I just purchased a used Nikon F5. It was shipped to me with film that has been kept in a freezer for some time. There is a lot of film, Fujichrome Provia 100F and some Kodak Tri-x 400.
Is it okay to place it back in a freezer? Some of the film is expired and some is not.
It can't do any harm, and might do it a lot of good.
As long as you don't try to eat the film after refreezing it you should be fine. I refreeze film all the time and it works great and I have not gotten Salmonella yet!
You can re-freeze as much as you want. Remember that putting it in the freezer for three days may not prevent much. It merely stops the degredation at the current point, and it resumes upon thawing.
The whole problem with freeze/thaw cycles is expansion and contraction of water crystals as water moves to and fro past its densest point at 4ºC. This is not really a factor for film, since there's very little if any water in it. (PE's gonna jump in here and eviscerate me with an icicle-knife like some KGB wet-work operative...)
It is one of the reasons, though, why steaks get freezer-burned. One is contact with dry freezing air. The other is burst muscle cell membranes in that porterhouse from the microscopic little spears of frozen water. Same reason blood has to be treated with special agents before it can be frozen for storage, so that there are no ice crystals to puncture the red blood cells during freeze/thaw.
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The problem for film and cameras is condensation. Cold air holds less moisture then warm air, when you take film or a camera from a cold place to a warm place, the cold surface causes air near the surface to get colder, so it loses some moisture, which condenses on the surface. Film that is frozen in it's packaging will get condensation on the outside of the package, but not on the surface of the film itself. if you take your camera bag in a cold place and take it into a warm place, then you should leave it closed up until it warms up, at least a couple of hours. Now if you have your bag in a warm car, and then take it outside to go into a building it doesn't have the chance to get cold, and can be used right away.
Originally Posted by MikeSeb
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Deep freezing film will not harm it. Let it thaw out for 2 hours upon removal before opening the film package.
Film kept at -15°c can be kept indefinitely, though background radiation will eventually affect it. "How long is "indefinite"? Well, how long is a piece of string!? Not a particularly noteworth film burner, I'm still using Velvia 50 from 1997, Provia 100F from 1998, and Ilford Delta from 2000 when they were all cheaper than they are now!
One thing to remember is never to put a camera in the fridge or deep freeze! Sounds silly to mention it? Of course, and silly people do just that with this "cold film" fetish.
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