OK to freeze exposed, undeveloped film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Shawn Rahman, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    It looks like I'm going to have little time and financial resources to develop about 30 rolls of film (35mm & 120 format Tri-X) that I will shoot between now and Christmas, but will likely have to wait until next spring to develop.

    Is it generally okay to freeze exposed but undeveloped film? It would seem logical that what's good for undeveloped film should be so for developed film.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated, as always!
     
  2. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    There is no reason to freeze exposed black-and-white film if you are going to develop it within a few months of exposing. I've left exposed roll film at room temperature for nearly a year with no problems. No fog, no noticeable loss of film speed, zilch, nada, zero. Many different brands and speeds of film.

    In fact, you might experience more problems moving film that's been removed from its moisture-proof container in and out of the freezer than new, factory-wrapped film. If you decide to freeze it, put it in foil in a ziplock baggie so that when you bring it out, moisture won't condense on it. Leave it in the bag until it's warmed to room temp.

    Peter Gomena
     
  3. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    I just developed negatives that I exposed while in Houston and Galveston the day after Katrina and before Rita. They developed perfectly with no bad effects. They were 5x7, for some reason I just didn't get around to developing them, the longer time went on the harder it was to do it. I have a back log of exposed film to get developed and hope to catch up soon.
     
  4. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    That's the best way to keep it, just be sure that it's in tight freezer packing with no moisture inside. Just be sure to give it long enough to thaw without condensing any moisture on it.
     
  5. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Curt,
    Glad to hear that you are catching up and hope your back log goes down soon. By some chance were your exposed negs frozen or stored in a different manner?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2007
  6. haziz

    haziz Subscriber

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    What about freezing quickloads?

    What about exposed 4x5 sheets and exposed quickloads. Can they be frozen in a ziplock bag, maybe with a silica packet in the bag to absorb moisture before freezing?

    Thanks.

    Sincerely,

    Hany.
     
  7. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    why would you freeze any film...??? refrigerator temps are best I believe.
     
  8. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'm with Drew. I've always refrigerated but never froze film.
     
  9. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    IIRC, exposed frozen film from an Arctic (or Antarctic) expedition was found, I think in the camera, developed, and had good images after several decades. Radiation would be more a problem than cold.
     
  10. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I keep film frozen until ready to load holders, or use the roll film. I always allow plenty of time, several hours, for the film to thaw prior to opening the container. If I didn't do this I would not still have Super XX to use when the situation demands it.

    As for exposed film, if I can not develop it within a week or so, it gets frozen in an evacuated plastic bag. It is allowed to thaw completely prior to opening the bag.

    As for silica gel, I don't use it because I believe it is better for the film to retain its original moisture instead of trying to remove it. If the bag is tightly sealed and all possible air removed, I don't think moisture is a problem. Of course, this assumes that several hours are allowed for film to return to room temperature.
     
  11. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Not a problem I've ever encountered. Whilst I appreciate that the OP has specific reasons for not processing film straight away, I usually can't get the stuff in the tank fast enough in my enthusiasm to see the results of a day's efforts. Developing films late at night after Er Indoors has turned in is a bit of a tradition with me!

    Steve
     
  12. Thanasis

    Thanasis Member

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    I freeze all my B&W Tri-X undeveloped/exposed and unexposed film with no problems at all. Its more a matter of convenience with me so that all my film can be found in one spot.
     
  13. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Well - okay- I'm being a nerd here - but film doesn't technically FREEZE at those temperatures. It contains very little temperature. It's properties don't really change in the 'freezer' - as far as the film's concerned -it's just at a slightly lower temp than when it's in the fridge.
     
  14. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    oops! I meant to say "WATER" - "it contains very little WATER" - not temperature. Don't know what I was thinking.
     
  15. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I think the benefit of cold storage arises because the emulsion is organic, and will therefore keep longer at lower temperatures. The image however is contained within the mineral element of the emulsion, so I doubt that there is any change in the latent image caused by ambient temperature changes.