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  1. #11
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Excess moisture, atmospheric and other pollutants and light are the three things you need to keep away from your negatives.

    A freezer can be effective with all three, but only if it is working perfectly at all times.

    If you use a freezer for negatives as well as other things one normally stores in a freezer (like ice cream) all it takes is one power failure and a little bit of leakage and you could end up with severely damaged negatives.

    In my temperate climate, storage in a light resistant box in a dry, room temperature space works great.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  2. #12

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    I don't understand how a power failure could destroy my negatives. The temperature in the freezer would lower gradually, not instantly. Also, I'm beginning to get a craving for ice cream because of this thread.
    Gear: Broken Minolta SRT-101 with MC Rokkor 50mm f1.7 | Canon EOS 500 with 50mm f1.8 II, 75-300mm f4-5.6, 24mm f2.8.

  3. #13
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    I have my father's negatives taken in the late 1950's. They were stored in glassine envelopes inside a wooden cigar box for more than 50 years. They look good as new.

    I still have almost every negative I ever shot. (that was worth keeping) Many of them are almost 30 years old. They are stored in PrintFile pages kept in three-ring notebooks. The notebooks are organized inside "Bankers Boxes" which are kept in a closet. Again, except for a few that have scratches or marks on them, you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart from ones I developed yesterday.

    There are about half a dozen rolls of film that I shot which are inside Erie's bicentennial time capsule, buried in 1995. I have no reason to believe that they'll still be there in good condition in 2095 when the capsule is opened.

    Even with minimal care, your negatives are likely to last much longer than you will.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  4. #14
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Negatives stored in freezer!? Never heard of such a thing.
    Negatives of me from (50 years ago) are still around, flat, crisp and clear, just a little 'pasty' in terms of clarity compared to modern-era negs. And I do look so much cuter in my chick houndstooth flannel shorts and red-white-blue singlet...
    These old evergreens are well travelled, having turned up in card slips the back of old 1960s photo albums. We've shifted house about 8 times in five decades and never lost any negs.

    My own trannies and negs are stored in PrintFile sleeves then in turn just placed inside a dust proof plastic filing box. Filing never was a strong point for me, though I don't have any trouble looking for and finding what I want!
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

  5. #15
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kugerfang View Post
    I don't understand how a power failure could destroy my negatives. The temperature in the freezer would lower gradually, not instantly. Also, I'm beginning to get a craving for ice cream because of this thread.
    You obviously have never had a power failure last for several days .

    Or had a freezer compressor fail on you (discovered unfortunately days later).

    Melted ice cream is really messy stuff.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  6. #16
    holmburgers's Avatar
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    In ziplock bags they'll be safe from ice cream.

  7. #17
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Are you talking about colour film? 100 years, sorry but from what I have seen 20 -30 years in dark storage would be at the outside , maybe the new films are better but I rather doubt it. We are scanning all critical colour images that are over 10 years old, and we are seeing a lot of it come our way before it goes the way of the Dodo bird.

    We get film here all the time for reproduction, Black White negatives no issue going back a hundred years, Kodachrome from the 50's very little problem, Ectachrome from the same period basically reconstructive surgery needed, and any colour film from the 60's 70's and 80's need Walt Disney factory to reconstruct the layers as they are fading and deteriating at different stages.
    Biggest myth of the century when the ads said to preserve your precious memorys with good Kodak Colour Film, the other manufacturers were and are no better. Any walk through any high school which has the Principal walls will know that the schools had cyan vampires overseeing them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jp498 View Post
    Fresh film is good stuff to freeze, but processed film should not need freezing. The risk of freezing processed film is condensation from when you remove it or the freezer loses power. Wet film is OK, but wet film in pages is bad news.

    Best to store processed negatives in a clean dry place. They should last >100 years with no special care as long as they are kept dry and clean.

  8. #18
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    No need to store in a freezer. :P Back in our house in the Philippines, my grandfather's negatives (color and BW, no slides) that were taken in the 80's are just fine. We had them printed in 2004 for his self portraits and the prints came out nicely but the color one's were not that lively (maybe the color films back then were not that good?). What part of the Philippines do you live in? We lived in Batangas City, and that is one heck of a humid place, plus we were a few minutes away from the sea. They were stored in sleeves for negatives similar to the likes of PrintFile, and were stored in boxes in the closet of my grandfather's room.

  9. #19

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    Humidity and temp would be my main concern in long term storage.

  10. #20

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    I have been storing my processed color negative film in vacuum sealed bags in the freezer, @ -10 below 0, since I turned pro in 1965. In the early to mid sixties, the film was Ektacolor S which had the shortest post processed life of any color film I've ever used and last year I printed a 50th wedding anniversary album for one of the surviving daughters of the happy couple and the negatives, shot in 1965, printed as though they were taken last week. I believe, according to my own experience, that freezing post processed, color negatives that have been vacuum sealed, can extend their usable life for generations and perhaps as long as BW negatives when thus stored.
    Denise Libby

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