View Full Version : Putting Up Film

10-Apr-2009, 19:53
I've never been much for canning and preserving, but now I've got a load of film to put up in the freezer. Seems to me that film to be frozen should be stored in airtight plastic bags (especially for manual-defrost freezers as have been recommended elsewhere). The problems with Ziploc and similar bags is that they don't come in custom sizes to fit large format film boxes. A bag which fits may be unnecessarily large, taking up valuable extra space. And ideally boxes would be individually bagged so that you wouldn't have to defrost several boxes to get to one.

Any ideas? Are vacuum bagging food storage systems practical for film? (I could use it for food, too.) Will stretch film like I use for packing for shipping work? Seems like it wouldn't be airtight enough. I'm primarily storing 10x12 and 7x17. The box sizes are 12x15 and 8x18. Suggestions welcome.

10-Apr-2009, 20:09
I use vacuum bags for 4x5 and 8x10 but I think the widest roll of bags is 11 inches. Other than that, I use 2 gallon ziplocs for the 8x10 boxes. Your 10x12 may fit in these. These are available at kmart or online. Ziploc makes bigger bags too. If you're storing sealed film (like fuji or kodak) in boxes then you only need something to keep moisture off the box itself.

Arthur Nichols
11-Apr-2009, 05:46
I have a freezer full of various sizes of discontinued paper up to 20x24 along with some film sizes up to 7x17. I purchased a number of "Space bags" in differennt sizes. I bought some online and some from Walmart. They are ziplock bags on steriods (ie: very large). I have never had any problems with condensation using these and they are reusable. I also bought a large roll of plastic wrap from Sams' Club and wrap some of my items mulitple times. This also works well. I just cut it off with a pair of scissors after it has defrosted.

11-Apr-2009, 06:44
I found a FoodSaver that we got as a gift and never used for food. I put it into service for film storage a few months ago. I can't say for sure if its any different than zip lock bags for long term storage at this point.

John Bowen
11-Apr-2009, 07:41

I've been storing Kodak film (4x5, 5x7, 8x10 & 7x17) as it arrives from the dealer with no additional special handling for years. When I need a box, i take it out of the freezer a day or two prior to opening the box and have never had a problem.....at least not that I am aware of :-). I have a self defrosting freezer. The packaging Kodak uses keeps moisture from the film. Once a box of film has been opened it does NOT return to the freezer.

Jim Noel
11-Apr-2009, 08:31
I'm with John. I store my film in the original packages sometimes sometimes for many years. I have never had trouble with fogging. When film is removed from the freezer is allowed to thaw which has prevented any condensation.

Ron Marshall
11-Apr-2009, 08:34
Kodak is not a problem, but if I remember correctly (it has been a while since I used any) Ilford does not seal the plastic bags in its film boxes.

Ralph Barker
11-Apr-2009, 15:08
I just use regular sizes of ZipLoks from the grocery store, fitting four 4x5 or one or two 8x10s per bag. To get the extra air out, I put a soda straw in the corner, seal the bag up to that point, and then suck out the extra air, sealing the end of the straw with my tongue as I pull the straw and finish sealing the bag. I leave removed boxes in the manufacturer's box until it has come up to room temp, often overnight. Never had a problem.

evan clarke
11-Apr-2009, 15:12
I found a FoodSaver that we got as a gift and never used for food. I put it into service for film storage a few months ago. I can't say for sure if its any different than zip lock bags for long term storage at this point.

The foodsaver bags have less air, I have had Ziplocs condense moisture inside and produce frost. When I next freeze film I will foodsaver it and add a dessicant capsule..Evan Clarke

Erik Larsen
11-Apr-2009, 17:53
Call me stupid, but I have been storing film in my frost free freezer. I don't seal the boxes and I put them back after I load holders unsealed. I even load the holders with film still cold from the freezer. I have seen no ill effects. My climate may have a bearing on the situation as it is very low humidity here. ignorance is bliss for me:)

John Kasaian
17-Apr-2009, 07:43
I use the 2 gallon size bags for 8x10. There isn't that much extra space once the bag is filled up with boxes of film and extra material can simply be folded over.

I like Ralph Barker's idea about sucking the air out, but in practice I just squeeze out as air much as I can before zipping her up and have never had a problem.

Space bags and vacume sealers sound like a techy's dream---but I'm not a techy!

Drew Wiley
17-Apr-2009, 13:37
I bought one of those Foodsaver gadgets and a bunch of bags for about a hundred bucks. Ironically, I haven't used it yet. For true long-term storage I have large rolls of a special archival composite film which is a sandwich of aluminum foil and polyethylene.
You can heat seal it with a tacking iron or polybag device. This, combined with an air
evac device like Foodsaver should be good for freezing valuable color negatives. But it's probably overkill for short-term storage of unused film. But I never rely on a single
layer. I did a lot of research on vapor seals some time back. My main interest began when a client wanted a valuable Cibachrome print which they could hang in a steamy
bathroom! I developed a heremetic framing system which has kept the print pristine for
over twenty years now with no midew or other adverse effects. It cost them a pretty
penny though.