Cleaning scanner after having scanned film possibly affected by vinegar syndrome

Discussion in 'Scanning and Scanners' started by FilmCurlCom, May 7, 2018.

  1. FilmCurlCom

    FilmCurlCom Member

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    I have recently scanned a film which had a certain amount of smell to it.
    I am still not sure whether it was just because of its age or it actually was affected by vinegar syndrome.
    Now I am worried that if I scan other old negatives (that are so far perfectly fine) they might get infected too.
    Is cleaning the scanner's glass wih mild glass cleaning solution and cleaning the top cover sufficient to make sure I will not transfer the possible vinegar syndrom to other negatives I scan in the future? Or what else should / could I do?
     
  2. Kino

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    A good cleaning with a low to neutral PH solution (Windex or ammonia in water) should be all that is needed.
     
  3. OP
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    FilmCurlCom

    FilmCurlCom Member

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    Thank you!
    And for the camera that was used, any suggestions how to clean that?
    Also I was wondering, why the raw film smells now, whilst the piece I already devloped does not anymore?
    Could it be that the developing chemistry neutralized something (even though vinegar syndrome cannot be stopped) or could it be that it never was that syndrome to begin with?
    I was told that some old films just smell similar to vinegar because of their ingredients but I never really believed that...
     
  4. Kino

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    https://www.nfsa.gov.au/preservation/preservation-glossary/vinegar-syndrome

    Same deal on the camera; just a quick wipe down of the film chamber (careful of the shutter) with a lint free cloth dampened with Windex or an ammonia/water solution and dry completely.

    By processing the film, you have swung the PH of the film wildly up and down and brought it back to neutral; eliminating the strong acids produced by Vinegar Syndrome. It could extend the life of the film quite a bit, but cannot "cure" the film.

    (In fact ,"rewashing or redevelopment" is a common tactic to extend the life of motion picture elements that exhibit vinegar syndrome.)

    Once the process begins, it will eventually reinstate and continue at a pace. You can retard the advancement by using molecular sieves which absorb the free acid produced. Kodak makes them; google search.

    DO keep this apart from your other film, as it is autocatalytic and the vapors can be infectious and trigger the reaction in other film. Iron oxide is a known trigger, so don't store your negatives in a iron box.
     
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    FilmCurlCom

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    Perfect, thanks a lot!
    Yes, I do know already about the danger of the vapors, so I will keep the film away from my good negatives.
    I was just wondering if the bad film having rested on the scanner's glass for some time might already infect the next negative that I will put there, so can infection happen at a later point in time as well. Or is it mostly due to vapors when BOTH films are present at the SAME time?
    But I hope that cleaning the glass will make sure nothing happens.
     
  6. Kino

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    I wouldn't sweat it. Just clean everything when it comes in contact with VS film and don't store it together with uninfected film for extended periods.

    It's not like the flu; it takes a long exposure to infect other media.
     
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    FilmCurlCom

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    ok, thank you, am relieved to hear that. Other places always made it sound like it was very fast in infecting good film.
     
  8. Mainecoonmaniac

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    I wouldn't try to clean the smell out by using another smelly product. Just air your scanner out in a dust free environment if the smell bothers you.
     
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    FilmCurlCom

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    The scanner does not smell fortunately, I was just concerned about infecting other negatives that are valuable to me having them touch where the bad film was before.
     
  10. Kino

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    If the film left visible gook behind, you'll actually want to clean the platten or gate of whatever it touches. A byproduct of VS can be carbolic acid...
     
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