Exposed Color Film Delay Before Development
Yesterday, I was finally printing some color films that I had from the summer and I realized that some of them were not as nice as others. Those were the one that I left in the fridge for a longer time before doing a batch of C-41. So, it makes me wonder if the storage between exposure and development could be in cause.
So, what is considered a reasonable storage time between exposure and development for pro color film ? Is the fridge good enough or should they be frozen ?
Obviously it is best to process ASAP after exposure but a few weeks in temperate climate isn't likely to cause a problem, certainly not with consumer C-41 which is designed to withstand this sort of thing. (I'm reminded of the stories about films brought in for development with pictures of a Christmas Tree on beginning and end, with summer holidays in the middle!)
I keep all my new films refrigerated or frozen in the manufacturer's sealed packing, but I've never fridged exposed film, having a concern that the damp atmosphere in the fridge (or even condensation) might penetrate the unsealed packing. I don't know if this a known issue?
Also, were your "summer films" exposed to any hot days while in the camera?
Could also be differences in processing.
The film, Pro160s, was left for maybe 6 weeks to 8 weeks in the fridge. I store all my film exposed or not in the fridge. When exposed, I place them in small air tight plastic box filled with air from the freezer. I never experienced any condensation in those box. I don't travel with a cooler, but I try to keep my film as cool as I can.
As I do my own C-41 with Tetenal, processing error are never excluded. But the other films I'm comparing with were done with the same chemistry right after those one and I'm not to bad with controlling temperature.
I must say that I'm still learning to shoot color film, so maybe the processing is still fine and this was just the light I had back in Stockholm. I'm mainly asking this to know if there is obvious issues with keeping exposed film for a while in order to process them in batch.
This shouldn't be a cause to any visible problem. I would guess that your problem is elsewhere.
Originally Posted by jfdupuis
If it was 6 to 8 months; or 6 to 8 weeks at a specially warm place, then it would be possible.
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Thanks for that further information.
Professional film is generally stated to be intended for prompt processing after exposure, whereas consumer film should keep much better, to allow for typical amateur/family use.
I tend to use Pro film in circumstances where I need the photos quickly anyway, whereas I'm quite happy to leave a consumer film in a camera for several weeks. I've a C-41 Fuji film that's been in a old Zorki camera, which I'm trying out, for probably three or four months, and I'm not expecting any deterioration for practical purposes. However, I'd probably not want to keep an exposed Pro film for more than a week or two before processing.
Maybe PE could comment on whether freezing does affect the latent image on a typical film?
I'm not an expert on films and their development, but surely can contribute lots of hands on experience with films stored for months at room temperature (which can hit 30°C on hot summer days), both exposed and unexposed.
To make a long story short, I have not experienced a film that would suffer serious damage from this. In your case I would look for other sources of problems. Could you post some samples of a scan, maybe it was a trivial error we can lock down just from seeing the results.
To my knowledge, latent image keeping can be improved by using some dopants in/on halides, and AFAIK it usually does not compromise other properties. Then, there would be no real reason not to use these technologies also in professional films to maximize latent image keeping. It's not granted that professionals, or people seeking for professional results, always could process films promptly or could keep them cool due to circumstances.
IMO, the biggest difference here between pro and consumer film are just tolerances; effects are quite same but consumer accepts bigger deviation from the standard. This applies also to keeping temperature before exposure.
Maybe someone more familiar to emulsion technology can comment. Correct me if I'm wrong.
What about grain...
could be other factors like processing, exposure etc but I was testing some films recently and Superia 400 (Press 400) seemed a bit grainier than the Fuji 400 H I was comparing.