Deep Frozen Film

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by David_A, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. David_A

    David_A Member

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    Need some advice on some film which has been in deep freeze for some time. Kodak Vericolour HC Pro best before 05/1995. Yep 1995, if a film has been kept frozen can it still be used this far beyond its best before date?

    What is the longevity of film, any film, if itÂ’s been kept frozen for this amount of time? Can it still be used or will it give me weird results?

    Thanks for your help

    David
     
  2. mts

    mts Subscriber

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    You have to try it to see. I have several pictures in the gallery taken on long-expired Fuji Super-G+ 100, and also Portra 160NC that are just fine. If the film was truely frozen and not temperature cycled (as happens in a self-defrosting freezer) it is probably ok.
     
  3. AutumnJazz

    AutumnJazz Member

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    I've used Kodachrome that expired in the 80s and 90s and was refrigerated or frozen, and got decent results. 20+ years would leave me worried more about solar radiation, heh.
     
  4. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    I think it should be perfectly fine.
     
  5. David_A

    David_A Member

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    A big thank you to everyone who has helped on this, it's been sitting in the back of the freezer with me saying "I'll use that soon...." "Must use that" "Hmm must use that one day"...... I think i should get it out, use it, process it and not really worry about it been past its best before. It's 120 format been kept inside the wrappers inside its box and inside a plastic bag, the plastic bag had ice on it but everything else was fine, cold, but fine.

    So, basically what everyone is saying is use it it should be ok.

    Thanks everyone for your advice and guidence.

    David
     
  6. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    David -

    I agree with the belief that frozen film should be OK.

    Many years ago I heard a presentation by a technical representative from Polaroid who said that their experiments showed that experiments confirmed that belief, BUT they also found that after frozen film is allowed to thaw, it ages much more rapidly than unfrozen film. That is, for example, if film is frozen at a point one year ahead of its marked 'use by' date, that film will in not have one year of useful life left after it is thawed. He said that Polaroid had not pursued this enough to develop a hypothesis to explain why this happens, or what the actual useful life of frozen film is, but his recommendation was that after frozen film is thawed, it should be used as quickly as possible.
     
  7. David_A

    David_A Member

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    Louie
    So once it's out of the freezer use it and process it in as short as time as is possible. I'm about to order some Fuji Hunt C41 X-Press so processing shouldn't be a problem it could be processed within a few hours of been shot. I'm also drooling.. I mean wondering about trying the new Ektar film as well, both rated at 100 ISO so it could be a good play.. I mean test :smile:

    Thanks all :smile:

    David
     
  8. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    It may depend on the film. I've thrown out HP5, really outdated, and froze from the time I bought it while Tri-X sitting right next to it was still good. Same film speed and within months of the same expiration date.

    Go figure.

    Mike
     
  9. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    I have several boxes of Tmax 100 and 400 in 4X5 with an expiry date of 1995 that have been frozen. I see no difference from fresh film.
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    What is the problem with some cycle in temperature?
     
  11. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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  12. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The important bit from the conclusions reads as follows:
    "The frequency and magnitude of the changes within this region* do not contribute to any physical damage".

    No chemical damage either. And film lasts longer when frozen.

    So no worries.


    * -25 degrees C to + 25 degrees C
     
  13. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    The region referenced in that excerpt from the "Summary and conclusions" section can be found in Figure 1. It's an area defined by temperature and relative humidity (RH) limits, not a simple temperature range. The question which lead me to post a link to that writeup concerned cycling temperatures in frost-free freezers. Rather large RH excursions will occur in such an environment, exact extent of which depending on how film is packaged. I'd strongly suggest reading and evaluating the complete work.
     
  14. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I have.
    There is nothing special about the relative humidity range.

    There is also no problem with ferquent freezing and thawing.

    The only things to worry about (well...) is getting the film wet with condensation, tearing or breaking the film (depending on temperature) by exerting too much force, and getting it too hot and make the emulsion go soft.
    Nothing special there either.

    Oh, and keeping the film too warm, and allow it too age too fast.
    Also nothing special, not new.

    The conclusion re freeze-thaw cycles stands: no damage. No problem.

    Please quote where you think a different conclusion is expressed.
     
  15. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    I linked to a 15-page paper on the subject written by someone at the Smithsonian Institution. I pointed out that, depending on packaging, film could undergo excursions outside the region described by Figure 1 of that paper, despite your erroneous reference to a range of temperatures only. You seek a simple conclusion that's universally applicable when one doesn't exist. The data are in that paper for anyone to see.

    Methinks Tim gave good advice in this post:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/820248-post536.html
     
  16. alan doyle

    alan doyle Member

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    i have had a lot of great luck with old old films.
    orwo films with use by 1979 dates...kodachrome 25 16mm use by date 1992 damp with fungus growing on it.
    footage was used on a BBC history show.
    that film you have is a nice stock used by fashion photographers in the late 80s and 90s.
    i really believe it is a sin to dump any film stock.
    stick it on ebay many many people love using old stuff whether it is stored in bad conditions or perfect.
    find a lovely looking girl and shoot it..
    or send me a pm and i will swap you for some nice shiny new film.
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    So give us that quote that says that there is a problem with freeze-thaw cycles!

    The paper says no such thing. You replied to AgX that there is a problem with repeatedly going through the glass temperature. That is about heating the film up too much, not about freezing and thawing (unless you would thaw frozen film in a hot oven :wink: ).
     
  18. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Thanks for the advice Tim. "Patient" is a word commonly used by those describing me. Even I have limits. Advice taken. This is the first "Ignore user" action I've taken on this or any other forum in a dozen years of participation. Enough said.
     
  19. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Seems to be the flavour of the day.

    But truly, the article does not suggest there is a problem!
     
  20. mtjade2007

    mtjade2007 Member

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    Well, I can think of a problem. You may want to ask the lab that process your film to use old Kodak Stabilizer instead of new Final Rinse to rinse your film at the last step before drying in processing your film. If not stabilized with the right stabilizer the colors may shift in a few months.