Kodachrome comes through after 42 years to help solve JFK assassination!

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by discpad, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. Kodachrome's longevity was just demonstrated again in February 2007 when a newly discovered Kodachrome 8mm reel shot by George Jefferies of President John F. Kennedy just 90 seconds before the President's assassination. This film is now on display at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas; and because of its' longevity contains a new piece to the assassination puzzle. This piece of the puzzle is in the last few seconds, showing the back of the President's jacket bunched up over his back brace. According to investigative journalist Gerald Posner (as interviewed on the Michael Smerconish radio show 2/22/ 2007), this bunching of the jacket accounts for the four inch difference in the bullet holes in the jacket and flesh as documented in the autopsy photos. Regardless of the reader's (dis)belief in the conspiricy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination, the long-lost 42 year old reel of Kodachrome came through with flying colors!
     
  2. I was really taken back by the colors in those images. Jackie's pink dress really popped out, and you could see the quality of JFK's suit. The camera and lens must have been pretty decent too.
     
  3. I'll bet that was done on a amateur camera (clock type drive)with 8 mm film format because that was the typical movie camera in use during that era.The colors and clarity are outstanding considering the ancient technology and sitting in a dresser drawer for 40 plus years.No auto focus or program modes required.Jackie looks positively radiant,like it was only yesterday.Imagine fourty two years from now and someone opens a drawer and finds a bunch of CF cards and DVDs of a major event and what they will make of them - probably go directly into the circular file.
     
  4. "Imagine fourty two years from now and someone opens a drawer and finds a bunch of CF cards and DVDs of a major event and what they will make of them - probably go directly into the circular file."

    First, most photographs are dross and SHOULD go directly into the circular file, film or digital.

    Second, if they're important, there will be means to retrieve them. People like to insist that CD-ROMs and DVDs will be unreadable and they like to point to 'tests' that have been performed, but they can't seem to locate those 'tests'.

    Third, if people value their property, they'll take care of them. That includes having multiple copies and offsite storage. Like lock boxes for deeds and wills and such. Remember?

    Fourth, consider the 50,000 archival negatives of the JFK White House years, lost in an instant from their secure, temperature and humidity controlled vault in the World Trade Center. No digital backups. All gone. Forever. Yeah, the fact that they were film protected them a lot, huh? And houses burn down every day somewhere in the world. Another set of memories gone forever.

    A roll of motion-picture film left in the can for 40+ years that survived without degradation is what I call a 'lucky break'. Anything could have happened, including natural disasters of the sort that all kinds of people experience in a 40 year period of time, and I've seen plenty of my own 20+ year-old slides that look horrible now.

    Sure, sure, keep telling yourself that photographs store digitally can't possibly survive over time. Remember that your retirement funds and the money in your bank is stored EXACTLY that way.
     
  5. Wigwam,

    I bought my first CD recorder, a 2X Ricoh for $1300, back on my birthday in October 1995; and Yes, I have a number of CD's (that cost $11.95 apiece!) from that era that faded into unreadability within about 3-4 years.

    Phase change technology, as used in CD-RW, is supposed to last for 30 years, as opposed to the dye technology, which can -- and will -- fade.

    By the way, I'm intimately familiar with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway photo archives, which contain over two million negs, slides & prints going back to before 1900. Head photographer and archivist Ron McQueeney (whom I do NOT like on a personal basis, nor do I (as many) believe his photography work is terrible), has done a good job nonetheless of archiving the Speedway's collection -- Including installing a Halon fire suppression system -- in the second floor of the Museum. Archiving photographic records CAN be done; but it's expensive and time consuming.
     
  6. Wigwam, I'm surprised that you are so sanguine about digital storage. I found some 30 year old kodachrome 25's in a draw the other day. they were great, good as new.

    the problem with digital is that you have to keep doing things to them to keep them retreivable. My kodachrome just had to survive. providing no fire or flood (fairly rare) they will survive.

    digital has to be copied onto new media everyfew years. So it is an ongoing, active process. People have to both care and to be bothered and to spend money. I wish I was as sure as you that that will happen.
     
  7. Please forgive me for lumping both responses into one.
    I bought my first CD recorder, a 2X Ricoh for $1300, back on my birthday in October 1995; and Yes, I have a number of CD's (that cost $11.95 apiece!) from that era that faded into unreadability within about 3-4 years.
    My experience with music CD's goes back as far as yours. The first CD's I ever bought work fine. In both cases, our experiences are anecdotal - they prove nothing. Yours faded, mine did not. Had you made copies of yours...
    Phase change technology, as used in CD-RW, is supposed to last for 30 years, as opposed to the dye technology, which can -- and will -- fade.
    Everything *will* degrade over time. The question is merely over what period of time one wishes the items to remain intact and readable. There are digital recording technologies that are longer-lived, and more are on the way. Technology, being technology, tends to improve.
    By the way, I'm intimately familiar with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway photo archives, which contain over two million negs, slides & prints going back to before 1900. Head photographer and archivist Ron McQueeney (whom I do NOT like on a personal basis, nor do I (as many) believe his photography work is terrible), has done a good job nonetheless of archiving the Speedway's collection -- Including installing a Halon fire suppression system -- in the second floor of the Museum. Archiving photographic records CAN be done; but it's expensive and time consuming.
    As demonstrated with the Kennedy "White House" photographs, it only takes one catastrophe and the Brickyard photos are gone. Halon does not stop tornadoes.
    Wigwam, I'm surprised that you are so sanguine about digital storage. I found some 30 year old kodachrome 25's in a draw the other day. they were great, good as new.
    Anecdotal. I found some Kodachrome slides (and some Kodacolor negatives in my footlocker from the 1980's, and they were horrible. Neither your story nor mine prove anything. It is like saying I left the keys in my car last night and this morning it was still there, so there is no such thing as crime.
    the problem with digital is that you have to keep doing things to them to keep them retreivable. My kodachrome just had to survive. providing no fire or flood (fairly rare) they will survive.
    "Doing things" with digital is standard procedure for anything you want to protect, because everything degrades over time - it just depends upon the length of time we're talking about. Flood and fire are not fairly rare, they claim houses and people's possessions on a regular basis. You mean it is rare FOR YOU. Tell the people whose houses were lost in Louisiana that their Kodachromes just got unlucky. Tell them how to replace those memories.
    This is what we call a 'single point of failure'. And it is a flaw inherent in protection strategies for film - copies are always slightly inferior to the original. Yet a digital copy is bit-for-bit exactly the same as the original. It can be stored in multiple locations, using multiple formats, and kept updated with regular checks and whatever the latest technology for recording happens to be in the future. This is what banks do with your money - would you prefer they not? Thanks to Sarbannes-Oxley, they'd be tossed in jail if they tried.
    digital has to be copied onto new media everyfew years. So it is an ongoing, active process. People have to both care and to be bothered and to spend money.
    If people do not care and do not wish to be bothered, then to heck with their images. If they want them, they can protect them. They can choose a little protection, a lot of protection, or some level in between that they feel happy with.
    I wish I was as sure as you that that will happen.
    I work in the computer industry, I work on a daily basis with Disaster Recovery and Business Continuation. I know what happens with storage techniques change and older recording formats become obsolete and tapes and other media degrade. Those who want to protect their data do so, and those who do not, don't.
    Not one of you has told me how to recover those protected negatives that were lost in the World Trade Center attacks. HOW DO WE GET THEM BACK? You can't tell me, because we cannot. They are gone. If they had been scanned and digital copies made, they would NOT be gone. How hard is that to grasp?
    The truth is, the methods exist for protecting film and data in ways that extend their useful life. Nothing can be made to last forever, everything degrades. So the choice is one of risk versus cost. Every method of storage has a risk associated with it. It might fail. That risk can be quantified. Every method of storage has a cost (in time or money or both) associated with it. As steps are taken to lower the risk, the price of protecting the image or data increase. People have to decide what level of risk they are comfortable with, and if they find themselves uncomfortable, then they should decide how much they want to spend to reach their comfort zone.
    Thirty years in a sock drawer might be fine - or it might not. The film might degrade, or a tornado might wipe out everything. One can decide how comfortable they feel about the risks and then make a decision as to whether those slides should stay in the sock drawer.
    Thirty years on a CD might be fine - or it might not. The dye might degrade and render the CD unreadable. Digital media formats might change and make a CD reader something difficult to find. One can decide how comfortable they feel about the risks and then make a decision as to whether that CD should be copied to multiple locations, and updated as newer technologies become available.
    The amazing thing to me is that film archives can be (and are) digitized and stored using the methods I've mentioned. By places like the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. So you can have your cake and eat it too - Kodachrome slides AND CD-ROMS or DVDs burned and kept in different offsite locations and kept updated.
    But some crusty old codgers keep insisting that all CD's will be unreadable in 30 years, following rumors you've read or heard about, but unable to accept that technology keeps getting better and that there are alternatives to putting a shoebox full of slides in the sock drawer that aren't too painful. If they're not worth doing, then your images are not worth preserving.
     
  8. The archival nature of Kodachrome is why I still shoot my chromes with K'chrome. I've found
    some kodachromes that my parents took of me 40 years ago and they look just the same; my
    E6 slides from 20 years ago have now faded and gone yellow or green. B/W film, that's really
    archival.

    Charlie
     
  9. archival records--papers, gov't records, newspapers, all manner of photos--in general are
    all being "digitized" now, but not really for the purpose of "archiving". the archives already
    exist, and for about the past century, film (b/w mainly) has been the format for the
    longterm record. microfilm is really what all the standards are written around, but certain
    progrtams like the habs/haer and the nhr, both have their own sets of standards as well,
    although the latter has begun accepting digital now as well.

    the digitization projects cited above--LOC for example--these are for access. most of
    them started out as projects from the libraries really, and then crossed over into archives
    and museums by the association of the fields. you can track the history of all this, if you
    don't buy this simplified version, but I work in the field, and have pretty much witnessed
    this first hand over the past decade.

    if you look at each of these types of institutions--libraries, archives and museums--they
    might seem the same, but each one has a different approach in the end in terms of
    "archiving" and "access"--which I won't bore you all with, but just because the LOC has
    American Memory, or NARA has ARC, doesn't mean they exist as "archives". They're online
    exhibits really for the most part, and some exist as a way to serve the patron base with the
    most popular images for example, from a cross section of the holdings.

    NARA, LOC and the various Smithsonians-not to mention many state level archives and
    their affiliates--still operate film based archives. The Fed archives have a number of sites
    around the country, but NARA has a state of the art vault in MD, and LOC and NARA both
    have storage underground as well.

    lastly---the archive affiliated with where I work, recently revamped their labs (photo &
    microfilm). the b/w lab has a brand new b/w processor, and the microfilm lab replaced an
    aging camer with a very high-end, oversized (like the size of a car, literally) scanner that
    uses a film recorder of sorts to image the file to microfilm for storage.

    what I have seen over the past decade, is a move towards digital as a way to broaden the
    services (patrons) or open up collections to a bigger audience. But behind the scenes, the
    nuts & bolts haven't changed too much. the big change has been with the industry
    tanking, and forcing most of the labs within archives & museums to go digital. that's the
    reality. it's not coming from the inside, but from the outside.

    my opinions only as always, even though I'm at home, off the clock...
     
  10. That is fascinating, and I will have to defer to you with reference to 'archive' versus 'access' projects (microfilm versus digital). My only information comes from public news sources, so you're the insider as far as that goes. I'll note that in my world, although microfilm archiving of paper records still happens, it is on the way out and has been for a long time. For data and intellectual property, digital backup is the only acceptable archive method.

    I will note that by your account, whether one chooses microfilm or digitalization as archive methods, a great deal of effort in the form of time and expense is spent in this pursuit. Not exactly the same as shoving slides into a cardboard box and putting them in the cupboard for 40 years - or making CD-ROM discs and then ignoring them until the ons turn to offs and vice-versa.

    One could say that the same is true for the enthusiast with a shoebox full of Kodachrome slides. If that is the level of archive they are comfortable with (the known stability of Kodachrome versus all other known photography film types), then that's fine.

    What I guess gets my blood pumping is when "Look how good Kodachrome is" devolves into yet another "and of course, digital sucks because those discs won't be readable in 30 years" bleats. Is there any way to get past that nonsense?
     
  11. Wigwam, do you think it would be fair to say the following:

    "Under ideal conditions, and with sufficient expenditure of time and money, photographs can be successfully archived either digitally or on film, with each system having its advantages. However, under the less-than-ideal conditions under which the vast majority of amateur photographers store their images, certain films, such as Kodachrome and silver-based b&w films, may offer better stability or easier image retrieval than the digital systems that these photographers are likely to actually use."

    ?
     
  12. I was fascinated by the newly found 8mm movies of JFK in Dallas. Since this thread has morphed into a discussion of image archiving I'll provide the short version of my speech on the subject.

    Museums: The archiving experts at the Eastman House museum recommend digitizing all images and storing copies on multiple redundant servers in geographically separate locations. They further recommend that you need an endowment sufficient to provide IT support for this system in perpetuity.

    Amateurs: Very few personal collections of digital image files will outlive their creators. Digital collections CAN be managed to last forever and old digital media CAN often be recovered, but this WONT often happen. Are your children gong to preserve your collections?

    There is a great story about the Albert Stone collection of newspaper images in Rochester. We have these images today because B&W glass plates could survive decades of neglect in an attic. On a personal level, I have color images that are older than I am (55) because my grandfather shot Kodachrome.

    I urge most digital snapshooters to get good quality prints made from the "keepers". Silver halide or thermal prints will not last forever, but chances are good they will outlive the digital media. My personal favorite method for long term storage of amateur digital images is to output on Ektachrome Dupe film. Your great great grand children will have images that they can appreciate.
     
  13. the archivists call microfilm the "gold standard". (now, I'm not an archivist, as I post here
    in the past, I'm a photographer, but I work alongside archivists, preservation folks,
    curators, conservators, educational outreach people--you name it--a lot of different
    mindsets within the community. The unifying goal is to be a good steward of whatever the
    collection is, but the access part is pretty varied).

    every kind of paper document--books, newspapers, gov't records etc--is "reformatted" to
    microfilm. even the local stuff--city & county etc--is often sent higher up the chain to the
    state level, or outsourced to the private sector for reformatting. The ansi standards for
    microfilm are 500 yrs, if stored within the standard. Digital media is often compared back
    to microfilm. Nothing really has replaced it in these terms. I don't know--I'm just a
    photographer....but...there's a hell of alot of microfilm in archives all over the country,
    stored above ground and a lot underground as well. since the 50s, microfilm has been it,
    with sheet film coming in next. roll film was always lower, and color films--kodachrome,
    and reversal next, color neg bottom of the pile. for paper, it was fiber of course, with rc on
    the bottom, but truth be told, almost all the archives use rc paper for "access" to the negs
    which are the longterm files, so fiber use fell off in the past decade or two anyways.

    the film vs digital thing is a straw man argument really. there are complex realities at play,
    that will play out in different ways depending on the type of institution and what their
    policies are. some programs like habs/haer are still regimented around hard-core sheet
    film use (must be processed just so) and fiber paper, whereas others (nat'l historic
    register) have been more lenient towards rollfilm and rc paper, and really tight controlled
    storage. In the past year, they've gone to accepting digital. Right now, the program is 50/
    50 really, but to be honest, I think film is where they should be, because with digital there
    is no standard really, and no benchmark either. Then again, that's not my job, so what I
    think really doesn't matter. It's a national program though--and the reason behind the
    shift to digital was that labs were going out of business and the field work couldn't get
    done.

    It's plain and simple--the outside world drives us. The archival market has never been
    large. the entire history is around materials that are constantly changing, and some
    methods are disproven as time passes. It's just life. But there's this track record of film,
    and it sticks. There's also the infrastructure, that is all paid for. to shift into digital is a
    slow process, because of the massive nature of the collections. A commercial entity like
    CORBIS, can reformatt the bettman collection, and see financial gain. A state or federal
    archive? Probably not. The Smithsonian is apparently exploring that a bit, but in my neck
    of the woods, we operate at cost, as a service to the public. we charge no usage fees. with
    digital, whatever money we made to pay for the traditional lab is gone. there is no money
    to digitize everything or to keep up with the technology either. It's just so much easier to
    make a print in a darkroom to be honest, and it's more cost effective. same goes for
    shooting 4x5--you can output to almost anything, and it's very stable with low priorities
    really for storage.

    the reasons to stick with film are complicated. but I truly believe we serve the public better
    in the long run, since the quality of 4x5 is high, and the upkeep of a film archive is not
    that bad compared to digital. Of course--in the end--we will be digital, because the
    market is headed that way. The collections coming in now, and many being generated, are
    digital as well--so they're being stored onsite, mirrored offsite, stored onto all sorts of
    redundant media etc. It's just never ending,

    btw--I was at the smithsonian several years ago for a conference on managing photo
    collections in the "digital world"--and they advised sticking with film. I'm involved with
    online digitization projects myself, and shoot a lot of digital for work as well--but we still
    shoot 4x5. The day we stop is when all the manufacturers go out of business.

    my opinions of course.
     
  14. "Under ideal conditions, and with sufficient expenditure of time and money, photographs can be successfully archived either digitally or on film, with each system having its advantages. However, under the less-than-ideal conditions under which the vast majority of amateur photographers store their images, certain films, such as Kodachrome and silver-based b&w films, may offer better stability or easier image retrieval than the digital systems that these photographers are likely to actually use."

    No. I'm sorry, I can't agree. I've never agreed that recorded disks 'lose their spots', so to speak, in a short period of time. I've heard anecdotal evidence, and I'm sure they are telling the truth from their point of view. I have my own anecdotal evidence that my very old CDs and other media remain readable after decades. Neither proves anything, so I do not capitulate. I wish I could help you with that.
     
  15. "Silver halide or thermal prints will not last forever, but chances are good they will outlive the digital media."

    Based on what?

    That's what I'm talking about. There is no evidence for this, but people who have an anti-digital axe to grind continue to repeat it back and forth to each other until it sounds like fact to them.

    "My personal favorite method for long term storage of amateur digital images is to output on Ektachrome Dupe film."

    You gotta be yanking me. You'll make film-based copies of photos from digital cameras, but making copies of the actual files is too much trouble? Wooh, some of you guys will go to great lengths to live in a strange, strange, world.

    Do you make reel-to-reel backup copies of all your CD's too, against the day when all the CD players vanish or the discs all go blank?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but an optical copy of an original, although it can be 99.99n% as good as the original, is always inferior to it, even if in a small way. I recall making copies of slides and then copies of copies to see what would happen - didn't take long to turn detail into mush.

    Digital copies are 100%, bit-for-bit exact replicas. A copy of a digital photo is the same as the original, and so will the 1,000th copy. A scan of a slide or negative will be inferior to the original, but there will be no more degradation past that if stored in non-lossy format.

    "Your great great grand children will have images that they can appreciate."

    As long as nothing happened to the ol' homestead or the ol' retirement home or the ol' mobile home in Florida in the meantime.
     
  16. Guys, you missed the point altogether:

    Here was an 8mm Kodachrome reel stored in a Texas attic for 42 years; and when it came out is was not only in good enough condition to put on broadcast TV... It was still sharp enough to pick up the bunched-up jacket to confirm the single-bullet theory.

    All the other discussions about microfilm vs digital storage, etc... aren't germane to this thread about Kodachrome longevity.

    And by the way, I too archive some of my digital shots back onto Ektachrome with a film recorder.
     
  17. Does this mean Kodachrome still rules .......... for us poor little folk taking pictures of the kids and other family stuff or important things? I think so! Regards. Peace.
     
  18. Wow...hold on a minute. You guys are talking apples and oranges on the CD issue here.<BR><BR>
    I believe it is Wigwam that stated his music CDs from years ago are still fine, and someone else stated their old burnable CDs from a decade and a half are already toast . . .<BR>
    That's just it. The silver CDs that you buy massed produced from a factory, such as music CDs or software CDs, video DVDs - they have a much longer shelf life...yeah, like we wanted that copy of Windows 98 to last forever... :)<BR>
    The discs that you burn on a "home PC" CD drive - well, they are not nearly as archival. Just look at the underside, and you will see they are obviously not made out of the same material, etc.<BR><BR>
    Don't take my word for it either - just look at PC Magazine and other Ziff Davis publishing articles about writable CD failure; depending on the brand, it can happen in as little as 5 years.<BR><BR>
    The whole argument is really a moot point, though. Does this mean all CDs will fail that quickly? No. However, it does mean that someone dedicated to their archives of photos had better get their head in the game as to which writable CDs/DVDs to purchase (the ones with the most longevity), and re-burn them every so many years perpetually. Easy enough to do, it just takes time and dedication - like every good thing in life.<BR><BR>
    Jed
     
  19. Ask a lot of youngsters what is a floppy disc, 8 track tape,vinyl record,how to dial a rotary telephone,or even read a analogue clock and you will get a blank stare.Most of this technology is only twenty years removed, if that.What do you think their childrens offspring will think when they look at a bunch of dusty CF cards and DVDs in grandpa's attic - my original thought.A jack ass can hold up a reel of 8mm film to a light and figure out what they are looking at,enough said.That is the problem.This post was about the ability of a offspring to bring to our attention that a major historical event recorded on Kodachrome by his father was still in perfect shape and readable by a him (a non proffesional photographer)42 years later and he was able to donate it for future generations reference material.
     
  20. Pre civil war documents are often on vellum, made of ground up rags ie cotton. Post civil war documents are often on paper, made of wood pulp. Thus in Southertn courthouse's that were not burned down in the 1930's due to the taxman selling of land; the surviving pre civil war stuff is often in better condition than post civil war documents.
     
  21. true--the first newspapers were on cotton as well. they survive, whereas later on, these
    are the ones shot to microfilm. most archives keep anything older than about 150 years,
    but the newer stuff gets copied & then it's destroyed.

    btw--dan--I was only trying to point out that the argument that the LOC or NARA is
    digitzing material doesn't mean they're converting their collections to a "better" medium.
    They're still film based. It's about the access really.

    I can also regale you with tales of patrons bringing in rare photos found in attics and
    closets or barns, in the worst conditions...I still print glass plates at work, that for almost
    100 years were stored in various public libraries & residences on the outer banks of NC,
    and survived all sorts of foul weather. the biggest loss to them came when someone about
    60 years threw a bunch of them away. they weren't interested in the buildings &
    landscape, as much as the portraits.

    it's not a bad idea to image a file to a hard copy. it's actually pretty smart.
     
  22. The failure mode of an image often will be an unplanned event. Having multiple copies in several locations can help an image survive. As mentioned a microfilm record is very archival. <BR><BR>Images can often survive and "who, what, when, where" of the image become lost as your relatives pass away. <BR><BR>
     
  23. All this archival talk about possible lost images has me worried. So ...... I was thinking ..... what about storing my Kodachrome slides in surplus ammo cans?

    I believe they are waterproof ...... probably fairly airtight ..... partially fireproof ... probably EMP safe ..... sort of blast proof ....... very sturdy ........ cheap.

    What's the downside? Regards.
     
  24. I like the Ammo Can idea - it has some merit. I might be interested in that as well - although I like to look at my slides from time to time - so I need more of a box or binder to put the plastic pages in ...<BR>
    Jed
     
  25. Funny you should mention that: In the last few weeks I've started to store my unexposed film in vacuum-packed "Seal-A-Meal" bags in my freezer. At minimum, when the bag is vacuumed out, most of the moisture is extracted as well; so warm-up times, where condensation is an issue, are reduced.

    I think I'll start a new thread on this!
     
  26. "Guys, you missed the point altogether"

    We got the point: Kodachrome has great resolving detail and lasts a long time. Whoa! Stop the presses!

    Seriously, what did you expect people to say about it except "I knew that."

    You should be happy this thread evolved into anything at all, since the original topic gives it nowhere to go (except a bunch of people patting themselves on the back for using Kodachrome all these years).
     
  27. CD "rot" is a well documented phenomenon and shows that digital storage devices are not all universally archival. I think people too often use extreme examples to prove their point. Assuming Al-Qaeida doesn't fly a plane into one's building or you're not hit by the storm of the century, unattended film stands a better chance of being usable at a later date than a digitally stored image. Can digital be more archival than film? Yes it can, but as has already been pointed out, it is very labor intensive you need to be very determined and disciplined. The moment this stops, all that hard work put into archiving your files is for nothing. While I'm not arrogant enough to think my images should last forever, it would be nice to know that some pics of family and friends could be used and seen by younger generations. The best chance of this happening is for me to shoot film. For pictures not belonging to NASA, government agencies or other well funded entities, the idea that images stored as digital files will be maintained and survive generations down the road is borderline laughable.
     
  28. I'll make another attempt to clarify my arguments. I doubt I will convince Mr. Jones, but I can live with that.

    "'Silver halide or thermal prints will not last forever, but chances are good they will outlive the digital media.'

    Based on what?"

    Based on simple logic. Silver halide and thermal prints will last for 50 to 100 years or more. Most of us wont. Some of my digital images are recorded on the CD-R's with gold foil and phthalocyanine dye that may last for 300 years. (Kodak started selling these disks again at about 10x the price of the cheap ones.) Some of my images are Kodachrome slides. If my box of images happens to survive for 200 years, the Kodachrome slides will be easily recognizable. If my descendants find them, I'll bet they will take a look. The high quality CD's will still be readable and there will be some institutions that will have working devices to recover the images. Will my descendants bother to do this? I doubt it.

    In my earlier post, I mentioned the advice of archiving experts at the Eastman House Museum to digitize everything and fund an IT staff in perpetuity. They also said that if you can't fund the IT staff, don't bother with the digitization because eventually, the files will be lost. My conclusion from their recommendation is that amateur collections should be in human readable form. They need to be on a media that will survive decades of neglect and be easily accessible to future generations. That's where I come to Ektachrome Dupe film. It is about as stable as Kodachrome and the film and processing will be around longer.

    It is possible to get digital media that will last for 200 years. It is possible to get human readable media that will last for 200 years. Our descendants are more likely to keep the human readable stuff.
     
  29. Good points Ron. IMO, the best method for ultimate archaivability would be to shoot on a proven film with a proven archival track record like Kodachrome or B+W and scan to get a digital file thus obtaining the best of both worlds. In the likelyhood that the files are lost, corrupted or unreadable 80 years down the road, at least there is a durable "hard copy" still available. I have CD's from the early 90's that are unreadable or skip and reloop to no end despite being stored properly. About a year ago I received some family negs from 1918 which had defects and such but still provided very good prints after a little retouching. They had been stored in a manilla envelope. The thought of being able to do this with a "rediscovered" 80 year old CD seems unlikely. Fading, scratches and color shifts can be corrected to an great extent but one issue with a digital file or CD can render the image lost forever.
     
  30. I have been thru the museum in Dallas and stood on "the grassy knoll". The experience was moving. In the context of the film revealing details, it shows that some still have questions and are doing research decades after the event. It does not surprise me that people miss details in pictures after multiple passes. Kodachrome is a fantastic film! My family has left me dozens of 8mm taken with a Kodak camera, and they are wonderful recordings of my childhood and the trips we took! Each time I watch, memories are refreshed - sometimes corrected. I still occasionally use Kodachrome for special trips and events where the images will outlive me and be passed on to my children . . .and theirs. My intention is to catch bits of events and pass them on . . . perhaps relate a story.
     
  31. Never fear: The JFK Kodachrome has now been digitized. So one way or another it will survive.
     
  32. There is a recent photographic album - Maholy Nagy and his
    experiments in color (do not remember the exact title). His color
    photographs were taken before the II nd WW, in the thirties -
    apparently they survived until the III rd millennium.

    I have an 8mm movie which my father shoot after I was born
    during the war (taken with Siemens camera). Must have been
    made in 1943 or 44, most likely on Agfa film. The colors are still
    there, although they have never been as brilliant as that of
    contemporary films.
     

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