View Full Version : Processed,safe, negative storage

5-Feb-2014, 12:32
I'm looking for a good way to store my 4x5 negatives before, during, and after printing sessions. I first wanted to jump up and get some of the plastic sleeves that probably hold 4 sheets. It'd be similar to how I kept my 35mm and medium format film stored while taking my college classes.

Then I started to get uncomfortable with having to slide my much bigger film in and out. It feels like its inevitable that they will scratch. Am I just being paranoid? I have read about many of these having some kind of chemical in or on the plastic that helps them slip. I'm not worried too much about long term archival storage but I just don't want to worry about scratches or having problems getting them in and out.

I was hoping I could find some kind of sleeves that are open on two sides so I could almost just lift a flap and pick up the negative with minimal sliding contact with the holding system.

I've read about Printfile but that's the kind of thing I'm trying to avoid, unless I get enoug positive feedback.

What do you think? What do you use?

I am a big fan of Clyde Butcher and I wonder how he stores his negatives. I can't imagine using traditional sleeves to hold negatives to prints that cost potentially thousands of dollars.


5-Feb-2014, 13:19
Andrew: We use Printfile and they are a pain to get in and out. I have some, however, stored in combination plastic sleeve and paper envelopes which fit into a nice hard cardboard box. The plastic opens at the side which is very helpful, but the negative image is not visible inside the paper envelope so careful labeling is required. I think this is from Lightroom. And this is a much more expensive way to go, which is why we use Printfile sleeves most of the time.


5-Feb-2014, 13:27
Sorry, Light Impressions was the company.

Light Guru
5-Feb-2014, 14:12
Side Lock Film Sleeves are what you are looking for.

5-Feb-2014, 15:02
If the negative is bent to curve it gently (like a wing airfoil shape), the emulsion isn't going to rub on the prinfile pages while going in and out. I've been using them for smaller formats for 20+ years and as long as they stay dry, they are safe.

If anyone doesn't know, light impressions has had developed quite a poor reputation in recent years.

5-Feb-2014, 15:11
The method I use (for 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 -- and would for 11x14 if they made them);



For 5x7 and 8x10 I use these storage boxes:


Daniel Stone
5-Feb-2014, 15:39
Similarly to Vaughn,
I use single-fold buffered paper "sleeve" envelopes to store my b/w & color film(4x5, 5x7, and 8x10). Very easy to work with, dirt cheap(IMO), and provide sufficient writing room to keep printing notes and/or processing information on as well.

I've bought mine from Lodima:
(see picture at bottom of link showing operation w/ an 8x10 negative)

I keep them in the same boxes as listed on the ^above^ link.


5-Feb-2014, 16:03
I believe Conservation Resources is the manufacturer and supplier of the archival products that Lodima sells.

Bill Burk
5-Feb-2014, 23:39
I snip the 4-to-a-page sleeves into quarters. Half of them open on two sides which makes it easy to get negatives in and out... I have to slide negatives into the other half of them, but it doesn't bother me.

Ian Gordon Bilson
6-Feb-2014, 02:10
I'm going to go out on a limb here >>
Printfile and similar enclosures are Horrible. They cling and stick, as you will find when extracting/inserting films.
I have large format negs , made before I was born, happy as a clam in simple glassines.