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Thread: Shelf Life TMAX 100

  1. #1

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    Shelf Life TMAX 100

    People ask from time to time, so I thought I'd share a recent experience. I just got back from a road trip, shooting new current product TMax 100 mixed in with sheets that expired 16 years ago. The old film has been stored in the darkroom fridge which hovers around 38F. There is no difference I can see or measure in the negatives. I have a hunch a 400 speed film would be a different story, but I don't have any materials of that speed stored in a similar manner. I think it is room temperature + time that really takes its toll.

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Shelf Life TMAX 100

    For critical use, I'd do a densitometer sample test. But for ordinary photography, even TMY400 should store well in the cold many years. Not true high-speed roll films. Color sheet films are a little different too, and can be fine if promptly used after thawing, but are more at risk of crossover or anemic performance if left around too long after thawing. I've shot plenty of film 20 years past the expiration date, provided it has been cold stored all along.

  3. #3

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    Re: Shelf Life TMAX 100

    "...or measure in the negatives" = B+F are the same.

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Shelf Life TMAX 100

    Yep. You want clear borders. I use an alkaline fixer that allows any residual antihalation dye to wash out very quickly. From memory (rather than notes) a clear TMY400 sheet film base is only about .04 density, and for TMX100 around .07 (a bit denser due to its additional UV-inhibiting layer I suppose). Staining pyro developers have to be factored a little different; but unexposed areas of TMax do not pick up anywhere near the stain that most films do. 120 film is a completely different story because it's designed to be light-loaded and has permanent antihalation density, and not just a dye. (Just stating that for general reference purposes - you obviously already know it, Kevin).

  5. #5

    Re: Shelf Life TMAX 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Crisp View Post
    People ask from time to time, so I thought I'd share a recent experience. I just got back from a road trip, shooting new current product TMax 100 mixed in with sheets that expired 16 years ago. The old film has been stored in the darkroom fridge which hovers around 38F. There is no difference I can see or measure in the negatives. I have a hunch a 400 speed film would be a different story, but I don't have any materials of that speed stored in a similar manner. I think it is room temperature + time that really takes its toll.
    Agree. I have six boxes of T Max 100 ready loads from 1998 that process like newly purchased T Max 100 film. As you indicated, keeping it cold (preferably frozen) is critical. Lower ASA film is another benefit. I have many boxes of Efke 25 in 11x14 and 8x10 that should last many decades like my box of Grade 1 Azo from 1946 that prints like it was new. I always marvel at using both older materials having experienced the short life of other photographic materials.

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