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Thread: 4x5 negative storage

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    150

    4x5 negative storage

    Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me with so many questions in the past months. Your answers have been invaluable! I just processed my first set of 4x5 negatives and am thrilled.

    The big question now is the proper storage of negatives. Since I am just startin g in this format I need advice on setting up a good storage system from the star t.

    I have seen the binder pages that are clear plastic and store (4) 4x5's, but it looks like you have to really grab the negative with your fingers to get them ba ck out of the pockets.

    I have seen individual clear plastic sleeves which look a lot easier to handle, but then how do you store and label these?

    Any other spiffy options out there? Any great handling advice?

    Thanks again to all for continuing support. Once I get more experienced, hopeful ly I can start to contribute to the forum.

    Scott

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    740

    4x5 negative storage

    Scott, I've been using Printfile's storage system for my LF negs. They are made from a clear material that is archivally sound ( no PVC) and allows you to contact print the negs without removing them from the sleeve. Each is punched for storage in a ring-binder and holds 4 5x4 negs. Regards Paul

  3. #3

    4x5 negative storage

    Scott, I would check with the folks at Light Impressions. They have several interesting choices. I personally am very happy using individual mylar interleaving holders which then slip into achival envelopes for storage.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Posts
    90

    4x5 negative storage

    Agree with Paul...the PrintFile archival perservers is the way to go. You can easily grab the negative by the clear edge and pull them out.

  5. #5

    4x5 negative storage

    As Don says, the PrintFile Archival Preservers work well and you can pull out the negative by gripping the clear area. My practice is to wear cotton gloves (sold for the purpose) while handling negatives, so that I won't have accidental fingerprints and don't have to be so careful to grip the clear portion of the negative.

  6. #6

    4x5 negative storage

    Scott: I have to agree...go with the Printfile sleeves. The sleeves protect the negs and they are easy to locate. There is room at the top of the sheet to list the negs. The negs are easy to locate. I file duplicate negs together and clip the corner on the one that I print from, saving the other as a spare. Don't buy the cheapie sleeves...get the archival ones. Smell the plastic sleeves...if they smell strongly like plastic, don't use them.

    Regards,

    Doug.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    18

    4x5 negative storage

    This brings up question I have been meaning to ask. I've just started shooting 4 x 5 and have used mostly Polaroid Type 55, and currently store the negatives in the PrintFile holders mentioned earlier. Are the Type 55 negs bigger than regular b&w film? I have a devil of a time getting them in to the sleeves. The corners of the thin negs often catch in the plastic, the fit is very tight, and in all this wrestling around I'm always worried about buckling the neg so much that it creases. Am I doing something wrong? Are these sleeves just not designed for Type 55 negs? (Someday soon I hope to have a standard sheet of film to compare to, but that day has not yet come.)

  8. #8
    Yong-ran Zhu
    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Posts
    36

    4x5 negative storage

    Please check the Light Impressions (800-828-6216). You can buy 4x5 Format NegaGuard Box Kits (Item # 5064 or 5042 or 9461 or 9462). The differences of these items are the box color (tan or black) and the style (polypropylene or Mylar D). The price around $26 to $33 for a box and 100 interleaving folders and 100 envelops. I use them to store my negatives. They are great.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    522

    4x5 negative storage

    Scott, the Printfile sleeves are generally not recommended for long term storage, because of slip agents in the sleeve (makes it easier to slide the negs in), and the fact that you can scratch the negs this way as well. Just because they're not stinky like PVC, and say "archival" on them, doesn't mean they're good for the long term. I think maybe less than 10 yrs. would be a good estimate, but it would depend on your storage conditions. What can happen is the sleeve can stick to the neg. and transfer this pattern to it. They call it "ferrotyping". I've seen it happen to negs in a decent storage environment, and because of this, we switched everything out several years ago. Although, we still use the 4-up pages for short term use sometimes. If you want a good measure of what is considered to be an "archival" product, check out the specs for a sleeve/envelope to see if they pass the Photographic Activity Test (P.A.T.). This is an independent test given by the Image Permanence Institute to see if the product effects the print/neg material in storage. Usually a catalog or vendor, will state someplace that they are in compliance with this test. If they don't, it doesn't mean it's a "bad" product, it may be good for some purposes.

    For our long term storage we use either Mylar D (the best) or uncoated polypropolene (cheaper) fold-lock sleeves. Depending on whether it's a b&w or color transp. these go into a buffered or unbuffered acid/lignin free envelope. All this is stored in a baked enamel filing cabinet made for film. We've got alot of negs/ct's, but if you were on a small scale, you could use one of the flip-top box kits that these supply companies sell. Here's a short list of some other places to try besides LI. Gaylord Bros., University Products, the Hollinger Corp., Archivart, Metal Edge Inc., Conservation Resources Int'l. Personally, I'd look at Gaylord and Hollinger, but there are other places besides LI.

    All this stuff can be pretty confusing to sort out, feel free to email if you want, about a third of my job deals with filing...one other thing too, even if you get a "good" sleeve, make sure you store your negs in a cool& dry place. Humidity and higher than room temp. heat can really shorten the life of your film.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    522

    4x5 negative storage

    Stephen, no you're not doing anything wrong, a Type 55 neg won't fit in the p-file sleeve. I usually trim just the slightest bit of the long edge off the neg, to get it into the sleeve. They'll fit a top-loading sleeve (fold-lock) okay though.

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