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Thread: Color paper storage in refrigerator

  1. #1
    Ironage's Avatar
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    Color paper storage in refrigerator

    Just got a box of 100 sheets of Fuji Crystal Archive paper. That is a lot of paper for my hobbyist use, and may last me a year. I opened the box but not the sleeve in the darkroom to check for paperwork and found none, then put it in my refrigerator for storage. Downloaded the instructions and read that the paper needs to come to room temperature to prevent condensation. I expected this, but now how do I keep the paper until I am able to use it all.

    1. Take out the whole box, let it warm up and then place it all in the paper safe and then hope I can use it all before it starts going bad?

    2. Take out the number of sheets I expect to use in the session and put them in the paper safe to warm up, leave the rest in the box and return it to the refrigerator?

    3. Take out the whole box to warm up. Leave them in the box and bag, taking out each sheet as I need it. After the session return the unused paper to the refrigerator until next time?

    I suspect the answer is #1, but I am hoping one of the other methods will work.

  2. #2

    Re: Color paper storage in refrigerator

    I think repeated cycles of warming/cooling might be worse for paper and film than anything else.
    I would go with option #2.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Color paper storage in refrigerator

    Don't put it back in the refrigerator unless you know how to totally seal it nearly air-free. That's a condensation risk. If it's a small paper size, one of those freeze-dry kitchen bagging systems might work. RA4 paper keeps a few years without much shift well it's in a cool DRY place. Don't leave it in the paper safe for a long periods of time. But a year is nothing to worry about. Just make sure the paper safe itself is not in a humid spot, and has some air circulation around it.
    Last edited by Drew Wiley; 6-May-2021 at 17:29.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Re: Color paper storage in refrigerator

    Personally, Iíve never seen any ill effects with cycling film or paper, but I donít keep them in a fridge, rather in a wine cooler at about 65F. Iím just trying to make sure they donít get to 90F in the summer. The cooler however, being in a unconditioned garage can get to 45 or 50 F inside at night. For paper I just take it out 15 min before the printing session and itís fine- no sweating or condensation. After Iím done I put the box back in. Never had any issues doing this for years. If it were a fridge and got to 35F, Iím not so sure.

  5. #5
    Ironage's Avatar
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    Re: Color paper storage in refrigerator

    My darkroom remains cool and reasonably dry. Humidity can reach 60%, and 75 degrees in the summer. Maybe I will just leave it in the paper safe after openning. Pretty sure I will use it up in less than a year.

  6. #6
    Andrej Gregov
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    Re: Color paper storage in refrigerator

    You're safe storing RA4 paper in a cool room (somewhere around 65F) for up to two years without much impact to the paper. The sign that your paper is going is you'll notice the paper base white start to yellow. A 100 sheets of Fuji Crystal Type II is around $50 bucks, hardly something to worry about. If (when) it goes bad, just buy another box. I probably wouldn't unload all the paper in a paper safe. You might mistankenly open the safe. I'd take out 10-20 or so sheets and put that in the safe for your printing session. You can always put more in if you need to.

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Color paper storage in refrigerator

    Well, I had to skip color printing the whole last year because I didn't want to have any kind of potential respiratory irritation added to covid risk plus what was far worse in that respect, our almost unending heavy forest fire smoke.
    So when I finally pulled out the remaining part of my 40 inch roll of Fujiflex, which cost me over $1000, it had gone bad. I can't complain. I got about eight years of wonderful results cutting from that huge roll, with very little color balance shift; but evidently, ten years on hand was just too long. I did have at least some sheets of 20X24 CAII on hand too, two years old and perfectly fine. So that got me some nice priority images and critical experiments on new tweaks done. 20X24 is a nice size to work out or strategize before attempting a full-scale 30X40's, in terms of cost efficiency and exact composition. Now I'm planning for 24X30 inch prints as a logical in-between compromise; and a 30 inch roll will still allow me to make 30X40 prints if needed.

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