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  1. #1

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    basic question: storing film?

    Hi All,

    (Sorry if this seems like a basic question but I tried searching this forum but couldn't find specific details).

    If I want to store some film to prevent expiration, could I freeze the rolls of film? If so, at what temperature? Will the film become damaged if stored too cold? Is -4°F or -112°F too cold?

    If the film is frozen, will any moisture in the film damage it? (kind of like the ice that forms on anything you put in the freezer)

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Yes. You can safely freeze film (except instant film that has chemical filled pods in the pack), and in fact it is the best way to keep it 'fresh'.

    There's no problem with moisture, except condensation forming on it after you remove it from the freezer.
    So keep the film in a closed box (sheet), a sealed foil (rollfilm) or shut cannister (35 mm film) until it has warmed up to ambient temperatures again, so that condensation forms on the outside of the package, instead of on the film itself.
    Storing film inside the freezer in a plastic box with tight fitting lid will also do. Condensation then forms on the outside of the box when you remove it from the freezer. But you must wait to let the entire content of the box warm up to remove the one or two films from it that you might actually need.

    You can freeze and thaw film as often as you like.

  3. #3
    M.A.Longmore's Avatar
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    Hi Staph,

    For short term storage, just pop the box in the refrigerator.
    Usually I would try to remember to remove them a few hours before being used.
    Get it to room temp. to avoid any condensation issues.

    Long Term, ( months, or years ) it would be best to place the film in a Zipper bag.
    and remove at least 24 hours before usage.


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  4. #4

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    Keep it in its original packaging, if possible. For use, let it warm to room temp before opening and all will be well.
    Refridgeration or freezing extends the life of the film some, but isn't essential, especially for most B&W films. -4 is fine if you're freezing it.
    The real danger for moisture is freezing or chilling film that is out of the factory packaging. Consider that it was sealed in humidity controlled conditions, and your house (usually) isn't. I generally don't re-freeze or chill opened film packages unless it's something that really requires it, such as some "pro" color films that I won't be using again for a long while.

    There has been a lot of pro and con debate about this in other threads.

  5. #5
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
    Keep it in its original packaging, if possible. For use, let it warm to room temp before opening and all will be well.
    Refridgeration or freezing extends the life of the film some, but isn't essential, especially for most B&W films. -4 is fine if you're freezing it.
    The real danger for moisture is freezing or chilling film that is out of the factory packaging. Consider that it was sealed in humidity controlled conditions, and your house (usually) isn't. I generally don't re-freeze or chill opened film packages unless it's something that really requires it, such as some "pro" color films that I won't be using again for a long while.

    There has been a lot of pro and con debate about this in other threads.
    Yeah, what he said. I keep all my film in the freezer in the unopened factory packaging. I let it warm up before I open the package and use it. Most films do very well; a few like infrared film are not long term stable and may show signs of fogging sooner than the rest of the films over a period of years.

    Paper gets stored in the refrigerator.

    Do a search on freeze, freezer, refrigerator.

    Steve
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  6. #6

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the replies! What should I do if the factory seal is opened? (I'm not sure if the film I'm getting will be factory sealed).

    I've searched this forum for using the keywords that Steve suggested, and I found this old post on how film shouldn't be deep freezed. So I'm guessing -112°F would be too cold? What is the lowest temp you can freeze film before you start damaging it?

  7. #7

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    Somewhere near absolute zero perhaps.

    If film gets 'too cold' it may lose elasticity, become brittle perhaps.
    But you will not use it that cold, so...

    Anything your freezer can handle (-112F ??? :o) is fine.

  8. #8
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    You can find the data sheets for most films online, for the major manufacturers anyway, like Kodak, Ilford, Fuji and so on. These data sheets will include information on short term storage and long term storage. I routinely store all my film in the freezer, with a small box of assorted rolls in the fridge for more rapid access. Ian Grant in another, similar, thread pointed out that B&W film was less likely to need freezer over fridge storage, and when I checked the data sheets of these films, he was right. There are some films that shouldn't be frozen, and though I forget what they are, they were described on the Fuji film web site. So, first port of call is always to search for the data sheet.
    Alex

  9. #9
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Common deep freezers found in any house are fine for storing film. A cryovat is definitely not suitable. My deep-frozen (—20°c) stocks of Velvia (50, 100F) and Provia (various formats) share living space with all manner of chooks, meats, vegies and dog bones. Film(s) are removed and placed anywhere at room temperature, unopened, and left to "thaw out" for 2 hours, then loaded, not sooner. Condensation can form on the film if the canister(s) are opened in a warm environment. Today a roll of Velvia that expired in May 2004 came back from the E6 and it's indistinguishable from other D&P'd stock.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  10. #10
    alexmacphee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    Common deep freezers found in any house are fine for storing film. A cryovat is definitely not suitable.
    I wish you'd told me that before I bought the liquid nitrogen.
    Alex

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