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Author Topic: Cleaning Old 35mm Slides  (Read 21132 times)
Shamrock
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« on: January 05, 2010, 06:07:28 PM »
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Cleaning Old 35MM Slides:

I have a  l-o-t of old 35mm slides that I’ve kept in plastic slide pages for years.  Some of these pages are “archival” but others are not.  Even in these pages, some slides have visible dirt, etc (perhaps from when they were loose).  There’s even been some sign of “slide interaction” with the pages themselves over the years.

[1] How best to safely clean these slides?  
[2] Should remove the cardboard mountings first?  
[3] How best to remount these slides?  I still have some gray and white “GEPE” plastic snap-in mounts (no glass).  OK?  
[4] What about printout “slide labels” where I can enter name / address, slide ID, copyright notice, etc?
 
Eventually I want to scan these slides digitally for publication as I’m a published writer/photographer.

Many thanks.

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wolfnowl
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 06:39:55 PM »
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Hi There:  There are others who can answer this better than me, but I'll give it a shot.  For one, you can't 'completely' clean a slide while it's in the mount.  You'll end up with dirt around the edges of the mount.  It depends on how dirty they are, and what kind(s) of dirt you're dealing with.  If it's just dust, try using a brush - similar to one you'd use to clean your camera, to brush the dust away.  Be extra careful on the emulsion side.  It's generally suggested not to clean your slides with water, the reason being that as it dries water can leave behind water spots.  If you do use water, make sure it's distilled.  Better is to use a film cleaner - this should be easy to find at a good camera store, one that sells darkroom equipment.  I always kept the plastic slide mounts from slides I tossed, and I have no reservation in reusing them.

Mike.
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John R
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 08:40:42 AM »
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Thanks for raising this topic guys. I am looking forward to more posts, as I have hundreds of slides that are difficult to clean and would like to do so in an economic way. I don't know how, but many of my slides appear to have spots embedded in them. Could be mold and little bits of dust from paper fibers. I don't know how this happens because my slides are in plastic boxes and some are in special acid free boxes. The ones I left on a carousel are really in bad shape and this could be the paper fibers and mold!

On the issue of remounting the slides, I think I would not bother. Of course you must have your reasons, like doing a show. I used to slide shows with music. If you have really good slides you may want to get them professionally scanned. I have an older Canon 2710 scanner and my slides look rather soft compared to native digital files. And Canon no longer supports its older scanners, so watch for that if you are thinking of buying an expensive scanner. I had to get an after market device and drivers to make mine work with XP, never mind Vista or Win 7.

JMR
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 08:48:07 AM by John R » Logged
The Vulcan
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 08:49:09 PM »
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I've just been through this exercise.

Here's what I did and it was very successful.

Firstly, remove the slides from the cardboard mount and eventually remount using the GEPE plastic that you possess

This later action will most certainly benefit you when eventually scanning as using cardboard mounts can potentially leave fragments inside the scanner necessitating regular clean outs. They'll also keep the slide flatter and stiffer when scanning. Conversely, scanning unmounted with ANR glass holders will produce a sharper, larger and superior scan.

Now, the cleaning process.

First - get some lint free gloves to handle the slides - pointless leaving your greasy finger marks everywhere

Then use a hurricane type blower and remove all the small particles that may scratch your slide.

I then use the Invisible Dust  sensor cleaning brushes that I have for my DSLR - this will lift any remaining particles. They don't damage my sensor so no fears on emulsion.

Then I use PEC12 solution and PEC-PAD lint free wipes

A few drops of the solution on the wipes and wipe across the slide (both sides) and bingo. Glistening clean slides.

I then polish them up a little using lint free clothes that I clean my camera lenses with. This ensures all potential smears are removed.

I've just finished a year long task cleaning and scanning some 2,00 very old, tarnished and pretty shabby slides/negatives and not one image was damaged using this process.

The recovery of images I thought long lost was amazing.

Hope this helps and as is customary I confirm I have no vested interest in the PEC products

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John R
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 04:33:54 PM »
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Thanks very much for that information. I was about to try and order it but the site says they don't ship to Canada. Such a shame, because they say it cleans mold too, so I was looking forward to trying it.

JMR
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 04:54:41 PM by John R » Logged
John R
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2010, 04:53:10 PM »
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Thanks very much for that information. I was about to try and order it but the site says they don't ship to Canada. Such a shame, because they say it cleans mold too, so I was looking forward to trying it.

JMR

Sorry about the double post. Was having trouble with editor.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 04:55:24 PM by John R » Logged
The Vulcan
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2010, 07:06:03 PM »
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Quote from: John R
Thanks very much for that information. I was about to try and order it but the site says they don't ship to Canada. Such a shame, because they say it cleans mold too, so I was looking forward to trying it.

JMR

Surprised at that as they shipped to me in Thailand from the UK

Explain you'll agree to a overland despatch as they may be referring to their inability to air freight solvents

This is what I did and arrival was a mere 7 days
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Shamrock
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2010, 07:21:13 PM »
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Quote from: The Vulcan
I've just been through this exercise.

Here's what I did and it was very successful.

Firstly, remove the slides from the cardboard mount and eventually remount using the GEPE plastic that you possess

This later action will most certainly benefit you when eventually scanning as using cardboard mounts can potentially leave fragments inside the scanner necessitating regular clean outs. They'll also keep the slide flatter and stiffer when scanning. Conversely, scanning unmounted with ANR glass holders will produce a sharper, larger and superior scan.

Now, the cleaning process.

First - get some lint free gloves to handle the slides - pointless leaving your greasy finger marks everywhere

Then use a hurricane type blower and remove all the small particles that may scratch your slide.

I then use the Invisible Dust  sensor cleaning brushes that I have for my DSLR - this will lift any remaining particles. They don't damage my sensor so no fears on emulsion.

Then I use PEC12 solution and PEC-PAD lint free wipes

A few drops of the solution on the wipes and wipe across the slide (both sides) and bingo. Glistening clean slides.

I then polish them up a little using lint free clothes that I clean my camera lenses with. This ensures all potential smears are removed.

I've just finished a year long task cleaning and scanning some 2,00 very old, tarnished and pretty shabby slides/negatives and not one image was damaged using this process.

The recovery of images I thought long lost was amazing.

Hope this helps and as is customary I confirm I have no vested interest in the PEC products

= = = = =

Great reply!  Just the step-by-step procedure I was hoping to get.

Some minor follow-up items:

1 - When replacing the cardboard mounts with Gepe glassless mounts, where can I get computer-generated 35mm-size labels to indicate subject, source, exposure #, etc?

2 - Will any compressed air blowers work here or is a special brand for photographic purposes advisable?  I have a Staples-brand "Dust Destroyer" that's "ozone safe - no CFCs."  Can photo air blowers can ordered online?

3 - Can I order PEC12 solution and PEC-PAD lint free wipes online as well?

Many thanks.

shamrock838




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The Vulcan
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2010, 07:38:28 PM »
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Quote from: Shamrock
= = = = =

Great reply!  Just the step-by-step procedure I was hoping to get.

Some minor follow-up items:

1 - When replacing the cardboard mounts with Gepe glassless mounts, where can I get computer-generated 35mm-size labels to indicate subject, source, exposure #, etc?

2 - Will any compressed air blowers work here or is a special brand for photographic purposes advisable?  I have a Staples-brand "Dust Destroyer" that's "ozone safe - no CFCs."  Can photo air blowers can ordered online?

3 - Can I order PEC12 solution and PEC-PAD lint free wipes online as well?

Many thanks.

shamrock838

I'm not up to date with slide labeling but years ago I used the Avery labels and basically typed (via the PC) the relevant information - peel them off and stick them on the slide. I assume that now there is some software available to do this - Google's your friend I guess

Ideally you need a blower that will NOT suck in air particles and then blow them all over your slides - they sell them on the PEC site

Conversely using the sensor brushes will answer this.

PEC can be ordered online but as in my previous post it has to be overland shipment.

I ordered 1 bottle of solution (you only need a few drops at a time) and 2 x 100 swipes - each swipe good for about 10 slides before disposal
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 07:39:14 PM by The Vulcan » Logged
wolfnowl
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 01:18:21 AM »
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Quote from: Shamrock
Will any compressed air blowers work here or is a special brand for photographic purposes advisable?  I have a Staples-brand "Dust Destroyer" that's "ozone safe - no CFCs."  Can photo air blowers can ordered online?
shamrock838

Be very careful with 'canned air'.  In some the initial discharge of air can expel propellant and the last thing you want to do is blow liquid all over your slides.  A blower like the Rocket blower is much better.

Mike.
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
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