What Are Cine Film’s Worst Enemies?

Film is very delicate and unlikely to withstand the test of time. No matter how well taken care of your cine film is, the truth is that film isn’t as sturdy and durable as DVDs and other modern mediums. In fact, many things can affect the quality of cine film and even damage it permanently.

Take a look at the many enemies of film and why you should transfer your precious memories to DVD, so that you can treasure them forever.

8mm Cine Reels

Humidity and Mould

A frequent cause of damage in cine film is humidity, which can discolour the image and damage the film. The same goes for mould – if the film is stored in a damp place, such as a garage, mould and mildew will eventually destroy it. The image will be replaced by spots and streaks, which will affect the film’s quality. If the issue is not resolved, mould will continue to grow and damage the film.

Film can’t be replaced, so it’s important that you store your reels in a dry, but cool, place, since heat can also damage them. You can then simply convert your film into DVD or USB, which will ensure your memories last for years to come.

Dust and Dirt

It’s easy to see if your films have been exposed to dust and dirt and if they have become damaged from it. The image will have small specks or black dots and shapes that block the light and cast a silhouette. While it’s not uncommon for dust to get on film, it won’t lead to the best viewing experience possible. A DVD, on the other hand, doesn’t have that problem, so you won’t be able to see any particles of dust or dirt when watching your movies.

Dust may not always be harmful and can simply be cleared away. However, dust and dirt can also scratch film easily, so take care when getting rid of it.


Over time, film deteriorates. The image won’t be as sharp, the colours will be strange and the contrast will be muddy. This means that your films will, eventually, lose quality and the pictures will never be the same. Converting film into DVD allows you to preserve the content of your cine films for a very long time, and you won’t have to worry about losing such valuable memories to time.

Reels Stuck Together

It’s possible for reel cans or containers to fuse shut, especially if they have become rusty or if they are in a humid environment. They can also get stuck to one another due to this, which will make it difficult to separate the films without damaging anything. This is another reason to preserve your footage on a more robust format.

Water Damage

As mentioned, dampness is not good for your films, and not just because of mould and mildew. Moisture can smear labels and other identifiers, and can also destroy the film. While, sometimes, it’s possible to recover or repair it, it’s crucial to prevent water damage at all costs as, more often than not, people end up losing their movies forever.

But how do you know if your films are suffering from water damage? A sign is that the edges of the film may start to dissolve or become slippery to the touch; mould is another indicator, as are threads appearing on the film.

Physical Damage

If you drop a DVD to the floor, you are likely still able to enjoy your movie without a decrease in image quality or without any other issues. Cine film, however, is a lot easier to damage. It can be scratched, creased and torn with barely any effort, which will impact your viewing experience.

Whether you drop the film, accidentally pour a liquid over it or expose it to heat without meaning to, the result is the same: your film will probably be permanently damaged.

Old film with movie on a dark background

Vinegar Syndrome

This issue refers to the chemical degradation of the film. More specifically, to the disintegration of cellulose acetate film, which gives off a vinegar smell and indicates that your film is decaying. This will lead to film shrinkage, brittleness and breakages. This problem worsens if the film is in warm and humid conditions.

While you can slow the degradation process by placing the reels in a cool, dry place, the best way to prevent the movies from becoming unplayable is to transferring them to another format. After all, DVDs are not susceptible to this syndrome or other issues associated with cine film.

Your cine films are incredibly fragile, so you’ll want to keep them safe at all times. However, even if you’ve stored them in an ideal environment, old age can still damage the films, which means you risk losing them.

By converting them to DVD, you can safeguard your memories and ensure that, even if your cine film is damaged beyond repair, you will always have them. We can transfer your cine film to DVD, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0800 592 433 or 01296 395 758.

You can also send us a message to info@cine2dvdtransfers.co.uk and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions.