Freezer or Fridge?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Poohblah, May 1, 2009.

  1. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    Quick question:
    Which would be better for film storage? I keep my film in the fridge, and I usually take it out (and sometimes leave it in the hot interior of a car) an hour or so before a photo shoot. I've never used film that's more than a year old. I also use 100 speed film nearly exclusively. So I would assume that storing the film in the fridge is just fine and offers no noticeable benefit over the freezer, yes? It seems to me that storing film in the freezer is impractical for me since I would have to wait for it to thaw before shooting.

    Where do we draw the line between freezer and fridge? When storing high speed or IR films? When storing potentially past the expiry date?
     
  2. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I just toss everything in the freezer. I don't think it has any real benefits for short term storage.
     
  3. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    If you're only ever using film up to a year old, the fridge is fine. Once it gets a few years old, you're much better off using the freezer. It makes sense to have a stash ready in the fridge as it needs less time before you can shoot it.
     
  4. trexx

    trexx Member

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    I freeze film that will be in storage for an indeterminate duration. Like bulk rolls of Tech Pan. The fridge only holds my kodacrome, and IR that I could use at anytime. Everything else is in a bag on on a shelf.

    If you have a log of turnover I would recommend NOT to put in the fridge! ( plain old B&W file we are talking here )
     
  5. mekia02

    mekia02 Member

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    Has any one ever had a problem with condensation?
     
  6. Fraxinus

    Fraxinus Member

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    I've always stored long-term items (Polaroid, colour reversal, some black & white readyload packs) in a freezer and never had condensation problems. I always let them come to room temperature for around 24 hours in their original wrapping (or plastic containers if 35mm cassettes).

    I've even stored big rolls of Fujicolor Pictrography paper in the freezer and had no problems provided that sufficient defrost time is allowed.
     
  7. Brandon D.

    Brandon D. Member

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    Microwave Oven.
     
  8. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I too store in the freezer and allow 24hrs to warm up. (Long term storage.) For short term, I store in the fridge.
    Haven't had a problem with this method and have been using it for 20 years.

    - Nanette
    www.nanettereid.com
     
  9. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    I store in the cellar. Basement temperature is about 10-15 Celcius, that's cool enough I think to avoid problems. I never stored in a freezer, I really wonder if that's not a source of problems?
    I lived 10 years in tropical Asia and had problems a couple of times when leaving air-conditionned buildings, not with the films but with camera mirrors showing the "bathroom effect". Had to wait 15-30 minutes before the viewfinder got back to normal.
     
  10. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    For short term storage or for films that are not going to expire soon, use the fridge. But, for film that are going to expire soon, I would use the freezer.
     
  11. wogster

    wogster Member

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    What I always did was this:

    Short term storage, under 1 month, camera bag.
    Moderate term storage, under 3 months, fridge
    Long term storage, over 3 months, freezer.

    This applies to film where refrigerator storage is not required, for films where it is, then:

    Short term storage, less then 1 day, camera bag
    Moderate term storage, less then 3 months, refrigerator
    Long term storage, over 3 months, freezer.

    Right now I have one roll in the camera bag, and everything else is in the freezer.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I keep all the film in the freezer along with the Gin.

    Steve
     
  13. 3 Olives

    3 Olives Member

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    I've never had a need to store film before. However, I just bought some expired film that was stored in a freezer. Is it okay to just put it in the freezer in a Zip Lock bag or should I wrap it in something else first? Thanks.
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Either way is good.

    Steve
     
  16. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    Fidge or cupboard. The freezer is overkill.
     
  17. 3 Olives

    3 Olives Member

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    It's 6 to 10 years old and was discontinued 5 yrs. ago. I don't intend to use more than 1 or 2 rolls a month. Also, I will buy more if I like the results.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    All color film slowly changes color balance as it ages. The fridge simply slows this. The freezer slows it more. The older something is, or the more unknown its past storage conditions are, the more likely I will move it from the fridge to the freezer to slow its aging until I can test a piece of it.

    The fridge mostly houses my RA and black and white paper, and black and white film, while the bulk of my color film (and all my Ilfochrome paper) goes in the freezer. I only put b/w in the freezer if it happens to be a better use of available space in that instance.

    I keep some color film that I may need to grab and shoot within a few hours in the fridge (plus all my 4x5, simply because it fits better in the fridge than in the freezer right now). For 35, I usually have a pro pack of Fuji Press 800 in there, some HP5 and Delta 1000, and Provia 400X and T64. For medium format, at least a few rolls each of 100 transparency film, Reala, 160 neg film, 400 neg film, and 800 neg film (plus all the black and white, of course: HP5, Delta 1000, and Tri-X in 220).

    I also generally keep some 35mm at room temperature: four rolls of Fuji Press 800, two rolls of Provia 400X, four rolls of HP5, two rolls of Delta 1000, and one roll of T64 (and all my paper larger than 11x14, simply because it does not fit in the fridge).

    So, for long term storage of color film, storage of any material that is already old, and storage of IR films, I would use the freezer. For anything that you might need to grab and shoot within a few hours, I'd use the fridge (though I have pushed this to 1/2 hour in my pants pockets, and nothing bad happened). For anything you might need to grab and shoot right away with no delay, I would leave it at room temp.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2009
  19. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I put all my slide film and my seldom-shot B&W film in the freezer; I also have been known to yank it right out of the freezer and put it in the camera straight away. Never had any trouble doing this.
     
  20. GJA

    GJA Member

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    Freezer, in a seal-a-meal vac seal bag. I store mine in the freezer simply because my family doesn't really eat food from there as much as the fridge. Therefore, the film doesn't get in the way as much, ad doesn't get moved.

    Additionally, in the freezer, there are no liquids (at least not in mine) so there is no real chance for a spill.
     
  21. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Conditions really matter a lot to, if it's very dry out, and there is little moisture in the air, and this can work. I have done this in the winter when the camera and bag are at -20℃ then it really doesn't matter if the film went into the bag frozen, refrigerated or at room temperature. I have a winter camera, an elderly Konica TC, a mechanical film camera with a non-functioning meter. I have put that camera around my neck, left it outside my jacket all day and not lost so much as one exposure to the cold, even though the camera has not been winterized.
     
  22. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    FWIW I do live in Texas where the humidity stays medium to low.
     
  23. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    While I'm less strict than some folks, I definitely make use of the freezer for the bulk of my stash. A smaller cache stays in the fridge so I can grab and go with it. My refrigerator cache is somewhat larger than it needs to be, but I figure it's okay.

    I'm sure some people turnover fast enough it's not an issue, but at the rate I go, my Tri-X stash alone could last me years.
     
  24. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I try to make it happen every time I take film straight from the freezer and put it in the camera as fast as I can, while breathing heavily all over everything as I do. It's become an obsession.

    And what are my results: I can't get any condensation to show up in a photograph no matter how hard I try. Zilch. Nada. Nichts. Rien. Niente.

    Now and then I post - "Has anyone had damage from condensation, can they post a scan of the damage?" - but never a reply.

    My conclusion is that the rule of letting film warm for hours after taking it out of the freezer is an old wive's tale, comparable with waiting 2 hours after eating before going in the water. There may be cases where it has some validity, but in everyday life it's so much balderdash and codswallop.

    * * *

    As to the original question: in my house as much as possible, all the bulk rolls and bricks and all the color, goes in the freezer, the overflow goes in the fridge - there isn't enough room in the freezer for all of it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2009
  25. WGibsonPhotography

    WGibsonPhotography Member

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    I have one of those small, square fridge/freezers that I used when I moved off to college. The "freezer" is a cubicle in the top right corner. It gets cold enough in that cubicle to freeze water. I make sure the setting for the freezer is cold enough to freeze the condensation.

    I keep bottles of chemicals and paper in the fridge part. My luck has been good so far: I havent lost any paper due to developer or fixer spilling. I usually keep the fridge so full that there's not any room for anything to fall over, though :D

    PS. I keep the freezer cold enough to freeze the condensation because one time the "freezer" wasnt cold enough and the frost melted. the cardboard paper boxes absorbed the water, which I'm assuming is the reason my fiber based paper started warping in the plastic bags. I thought I might have ruined the paper, but it works perfectly. It just wont lay flat while I'm putting it in the easel :D
     
  26. luxikon

    luxikon Member

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    @ Nicholas

    Thanks for the information about lack of condensation. How does the film react at low temperature when exposed?