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03-25-2015, 01:31 PM   #1
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Film Storage - Refrigerate or Freeze ???

I've heard a certain big box store where I get a good chunk of my film (Fuji) is phasing out carrying film in their stores. Went there today and found two measly four roll boxes of 400 Superia and the other racks were empty so maybe this is true. I have a local store that carries the other stuff I use, Ilford, Portra etc, but sometimes its hit or miss if they have in in stock and buying single rolls...I'd rather not.

I generally have some rolls of what I use the most in the fridge, I keep them in the original package in ziploc freexer (thicker than sandwich bags) bags so I always have a bit on hand because it really sucks when you have the means and the opportunity and no film when those last minute opportunities come up.

So I'm wondering, what is the preferred method for storing, fridge or freezer, HOW do you store it, just in the package, in a sandwich bag, in tupperware, wrapped in foam or foil and how long does it keep past its use-by date if kept cold?

I'm probably going to have to annex a larger chunk of the fridge and start getting it online more...

03-25-2015, 01:46 PM   #2
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Our freezer is crowded enough already, so I keep mine in the fridge. I don't plan to store it for years, though. Freezing seems to be the popular choice.
03-25-2015, 02:01 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Freeze for long term storage over six months, put the short term film in your fridge.

When fridge film is used up, move some from the freezer to the fridge.

Remember to let film you removed from the fridge to warm up for 1 hour, before you load it.

Phil.
03-25-2015, 02:22 PM   #4
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I don't know much, so find myself wondering about this quite often (particularly when I am foraging in the fridge and see it there lol); what is the difference if film is stored in freezer/fridge, or not? I assume it's to preserve the chemical composition of the film, but how much of a difference does or could it actually make if it's just left in the closet instead? I've followed the recommendation since I started shooting film a couple years ago and kept my 120 and 135 film in the fridge... The last rolls I used had been in there for about 1.5 years and the results seemed fine when I used it, but so did the results from one of my 35mm cameras that had a roll of Ektar in it for well over a year before I took all 36 shots... I would often take that loaded camera places where it would be left in the car all day etc and when it was home it was just in the drawer in the closet... Just got the roll developed recently and the results seem fine... So what difference would it have been if that roll of Ektar had been in the fridge for that duration it was in the camera, and then I shot that whole roll in one day before processing it?

03-25-2015, 03:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
I don't know much, so find myself wondering about this quite often (particularly when I am foraging in the fridge and see it there lol); what is the difference if film is stored in freezer/fridge, or not? I assume it's to preserve the chemical composition of the film, but how much of a difference does or could it actually make if it's just left in the closet instead?
It depends on the type of chemical reaction taking place but based on my knowledge of chemical stability in pharmaceutical product I use this rule of thumb:
The rate of reaction doubles for every increase of 10 degrees C, the reaction rate halves for every 10 degrees drop in temperature.
So: going from 25 C to 15 C the aging slows by a factor of 2.
Going from 25 C to 5 C the aging slows by a factor of 4.
Going from 25 C to -5 C the aging slows by a factor of 8.
Going from 25 C to -15 C the aging slows by a factor of 16.
This means that the deterioration occuring during 1 month in the closet equals the deterioration occuring during 16 months in the freezer.
Ignore this bit intended for geeks: Assuming zero order reaction kinetics.
A bit of background for the really interested:
Arrhenius equation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Regards,
Karet
03-25-2015, 05:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Karet Quote
It depends on the type of chemical reaction taking place but based on my knowledge of chemical stability in pharmaceutical product I use this rule of thumb:
The rate of reaction doubles for every increase of 10 degrees C, the reaction rate halves for every 10 degrees drop in temperature.
So: going from 25 C to 15 C the aging slows by a factor of 2.
Going from 25 C to 5 C the aging slows by a factor of 4.
Going from 25 C to -5 C the aging slows by a factor of 8.
Going from 25 C to -15 C the aging slows by a factor of 16.
This means that the deterioration occuring during 1 month in the closet equals the deterioration occuring during 16 months in the freezer.
Ignore this bit intended for geeks: Assuming zero order reaction kinetics.
A bit of background for the really interested:
Arrhenius equation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Regards,
Karet
Arrhenius also applies when calculating reliability based on accelerated life testing. The doubling ever 10 degrees is a rule of thumb. I have seen it vary from 8 - 12 degrees in practice.
03-25-2015, 06:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Karet Quote
the deterioration
Thanks for this interesting info.. I remain curious as to what discernible-to-the-average-human-eye-deterioration can occur to film in 1 month and/or/versus 16 months? My (probably less than average) eyes couldn't tell any deterioration with the roll of Ektar 100 (which I got negatives and scans from but not prints) that sat in my SP1000 camera in all kinds of temperatures at different points for around 16 months... Here's a lab scan of one of the shots..

Does it look aged?
03-25-2015, 07:06 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Print film can be corrected in scanning and/or printing. Slide film can be toast if improperly stored. Ektachrome slides I have are gradually turning magenta. Kodachrome slides are still good from 1961 without specialized storage. Exposed film does not deteriorate at the same rate as unexposed film, which will lose some of its quality in a very short time if overheated (drugstore window for example).

03-26-2015, 07:31 PM - 2 Likes   #9
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I'm slowly working my way through a large quantity of film I bought almost 25 years ago. Much of it was Kodak Plus X Pan, but I'm finally down to my last roll. I'm currently finishing up a roll of VPS III in 220 And I've recently shot a roll of Ektachrome 160 and two rolls of Ektachrome 64. When I finish the roll of VPS III I'll have two to develop. I've kept this film frozen for the 25 years I've owned it, and the guy I bought it from claimed he had kept it frozen as well.

So I can report the following, based on my own experiences: b&w is largely unaffected by being frozen for a long time, at least relatively slow emulsions. About the only thing I've noticed with this Plus X is it wants to curl or cup more and I've found that adding about a minute to developing times gives better density to the negative. I use D76.

I should mention that I have one roll of Panatomic X (ISO 25) and several rolls of some ISO 1600 Fuji b&w that I haven't shot yet. I expect the Panatomic X will be fine, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the fast stuff. This cache also includes some fast color film, too. I have a few rolls of Ektar 1000 (remember that stuff?), a roll of Konica 3200, and various ISO 400 rolls. Now all this stuff was expired when I bought it. And I guess the reason why I've kept it all these years is because I've never wanted to use it on anything important. Plus, stashed away in the freezer, it tends to be out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

The Plus X has worked pretty well, giving me solidly useful negatives, so I've slowly worked my way through almost a brick of it. As for the color emulsions, so far I've developed three old rolls of Ektachrome (EK160 in 35mm, two EK64 in120) and that's pretty much been it. Mixed results on the Ektachrome. The 35mm roll came out heavily blue shifted, but the two 120 rolls came out looking fine, really. Makes me wonder if it might have been pilot error on that first one. I'll be working my way through the C-41 stuff too, now that I'm developing everything. No point in letting that stuff sit any longer.

I don't know if it matters, but I've kept my film stored at right around 0 degrees Fahrenheit for this entire time.

Here's a couple of shots from my stash of Plus-X pan, which expired in 1983. Pics were taken four years ago.

Canonet QL17 GIII, Developed D76 1:1


Canon IIIa Rangefinder with Serenar 50mm f/1.8 Developed D-76, 1:1


And here are a couple of shots from the 120 rolls of Ektachrome 64:

Bronica ETRSi, 75mm f/2.8, Carnival Magic docked at Galveston Harbor. The tall ship Elissa, whose home port is Galveston, is in the foreground.


Same outfit as above, taken at the BMOA Rally in New Ulm, Texas. Laverda 750 in the foreground, a BMW single -- R25? -- in the background.

Last edited by cooltouch; 04-14-2015 at 08:21 PM.
03-28-2015, 10:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cooltouch Quote
I'm slowly working my way through a large quantity of film I bought almost 25 years ago. Much of it was Kodak Plus X Pan, but I'm finally down to my last roll. I'm currently finishing up a roll of VPS III in 220 And I've recently shot a roll of Ektachrome 160 and two rolls of Ektachrome 64. When I finish the roll of VPS III I'll have two to develop. I've kept this film frozen for the 25 years I've owned it, and the guy I bought it from claimed he had kept it frozen as well.

So I can report the following, based on my own experiences: b&w is largely unaffected by being frozen for a long time, at least relatively slow emulsions. About the only thing I've noticed with this Plus X is it wants to curl or cup more and I've found that adding about a minute to developing times gives better density to the negative. I use D76.

I should mention that I have one roll of Panatomic X (ISO 25) and several rolls of some ISO 1600 Fuji b&w that I haven't shot yet. I expect the Panatomic X will be fine, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the fast stuff. This cache also includes some fast color film, too. I have a few rolls of Ektar 1000 (remember that stuff?), a roll of Konica 3200, and various ISO 400 rolls. Now all this stuff was expired when I bought it. And I guess the reason why I've kept it all these years is because I've never wanted to use it on anything important. Plus, stashed away in the freezer, it tends to be out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

The Plus X has worked pretty well, giving me solidly useful negatives, so I've slowly worked my way through almost a brick of it. As for the color emulsions, so far I've developed three old rolls of Ektachrome (EK160 in 35mm, two EK64 in120) and that's pretty much been it. Mixed results on the Ektachrome. The 35mm roll came out heavily blue shifted, but the two 120 rolls came out looking fine, really. Makes me wonder if it might have been pilot error on that first one. I'll be working my way through the C-41 stuff too, now that I'm developing everything. No point in letting that stuff sit any longer.

I don't know if it matters, but I've kept my film stored at right around 0 degrees Fahrenheit for this entire time.

Here's a couple of shots from my stash of Plus-X pan, which expired in 1983. Pics were taken four years ago.

Canonet QL17 GIII, Developed D76 1:1


Canon IIIa Rangefinder with Serenar 50mm f/1.8 Developed D-76, 1:1


And here are a couple of shots from the 120 rolls of Ektachrome 64:

Bronica ETRSi, 75mm f/2.8, Carnival Magic docked at Galveston Harbor.


Same outfit as above, taken at the BMOA Rally in New Ulm, Texas
Those single cylinder Beamers are always a treat to see.

I keep my film in the freezer as there is much more room than in the fridge. Much of it is good for decades. I was given some long expired Ektar 25 that was like new in performance and 25 year old Technical Pan sheet film. I have to stock as live in a smaller city and little if any film available. Just remember to allow it to defrost before opening.
03-28-2015, 11:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Freeze for long term storage over six months, put the short term film in your fridge.

When fridge film is used up, move some from the freezer to the fridge.

Remember to let film you removed from the fridge to warm up for 1 hour, before you load it.

Phil.
This is exactly what I do. My wife complains to the same degree about the film in both the fridge and the freezer, so it makes no difference in that respect.
03-29-2015, 09:13 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Those single cylinder Beamers are always a treat to see.

I keep my film in the freezer as there is much more room than in the fridge. Much of it is good for decades. I was given some long expired Ektar 25 that was like new in performance and 25 year old Technical Pan sheet film. I have to stock as live in a smaller city and little if any film available. Just remember to allow it to defrost before opening.
Yep to the BMW singles. I think it's cool that the very first BMW single had the same orientation, namely with a longitudinal engine disign. Resulting in an engine, transmission, and drive shaft all in line to the direction of travel, same as an automotive engine. So even though the BMW single looks sort of odd, like it's sitting in the frame sideways, actually all other motorcycle singles are sitting in their frames sideways, and the BMW's is oriented in line with the frame and direction of travel.

Another interesting factoid that not too many people are aware of is that the very first BMW vehicle (built in 1923) was a boxer twin motorcycle -- and not a car.

Regarding thawing film, it's been my experience that it thaws very quickly and even when frozen is not brittle. So I'll take it from the freezer, set it out on a table or what have you and retrieve my camera from its bag. By this point, the film is ready to go. I've never had a problem with it breaking from embrittlement as I've wound it into the camera. Actually, I'm more concerned about condensation occurring than anything else, although I've seen no evidence of it yet.

Last edited by cooltouch; 03-29-2015 at 09:19 AM.
04-14-2015, 07:41 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
My wife complains to the same degree about the film in both the fridge and the freezer
I had this very same problem that I solved by buying another fridge which now sits in my garage (man cave) and my film now only shares space with my beer.
Glenn
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