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Thread: Taking film in and out of the freezer

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    33

    Taking film in and out of the freezer (color transparency film)

    Is there any risk to taking film in and out of the freezer?

    I tend to keep the film in the freezer and take it out to room temperature the night before the shoot for it to warm up properly (to avoid condensation). I load the film the next morning.

    I then put it back any unused film back in the freezer.

    Is there any risk to the film going back and forth?

    I shoot transparency film almost exclusively.
    Last edited by Ben; 3-Dec-2021 at 08:53.

  2. #2
    Nicholas O. Lindan
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
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    323

    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    I make it a practice to take film straight from the freezer, load it in the camera or film holder and shoot it. And I'm not being facetious, I really do - hoping to see some evidence of condensation. After 40 years of doing this I have not succeeded in seeing diddly squat. Maybe if I lived in southern Florida and kept the freezer on the back porch, but I doubt it.

    In my book condensation on frozen film is up there with waiting two hours after eating before going in the water.

    But what the hey, letting the film warm for 12 hours doesn't hurt it and if it makes people happy and soothes their nerves - well there are worse things.
    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
    f-Stop Timers & Enlarging meters http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    267

    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    don't put open film back in the freezer.

  4. #4

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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bend, OR
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    387

    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    If it is sealed throughout the process, no issues. Humidity and unsealed conditions with repeated cold to room temp to cold is where the issues occur.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    1,246

    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    I've done that with sheet film for 40+ years without issue. When I'm finished loading the holders, I put the film back in the bag, run my hand from the closed end to the open end to get as much air out as possible, fold over, put back in box, and the whole thing goes back into a Ziplock bag with as much air removed as possible.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    Scotland
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    77

    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Given the humidity around here is usually around 60+%, once a film pack is open, the emulsion will absorb some water, so I only freeze unopened film for long term storage, once a pack is open, it goes into the fridge instead. Film will keep long time in the fridge without being frozen.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    33

    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    So:
    - If the box of sheet film is unopened and sealed, it can be taken out of the freezer and put back in.
    - Once a box of sheet film is open, it cannot go back in the freezer, but it can back go into the fridge (inside a ziplock bag with as little air in as possible).

    Would everyone agree that this is the correct protocol?

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
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    1,113

    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Ben, how long do you expect it to take you to use the film? What is the normal ambient temperature in your house? Just asking because it might not be necessary to freeze it and risk ruining it.

  9. #9
    Nicholas O. Lindan
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
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    323

    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    Would everyone agree that this is the correct protocol?
    No. Absolutely not. Think what a boring place the world would be if everyone agreed.

    I double bag using freezer zip-locs when re-freezing open packets of film to prevent freezer burn.

    Do what thou wilt, harm none, and take lots of pictures while so doing.

    Darkroom Automation / Cleveland Engineering Design, LLC
    f-Stop Timers & Enlarging meters http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Posts
    936

    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    My two cents: I’ve never stored my black-and-white film in the freezer or fridge. I just make sure the box stays in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Never had any problems, or at least none that I recognize. In fact, I’ve got a box of 8x10 Tri-X that’s more than 15 years old, stored at room temp, and it gives, to my eye, decent results.

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