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Thread: Storing negatives long term

  1. #1

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    Storing negatives long term

    Since I've started shooting in the early 90's I've always kept my my negatives stored in Print File type sleeves. I've always wondered about the longevity of my negatives when stored this way, since some of my earlier sleeves have started to show their age. The negatives seem fine inside, but honestly I have negatives in there that have not been out of the sleeves since I put them in there in 1992.

    Since I picked up my first 4x5 last month, a Cambo (and since then a Horseman L45, yes I know LF is addicting) I've been wondering if I should go the route of using the plastic Print File sleeves or use the Print File 4x5 envelopes and store them in the old film boxes. Right now they are being carefully kept in an old film box. If it matters all of my negatives are kept in a safe deposit box at my bank.

    Whats says you?

  2. #2
    Youngin Daniel Stone's Avatar
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    Re: Storing negatives long term

    I personally prefer open-ended archival paper negative envelopes. Open on 3 sides, I write(in #2 pencil) on the outside what it is, and any printing instructions(for b/w, color I just have the name and technical data from my field notes)

    I buy my 4x5(cut down from 8x10) and 8x10 envelopes from Lodima Archival Materials

    http://www.lodimaarchivalmaterials.com/lam/index.html

    Personally I prefer them to the typical plastic printfile-type envelopes, which I've experienced scratching numerous times in the past.

    -Dan

  3. #3

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    Re: Storing negatives long term

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootar401 View Post
    ...I've been wondering if I should go the route of using the plastic Print File sleeves or use the Print File 4x5 envelopes and store them in the old film boxes. Right now they are being carefully kept in an old film box. If it matters all of my negatives are kept in a safe deposit box at my bank.

    Whats says you?
    Ditch the Print File PVC stuff along with those old film boxes. Both are far less than "optimal," if not downright unsafe, for this application.

    Put your 4x5 negatives in these:


    and put those in these:


    A convenient, high quality, good value approach for safe long-term storage.

  4. #4

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    Re: Storing negatives long term

    I use these paper 4-flap negative enclosures (4x5, 5x7 and 8x10) -- direct from the supplier for the Archival Methods (Lodima) envelopes...

    http://www.conservationresources.com...ection5_05.htm

    No sliding of the negative into something. Info (exposure and development) gets written on them in pencil.

    Those get put into these:

    http://www.conservationresources.com...ection5_12.htm

    Vaughn

  5. #5

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    Re: Storing negatives long term

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    Ditch the Print File PVC stuff along with those old film boxes. Both are far less than "optimal," if not downright unsafe, for this application.

    Put your 4x5 negatives in these:


    and put those in these:


    A convenient, high quality, good value approach for safe long-term storage.
    I don't think they use PVC any more and not for quite some time. I think PrintFile and Vue-All use polyethylene.

    I have been using PrintFile for my 35mm and MF film for quite some time with no I'll effects. For LF film I have been using the products from Light Impressions.

  6. #6

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    Re: Storing negatives long term

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess C View Post
    I don't think they use PVC any more and not for quite some time. I think PrintFile and Vue-All use polyethylene...
    I stand corrected. Nonetheless, their pages appear to be LDPE, which still suffers from the scratching risk Vaughn mentioned as well as a potential for ferrotyping and sticking. See pages 485 through 500 here


    for evidence of its shortcomings as well as an explanation of why Archival Methods' HDPE is a good-value approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess C View Post
    ...For LF film I have been using the products from Light Impressions.
    Good luck trying to obtain delivery of anything from Light Impressions today.


  7. #7

    Re: Storing negatives long term

    For sheet film negatives I've been using polypropylene sleeves like these...

    http://www.universityproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=2144&primary=1&parentId=&navTree[]=1260&navTree[]=1667&navTree[]=2144

    ...stored in acid-free boxes like these...

    http://www.universityproducts.com/cart.php?m=product_list&c=980&primary=1&parentId=&navTree[]=1260&navTree[]=1364&navTree[]=980

    ...or these:

    http://www.universityproducts.com/ca...ct_list&c=1000

    Other vendors such as Archival Methods or Hollinger offer similar products.

  8. #8

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    Re: Storing negatives long term

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    I stand corrected. Nonetheless, their pages appear to be LDPE, which still suffers from the scratching risk Vaughn mentioned as well as a potential for ferrotyping and sticking. See pages 485 through 500 here


    for evidence of its shortcomings as well as an explanation of why Archival Methods' HDPE is a good-value approach.

    Good luck trying to obtain delivery of anything from Light Impressions today.


    Well it's a good thing I still have some stock left. I have not ordered from them in a few years and it's too bad. I really like their products. However, I remember when they introduced the frosted sleeves for LF negatives and they were the rage until it was found out that the frosted texture of the sleeves could polish a copper penny. This was made known and demonstrated at a workshop with John Sexton many years ago.

  9. #9
    ArchivalMethods
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    Re: Storing negatives long term

    Another source for archival negative envelopes and sleeves as well as other supplies is Archival Methods. www.archivalmethods.com
    Open End Envelopes
    Side Lock Film Sleeves

    Angela

  10. #10
    Rafal Lukawiecki's Avatar
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    Re: Storing negatives long term

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchivalMethods View Post
    Angela, do you have a distributor of those in Europe, preferably in Ireland/UK?
    Rafal Lukawiecki
    See rafal.net | Read rafal.net/articles

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