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Thread: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

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    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    I still use Fuji Astia stock that expired in the last century (1999!). In 2013, I opened a box and cut film to photograph Pinnacles National Park. The exposures I made were just fine, and I put the unused film back in the freezer, some in the form of loaded holders, enclosed in ziplock bags.

    In late February this year, I opened another box and cut film to photograph Gateway Arch National Park. This post has a few LF scans, and I appreciate comments and votes.

    I also brought one of the holders loaded in 2013. Less than a week later, I promptly sent the film to Edgar Prauss. Again, the newly cut film resulted in good exposures, with no hint of quality loss from film that expired 18 years ago. On the other hand, I was surprised that the film loaded in 2013 showed a bit of color shift, and noticeable lack of density, with light blacks including the holder rails marks.

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    Re: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    Don't know what point you wanted to say with the post but it is a well know fact among photographers who were selling their output commercially that film can last long or not, depending on the storage condition. To have film for 10 years in storage and take good pics with it is surely possible but the result is never predictable, as it is difficult to know the exact storage history and the film quality afterwards. Basically, it's always lottery, hence it all depends on how much you want to risk and to pay for the risk. And if your client expects good pictures you don't play with this expectation if you want to keep your business in good health.

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    Re: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    Quote Originally Posted by Pfsor View Post
    ...that film can last long or not, depending on the storage condition...
    Yes, but this case points that fuji transparency film will in perfect shape after near two decades if frozen, while clearly it will not be well preserved after 5 years if not refrigerated. So this is an interesting situation.

    Some were saying that frozen velvia lasts for ever, well, we can expect at least 20 years.

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    Re: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Yes, but this case points that fuji transparency film will in perfect shape after near two decades if frozen, while clearly it will not be well preserved after 5 years if not refrigerated. So this is an interesting situation.

    Some were saying that frozen velvia lasts for ever, well, we can expect at least 20 years.
    The story doesn't prove anything. It's lottery that paid off. And lottery doesn't prove any future gains. If it did, all people would be rich by now. They are not.

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    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Re: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Yes, but this case points that fuji transparency film will in perfect shape after near two decades if frozen, while clearly it will not be well preserved after 5 years if not refrigerated. So this is an interesting situation.

    Some were saying that frozen velvia lasts for ever, well, we can expect at least 20 years.
    In the post, I wrote that after taking out the film in 2013, I put it back in the freezer. Yet, there was quality loss compared to the film which was never taken out of the freezer and never opened.

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    Re: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    Quote Originally Posted by Pfsor View Post
    The story doesn't prove anything. It's lottery that paid off. And lottery doesn't prove any future gains. If it did, all people would be rich by now. They are not.
    When you have used several hundreds sheets of film with repeatable results, it is more than chance.

    Although this didn't make me rich, it did save thousands of dollars, not to mention let me use an emulsion to my liking which has since beeing discontinued.

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    Re: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    Quote Originally Posted by QT Luong View Post
    When you have used several hundreds sheets of film with repeatable results, it is more than chance.

    Although this didn't make me rich, it did save thousands of dollars, not to mention let me use an emulsion to my liking which has since beeing discontinued.
    Sorry, QTLuong, can you explain? What repeatable results are you talking about? You took old film out of the freezer and took some pictures that were good. But the very same old film, just after being cut and put back to the freezer was not good. So how long the time out of the freezer makes the film going bad? The time you cut it and put back to the freezer, or the time you use it out of the freezer in your camera? What was repeatable there? You repeatably took old film out of the freezer and it was good but was not good when you just interrupted the freezing cycle without taking pics? It's all clear like mud.

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    Re: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    Quote Originally Posted by QT Luong View Post
    In the post, I wrote that after taking out the film in 2013, I put it back in the freezer. Yet, there was quality loss compared to the film which was never taken out of the freezer and never opened.
    hmmm... ok, this suggests that unsealing the bag triggers degradation start.

    The single factor that's different after unsealing is atmospheric air in contact with film, probably because oxygen, this is easy to guess.

    So perhaps it can be useful to re-seal the film with protecetive gas (protectan like, perhaps) inside, if wanting a long storage after unsealing. A perfect job would be vacuum, filling with gas, and another exterior bag (barrier effect plastic) with vacuum+gas as a safety belt.

    If oxygen was the problem then a solution can be easy, but if it's another thing in the packaging atmposphere then it would be more difficult...

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    Re: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    The fact that you saw rails marks, means the emulsion was soft, not frozen fast enough. By taking it out of the freezer and letting the film reach room temperatures (or even higher outside temperatures) the aging process already sets in. Film degrades fast in high temperatures. Kodak advises: process film directly after shooting.
    Storage advise is for unopened boxes. So, I can very well see logic in this: straight from the freezer=OK. Opened, warmed up, handled and then again in the freezer is indeed another process entirely. With a different outcome.

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    Re: Results with long expired transparency film + America's 60th national park

    Quote Originally Posted by fotopfw View Post
    Opened, warmed up, handled and then again in the freezer is indeed another process entirely. With a different outcome.
    But IMHO this is not because the thermal cycle, you can warm up and re-freeze the film a lot of times and it should remain intact for decades. But IMHO if you unseal the film without even moving it out of the freezer then the degradation should start because oxygen in contact, I guess. Also humidity can have a share.

    A modern color emulsion have dozens of organic chemicals inside, with very complicated balances.

    Perhaps resealing slide film would require inert gas and also some silicagel inside...

    Color film is sold well sealed, a reason may be there.

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