View Full Version : How bad is heat?

11-Jul-2011, 09:43
Here in Fort Worth, TX we are hitting 100+ for the last few days. My question is how bad is heat to film? I'm planning on taking a camping trip and will not be able to protect my film from the extreme heat. How long and how much heat can film take? Mostly Ilford Delta and Fuji Velvia.

11-Jul-2011, 09:56
My experience is that film is fairly resilient. Besides, you don't have much of a choice sometimes except to let the film get exposed to heat.

As a precaution when the temps get that high I put my film in an insulated cooler (no ice) and keep it in the shade as much as possible. Worst place to let your film hang out is in a closed car where the temps will quickly exceed the outside air temp.

11-Jul-2011, 09:58
I think that misguided attempts at cooling down the film have proven worse than the heat, due to the inevitable condensation.

11-Jul-2011, 10:27
cyrus is correct. That's why it is important to use no ice in the cooler. Use of refrigerators is equally bad idea.

11-Jul-2011, 10:40
I keep an old Canon 35mm SLR in my truck glove box. In the Texas summer, it gets so hot that the camera is impossible to handle with bare hands due to the hot metal. I have never noticed the Tri-X film behaving substantially different even after months of this treatment.

11-Jul-2011, 10:43
As long the films are kept out of direct sun for a long period of time you should be fine.

I found those picnic cooler bags are great for transporting film holders in a canoe...portaging or hiking with them is a different matter though.

Drew Wiley
11-Jul-2011, 10:59
I use a picnic cooler (no ice) for the truck. In the backpack, I wrap my film box in my
goosedown jacket. Might sound like a strange idea for hot weather, but it's an incredible insulator.

11-Jul-2011, 12:19
One month long trip to the west several years ago was incredible for heat. I had a separate Igloo cooler just for film. Each box and every three holders had their own zip lock bags for humidity purposes.

I always had a moist towel draping the cooler as a primitive, but VERY effective evaporative refrigeration system. Any time I needed a fresh holder, I would just take a new bag out and set it in the shade for a few minutes to warm to ambient temperature (to avoid condensation) and then open it and happily shoot away.

After exposure, each was returned to a sealed bag before being put back in the cooler. No problem even with transparency films which are likely the most heat sensitive.

Lynn Jones
11-Jul-2011, 15:08
The temps in Ft.Worth, Austin(28 100+ days so far this year), this means internal car temps of 150 to 180. Color films will be destroyed in 1 to 2 hours, one day in b/w.


Drew Wiley
11-Jul-2011, 15:26
I shouldn't say much about any heat wave anywhere, since at the moment I've got
my office heater running and it's probably not going to get much above the 50's here on the coast all this week. But I've spent many years traveling and photographing thru hot weather. In fact, I grew up with routine summer temps considerably hotter than what the South is experiencing at the moment. Never had a bit of film damage. It's just a matter of common sense precaution. If you leave film unattended and unprotected in a 150 degree car it will probably go bad. But so will you, and the film won't matter to you if you're dead! An ice box is a pretty small investment. A few cold sodas in there and maybe a small blue ice pack, and you're set.

11-Jul-2011, 19:31
In film school I learned if you're gonna put the film in a refrigerator or a cooler with ice, etc. at least seal it in a ziplock bag. That way when you bring it out, the exterior part of the bag will condense and not the film. Wait until the bag and film is at "room temperature" then bring it out.