archiving, digital vs. film

Started Oct 3, 2003 | Discussions thread
Floyd Kessler Contributing Member • Posts: 654
Re: archiving, digital vs. film

I have over 2800 slides from European trips back to 1980. I am now in the process of removing them 4 at a time from the carousels and copying them in a film/slide scanner. The biggest problem is remembering the locale and/or subject to title them. It's slow. I was doing correction as I went but now I'm saving that for sessions with PS Elements later. At the rate I'm going I may finish in six months. I bought the Minolta Dimage Dual Scan III for $300 and it does a good job (the only one at that price). The next choice up is 3 times that amount and I could't justify that for a one time project. I won't even think about the film strips, if I could find them. I can always copy the photos on the flatbed scanner which I have already done.

I'm also transferring them to CD by date and locale. It keeps me out of bars and such.

merlin70 wrote:

david.mitchell wrote:

So, in reading back through various people's strategies for
backups, most of them seem to be oriented around making multiple
redundant copies, as well as periodically refreshing those backups
to newer, possibly to a more current format.

For me, the HUGE advantage of shooting film is that as long as you
keep the negs relatively dry and in a safe place, they'll be usable
indefinitely. Digital, on the other hand, requires effort to
maintain those backups. That means even if for my entire life I
keep my backups refreshed, my children will have to bear the burden
(if they care).

Forget that, I want to shoot digital, but back up the keepers to
FILM with a film recorder. Not only does film last much longer
without any kind of maintenance requirement, but it would be much
easier to come up with some way to print from some
no-longer-standard film size than an antique backup format. Even
now I have some 8mm backup tapes from a few years ago that I have
no way to read, EVEN IF the tape is still good.

Im wondering, are most ordinary people for the most part just not
really concerned about the longevity of their images? I'd be
willing to bet, that beginning in just a few years from now, people
who werent very diligent about their backups are going to start
discovering that their CD-Rs aren't so permanent after all, and
they're going to be just FREAKING OUT.

So, doesnt anyone share my opinion that film recorders should be
seeing the same kind of progress that scanners and printers have
over the past few years? As far as I know, there's no such thing as
a "consumer grade" film recorder. The cheapest one i've seen is
$500 or so for a well-used bulky old thing. I dont quite understand
why they would be any more or less complex than a decent quality
film scanner.

Your thoughts would be welcome!


With computers, admittedly it is a pain to keep up with rapidly
changing technology. But it is also a pain to physically store
negatives, and you always have the possibility of envronmental
damage no matter what (fire, burst pipes, etc.)

CD-R's are tougher than you might think. Sure there is always the
story of "some guy" who lost a million dollars because he couldn't
read his cd-r. I have CD-R's that are 4-5 years old now and have
been subjected to temps ranging from -30 to +165, water, sand,
being dropped, being stepped on, and not one has ever missed a
beat. Try storing you negs in 165 degree heat and see how long
they last.

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