Ultra Low Freezer Ideal for Long Term Film Stockpile?
Hello, is it ideal to deep freeze ie, -30C or colder, film (all ASA ranges 25 - 3200) to get the maximum long term preservation from them?
Or is a normal freezer (~ -15C or 5 F) going to give you *almost* (95% or better the same benefit).
Keep in mind this is for 20+ years storage as color film is about to go bye bye for good - as difficult as it is to accept.
Interested only in discussion of deep freeze vs normal freeze on ultra long term color film preservation. Thanks
And yes, I already know that for 10 to 20 year term, we are only talking here ASA 50 and ASA 100 film. Already know that, thanks. Already know about cosmic rays too.
Found this interesting information on kodak.com
In general, the lower the temperature at which a film is stored, the slower its rate of sensitometric change during aging will be. For periods up to three months, store motion picture raw stock at a temperature of 13°C (55°F) or lower, and a relative humidity of 60% or lower, during the entire storage period to retain optimum film properties.
Protect film in original packages or loaded in cameras, cartridges, magazines, on reels, and in carrying cases from direct sunlight. Never leave film in closed spaces that may trap heat. Temperatures in closed automobiles, parked airplanes, or the holds of ships can easily reach 60°C (140°F) or more. A few hours under these conditions, either before or after exposure, can severely affect film quality. If processing facilities are not immediately available, store exposed films at –18°C (0°F) but only for a few weeks at most.
Store raw stock at -18C to -23°C (0 to -10°F) if you must keep it longer than three months or if you intend to use it for a critical use that requires uniform results. Sensitometric change cannot be prevented by such storage, but it will be minimized.
IIRC, Agfa stored their uncut film rolls at -10 C. This would indicate that a lower temperature was neither necessary nor cost effective. In addition remember that background radiation and cosmic rays will also cause fogging and storage temperature has no effect on these two factors.
Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 07-25-2012 at 06:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
High-speed films don't keep well at all; and don't see how extreme cold would help the more typical
ASA preservation issue either. You've got not only the emulsion to consider, but whether or not its
integrity in relation to a particular film base is affected. At a certain point these become brittle or might develop some kind of "memory" curl issue, at least with roll films. I don't have the science or correct teminology explain it, but know from experience that it happens. Good sense planning is one
thing, panic another. And trying to keep color film good for more than a decade is problematic.
I've seen that Kodak info, it's insufficient for my needs. They are talking storage as a matter of only months. But neither Kodak nor Agfa nor anyone else envisioned it would be necessary to store films for years, decades.
Maybe with perhaps a science lab & photography background for outside of the box thinking could chime in.
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We will see Drew when in ten years you'll be paying $100 a sheet for 8x10 Kodak color negative film (and willingly). Remember Polaroid type 55? and all the great emulsions that represented decades of chemical engineering genius that are now extinct. It's that time for c-41 & E6 emulsions. There are a lot of men - analogue photographers out there in denial.
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
It's time to panic but, Drew. Panic Buy!
Andre - my freezer is already full, and a lot of that film was bought at about a third the price it's going for now. And as I shoot some, I intend to replace it and rotate the inventory. But given a fair
amt of experience having already done this for some time, I'm skeptical of color film stored over the
long term - things go wrong. Certain graphics films might store better. I know that Kodak was still
selling Tech Pan for ten years after their emulsion line for it was shut down! But when they did the
same thing with EDupe, a low-speed color lab film, it was already going bad with crossover upon
delivery! I shoot large format conservatively anyway, and have far more shots already on file than
I'll ever live to print. We analog shooters a least know what we want, and don't have to replace
entire systems every few years.
I think we have longer than you think we have, but the point is largely irrelevant. Films store only so well. Colder is better, but faster emulsions will be damaged by cosmic rays whether stoled very cold or not. Also, we have the issue of colour shifts to deal with, and they're rather unavoidable.
Also, if C41 and E6 films disappear, so too will their specialized developers. Perhaps it's possible to make these from scratch, but some of the ingredients (e.g. Kodak CD-3 and CD-4) will be gone as surely as the films would be, no?
Your best bets for freezing will be low temperatures combined with slow films and hoping to heck that chemistry continues to be available.
In the meantime I plan to shoot it as long as it's viable and if it goes away, there's nothing I could really have done about it anyway. I'm doing my part, but there have to be enough of us.
Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.
Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?
Another problem with color films is that over the long haul the film you prefer might not have an ideal
mate in terms of print medium, at least if you're serious about printing. Cibachrome lasted about a decade longer than I thought it would, and I still have several boxes of 8x10 E100G in the Freezer that won't have any application, other than perhaps a rare dye transfer printing session, or perhaps
and interneg. I've switched over to RA4 CAII and Ektar. But that marriage could end someday too, or
perhaps even a better film come on the market. You can't control all the risks, and at some point just have to bend with the punches. I think RA4 and probably C41 too will be around for quite awhile.
8 Years Past Expiration date Kodak E100SW straight scan from Nikon 9000
I bought this film expired in a room temp bin at camera store 8 years ago. I froze it for 8 years in regular freezer (not deep freeze), then shot it 6 months ago. Stayed in Mamiya RZ, exposed, for those 6 months before developing.
Based on all shots, my guess is a +3 or +4 CC magenta shift. Probably less shift if not sitting in bin at camera store + if I processed immediately (I personally feel time left sitting in camera after exposure and at room temp is where MOST of current color shift came from).
The point of this photo is that this film still looks GOOD from a fine art perspective.
Last edited by Andre Noble; 07-25-2012 at 07:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.