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Photography Question 
Larry Jackson

Curved Negatives

I would like to digitize several strips of 35-mm negatives, dating back to the 1950s and 1960s. I have a photo scanner, which will scan six fames at a time. I need to cut the strips into six frame pieces, but the negative strips were stored on a rectangular box with curved ends.
My question is, should I try to straighten the curved sections of the negatives and if so how should I straighten the them?

Thank you for your help.


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7/25/2008 9:58:32 AM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Howdy Larry. Here's my receipe for straghtening curled film or even just rewashing schmutzed film.

The easiest way to solve this assuming the negs aren't brittle with failing, cracking or flaking emulsions, is this:

You need to get a bottle of some stuff called Kodak Photo Flo or something similar, at a local camera store that sells darkroom equipment and supplies. It's a wetting and washing agent.

Mix a capful or two in quart of water in a mixing bowl or say a quart zize container and gently completely immerse the film in the solution (which is non-toxic). After a minute or so, you'll likely find that curves soften up and unwind. A minute or two more, remove the negs from the container, pour the solution over the film. Then hang it up to dry in a dust free space, maybe a bathroom shower rod, and hang a clothes pin or two from the bottom edges to weight it a down a bit and prevent recurling.
Don't use a film sponge or anything else to remove excess. Just let the film drip dry which it should do fine and without spots. No hair dryers please.

Once dry, slice, scan and serve at room temp. Enjoy. ;>)
Take it light.

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7/25/2008 12:15:22 PM

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