archiving, digital vs. film

Started Oct 3, 2003 | Discussions thread
OP david.mitchell Junior Member • Posts: 36
Thanks for the responses, was: archiving film vs digital

Hey, thanks for your response, you (and others) made a pretty darn good case for digital backups over film. It settles my mind to think that a decent CDR would be able to last longer than there will be readers available to read them!

The searchability argument was particularly persuasive to me, but on the other hand, I do love looking through my boxes of prints (I dont use slides) and doing a little time travel My motives are are purely amateur though, so im seldom needing to actually look up a particular photo.

Anyhow I went and made the big decision and listed my f3 on ebay and some other things to help offset the price of a new A1! Its been very hard to resist ordering it before getting the other stuff sold


slipe wrote:

I worry a lot more about the negatives and slides I haven’t backed
up to digital a lot more than I do about the long term viability of
my CDRs. I have 6 year old CDRs recorded on ElCheapo Cyanine based
CDs that still work fine – even sitting in the hot sun in my car
and boat changers. I use archival CDs for my images and check the
error rate even if they are completely readable. Burners are so
cheap I have two exactly the same and always burn two at once.
They get stored in different places. They claim 100 years for the
archival CDRs and I agree that estimate might be optimistic. But
based on my experience with short lasting dye types I don’t think
25 years is an excessive estimation if you store archival quality
CDRs in the dark.

There is also the point that the digital recording is 100% accurate
where transferring to film involves some quality loss. There is
more quality loss when you transfer the film back to digital in the
future. And IMO you would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to trust
your images to one instance of vulnerable film where multiple
digital backup is practical. So there is considerably more expense
and time involved in going to and from film considering the
redundancy required.

The cataloging is also more difficult as has been mentioned. I
think a program like IMatch will keep thumbnails and keep track of
images transferred to film, but most organizing programs won’t.
But it is a lot harder to manually log each film strip so you can
relate it to an organization program. And if you don’t trust
digital you will lose the tracking ability anyway.

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