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Thread: Taking film in and out of the freezer

  1. #21

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    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by nolindan View Post
    I'm not sure where I mentioned 'art'.

    In any case, I am approaching the question from a scientific point of view and my conclustion is there is no condensation: Experimentally - I've tried to make it happen and it doesn't (or at least, I can't - can anyone?); Theoretically - the heat capacity of film is just too low, especially compared with the heat capacity of camera bodies, pressure plates and film holders - even the air - and the enthalpy of condensation is too high.

    There is, obviously, no condensation when refreezing film. Take something from inside a warm house and put it outside in subfreezing weather and see if it develops dew. If you put something warm and dewy outside in freezing weather the dew evaporates and the surrounding area frosts up. Film can get freezer burn if the film has air circulation around it or it is packed badly and the water in the gelatin evaporates and ice crystals may form.

    How to do something so as to avoid something that never happens - well, that is indeed an art.
    you have no idea what you're talking about, and you're no scientist. take something containing warm, moist air from inside a house and put it outside in subfreezing weather and you will absolutely get condensation on the inside of the outer layer. camera bag, lens, film bag, whatever. any time air comes in contact with something cold enough to drop it below the dew point, you get condensation. doesn't matter if it's air surrounding a cold object (eg film) or air contained in an object (eg film bag) that's being cooled by the surrounding cold air.

  2. #22

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    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by nolindan View Post
    I'm not sure where I mentioned 'art'.
    I was referring to your statement that differences in opinions/approach is welcomed, which is true with photography, but as we're discussing the technical aspects of film, in particularly the chemistry properties and how it should be stored to avoid condensation, surely you'd want consensus.

    There's guidelines on how to store film properly and the correct temperatures and warmup times by both Kodak and Fuji, but there's no specific information about taking film in and out of the freezer and how that impacts condensation.

  3. #23

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    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Santamaura View Post
    The archive here has good information:


    If your transparency film is Kodak, I'd have no issue storing the factory-sealed packets in a frost-free refrigerator's freezer compartment. I place the boxes in recloseable zipper-locking laminated aluminized polyester anti-static bags that were available to me in excess. The complete water vapor impermeability of those bags has ensured that even after a decade, there's not the slightest hint of "freezer smell" when removing sheet film boxes from them. After opening film packets, I store remaining sheets only in the low-humidity refrigerator compartment. They never go back into the freezer.

    There have been reports of Fuji sheet film that was stored in its factory-sealed packets sticking together after freezer storage. I'm not sure whether Fuji's humidity control at the packaging stage is less effective than Kodak's, but might be more concerned if you're using Fuji sheet film.

    Finally, if you'd really like to delve into the reasons for all this, knock yourself out:
    Thank you for the info.

    I'm referring to mainly Fuji transparency sheet film. I don't know if Kodak film is less or more effective than Fuji.

    I use a normal fridge/freezer where I keep my food, so humidity is not measured or controlled.

  4. #24
    Nicholas O. Lindan
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    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    ... as we're discussing the technical aspects of film, in particularly the chemistry properties and how it should be stored to avoid condensation, surely you'd want consensus.
    Not at all. Consensus is something one should be suspicious of; well, at least I am.

    I seem to be a voice of one here - saying condensation is not an issue - and on this I will not concede. I will be as a Senator from West Virginia.

    I mean, it's not like freezing & thawing film is something important and good for at least a dozen pages of interminable discussion - not like using or not using a stop bath or if one should put a sheet of photographic paper under a grain magnifier.

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  5. #25
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer (color transparency film)

    2015 I was tipped to a pile of 8X10 Fuji Tungsten it was in a leaking fridge in a Very Large Pro Studio.

    I took it all for free. Any open and re-closed was stuck together, the sealed Fuji is not damaged, but older now.

    I sent a few sheets to a member, he shot it and processed it. Usable for my plans...still aging it

    The Chicago studio had a 4 truck loading dock, cars could drive in from the other side

    Stacks of studio gear, a dozen Hasselblad on very tall studio stands, lenses removed

    Props up the wazoo

    Second floor for sets

  6. #26

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    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Close and re-seal the open packets after you load your holders. Should be good.

    Based mainly on using sheet film and carrying the holder bags from warm house to vehicle - 65-72 to -40(f). Some holders went through this more than 30 times over a few months and on occasion left in the vehicle overnight in below zero temperatures. No problems showed up on having the E-6 processed.

    If you are worried, why not a dessicant pouch or container of some kind and keep the film in an air tight container between loading and unloading?
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  7. #27
    Foamer
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    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    I think it all depends on how much humidity you are dealing with. Not much where I live, especially in winter. I remove box from freezer, load my holders, put the box back in the freezer. And then go outside where it's often colder than my freezer.


    Kent in SD
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    miserere nobis.

  8. #28
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by maltfalc View Post
    you have no idea what you're talking about, and you're no scientist. take something containing warm, moist air from inside a house and put it outside in subfreezing weather and you will absolutely get condensation on the inside of the outer layer. camera bag, lens, film bag, whatever. any time air comes in contact with something cold enough to drop it below the dew point, you get condensation. doesn't matter if it's air surrounding a cold object (eg film) or air contained in an object (eg film bag) that's being cooled by the surrounding cold air.
    Isn't it the opposite? If you take your camera used outside in cold weather and bring it into a warm house, then condensation occurs. Not the other way around. That's why you don't open the sealed cold film pack from the freezer until it has thawed out to room temperature.

  9. #29

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    Re: Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Since at my advanced age I don't use film as fast as I once did, I refreeze it.
    I take it from the freezer, load it, then put it back in it's bag and box. Then it goes into a freezer bag and as much air as possible is sucked out and the bag sealed automatically. This is the same process I use to freeze food for long time storage.

  10. #30

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    Taking film in and out of the freezer

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Isn't it the opposite? If you take your camera used outside in cold weather and bring it into a warm house, then condensation occurs. Not the other way around. That's why you don't open the sealed cold film pack from the freezer until it has thawed out to room temperature.
    Correct. Condensation is about cooling air to its dew point, or saturating it with water vapor so that it cannot hold more water. The typical condensation around a soda can happens when warm air hits the cold surface, it reaches its dew point and condenses. So you need to cool the air by an object to create condensation around that object.

    Conversely, if you bring air into a freezer, the moisture in that air will condense out once the temperature of that air drops below the initial dewpoint of the air. That can definitely happen when you (re)freeze a box if air is trapped. Thatís why removing air is critical in freezing anything ó food and film alike. And why itís riskier to re-freeze film even if you try to remove it the best you can. Whether it will impact your particular case depends on your local temperature and humidity level and your technique to remove air.

    Which is why I suggested to OP to do a test because no amount if anecdotal evidence can guarantee that it will work OK for someone. Itís a simple test to do before you start freezing hundredís if not thousandís of dollars. Well, film that costs that much, anyway

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