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Re: filmscanners: Digital Shortcomings

For all the concern about the lifetime of CDs, I have been scanning my personal archives of slides and color negatives ranging mostly from the past 30 years, with a few older. I have to say that most of my 30-year old slides and negatives need Digital ROC (Restoration of Color) very badly. Ed Hamrick's independent version in Vuescan has done some remarkable things for me, turning slides that were very much faded to a predominantly magenta image into very much more believable ones. I would not count on slides and negatives to be truly 'archival' unless stored under 'archival' conditions, and maybe not even then. Storing and renewing a digital image on quality media every few years still seems like the best means now available.

At 05:33 PM 06/24/2001, you wrote:
<Of course, you could always make many backup copies since you'd only need one percent as many CDs>
The problem is that you need to remmember to make a third backup about 3/4 through the MTBF to be able to propogate your data forwards.
----- Original Message -----
From: RogerMillerPhoto@aol.com
To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
Sent: Sunday, June 24, 2001 12:36 PM
Subject: Re: filmscanners: Digital Shortcomings

In a message dated 6/24/2001 11:21:27 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
karlsch@earthlink.net writes:

Depends on the work.  In some image, grain is desirable.   Biggest I've
printed is 36"x 48" - but I am interested in doing some printing with
painted on emulsion.  The biggest 4x5 I've seen enlarged with nary a trace
of grain was about 80"x64"   Sure you can do that with a digital back fo a
4x5, but its a scanning back and it costs over $20k...

As far as I know, the digital backs for 4x5 cameras do not cover anywhere
near the entire 4x5 film plane.  Therefore, film is the best choice if size
of enlargement is the prime consideration.

I agree with your previous post concerning the fact that film will last many,
many years, while digital storage of photos is very limited in life.  The US
Copyright Office at the Library of Congress will not accept the common
digital storage methods we use for that very reason.  According to their web
site, however, they do have a study team looking at the issue.  And if
technology ever solves the digital storage issue, I'm sure they'll change
their policy and begin accepting such submissions.

In a related note, I read in one of my electronic trade publications ( E. E.
Times) that a company has develop a chip to work with ultraviolet lasers.  
The article stated that the UV lasers could be used in CD writers to write
the data more densely and that such a technology could store on a single CD
what it now takes 100 CDs to store.  I view that as a mixed blessing
(assuming it every becomes a reality).  A CD that becomes unreadable after
few years would now cause the loss of 100 times as many photos as would be
lost of a CD using current technology.  Of course, you could always make many
backup copies since you'd only need one percent as many CDs.  But unless they
can speed up the write process, imagine how long it would take to write a CD
that holds 100 times the info that our current CDs hold.

So, it looks like film will be around for a while longer.  It's more
permanent than digital, it's easier to archive, it's capable of higher
resolution, and you can always scan it if you need digital.


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