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History, Conservation, and Repair The history of photographic prints, and how best to care for and repair them.

Tintype Cleaning

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Old 05-30-2007, 09:14 AM
meres5 meres5 is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1
Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

Hi out there,

I found some real old tintypes (ferrotype) deep in the
drawer filled with family photos.

It is a nightmare to scan them!

I've seen how PR gurus dealt with the subject,
but I have had a closer look at the tintype itself -

I've found the following:

- Fe plate with brown stuff on back - seems all OK.
One piece was corroded a bit at the edge - bobbing up something weird :-)
- Near the corroded edge, I have poked it a bit using a pin and found
further layers:
- Protective coating can be poked off from the top.
It seemed to be a layer of dried, broken, and dirty varnish.
That layer is picked up by my scanner - instead of ...
- Below the coating, the emulsion seemed intact,
and PERFECTLY smooth-black at the unexposed edge.
It is high likely that the exposed area remained perfect too
for the last 120 years!

Cleaning the varnish off by poking with a pin is
not a good idea (a wrong move may harm the emulsion too).

Any suggestion how to remove it - while the emulsion
remains intact? (heating? chemicals? oil-wash?)

Best regards
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Old 07-20-2007, 06:15 AM
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Alison Alison is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sanctuary Point, N.S.W Australia
Posts: 314
Re: Physical (not digital) Solutions to Restoring

A simple solution to quite a few problems is to photograph the image, rather than scanning or getting involved in chemicals etc., Shoot in the RAW format if your camera allows, so as to gain lots of information for retouching or restoring.
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