4
        A few years ago I had the laborious job of transferring around 80 Pathe Baby cassettes most of which were in a similar state. I promised nothing due to the condition of them. I took one cassette apart and soaked film in warm water overnight a bit drastic perhaps and next day slowly peeled the film back finally washing and hanging on a line to dry. Did all the films this way with reasonable success but it will really depend how bad the films are.

        The 9.5 film I did then had been severely poorly stored in a high temperature country and very badly shrunken as a result. The soaking did help a great deal but by no means a perfect.

        Finally I lubricated the films with WD40 (far from ideal) and scanned them. It was really an impossible job as they curl terribly and I swore never to take on that job again.


        • #5
          Thank you for the suggestions! I will give both options a try and report back.


          • #6
            Hey everyone. I finally managed to scan some of these frames a couple months ago. The FilmGuard helped, but these films are extremely delicate. Im surprised I could get anything from these reels.

            You can find them on my instagram story highlight
            If that link doesn't work you can find it under the highlight titled 1938

            Thanks again!