Still Photographic Nitrate Film Digitising Solutions in Oxford UK

Archiving and Scanning Digitisation at Oxford Duplication Centre

Still Photographic Film Scanning

Specialist Still Photographic Film Digitising Specialists | Nitrate Film | Safety Acetate Film | Polyester Film to Archive Industry Standards

audio transfer | video transfer  | motion film transfer  | photographic film transfer  | book transfer  | document transfer 

Our services are highly recommended in the UK, providing high quality precision still photographic film scanning solutions for all your digital media requirements. Output digital files can be in any format, with typically any archive file converted to TIFF, with JPEG or PDF access files. We can support clients with any output dpi requirements from preservation copies to digital online files.

A photographic collection that contains any flexible, transparent film negatives from the time period of 1890-1950 is very likely to contain at least some nitrate film.Cellulose nitrate was the plastic commonly used for film-base photographic materials (stills, movie and X-ray films) otherwise known as celluloid which can be hazardous if not stored correctly. More modern film is acetate or polyester-based, which is less hazardous.

There are Six Levels of Nitrate Film Decay

Level 1: No deterioration
Level 2: Orange film discoloration and fading images
Level 3: The emulsion is adhesive and films stick together; film becomes brittle
Level 4: The film contains gas bubbles and gives off a noxious odour
Level 5:
The film is soft, welded to adjacent film and frequently covered with a viscous froth
Level 6: The film mass degenerates into a brownish acrid powder

Levels 1 - 3, the film can be copied. At Level 4, it may be possible to copy parts of films. At Levels 5 and 6, the film is useless and should be immediately destroyed by your local fire station because of the dangers of spontaneous combustion and chemical attack on other films.

What Do the Nitrate Film Negatives Look Like

The original nitrate negatives are usually one of these sizes: 35mm or 2 1/4 inch roll film,  or 3x4" or 4x5" sheet film. Some 5x7" and 8x10" sheet films were also used.

How to Identify Nitrate Film Decay

  • Labels: Check to see if the word ‘Nitrate’ is embossed or printed on the edge of the film. Some nitrate films have been copied onto less-flammable safety film, which might have the words ‘Nitrate’ and ‘Safety’ printed on the film.
  • Deterioration: If film is in any of the Levels of decay we noted above, assume it’s nitrate. But if the film is wrinkled or smells like vinegar, it’s most likely safety film.
  • Dates:
    • Assume that any film dated before 1920 is nitrate film.
    • Look for notches on the edge of any Kodak film dated from 1921 to 1940. Hold the film with the notches in the upper right corner. If the first notch from the right is shaped like a ‘V,’ you’re holding nitrate film. If the first notch looks like a ‘U,’ it’s most likely safety film.
    • For non-Kodak film from 1921 to 1940, all film from 1940 to 1950, and any film that can’t be dated – look for the signs of deterioration we mentioned above.

Don't Wait Too Long to Digitise Your Archives

In the 1980s it was estimated that the majority of nitrate film would have decomposed by 2000. However, through a systematic process of copying and by deep-freezing film, archivists have effectively bought themselves further time to tackle the problem. But during the last 20 years another problem, this time with acetate safety film—vinegar syndrome—has arisen which also needs to be tackled.


35mm Positive and 35mm Negative Slide Scanning Solutions in Oxfordshire UK

Standard Slide and Negative Strips

Our standard slide and negative strip scanning is very popular with consumer clients. With resolutions perfect for HD viewing these scan be scanned and preserved using our cloud server or onto USB, DVD or your own cloud.

Non Standard Film Slides to Digital in Oxfordshire UK

Non Standard Slide and Negative Strips

Our non standard slide and negative strip scanning is perfect for corporate, archive companies and consumer clients that batch small to large batches of slides. These formats require more specialist handling. With 3D stereo slides we would usually only scan one side unless advised.

Medium Format Film Conversion to Digital Oxfordshire UK

Medium Format Film Conversion to TIFF or JPEG

Our medium format and large format film scanning starts anywhere between 3.8 x 3.8cm upto large format 4 x 5" to include X-rays and all formats of film sizes. To include oversize negative scanning of glass plate and lantern slides and X-Ray scanning solutions.

Glass Plate Negative Scanning to Digital File Oxfordshire UK

Glass Plate Negative Scanning

We are specialists the conversion of glass plate negatives, lantern slides and aluminium slides. These stunning slides are fragile and require gentle handling and cleaning. Our equipment is perfect for this conversion ready for you to access the digital files.

Family and Corporate Photograph Scanning Oxfordshire UK

Photograph Scanning

Our professional scanning services are fully supportive of converting photographs upto oversize A3 and beyond. Working with private clients, artists and archive centres we convert into your chosen digital files ready for easy access.

Document Scanning Solutions in Oxfordshire UK

Document & Diary Scanning

Our company's archive department can provide superb options for document scanning upto oversize A3. Working with many companies in and around Oxfordshire we provide solutions for archiving all your paperwork into digital media.

Wide format and artwork scanning solutions in Oxfordshire UK

Artwork Scanning

Working with many artists and companies we can convert your artwork and large format photographs into digital formats ready for online presence. Capturing all the details our scanners are superb at support you with your digital media requirements.

Our offices are open to clients by appointment Monday to Thursday 8am-4pm Friday 8am - 3pm

Our offices and large customer parking are located at the back of our premises, 29b Rear Part Banbury Road, Kidlington OX5 1AQ, behind the large green building attached, opposite Benmead Road.

Contact Us 01865 457000 or email