Color movies faded away in no time

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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Color movies faded away in no time

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 5:43 am

All my commercial 8mm and 16mm movies from the 70's are faded and have turned red. I would have thought that in dark storage they would have not faded so bad.

Does anyone know if the original negatives to the films have faded as well? Did negative stock hold up better than reversal stock?

Can faded color films can be turned into decent quality BW digital copies?
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boblipton

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Re: Color movies faded away in no time

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 6:21 am

It depends on the medium. Technicolor used a vegetable-based dye that was very long-lasting. However, many of the color-stock films that came in later, where based on far less stable chemicals. That's why, while many of the color movies from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s could have new prints pulled from the negatives with breathtaking results, if you look at color films from the 1960s on, you'll find that they have distorted color values, turning red, brown or even purple.

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Paul Penna

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Re: Color movies faded away in no time

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 9:16 am

Technicolor projection prints used stable dyes, but the camera negatives, one to record each primary color record, were black-and-white in the original three-strip process in use until 1954. Color fade doesn't enter the picture - literally - in that case.

Also, it was a fairly common practice to make black-and-white protection elements, again with one for each primary color, from standard color negatives, and if they were done properly and survive the original colors can be reproduced from them even if the camera negative has faded.
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silentfilm

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Re: Color movies faded away in no time

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 11:20 am

It is because they are probably Eastman Color. That was the main color stock in use in the 1970s. If they are Kodachrome, or Kodak/Eastman LPP, (which was introduced around 1981-1982), then they will not fade. Eastman fades to pink. A later stock Eastman SP, fades to yellow.
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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Re: Color movies faded away in no time

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 1:10 pm

Yes, Kodachrome is very good for fade resistance. I was wondering why more films were not shot on it, then remembered that that needed a neg to dupe it.
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sethb

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Re: Color movies faded away in no time

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 2:04 pm

Paul Penna wrote:
Also, it was a fairly common practice to make black-and-white protection elements, again with one for each primary color, from standard color negatives, and if they were done properly and survive the original colors can be reproduced from them even if the camera negative has faded.


While that's so, an additional unforeseen difficulty is that sometimes one or more of the B/W elements has shrunken slightly or suffered other damage, making it difficult to obtain proper registration among all three elements. I understand that this problem can be corrected digitally, but I'm sure it's not cheap to do. SETH
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pookybear

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Re: Color movies faded away in no time

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 2:56 pm

You have to remember that color fade is a chemical process. This process is aggravated by both light and heat. Thou kept in a dark room, 60 degrees fahrenheit is more than enough temperature to keep the process of fade going. Cold storage below 32 degrees fahrenheit seems to help this problem out quite a bit. However, like you, I have no way to keep a full collection in a deep freeze. Please see the following page for more information on Eastman film stocks.

https://unwritten-record.blogs.archives.gov/2016/01/11/film-preservation-101-why-are-old-films-sometimes-pink/

Pookybear
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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Re: Color movies faded away in no time

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 3:11 pm

Thanks pooky!

What sort of BW elements are you talking about here?
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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Re: Color movies faded away in no time

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 3:38 pm

I decided to see what sort of BW could be made from a faded color movie.

Forum would not let me upload photos, so here is a link to my test I just did:

https://danieldteolijrarchivalcollectio ... and-white/

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