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  1. #11

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    And not only that, it will burn under water too (obviously without a flame) if it does ignite. it can decompose into a sticky goo, too.

  2. #12
    Helinophoto's Avatar
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    Hahaha, that's hillarious! =)
    I'm going back to the guy and tell him that I can take this fire-hazard off his hands if HE gives ME $5
    -
    "Nice picture, you must have an amazing camera."
    Visit my photography blog at: http://helino-photo.blogspot.com

  3. #13
    cmacd123's Avatar
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    Actually the "Nitrate" in this case refers to Cellulose Nitrate - AKA gun Cotton. and is the film base. It is always Very falable, and can self ignite. It is also Auto catalytic in that the gases it gives off as it deteriorates can speed up deterioration. You might very well find a sticky mess instead of a roll of film. with an ignition point approaching normal room temperature. Have a chat with someone from a film archives before handling the can, or pwehaps the Bomb Squad.
    Charles MacDonald
    aa508@ncf.ca
    I still live just beyond the fringe in Stittsville

  4. #14

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    Hi there,

    the film you found has a nitrocellulose base. It is a movie film, on a 50mm reel, and the emulsion is on the inside. If I remember correctly the ISO is around 50. Which was actually quite fast in the late 30's when this film was produced, hence the name. Directors liked to use it for interior shots for this reason. For example Roberto Rosselini used it extensively in Roma, Citta Aperta (a very good movie btw.)
    As other have mentioned, films with a nitrocellulose base pose quite a threat, however, it only gets really problematic for film archives that store vast quantities of the material. However, starting at 38°C (100F)the material can self-ignite, and a tightly closed film container in high temperatures is the worst way to store it. The material can degrade quite badly over time, depending on humidity and temperatures. Basically there are five stages, stage 1 is a bit of shrinking an shifting to an amber colour with a slightly sour smell, stage two it becomes a bit more sticky(sour smell gets stronger), stage 3 bubbly, and stage 5 you have a gooey mass.. you get the idea. (all this pertains to developed film though). I did a bit of research on the matter after I came across quite a few reels of nitrate film from my grandfather. Ours were stored in the basement with low an constant temperatures and they were absolutely fine, except two or three which had gotten wet and were mouldy. They were copied to safety film and properly disposed of shortly after.

    If you can contain your curiosity I would just not bother with the stuff (be so kind and tell the store of the potential hazard though). Usually it's not a big deal to have a look after you cooled it down in a fridge, in a well ventilated space. Since this is most likely unexposed you would have to open in the darkroom, cut off a sample, and close the can before being able to examine your specimen. Personally I don't think it is worthwhile to attempt to shoot with it. The box is quite nice though. Here is a video to give you an idea how it burns:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mZDt8vYMBw
    Last edited by rhcgn; 08-27-2012 at 05:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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