Question on freezing paper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by rmolson, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    Question on refreezing paper

    I may go several months with out getting any printing done Because my basement darkroom doesn’t have temperature and humidity controls paper tends to go bad on me. The obvious solution would be to refrigerate the paper but humidity in the average fridge might be a problem I want to freeze the paper ( I have a freezer ) and take out only what I anticipate using Break the factory seal open the plastic wrap and put some in a paper safe. Reseal the paper in the black plastic and wrap the box in several layers of plastic wrap and put it back in the freezer. Does this make sense or am I introducing another problem?
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I suppose if you are really worried about humidity then you could use one of those vacuum sealing things if they make wide enough ones:

    http://www.jardenstore.com/products.aspx?pgsz=9&bid=18&cid=79

    Offhand I'd think that a ziplok should do plenty well if you let the bag come up to temp before opening it.
     
  3. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    I don't understand why you think that humidity in a fridge would have a detrimental effect on paper.
     
  4. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    This is what most of us do. The plastic wrapping that the paper is supplied in is sufficient protection for the paper, an extra plastic bag is advisable to protect the box.
     
  5. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    [ In the summer in Ohio the humidity is high enough to ruin paper at room temperature I have a dehumidifier running all summer long Opening the door on a fridge you will see a fog of condensing moist air and this is a new fridge.
     
  6. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member

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    Assuming you have a typical frost-free refrigerator, actual humidity conditions are exactly opposite of what you describe. The refrigerator compartment has very low relative humidity and the freezer compartment runs high. In fact, during defrost cycles, the freezer compartment can approach 100% RH.

    Best approach is to place your paper in a zip-sealing storage bag and keep it in the refrigerator compartment. Plastic bag protection is needed only to guard against surface condensation when you open the refrigerator door or remove the package for warm up prior to use.

    If you'd like to read lots of details, see this:

    http://www.wilhelm-research.com/pdf/HW_Book_19_of_20_HiRes_v1a.pdf
     
  7. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Then there is always the advice of my teachers. Make more prints more often. It will make you a better printer. I know life has many reasons not to do that. Some times it is simply a matter of priorities.

    When you say your paper goes bad, what does bad mean to you? Please describe bad and name the paper you use. I live between Akron and Cleveland in Ohio and it is humid, 97 percent this morning. I have not had the paper problem with Kentmere Fineprint FBVC in all sizes to 20x24. Previously I used Kodak Polymax FBVC and do not remember any problems. I store the open paper in the dark plastic bag within paper safes of the appropriate size and unopened paper in a metal flat file. Our rural basement problem is mice rather than humidity. I freeze my film but have not had a reason to freeze paper.

    John Powers
     
  8. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    I was going to ask a few of the same questions. Are you sure temp and humidity is wrecking your paper, or does the basement darkroom have a light leak. Or maybe safelights. Or, are your factory sealed papers ancient to begin with?

    Yes, I routinely break up boxes of paper and re-wrap in sheets of 25 or 50, in extra black envelopes lying about. Sealed with duct tape, spare cardboard envelope, then two trash bags withas much air sucked out as possible, then taped as well.

    Do not open a frozen package of paper until it is thawed and up to room temp, for obvious reasons.

    I do not refreeze thawed packages, partly out of fear of condensation again, and partly out of superstition.
     
  9. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Rich,

    If you wnat to branch out, I know from personal experience that you will like sailing, clay pigeon shooting, poker and sports car rallies. :D

    John Powers
     
  10. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    I live in Mansfield Ohio and our humidity is probably the same as yours
    I had some Ilford warmtone VC Fiber develop a fine light fog with a pattern that resembled grain or reticulation, But 5 or 6 sheets into the box the condition ceased. So freezing is a matter of economics also. I admit some of the paper is by now 3 to 4 years old but showing no sign of age fog. I have had RC lose contrast by almost a grade and a half. I didn’t bother trying to save it as I thought it was probably just too far gone.
     
  11. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    How are you storing the paper now? It strikes me that Rich and I are using more that just the standard packaging to protect the paper between printing sessions. I print more often than you but not with every paper I have in storage. Some of my papers are 6-12 months old but they are in light tight drawers or paper safes. Could that be the problem for you? Maybe refrigeration/freezing will work for you, but I have not had one sheet go bad in the four years I have been using this darkroom. The other day I even tried some Polymax FBVC that had been sitting in a paper safe since Kodak discontinued it. How old is that 3-4 years? I don't remember. All those rumors that there was a built in developer that would pop out even if you froze it have not fogged this box of 16x20.

    Trying to help.

    John Powers