Best Negative Storage

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by hdeyong, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    I've recently started selling off most of my digital equipment and have dived, (happily), back into film and chemistry. So, I'm starting to build up B&W negatives again, and need to store them in sheets.
    Simple question. What seems to be the best kind? I've noticed several different materials they're made of, and don't care if one is a bit more expensive than another. I want good ones.
    Thanks for any guidance.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The Printfile products are excellent, and they are an APUG advertiser.

    I have made one purchase from them directly (shipped to my mailing address in Washington state) and the service was excellent.
     
  3. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

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    Print file, as Matt said, are excellent. They're the industry standard. I've stored my film in them for as long as I can remember.
     
  4. heterolysis

    heterolysis Member

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    I use Printfile plastic sleeves. Fit nicely in a binder.

    I have seen books much like for stamp collections that have half sleeves and wax paper between the pages, but the films in them are always curved (could be fault of the user).
     
  5. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I prefer fold-lock sleeves. Less chance of scratching because there is no sliding action when inserting or removing negatives.
     
  6. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Member

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    Michael, I believe print file makes a fold lock sleeve that also fits into the regular pages so you can get double protection.

    Print file is great just watch the mil number, the higher numbers are thicker which seem more sturdy to me, the only ones I don't like from print file are the 70mm sleeves, they are paper thin and the plastic catches on the film edge and the holes are off center from the binder rings. They've told me they are working to fix this issue, but could be a while as 70mm isn't a priority.

    Best of luck!


    ~Stone

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  7. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    That's my preference as well. A bit more expensive, but much safer in my experience.

    I use the polypropylene ones from MV Photo, which I think are now made by Archival Methods. Put these in an envelope then that in a box.

    http://www.mvconservation.com/c/NGSKITS/Negative+Storage+Kits.html or http://www.mvconservation.com/c/NS/Negative+Storage.html
     
  8. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Archival Methods are the ones I currently use. I prefer the Polyester ones but I've used the Polypropylene ones also.
     
  9. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    Printfile.
     
  10. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Another Printfile fan. I like their "Ultima" pages which have slots wide enough to take sleeved strips of film, and they are a heavier mil than the standard pages too.
     
  11. hdeyong

    hdeyong Member

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    Thanks a lot, folks.
    Looks like Printfile has the majority vote, and since they're an advertiser, that clinches it.
     
  12. bowie

    bowie Member

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  13. albada

    albada Subscriber

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    I have a complaint about the Printfile sheets for 35mm film (product # 35-7B, seven 5-frame strips per sheet). Due to vertical space used by the title-area on top, the strips fit so tightly that it's difficult to get them to slide in and out. The resulting high sliding-friction causes scratches if any microscopic bits of dust are present. I wish Printfile would eliminate the title-area, and spread the extra vertical space among the seven strips so they'll slide in/out more easily.

    I bought a big roll of 4-frame strips of the kind used by minilabs. They have plenty of space above/below the strips, so they can slide with almost no friction. Problem solved. Pakor sells rolls (and sheets) for both 35mm and 120: http://www.pakor.com/Category/Sleeving_Products.cfm

    Mark Overton
     
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  15. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    From my notes (a text on APUG I posted some time ago, shortened version below):

    Glassine products: generally very good. There can be problems with "seems" in conditions of high humidity and when pressure is applied to the sheets. Otherwise give good protection for decades. 135 stripes are never in touch with the seems. Not really "museal" though. Glassine is not compliant with ANSI IT9.2 - 1991. If you want something really good, you should look for something complying with that norm. Current version ANSI IT9.16 actually.

    Uncoated transparent polyester (such as Mylar) is probably the best, but it's not the cheapest, as you'd guess.
    Uncoated polypropylene such as ClearFile is also good.
    High-density polyethylene is also "probably" good and it is one of the cheapest solutions. (Not convinced about that, see prices below).

    ALL those plastic solutions struggle with static electricity problems (they attract dust) whereas paper-based product (such as glassine) do not. Besides, you can write with a pencil or a pen on a paper or glassine sheet.

    Anything containing PVC or chloride compounds must be avoided.
    Low-density polyethylene is also to be avoided.

    From what I gather, the devil is in the details, any coating or glue has the potential for damaging film, more than the material itself are the "accessory" substances that cause problems.

    Sometimes the material is certified as being standard-X compliant, but the final product (which includes coatings and glues) is not. Watch for the certification of the photographic sheets, not the certification of the material.

    I am satisfied with my glassine sheets. I only do 135 and don't have any humidity problem in my house. I like being able to write on the sheet and I like not being bother by static electricity.

    Anyway I've seen archival polyethylene satisfying the PAT test (Photographic Activity Test ISO 14523 e ISO 18916 Image Permanence Institute, RIT, Rochester NY), 100 sheets for €30,00. Not the cheapest, but acceptable at 30 €cents per sheet.

    ClearFile are polypropylene and also satisfy PAT test, seen 100 sheets for €24,00.

    I have no idea about "Mylar" products availability and cost. Besides those, polyethylene or polypropylene products should be good provided they have some certification regarding the entire photographic product.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2012
  16. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Print File for me too - but I like an option that many folks do not use - I use the page that has 6 strips of 6 each, which avoids the issue mentioned by albada. I also make "contact" sheets by placing 3 strips side by side in a 4x5 holder, making a print that has 9 images about wallet size. Then shift the strips and print the other half, so 4 prints for a 36 exposure roll (and you don't have that extra 36th frame hanging out). BTW, I believe Reinhold (last - or first, name escapes), an APUG member sells a device for this, or used to).
    The only thing is that they don't fit in a normal letter size binder, but Print File makes them for this. It's a nice system.
     
  17. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Actually the system I use has 7 strips of 6 each (135). That's necessary for 135 as one easily has more than 36 exposure on a roll.

    The product I use is Kaiser number 2510, 100 sheets. "Glassine" is Pergamino in Italian, Pergamin in German, and Papier cristal in French.

    I also bought the specific binder, which protects from dust from all sides: when closed it is like a box. Probably the sheets would fit those large file archivers with a double cover.
     
  18. ttok

    ttok Member

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    I prefer the Plastine type of polyethylene sleeve for my negatives. These are held in groups of six or seven by old computer punch cards, folded over! They are stored in a file cabinet formerly used for bank checks! Description of the subjects are written on the folded card. This is primitive, but I probably have 15,000 negatives stored this way.

    Does anyone have any 35mm "Plastine" negative sleeves they want to get rid of? I have plenty of 2-1/2" X 2-1/4" sleeves, but NO 35mm ones. The importer said no more 35mm are imported from Japan. Of course, the 2-1/4 size are still available. Thanks!

    A.T.
     
  19. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I actually use both Printfile and Glassine. (Also had the unfortunate experience of using some "non-archival" plastic ones - ouch! They started to eat into my B&W negs something awful!)

    Printfile were extremely difficult to lay my hands on (20 years ago) and quite expensive to import, hence my using Glassine as well. But I give two thumbs up for either - they are both great products. :smile:
     
  20. rjhelms

    rjhelms Member

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    I'm another user of the Printfile sheets with 6 rows of 6 - seem to be a great option. The only drawback is that I usually get 37 exposures on a 36 exp roll, like Diapositivo says. My workaround is to have an "overflow" sheet with the loose frame from 12 rolls, which is a bit inefficient but works well enough for me.
     
  21. edibot42

    edibot42 Member

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    Another Printfile 6 strips of 6 user here. My camera won't shoot more that 36 frames anyway, so I don't have any overflow problems.
     
  22. marcmarc

    marcmarc Member

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    I also suggest polyester side lock sleeves from Archival Methods. As noted above, they are a bit more expensive, but they are worth it.
     
  23. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    Printfile also make sheets with 7 rows of 6 which deals with the overflow problem (35-7BXW) - I have found them very good for my 35mm stuff.
     
  24. Rafal Lukawiecki

    Rafal Lukawiecki Subscriber

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    Michael, how many 4x5 negatives can you hold in one of the AM boxes, when using the polyester side-lock sleeves? Do you put the sleeves in the paper envelopes, too? I'm considering moving my negs from the Printfiles, due to occasional scratching... Do you also use these for 120? Many thanks.
     
  25. jk0592

    jk0592 Member

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    I have used Printfile for nearly 20 years now without any problem whatsoever, but only for 120 film all that time.
     
  26. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    I don't use any special boxes. Each 4x5 negative is in a polyester sleeve that goes in an envelope. I don't shoot 120 so no idea, but I assume they'd be very similar to the 35mm AM sleeves, which I do use. For LF I used to like the frosted Mylar fold-lock sleeves I'd get from Light Impressions but they got harder and harder to get.

    To me, the smaller formats are where these systems are most useful simply because the enlargement factor is greater. Even "micro scratches" barely visible to the eye on the negative can sometimes cause problems.