View Full Version : Wise to keep box of film in fridge?

Ron Whitaker
6-Jun-2000, 00:16
It's summer! Should I keep my boxes of sheet film (which, by the way, is Ilford FP4+) in the refridgerator? Once I have my film holders loaded, should I keep them in the fridge as well until I use them? If I should keep the box of film a nd/or the loaded film holders in the fridge, how long should I keep them out to warm up before using them?

Thanks for your input and help!]

Ron Whitaker

John Hicks
6-Jun-2000, 01:31
Generally speaking, if you're comfortable so is the film.

I keep film in the freezer, with some I expect to use soon in the refrigerator ; the reason I keep it in the freezer is that I sometimes don't use it up before the expiration date and don't want to worry about that. Otoh, I still have some rolls of Kodachrome II sitting around... <g>

Any open packages or boxes are sealed in Ziploc bags.

I usually let film I take out of the freezer thaw out overnight; that's why th e go-packages in the refrigerator, which can be warmed up much faster.

I don't refrigerate loaded holders because I know that film's going to be used before it expires or could suffer heat damage.

James Chow
6-Jun-2000, 04:20
I keep my film in the freezer and defrost them the night before loading. For loaded holders that I, for some reason, didn't expose, I put them in small zip-lock bags, squeeze all the air out, put them in an empty quickload box, and put it in the fridge. Likewise, I remove it from the fridge the night before intended use.

Pete Caluori
6-Jun-2000, 06:12

It's not a bad idea to refrigerate film as long as you follow a few precautions. You should keep the box of film in a sealed plastic bag. When you remove the film, if its temperature is below the dew point of the room condensation will form. You should then wait until the temperature of the film equalizes with the room (2-6 hours.)

I would strongly advise against storing loaded holders in a refrigerator. Even keeping them in zip lock bags and squeezing out excess air (the best possible case) could result in condensation. I've seen numerous holders ruined because they were stored in a refrigerator loaded. Unless you use a vacuum pump to remove the air from the bag, there's no way to squeeze all of it out. Depending your locale's humidity you could get condensation. If you have loaded holders that won't be used for some time and you're worried about the film being exposed to heat, you're better off unloading the holders and storing the film in the fridge.


Bruce Gavin
6-Jun-2000, 16:25
What is the opinion on long term freezing of sheet film?

Kodak is discontinuing the 4x5 high speed infrared sheet film by the end of 2000. I want to buy a couple hundred sheets and freeze it for use in the years to come. Evidently this will mark the end of HSI film in 4x5 sheet sizes.

Pete Caluori
6-Jun-2000, 16:39
To answer Bruce's question. A friend gave me some 120 Tri-X that was 20+ years old; it had been kept in the freezer. My opinion after developing the negs was Kodak changed the emulsion, because it looked better than current Tri-X. I don't see why it wouldn't work for infared.


David R Munson
6-Jun-2000, 21:00
Just a note on the IR film issue. Like with any B&W film, keeping IR film in the freezer would help it last longer. However, you might want to keep the film in something like a lead bag to help protect it from fogging over time. Ambient radiation can and will have an effect over a long period of time, so keep that in mind. Other than that, I say go for it.

Just a thought...

Julio Fernandez
8-Jun-2000, 01:06
I have had some Provia 50 ASA in 4X5 and 35mm in the freezer for at least 8 or 10 years. I just shot some pictures with both. The results were excellent as if the film was fresh. The film was kept in the freezer from the time it was bought. It was kept in its original containers which had never been opened. Humidity can be a major problem if the containers are opened. Once opened I never put film in the freezer.

Erik Asgeirsson
11-Jan-2001, 17:29
Kodak does have two different Tri-X emulsions, Tri-X (normal) and Tri- X Professional. Maybe you got the Pro version from your friend's freezer and are used to the norm, or the other way around?

Evan Buda
16-Oct-2005, 16:55
I would just get a digital camera if I was you, so you don't have to even buy film in the first place. You can also modify your images to look better than when you took them.

John Cook
16-Oct-2005, 17:31
From the horse's mouth:


Their motion picture data sheets seem to do a better job on this subject than those intended for still photographers. The emulsions behave similarly, with regard to storage.

Mark Sawyer
16-Oct-2005, 18:32
Conventional knowledge in film archives is that repeated freeze-thaw cycles are somewhat traumatic to the gelatin emulsion layer. I freeze my b/w film unopened for long term storage (1 year +), but keep it in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator once opened, unless it's going to be another year +, then it's back to the freezer.