Purchasing and freezing film. How long will it last?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by GreyWolf, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member

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    Living outside of the USA has often made we wonder about the different films and such that you folks can easily purchase. I realize that I also may have the film sent across the border but with the shipping and other related costs have so far caused me to be hesitant.

    As such I am now considering purchasing some J&C Classic 200 or perhaps Bergger BPF film. If I find myself liking this film as a potential replacement for HP5 Plus or my Tri-X I would then probably want to create a large order and freeze the majority of the film.

    My question is "Does anybody know for certain that film such as this kept frozen will remain fresh for a year or two without having an increase in the base+fog values?"

    I have measured short dated film with fresh HP5 Plus film and have noticed a slight increase in the base+fog values. With this knowledge I am somewhat reluctant to buy a large order of film and freeze it.

    Your knowledge, opinions and experience are most welcome.

    Kind Regards,
     
  2. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Storage temperature will have more effect on the "life" - color balance, contrast - whatever - of film than any other *common* factor.
    I once worked out projected life using -- what was the name of that system -- Arrhenius(sp??) and film kept at 0 degrees F (-18C) should last at least 100 years.
    For all intents and purposes, the expiration date of film in the freezer of a common refrigerator is meaningless.
     
  3. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    If the films's fresh when you buy it then in my experience you should be fine keeping it for a year or so-I'm planning to do this myself with APX 100 4x5.Faster films are probably more likely to show base fog though.
     
  4. Robert

    Robert Member

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    First of all you can get Bergger from Eight Elm street in Toronto. It might actually be cheaper then the US prices.

    How long is the date on the film you're getting? Since nobody stocks the Agfa film I was using it always gets ordered fresh for me. It comes with a five year date on it. That's without freezing.
     
  5. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I have had film in the freezer for up to 8 to 10 years. The 10 year old did some strange things so I discarded it and am more careful with the film in the fridge. So now I only keep film up to 4 years. No problems that can be seen with the naked eye and the negatives print fine. I test film about once a year and my EI have not changed until I changed equipment.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The slower the film, the better it keeps. I try not to keep 400 or faster films around too long, but I've used slower films that have been more than 5 years past expiration without serious problems.

    Occasionally I'll pick up really old film and try it, just to see what it's like and get a feel for an older film, even if it's considerably deteriorated. I had some Royal Pan expired in 1965, for instance, recently. It was a high speed film, so the base fog very high and tonal range fairly low, but the grain structure was really nice--almost a chisled kind of look. I also have some Double-X 35mm movie stock from the 1970s (I think) that I use occasionally. Base fog is high on that too, and speed is fairly low, but it's another interesting looking film, and the contrast is actually not bad, since the film has an inherently high Dmax, so there's still lots of room over the base+fog.
     
  7. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    AFAIK one must be rally carefull with life of the '3200' films. Even frozen.

    It is related to cosmic rays and the like.

    Jorge O
     
  8. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Be careful how your freezer is constructed. Two sheets of metal (inside and outside freezer walls) with a dielectric material (insulation) in between them constitute a capacitor. If there is any alternating potential across these two plates (such as might occur if there is a miniscule short circuit) the resultant alternating current through the RC network thus created will produce an electromagnetic field. This will in turn fog the film over a period of years.
     
  9. sanking

    sanking Member

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  10. fingel

    fingel Member

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    I have some old Panatomic X 35mm bulk rolls in the freezer that dates at least to the mid 1980's. It still behaves like it's brand new film.
     
  11. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  12. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    My freezer is a capicitor???? what about all that dielectric loading caused by frozen meat and veggies? I would think it would be so low q and so lossy that even if it were near a substation transformer, it would have trouble conducting electricity. The big electrical threat is during film handling. A fast move with the dark slide or rewinding roll film too fast would be the biggest problem.
     
  13. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    000.
     
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  15. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    I know a lot about capacitors, EMF, all those little things that goes inside an electronic whatever.
    That's how I earn the money I spend in film and paper...
    But never heard about low frequency electromagnetic fields affecting film.
    That would be real news for me.
    :confused:

    Jorge O
     
  16. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  17. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    If it's constructed of two metal plates separated by a dielectric, then yes, it is.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Wait a minute. Can I plug my strobe heads into it?
     
  19. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Sure. Recycle time will be about six years. Be sure to pay your model by the job, not by the hour.
     
  20. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I have *no* proof, but I would venture a guess that the film did not change much ... but the chemistries in the processing DID. Even with Rodinal ...
    I've read that at least one European company advertises a formula *very* close to "the OLD Rodinal".
     
  21. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    A freezer constructed with metal as the inside wall and then insulation with metal outside concentrates cosmic energy and the concentration of energy can fog light-sensitive material. A freezer constructed out of cement block with insulation on the inside will not conduct that energy nor will it fog film. Because of this phenomena, I recently built a cement block freezer.

    Main point: you do not want metal on the inside.
     
  22. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    [quote="Michael A. Smith" Because of this phenomena, I recently built a cement block freezer.[/quote]

    Why do you want to freeze cement blocks?
     
  23. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member

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    Simply amazing.

    A film aging problem has turned into a refrigerator design thread. 8)

    Now I know why I keep coming back to this site.

    "Learning without boundaries"

    :roll:

    Kind Regards,
     
  24. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    I think what we have here is a failure to understand RF and EMF. A freezer is not a capacitor - it is a wave guide. We have established that a freezer will suck up cosmic rays and I know it wont hold a charge or light my strobes. So - what frequency is YOUR freezer resonant? I have a small chest freezer - I figure somewhere around 500Mhz should be about right. Out here in the desert everyone is on cable - I only use HF myself and have concluded that if the film is stuck between two RF dampening turkeys - it will be ok and that will also lower the q of the waveguide and protect it from all foul radiation. I have noticed a tendency of my film to gobble up more of my time because of this but I will still enjoy this hobby with thanksgiving.
     
  25. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Hi all, I just got my first box of 8x10 film, 50 sheets of tri-x. I plan to start shooting (worst case scenario in 5 months but hopefully more soon). So what is involved with short term storage within 12 months use. Keep it in the fridge? Am I going to do harm by keeping it in the fridge, removing it, taking out a few sheets, putting it back. The film is set to expire in 2006 and NZ doesn't get very hot so should I not chill the film at all and just store it in a dry closet? With 35mm I used it rather quickly so have never considered how to store a box of sheet film. Thanks for any advice! Sean
     
  26. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Sean, that's the way I do it: Keep it in the freezer, take out a few sheets after thawing it completely, put the box back in. Norway doesn't tend to get any warmer than New Zealand, but I buy large amounts of film when I cn get any - every few years.

    Don't worry about "cosmic energy"! The reason film gradually deteriorates in cold storage is background radiation, only some of which is cosmic radiation. And none of it is radio frequency "cosmic energy".