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Thread: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

  1. #1
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    Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    Hi guys,

    Mods please move this if its in the wrong place.

    New to LF photography and for my "tiny formats" (mostly 120) I have a film storage system where I buy and freezer film, the move the brick I'm using from the freezer to the fridge and work out of the fridge film.

    Now with sheet film, you open the box and use SOME film, but not all, some of the B&W stuff I know I'll use regularly, but some I'll only use a few sheets every few months (like with chromes) if I wanted to store the film back in the freezer, is that possible? Once I break the seal on the box, have I exposed it to moisture in the air making it only storable in the fridge, but if I put it in the freezer some of the moisture in the air might attach to the film and crystallize, ruining the film?

    Am I over thinking?

    Thanks guys!

    ~Stone

  2. #2
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    I would not suggest returning opened sheet film to the freezer.
    There's a high probability it would develop water spots when thawed next time.

    I freeze my new film. Once I open the package I just leave it in the darkroom, which is cool.
    I've had no issues doing that for over 50 years.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

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    Re: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    I wouldn't worry even with global warming... modern film isn't that temp sensitive. Just leave a few boxes next to the PBRs to impress the hipster ladies and nude models.

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    Re: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Otto Seaman View Post
    I wouldn't worry even with global warming... modern film isn't that temp sensitive. Just leave a few boxes next to the PBRs to impress the hipster ladies and nude models.
    Haha how did you know I shoot nude models?

    No hipsters though, thankfully...

  5. #5
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    Re: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    I would not suggest returning opened sheet film to the freezer.
    There's a high probability it would develop water spots when thawed next time.

    I freeze my new film. Once I open the package I just leave it in the darkroom, which is cool.
    I've had no issues doing that for over 50 years.

    - Leigh
    Thanks Leigh,

    I didn't think it was the best plan, but wanted some feedback just in case, ok guess I'll just have to use up this last box of Astia I have once I open it..

  6. #6
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    I don't think there's any mad rush to use the film. It sometimes takes me several weeks.

    On larger boxes (50- or 100-sheet) you'll commonly find multiple sealed packets.
    You can remove one and return the others to the freezer.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

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    Re: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    I've never stored B&W films in a freezer or fridge even in Turkey where the daytime temperatures reach the 40+C in the Summer. I do store in a drawer at floor level (in a ground floor apartment) and that's cool enough - it's surpring there a temperature big difference between low down (floor level) and the top of a cupboard (near the ceilin).

    I've only just finished some HP5+ bought short dated from a member here, it's now 4 years out of date and been stored all that time in Turkey, it was as good as the fresh HP5+ I'm now using. So I have no worries about film storage.

    Ian

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    Re: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    Unopened boxes = (film) freezer.

    Opened boxes = lower fridge drawer crisper (e.g., the film drawer), under the wife's vegetable drawer, until used up – sometimes years (the film, not the vegetables). No problems – except occasionally with the vegetables (and the wife).

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    Re: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    It's really a simple matter of managing moisture.

    All my film, and even some paper, is stored in the freezer because I don't use it that frequently (and we have a full-size freezer, of which I'm allowed 50%). I use zip-seal freezer bags, with at most two boxes to a bag (depends on the film format and box thickness). I pull out a bag when I need film, but don't remove the film from the bag for a few hours so it can come up to room temperature. Partially used boxes get a rubber band around them and a Post-It note detailing the number of sheets remaining, then go back into a bag and into the freezer. I've never had any issues with condensation because the film is never cold when it's exposed to ambient humidity. Some 100-sheet boxes have been in and out of the freezer half a dozen times with no ill effects.

    I'll occasionally store loaded holders in the fridge. Each holder goes into a plastic ziploc before it goes in, and is allowed to warm up before it gets used. I have to limit the number of holders so as not to fall into spousal disfavor, so often they just live in my (thankfully cool) darkroom.

    Cold storage does require a small amount of advance planning, because a hundred-sheet box of 4x5 takes several hours to completely come to room temp, but so far that hasn't been an issue for me. Individual holders warm up faster.

  10. #10
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    Re: Question about sheet film storage in freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Goldstein View Post
    It's really a simple matter of managing moisture.

    All my film, and even some paper, is stored in the freezer because I don't use it that frequently (and we have a full-size freezer, of which I'm allowed 50%). I use zip-seal freezer bags, with at most two boxes to a bag (depends on the film format and box thickness). I pull out a bag when I need film, but don't remove the film from the bag for a few hours so it can come up to room temperature. Partially used boxes get a rubber band around them and a Post-It note detailing the number of sheets remaining, then go back into a bag and into the freezer. I've never had any issues with condensation because the film is never cold when it's exposed to ambient humidity. Some 100-sheet boxes have been in and out of the freezer half a dozen times with no ill effects.

    I'll occasionally store loaded holders in the fridge. Each holder goes into a plastic ziploc before it goes in, and is allowed to warm up before it gets used. I have to limit the number of holders so as not to fall into spousal disfavor, so often they just live in my (thankfully cool) darkroom.

    Cold storage does require a small amount of advance planning, because a hundred-sheet box of 4x5 takes several hours to completely come to room temp, but so far that hasn't been an issue for me. Individual holders warm up faster.
    Thanks, this is good news.

    To the other poster who said it sometimes takes him a few weeks... God man, you're rich! Haha

    The stuff I'm more concerned about will probably last about a year or two to go through a single box. They will be waiting for important images meant for this stuff that won't be often. At $70 a box if 20 sheets, plus processing, I will be shooting cautiously (this is mostly the color I'm worried about). And a few 10 sheet boxes that are already expired. Of Astia, the rest of the B&W I'm not so worried about.

    Thanks Guys!

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