Film refrigeration when original canister already opened

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Diapositivo, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    I have just received 11 135 films which I bought with the intent of experimenting with several colour negative films. I have no problems about the fact that most of those will go in the fridge unopened and all will work fine.

    I have a problem with the 4 Rollei CN200. They are sold in a double canister, each canister contains 2 cartridges. One of the canisters arrived already opened (not a good thing considering the polyester base and the high risk of fogging). I opened the other canister myself in a stupid move, to check if there was an additional sealing, there wasn't.

    I normally put in the fridge only films which are in unopened canisters, as the canister is factory-filled with low-humidity air as far as I know. That allows the film to get inside the fridge, and out, without condensation problems, provided one lets the canister go to ambient temperature for an hour or so before opening it. If you let the canister go up to ambient temperature before opening it, condensation never happens inside the canister.

    But those two double Rollei canisters are now filled with my normal room air, let's say 55% relative humidity at 25 °C.

    Is it a wise move to put those in the fridge, or do I risk some condensation to be formed inside the canister? How bad is that for film?

    The question also applies to bulk roll film. Do you put your bulk rolls (or the entire bulk loader) in the fridge once you took them away from their factory-sealed canister?

    Thanks
    Fabrizio
     
  2. segedi

    segedi Member

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    If you plan to experiment with these films soon, I don't see the need to refrigerate any of them. I've kept most of my stock in the freezer, but with the 40 some rolls I plan to shoot before they expire in a year or two, I've kept those rolls out of the fridge.

    I know this doesn't solve your original question, but maybe it does!
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I work in a factory which has low humidity rooms (for manufacturing medical products) and I have also visited Ilford's factory.

    I might be wrong but I would say that as far as Ilford is concerned, their films are packed in a normal humidity environment. Not sure about other manufacturers but I would be surprised if they packed in a low humidity room.


    Steve.
     
  4. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Oftentimes I put exposed film that I will not be able to process for some time back in a can in the fridge. For example, E-6 films or sometimes C-41 films that I like to process when I have 5 or 6 of them to do. I have not noticed any problems. Actually, I have also put them back in the freezer without ill effects. Follow the same recommendations as when opening them fresh. I will add that I normally do keep all of my film packed in ziploc bags. (Hate to get film mixed in with frozen peas!)

    Maybe a little "dust-off" spray in the can would be a good idea, IDK. Haven't tried it.
     
  5. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Simple fix is to put it in a bag with a descant overnight before placing it in a frig. I do that with all films, opened or not. I'm not sure if it's necessary though.
     
  6. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    Even simpler, I throw in a handful of uncooked rice.

    Ron
    .
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    That'll only work with Japanese film. :laugh::laugh::blink::blink::whistling::whistling:
     
  8. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Thanks to all. I see that I am probably worrying too much. My interest depends also on the fact that if I like Rollei CN200 (or CR200) I can find very cheap bulk rolls of both products and I wondered about refrigerating an open bulk roll.

    I like the rice trick.

    I don't know what a "descant" is in this context (unless I have to find a contratenor and put him in the fridge, but it seems impractical :smile: ).
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Concerning descant, I put all of my film and paper in a ziploc bag, then put a packet of descant in it. It may be unnecessary but that's how I store my stuff.
     
  10. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Simpler solution: Calculate the volume of gas that the container will hold, then use that to calculate the volume of liquid water that could condense would be in that volume of gas, the term negligible comes to mind. I am recommending that you do the calculation not to be a jerk, but so that you will have real peace of mind, your concept is sound, but at the volumes you are talking about it should not be a problem. Don't forget to calculate for the displacement of the film.

    I say toss it in the fridge, and if your really worried just leave the container open enough to allow air to get into and out of the container then seal it after it has been cold a few days and all that water is gone. You would want to put the containers in a light sealed box, or a dark bag to do this just in case.
     
  11. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    It works well with electronics that have gotten wet, too. If you dropped your phone in the water, pack it in uncooked rice to dry it out.

    It depends on your fridge, I suppose. :smile: I think the poster meant "desiccant".

    I wasn't aware that there was any special risk of fogging with a polyester base. Is it just an issue of light piping? I've used a small amount of 35mm on polyester bases, never treated it specially, and don't remember seeing any problems, but maybe I was just lucky.

    -NT
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    As others have said, put it in a zip lock bag and then into the freezer or refrigerator. If you have high humidity and you do not have a package of desiccant available the put it in the refrigerator.

    I store my film in the freezer. If I have opened a film canister or box of sheet film then it goes into a plastic bag and into the refrigerator. Both unexposed and exposed sheet film in the film holders go into individual bags and then into the frigerator.

    Steve
     
  13. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    :laugh::laugh:.
     
  14. nickrapak

    nickrapak Member

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    I have put previously opened canisters in the freezer with no ill effects. The amount of air in the canister is so small that it makes no difference.
     
  15. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    No, that's way too reasonable! Com'on... This is an internet forum! We are SUPPOSED TO obsess over every small detail on doing some simple tasks!

    Seriously though, I do what I do (put a desiccant in a bag) with abundance of caution. It may be unnecessary but I have them and it doesn't hurt.
     
  16. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    So glad photographers do not suffer from OCD!
     
  17. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Desiccant, now I got it! I think I like rice better because it can be regenerated more easily (possibly in the saucepan).

    Regarding how paranoid is my worry, well, I read somewhere many years ago, on some Italian photography magazine, that films were to be put in the fridge inside their own canister exactly for the reason that the factory-filled canister do not contain a dangerous level of humidity. And they wrote that canisters are air tight for this specific reason. And in fact, if one thinks about it, no film - however cheap - is sold without a canister (roll film is sold in sealed bags) which makes me think there is some logic in all this waste of plastic.

    From what you tell me, it is nonetheless safe to put the film in the fridge inside an already opened, but then well-closed canister, because the air content inside the canister is not enough to make a veil of frost. I am glad to learn that. I do suppose that it would be somehow dangerous, for instance, to put the cartridges in the fridge without canister. I see that it's the amount of air circulating inside the fridge, any time one opens it, that creates the problem. If I insulate the film from the air in the fridge (by using the plastic canisters, or the metal canisters for bulk film) it should be all right.
     
  18. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    My typing accent strikes, AGAIN!
     
  19. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Get some silica gel desiccants, they are cheap on Ebay, or you get them even if you didn't want to by buying something... They come in the "DO NOT EAT - THROW AWAY" packets. You can reuse them -- just place them in oven at 100 deg.C or more for some time, or some people use even a microwave oven but I haven't tried that. They usually have an indicator color, for example: blue<->transparent or orange<->green for dry<->wet. Something like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ST-C...2QQptZLHQ5fDefaultDomainQ5f100#ht_3537wt_1166 Keep them in a zip-lock bag, put a few grains in the film canister every time and feel safe! When you run out or if the moisture gets in your desiccant bag, then heat them up to release the moisture and here you go again.

    Even though you probably won't have a problem at 60% RH.
     
  20. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Where I live the RH is usually well above 55% usually around 80% during the summer. I have never had any problem with refrigerating film. I often buy in bulk and freeze the film. When I need a roll I put the canister in my pocket for about an hour. Again no problems. I have placed bulk loaders in zip-lock bags and refrigerated them. I wait 24 hours before opening the bags.

    Rice is easily regenerated in a microwave. Be careful it will get very hot so you might try doing this in steps. Wait for the rice to cool before heating it some more.

    Be careful with silica gel as the dust it produces is very hard and if any gets into the film cassette it could scratch the film.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2011
  21. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    "High humidity can promote mold growth and ferrotyping. Low humidity can create static marks when printing or cause buckling due to uneven moisture loss."
    "Humidity lower than 50 % usually increases static problems and dirt attraction to processed film. At very low humidity, film curl may become a problem (e.g. Newton's Rings)."
    -Kodak Storage and Handling of Unprocessed Film
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/service/tib/tib5202.shtml#SEC844

    I usually reload large amounts of film like a madman in multi hour sessions in the dark. Unrolling, cutting, and taping film to used cassettes from photolabs. The bulk reels (100ft, 400ft, 1000ft) are thawed to room temp and opened in relative humidity of a dry household bathroom, reloaded and repacked into the plastic canisters. Those canisters get bagged with a ziplock + silica gel packet and thrown back into the fridge. So far it has been perfectly fine. I would avoid bagging open (not plastic cased) cassettes with silica gel or rice, due to the fact that they might absorb too much moisture from the film when in storage for a period of time.

    Off topic but: Sometimes when the humidity is a bit low, like in winter, its pretty awesome to rip off the tape on one of the bigger reels, as sparks shoot out in the pitch black room. Scared me the first time as I worried about the film, but realized it was safe in the metal tin. Its also a sign that says to unload the film in the bag a bit slower so sparks dont shoot off the reel from the static (like when your quickly pulling 36exp arm lengths).