The Effects of Time on Film Reels: Understanding Film Degradation

As we grow older, we learn to appreciate the moments that we have spent with our loved ones. The memories that we create with them are priceless, and we want to keep them with us forever. Film reels are one such medium that we use to capture our memories, but they are not impervious to the passage of time. In this article, we will explore the effects of time on film reels and how you can preserve your memories.

Film Degradation

Over time, film reels can begin to deteriorate due to several factors. Film degradation is a complex process that can be caused by exposure to light, poor handling and use, poor storage management, and pollution. The longer the film is exposed to these factors, the more significant the degradation becomes.

Factors that Contribute to Degradation

Several factors contribute to the degradation of film reels. The most common factors are exposure to light, poor handling and use, poor storage management, and pollution.

Exposure to Light

Film reels are vulnerable to light exposure, especially UV light. Exposure to light can cause fading, color shifts, and even the destruction of the emulsion layer. The emulsion layer is what makes the film sensitive to light, and any damage to it can render the film unusable.

Poor Handling and Use

Film reels are fragile and can easily be damaged if not handled properly. Scratches, tears, and even fingerprints can damage the film, leading to degradation over time. Using the wrong equipment or not following proper procedures can also damage the film.

Poor Storage Management

The storage environment can also contribute to film degradation. Film reels should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, moisture, and heat. Poor storage conditions can cause the film to warp, stick together, or develop mold and fungus.


Pollution can also contribute to film degradation. Polluted air can cause the film to deteriorate faster, especially if the pollutants are acidic or corrosive.

Regular Maintenance for Film Reels

Regular maintenance can help prevent film degradation and prolong the life of your film reels. Proper storage is key to preserving your film reels, as it can help protect them from exposure to light, dust, and other pollutants. Avoid storing your film reels in damp or humid environments, as moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow on the film. Cleaning the film and checking it for damage regularly can help preserve it.

Preserve your Memories Forever

Having regular maintenance isn’t enough if you want to preserve your memories forever. Film reels will eventually degrade, and there is no guarantee that they will last forever, even with proper maintenance. The best way to preserve your memories is to use an old film to digital conversion service. Digitizing your film reels ensures that they are safe from further degradation and can be easily stored, shared, and viewed.

Preserving our memories is important, and film reels are a timeless medium that we use to capture them. However, film degradation is a real threat that can cause the loss of our cherished memories. Understanding the factors that contribute to film degradation and taking proper care of your film reels can help preserve them.To guarantee that your memories endure for a lifetime, digitizing them is the ideal solution. It’s recommended that you consider utilizing the services of a professional like Capture who specializes in this area.

To get your film reels digitized, visit Capture’s website to learn more about their film to digital transfer services. Convert with Capture’s expertise, transfer your film reels into digital format and preserve your memories for generations to come.

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