As we have posted previously, we have had some success treating deteriorating 35mm negatives by stripping the gelatin image layer from its acetate base. These are scans of the stripping project and experiments that we have been carrying out over the last few weeks. These before and after pictures show the potential efficacy of stripping 35mm film as a treatment for negative preservation and digital image capture.
The “before” scan shows both channelling and blister-like bubbles that marred the image on the film. One can also get a sense of the curling of the film strip from the highlights around the edge of the sprocket holes because the film was unable to be flattened completely in the scanner.
While stripping can’t eliminate all the image flaws in deteriorated film it can go a long way to render the image workable as well as stabilizing the gelatin layer by removing it from the damaging effects of decaying acetate.
Once the gelatin layer is flattened and dry the gelatin is relatively resilient (though not suitable for traditional enlarging) but stable to further changes if kept in a proper storage environment.
The negative can at this point be digitized for archiving or for digital output as an LVT negative or pigment print.