How long before B&W film must be processed

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by lilmsmaggie, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Hi -- newbie question here again.

    Last night we received our first assignment. Shallow DOF. It's not due quite yet, but I know that if I wait until the last minute, something is bound to go awry. The next lab this coming Thursday, will be contact sheets. That means I have the weekend free to shoot.

    Lectures are on Mondays; Lab is always on a Thursday night.

    My questions are, after a roll of film has been exposed:

    (1) What precautions do you take until the roll of film can be processed.

    (2) Maximum length of time that can pass before film degradation sets in.

    We will have a total of 10 assignments of the course of the semester and are expected to shoot 1 36 exp. roll per assignment.

    The reason I'm asking is that conceiveably, an assignment can be completed in a day, or over the course of a weekend. So if I get ahead of schedule, is that a bad thing :confused:
     
  2. David William White

    David William White Member

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    If months to years, throw it in the fridge. Otherwise, no worries whatsoever.

    P.S. However, you should develop right away just to make sure you've got your shots -- might need to reshoot!
     
  3. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    People process 15 year old rolls that come out fine. I don't think you should worry to much. I know that it says process promptly but that is not totally necessary.
     
  4. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Can I place it in one of those plastic film canisters and keep it in the fridge until I'm ready to process it?
     
  5. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Yes, you can throw it in the fridge. Just let it warm up before you remove it from the canister. But if it's just a few days/weeks I wouldn't bother.

    I just developed a few duplicate sheets that were several years old. They look as good as the first set I developed at the time of shooting. They were frozen the whole time (I lost them in the freezer).
     
  6. David William White

    David William White Member

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    Sure. Label 'em.
     
  7. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Sure,let it come to room temp 5or10mins before you start processing to avoid any condensation.
     
  8. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Sweet! - thats good to know. Thanks everyone. I think I can relax now.
     
  9. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Until you wake up in the middle of the night with the next question.

    That is ok. That is what we are here for and why we get paid the big bucks.

    Steve
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It would be a good idea to develop a habit of putting all your film that is awaiting development in the same location, accompanied by notes about what you photographed and how you exposed the film.

    You should label very clearly the film. Some day (maybe soon) you may shoot multiple films, or possibly the same film, at different EIs. If you get into the habit of labelling carefully, and keeping good notes, it will benefit you.

    Whatever you do, make sure that it is easy to tell exposed film apart from unexposed film. And if you load bulk film, label the cassettes themselves.

    Matt
     
  11. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Well, the longest I've waited was 27 years. :D That was with 120 Plus-X, and I did still get recognizable images. The camera containing the roll was stored in a closet here in southeastern PA, in a house with no air conditioning for the first 19 or so of those years. I wouldn't recommend going that long, but I wouldn't give a second thought to waiting several weeks. I would pass on refrigeration as just another opportunity to screw something up with condensation, since the rolls are no longer factory sealed.

    I have a preference for keeping films, especially exposed films, in something that will protect them from bright light and sudden climate changes -- say a Zip-Loc bag inside a camera bag or luggage tote. That's not based on any prior bad experiences, just a general predisposition toward caution.

    And I second the recommendation to mark rolls and keep some notes, although I'm not one of those who amasses five dozen rolls before I do something with them.

    DaveT
     
  12. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Plastic film cans?
    Drop into your local camera shop and ask nicely.You never know..........
     
  13. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Yes, I have lots of 35mm, but I recently actually purchased some 120 containers from Freestyle, as none of the 120 film I've bought had anything but sealed foil. I especially like the idea of opaque black containers which the 35mm makers seem to have moved away from. Heh, I remember metal cans for 35mm!

    DaveT