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Delaying exposed film processing


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#1 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 02:24 PM

Because most big labs have a minimum processing charge that?s roughly equal to the cost of processing one 400-foot roll of 16mm film, I sometimes try to hold shorter rolls of exposed film until I can shoot enough additional footage to put me at or over 400 feet. Occasionally I?ll hold some film as long as four or five weeks before processing. Is this harmful?
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 02:47 PM

Because most big labs have a minimum processing charge that?s roughly equal to the cost of processing one 400-foot roll of 16mm film, I sometimes try to hold shorter rolls of exposed film until I can shoot enough additional footage to put me at or over 400 feet. Occasionally I?ll hold some film as long as four or five weeks before processing. Is this harmful?


Film does have "Latent Image Keeping" (LIK) that is temperature and time dependent. After you expose film, the "latent image" may change over time, usually such that you may lose a slight amount of contrast or speed. If you cannot process film right after exposure, you should refrigerate it to slow the LIK reaction. For very long storage times, you may even want to freeze the film:

http://www.kodak.com...b/tib5202.shtml

In most cases the changes are subtle, and easily corrected during the grading/timing process, but cold storage before processing will minimize any changes.
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#3 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 06:38 PM

Yes, four or five weeks shouldn't be a problem if you keep it in a fridge, just make so that there is the less humidity inside as possible.
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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 07:27 PM

Another thing you can do is find a new lab. Most of them charge the same per foot whether you send them 100' or 2000'. I can't speak for every lab, but in dealing with multiple ones, I don't ever recall being quoted for minimum footage. Shop around.
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