View Full Version : Freezing Film Question..

7-Nov-2008, 04:25

I heard that if you keep film in the fridge/freezer (by the way, whats part is better to keep the film in? fridge or freezer?) you must keep it out for 24 hours before shooting to prevent 'fogging' and/or condensation occurring, is this true? does it apply to 4x5?

Thanks. Sorry for the n00bish question.:o


Aender Brepsom
7-Nov-2008, 04:51
I keep my film (Velvia roll film and 4x5 QuickLoads) in the freezer and take it out the day before I want to use it. I suppose that 6 hours would be enough.
Make sure to keep the film sealed in the original foil or at least in a ziplock bag with as little air as possible.
And yes, you can put the film back into the freezer if you have not used it.
I have used slide film that was several years past its expriry date without any problem, as it had been kept in the freezer during all those years.

I do not put exposed film back into the fridge or freezer, but try to send it to the lab as soon as possible.

Michael Alpert
7-Nov-2008, 09:43
For long term storage, a home defrost refrigerator/freezer is not so great because it fluctuates in temperature. You need a chest freezer that will maintain a cold temperature. Zip-lock bags are important to prevent condensation when you take the film out of the freezer. I assume that as soon as the film is fully up to room temperature it can be used. That makes sense, but I'm not absolutely sure about this: I usually take film out of my freezer days in advance of using it.

Peter Mounier
7-Nov-2008, 09:57
I have always kept my unused film in the freezer until I'm ready to use it. Then, for full boxes of 4x5 film, 3 hours in normal room temp is enough time to defrost. Exposed or not, the freezer is a safe place to store film. Cold temps slow down the aging of film. Film continues to age after it is exposed. The colder it is, the slower film ages. Freezing film stops the aging process. Refrigerating film does not slow it as much as freezing does.


7-Nov-2008, 10:38
I pull roll films film out of the freezer an hour early. If I'm in a real hurry, I put the first couple of 120 rolls I'll need in my pocket - in the intact original foil wrapping or 35 in the canister. For a moderate hurry, I just unbox a few rolls since the box acts as an insulator and the film will warm a little more quickly.

Boxed sheet film comes out a couple to several hours early, depending upon the mass of films inside and the size of the box.

Everything goes right back in the freezer after the shoot. Just habit. I'd rather be safe.

Any film - whatever size - needs to be protected from high temperatures and aging.


Brian Ellis
8-Nov-2008, 08:58
I've read different things from different sources about freezer vs fridge, I don't think there's unanimous agreement but maybe I've missed something. FWIW, I keep 4x5 film in a zip lock bag in the freezer, take it out of the bag and immediately load it in the film holders. Never had a problem doing that but I wouldn't do it unless the film box had been stored in the bag.

8-Nov-2008, 09:17

You didn't mention if you are using cut sheets or quickloads. Quickloads thaw rather quickly and I've never had a problem with using them within an hour after removing them from the freezer. Like the others, I keep the envelopes in the foil pouch and store them in ziplock bags.

If your area has high humidity, allowing cut film to thaw and dry completely while still being stored in the sealed bag will prevent the sheets sticking together.

btw, I have stored exposed transparency film in the freezer for up to a month and have not seen any degredation in color or contrast.

As always...your mileage may vary. :-)


8-Nov-2008, 09:27
Aw, just microwave the stuff, ready to eat in minutes.

Peter Mounier
8-Nov-2008, 09:36
There may not be unanimous agreement among users, but Kodak and Fuji both say to keep film in the freezer for long term storage. For up to 3 months storage, Kodak says to keep it under 55 degrees f.