Better of two evils, temperature or humidity

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Rich Ullsmith, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    I used to keep my stash of papers wrapped and frozen, but when we moved recently the freezer didn't make it out the other end. I'm keeping the papers in a storage space over the garage, where the temperature ranges between 30 and 50 f pretty reliably until spring. The humidity outdoors, however, will be about 85% and I assume the storage space is only a little lower.

    The temperature inside the house is between 60 and 70f, but the humidity is usually around 40%.

    Which is preferable? The papers are mostly chlorobromo, so I assume they will be more resistant to fog, but they were stored for the summer in a space that was both hot and humid. I had no option.

    By spring we'll have a new freezer and darkroom, but until then, what to do?
     
  2. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    I think so long as the paper is kept in the inner bag in which it was sold there should be no problem. Humidity means moisture and polythene is impervious to moisture. However the brief exposure that the contents have when you open the bag to remove a sheet of paper will not make a bit of difference anyway.
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    You could get some desiccant and pack your stash in trash bags and put it where it's cold.
     
  4. ~andi

    ~andi Member

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    Looks like you have decent conditions in your house for archiving B+W materials. I'd store it there. If you plan to use up the paper within a 2-3 years timeframe from purchase, I would not bother freezing them either. If you go the desiccant route, be sure they have a color indicator. I found that even in heavy duty ziploc bags they saturate within two weeks. And that's indoors at about 45-55%. I did not try heat sealing bags though, results may be better.
     
  5. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    Perhaps I'm worrying too much about this. It's just such a large amount and most of it is not replaceable. Unpacking some darkroom trash last week, I came across a transtar TP5 data sheet that read in effect, "extreme humidity conditions can change the characteristics" of the paper. Everything is in original packaging, lots of it unopened, except for some in paper safes.
     
  6. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Personally I'd go with the indoor option as the temperature and humidity variance is more controlled. That's probably more important than what the absolute temperature/humidity levels are (as long as they're in reason). I'd keep consumables inside or in a freezer.
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    take them inside