Cold-stored film: how to remove small batches

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by lbloom, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    I have a decent-sized stash of film in a dedicated freezer, with groups of perhaps 20 rolls put away in individual gallon freezer bags.

    The idea behind the bags was to prevent condensation damage when I pull out film. To accomplish this, I should not open the bag till the film within has stabilized to room temperature.

    Now, my question: what is the best way to extract, say, 3-4 rolls (from a given bag of 20 rolls) for current use? It seems to me that the entire contents of the bag will be subjected to multiple cool/thaw cycles this way, which does not seem optimal. On the other hand, bagging smaller groups of film seems impractical, given the overall quantities.

    To be clear, I do not mind waiting several hours for the few rolls that I am about to shoot. It's the rest of the bag being cooled/warmed each time that I'm concerned about. The last few rolls in each bag could see 10 cycles by the time I get to them.

    When it was dry during the winter, I just opened the bags right away. It's more humid now, so I'm reluctant to do that.

    Thoughts/ideas/suggestions? How do you handle it?

    Thanks. :smile:

    Edit: the film is a mix of 135 and 120. Most of the 135 canisters have never been opened, but some were bought non-new and arrived without cardboard cartons, so the canisters have been opened at least once to verify contents. There are a few bulk rolls too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2012
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    the canisters are pretty air/water tight. just take the rolls out!
     
  3. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I agree with Vinny. The roll film that I used was sealed in foil pouches, so I figured the condensation would stay on the outside of the pouches. I just let them sit out several hours before opening and loading one or more.

    I now buy sheet film in 100 sheet boxes, fortuitously divided into 4 25-sheet bags. So when I get a new box I put each bag in its own 25-sheet box (in the dark, of course), put each box in a ziploc bag, and put them in the freezer. So I only need to defrost 25 sheets at a time.
     
  4. dehk

    dehk Member

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    I agree with everyone above. I myself used to store them in bags too but the canisters or the 120bags are pretty air and water tight so no worries. Sometimes I load them right up too (but not shooting right away), which is not recommended, but no problems with those rolls either. I say ~30 minutes before you open the canisters you should be ok because inside the canister should be pretty dry to begin with.
     
  5. JCJackson

    JCJackson Member

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    A lot depends on the humidity (and temperature) of the environment in which you are doing the opening and loading. A cool film (say 45 degrees F) can condense water from the air if opened in Florida in the summer. No worries if instead the locale is Minneapolis in the winter. It's about the dew point. Best way to avoid the condensation risk is to allow the film to remain sealed while it equalizes in temperature to the surroundings.
     
  6. lbloom

    lbloom Member

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    Thanks, folks. I'll try pulling out the rolls right away, and keeping the canisters closed for a few hours.

    (It's about 60 F and 90% RH here right now.)
     
  7. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    If they are in a chest type freezer, just open the bag as little as possible in the freezer, remove film and reseal.
     
  8. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The idea is to prevent condensation on the film. Foil containers are very waterproof, and the plastic cans are pretty waterproof. You can safely remove individual cans or packages from a lot without harm so long as all the film in the lot is similarly sealed. I try to keep my film sorted in reasonably small lots and sealed in plastic freezer bags, which offer reasonable protection. If the package integrity of one of the rolls in the bag is in question, I just thaw the entire bag, then remove the one in question, and refreeze the lot.