Why Should I Have My Negatives Scanned?
You may not realize it, but every day, your negatives are degrading. The quality of a negative is dependent upon how that negative is treated or stored. Heat, humidity, light and other environmental factors including what the image was stored in (acid free sleeves, shoeboxes, nothing at all), and pollution levels can contribute to the degradation of the image. Even the quality of the original film stock and chemistry used to process the film affect the lifespan of your film.
In the absolute best of conditions and quality, modern film stocks can be archived for up to 1000 years but in the real world, you can expect significantly less. For the average person, your film can survive for about 20-50 years.
“The dyes in color film are complex organic molecules that lose their color if structural rearrangements occur. The heat energy present at room temperature is enough to cause significant fading, so cold storage is recommended for color photographic films. ANSI Standard IT9.11-1991 cites a maximum temperature of 2°C (35°F) for extended term storage of color film.
[The] gelatin component of film is best stored at an average RH between 20% and 50%, a range in which there is enough moisture to avoid brittleness yet not enough to accelerate chemical deterioration or to grow mold.”
Obviously maintaining your film in these conditions would be nearly impossible for the average person without significant costs and even if one could store film in these conditions, it is always a good idea to back up your images to CD or hard drive because there are other real world factors to consider. Fires, floods and other natural disasters strike quickly, often without warning, and will destroy your film in an instant. Digital files can be store on your home computer and uploaded to the cloud for backup giving you a virtual disaster-proof safe to store your images in.
Having a backup plan for your film is important and it is never too early to begin working on digitizing your old negatives. That is where ScanMyPhotos can help.
ScanMyPhotos to the Rescue!
ScanMyPhotos offers hand scanning of each negative by one of our trained technicians which is then adjusted to achieve the optimum color and density so you end up with the best possible scan. ALL color negatives are scanned using Digital ICE to detect and reduce dust and surface scratches. At just 39¢ per frame, you can preserve a 24 exposure roll for less than $10. Aren’t your memories worth that?