Re: Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span?

Subject: Re: Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span?
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 10:39:52 -0500

Peter wrote:

This discussion has hit a raw nerve. I am a serious amateur photographer who
stopped competing about 25 years ago. About six months ago I rekindled my
interest and started digitizing my old images from film and slides. The
image degradation on the slides, which were stored in a cool area, is
nothing short of appalling.

Kodachrome was notorious for fading, and the older Ektachromes (E2-E3) weren't much better; although later versions (E4-E6) were a lot more stable providing they were processed and stored properly. Nikon Coolscan scanners come with several programs to clean up scratches and other defects, including restoring color to older Kodachrome images. I used it several years ago and it did remarkably well, but it does take a lot of memory.

I am in the process of researching the digital
storage issue and have so far concluded that if an image is worth
preserving, saving money by using cheap media is counter productive.

I'm with you there, but like a lot of others, I didn't know about data degradation when I first started digitizing my images and feature writing efforts. However, I've learned a lot over the past couple of years. First, never get rid of your image inventory or hard-copies of articles. Some friends did and are now in the process of recreating them. Second, nothing is permanent. I now have the date each data CD was created along with that information entered in my image and article databases. I intend to copy the older CDs onto newer media on a regular basis and not on the stuff that's always "on sales for half-price." You get what you pay for......

BTW: I like your images.

I sort of like them too... I also competed for a while and actually made a pretty good living at it, but dropped out to raise my son and daughter as a single parent and later move back to "America" from Alaska (20 years of 30 below winters and summers filled with mosquitoes was enough). My new wife has convinced me to re-enter the game and I've found the old excitement flooding back.

With Nikon's announcement that they are dropping most of their film cameras from production and focusing on digital imagery, how will this affect the permanence issue? As I read it, even the best CDs on the market have longevity problems and no-one is sure of what the newer DVDs will offer. Wilhelm Imaging Research ( has done extensive research on the longevity of photographs and photographic quality ink jet hasn't done anything in this area (yet), so we may be left with a situation where the camera's imaging abilities far exceeds the technology to store it's output.


Al Geist, Geist Associates
Technical Writing, Online Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design, Award Winning Videos, Professional Photography
Office: 802-658-3140

Cell: 505-400-4128
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
URL: <> (online portfolio/resume)

See also:
URL: <> (fine art prints for home or office and note cards for all occasions)

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RE: Do Burned CDs Have a Short Life Span?: From: Peter

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