View Full Version : insulated film container

Mick Noordewier
11-Dec-2005, 23:01
I'm usually not that far away from my car, whether at work, running errands or on a weekend "near vacation". Should a photo opportunity arise, I like to keep at least one complete camera kit in my car. Cameras and lenses are pretty hardy, but film isn't robust to the temperature swings in an automobile. It seems that it should be reasonable to place film in a small cooler, and leave it for longer periods of time inthe trunk (boot). In theory this should reduce the temperature swings that the film is exposed to. Does anyone do this? I thought I might take a recording thermometer and see what the maximum temperature fluctuations are in my trunk over a couple of weeks of normal temperatures. Any suggestions?

John Kasaian
11-Dec-2005, 23:31
It can get up to 110 deg F in the summer in my neck of the woods. I like to keep my whole kit in a cooler---no ice!---just the insulating effects of the cooler seem to help keep things reasonable if I keep the windows cracked in case I have to leave the jalopy parked for a length of time(parking in the shade helps too) Actually I've found B&W film quite resistant to heat and I'd be more concerned about cooking color film. Working in California, I don't keep anything of value in my vehicle on a permanent basis(except the spare tire & flashlight) because its not likely to be there in the morning

Eric Leppanen
11-Dec-2005, 23:55
When touring the southwest during the hot weather months, I keep all of my 8x10 film in a large picnic cooler along with two bricks of blue ice (one on each side of the cooler, separated from the film by plastic dividers so condensation doesn't get the film boxes wet). Then each night at the motel the blue ice gets refrozen in the motel freezer. I don't bother with this regimen the rest of the year, as the film seems to hold up fine on its own.

Jim Rhoades
12-Dec-2005, 09:20
Do you mean keeping it in the trunk for a week or month at a time? That might be too much. I would worry more about the effect on the lenses though. I use a lot of older lenses and I think that high heat could lead to seperation.

I use coolers too. My favorite is a beat to death Omaha Steak cooler. Free, after you eat the steaks, twice as thick as any cooler you can buy and insulates twice as well. I use duct tape to hinge the top and yeah hold it shut. With all the tape holding it together no one would think of what goodies might be inside. I take it inside and open it up at night to cool in front of the A/C. Works well even in the summer sun.

Kirk Gittings
12-Dec-2005, 12:43

Are you shooting color or b&w? I keep some Acros ready loads with me all time even in the summer in NM. I go thru them pretty regulary so there is a pretty good turnover, but I do not refrigerate them. I would rather have the shot with maybe a little fog than be kicking myself for not having anything at all. I actually have never noticed a problem so far. Color is a differnt story though certainly color films are far more stable in heat now than they were 30 years ago when I started.

13-Dec-2005, 09:49
Lenses should not be subjected to severe temperature swings as it loosens the cement over time. Keep your lenses indoors.

Joseph O'Neil
13-Dec-2005, 10:38
Having school aged kids, I found out that at paces like Wal-mart, there are many insulated lunch bags of various sizes and shapes. many of htem will hold a box or three of 4x5 film very nicely.

For minor temp changes, they work great. Also, travelling across Kansas this past summer, at the peak of the heat wave (some days over 100F ), these mini coolers, buried under aunch of clothing in my car truck, did a really good job - better than i expected.

However if you have the room, a good, full sized picnic cooler is the way to go, there I agree totally. Coleman Xtreme coolers are wonderful

one last thoguht - I always, always place a box of film or even film holders in zip lock bags. Sealing against changes in moisture seems to be just as important as protecting againt changes in temp.