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It's Alive! Resurrection of Dead Ektachrome

February 12 2012 at 12:28 AM
Brent Gair  (Login KBGair)
HyperScale Forums
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Spurred on by recent posts here, I'm making an effort to digitze some old slides before they are irretrievably lost. As others have mentioned, we all have some well preserved KODACHROME. Unfortunately our old Ektachromes and similar process films haven't faired as well.

For that reason, I'm concentrating on some of those bad Ektachromes right now. I know my Kodachromes don't need immediate attention.

I want to show you what I've done with some rough slides today.

Rather than scanning, I have my own contraption that uses a DSLR with a macro lens to rephotograph my slides. These particular slides are of interest to me because they show one of the earliest 747's to land in Winnipeg...this was a suprisingly regular event in 1970 due to teething problems with the 747 engine. Several PAN AM 747's diverted here every week (people were beginning to think we actually had Pan Am 747 service from Winnipeg happy.gif ).

Note that the original slide area is square and it's smaller than a normal 35mm slide. I must assume, therefore, that these slides are from a 126 size cassette used in the ancient Kodak Instamatics. Remember, when these were taken, I would have been about 11 or 12 years old so I didn't own a Nikon! And the camera would have had a small (likely plastic) lens so even discounting the bad condition, the images aren't that great. But I am pleased that I was able to save them, such as they are.

The top images are as they came out my DSLR. I just converted the raw files to jpegs to post here. I cropped the restored versions because, obviously, there is nothing gained by displaying the near square format. Fortunately, as bad as they look, there was enough information in the images to retrieve pretty good color. As you might guess, EVERY parameter had to be adjusted: contrast temperature, saturation, and so on. The real tedious work was fixing all the specks and mold damage by cloning it out or using the "spot healing" tool in Photoshop Elements. While the restored versions won't win any prizes, they are viable images.

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