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How Long Does An Average Slide Last?  
User currently offlineUTA_FLYINGhigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 48
Posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7501 times:

This is a question for the more snior spotters over here.
I shoot Provia and Sensia, tried out a little EliteChrome in the past. (all 100 ISO). I now have quite a large collection of slides; however, will l be able to show them to my grandchildren in the future ?


Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineKereru From New Zealand, joined Jun 2003, 873 posts, RR: 40
Reply 1, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7481 times:


You have to have children first before you get to have grandchildren?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

I am a senior and have both (children and grandchildren) and I have slides that are from 40+ to 20 yrs old. The better brands are almost like the day I took them (Perutz, Ektachrome etc), alas at one time in there storage history some got a little damp and the cheaper brands have deteriorated somewhat beyond restoration. Fortunately I have been able to get most of the rare aircraft ones onto computer and uploaded a few to A.net so that my grandchildren and even your grandchildren will be able to enjoy them. Keep them in the dark, cool and dry and they should last longer than mine have as they are of a higher quality now than they were 40year ago.

Might be hard to find a projector in years to come to show them in the traditional way on a screen.


Good things take Time.
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7472 times:

The problem with slides is that longevity depends very much on processing and storage. The storage you can deal with yourself (though "archival" storage can get expensive!). Processing is another matter. I have slides from my father and grandfather dating back to the late 50s (ie. nearly 50 years old). Some have lasted well, others have faded. There is no real pattern as to which brands last and which don't, so I think some of the variation can only be explained by less than optimum processing.

The exception is, of course, Kodachrome, which seems to last forever, and part of this is due to the fact that only Kodak can process this stuff, and quality control is more rigid than your average local chemist!

So with slides - pay for quality processing (or do it yourself), and store the slides properly. But now the technology is affordable, scan and store the images digitally as well. This acheives 2 things - it gives you an additional record of the image which you can duplicate as required, plus, once scanned, you need never handle the slide again for prints copies etc.



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineOlympus69 From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 1737 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7424 times:

I have Kodachrome slides dated 1953 that are still in perfect condition. OTOH most of my Ektachrome slides from the '50s have faded or taken on a reddish tint.

User currently offlineRayPettit From United Kingdom, joined May 2002, 608 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7413 times:

Another senior speaking! I have my dad's old Kodachrome slides (as far back as 1963) and they are still in good shape. They have got grimy of course, but that's not a processing issue. It has been a joy cleaning them in Photoshop and to see the results here on a.net

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © A V Pettit

One tip: start scanning and cleaning them sooner rather than later. If you have old ones that need cleaning, each one takes a while to do, and you need to rest tour eyes also!


User currently offlineWannabe From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 681 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 7406 times:

I have Kodachromes from my father dating back to the late 1940's that still look great. Storage is key...not too hot and not too cold, keep them covered and dry.

User currently offlineDstc47 From Ireland, joined Sep 1999, 1608 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7363 times:

I have a large set of slides taken by my uncle, dating from 1950 / late 1970's.

Some of the early ones are showing mould damage, but this may be due to damp - he had a house flooding while away on holidays and the water ran for days.

The early Agfa / Perutz slides seem to have lasted rather better than Ilford / Kodak ones of the same vintage, with less fading or colur shifts.

By the way no digital media known to me is guaranteed to last for that duration.

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7338 times:

It is unknown how long current slidefilm will last.
While some slides from the 1950s have lasted 50 years now, others from the same brand have not so that's no indication (except that slides MAY last a long time).
As emulsions, filmbase, chemicals, and processing change over time there's no guarantee that a slide shot today will have the same potential (even if the film has the same name as that longlasting slide out of the past).

Anyway: who really cares?
Do you really think your work is so important that it should last a hundred years or more?
Because if you do you have an incredible superiority complex IMO...
If you want your slides to last a long time, pay for professional processing rather than the one-hour shop on the corner, then pay for professional climate controlled storage.
That's the best you can do (but of course you never get to see the slide as for many emulsions exposure to light will deteriorate the emulsion and sometimes even the filmbase, as will exposure to the higher temperatures encountered when holding the slide or worse yet sticking it in a projector and shining a big light through it).

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 813 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7319 times:

Anyway: who really cares?

Well, perhaps UTA's grandchildren. I personally get great pleasure from looking at my grandfather's slides. Few would be considered of much photographic merit, yet they provide a glimpse of a different time and a sense of what daily life was like then - I, and my kids, get a kick out of the different fashions, cars etc. etc. My kids, in particular, will often point out some artifact or activity which is completely alien to them.

Let's assume a positive motive for UTA's query ... in a digital/disposable age it would be nice to think some people are concerned with leaving a record for future generations - it helps kids to have a sense of place and tradition, and history is much more real to them when they can link the past with their own family.



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineUTA_FLYingHIGH From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 48
Reply 9, posted (12 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7314 times:

Thanks Colin Big grin
My main motive when starting this thread (note : no plugging) was to know if my main storage media would withstand the lengths of time.
My latest contributions on this site may have been the output of digicams, but I started out with SLR's and slide film, and I still shoot these for my personal collection. Now that DSLR prices are finally becoming interesting, I wanted to know if if was worthwhile of continuining to shoot slides and invest in an EOS-1, or go full digital with a 10-D.


Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
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