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How long does stock last for in the fridge?


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#1 James Rydings

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 05:26 PM

How long does stock last for in the fridge before it starts loosing sensitivity? I found some stock that has been in my fridge for about 2 1/2 years, would it still be ok?
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 06:22 PM

How long does stock last for in the fridge before it starts loosing sensitivity? I found some stock that has been in my fridge for about 2 1/2 years, would it still be ok?


If it's been in the fridge the ENTIRE TIME, it might still be usable. Stocks have expiration dates, which generally apply even if a stock has been in a fridge the entire time. What stock do you have?

I usually keep all my film (virgin or exposed) in a deep freeze so there's virtually no age fogging. And I take them out 24 hours before I plan to shoot, or send the exposed footage to the lab.
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#3 James Rydings

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 06:41 PM

I have some Fuji 250D, and then a mixture of Kodak Vision 2 (Mostly 7218), and some Kodak Black and White stock. Its all super 16. I am looking on the labels and cant find any dates. Where can I find the expiration date?
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#4 Dominic Case

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 01:07 AM

There is no expiry date printed on the can. I think Jonathan just meant that stock does expire - but just when is a secret :blink:

High speed stock goes off quicker than slower stock. But the actual life of an emulsion is such a complex mix of storage temperature, humidity, consistency of temperature, and other factors, that no manufactuer is game to put a drop-dead date on the label.

You can get the lab to process a "dip test" or "clip test" to see what the fog level is. And take note of Jonathan's other advice - give the stock plenty of time to warm up before you open the can and load the film. Avoid condensation.
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#5 James Rydings

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 01:28 AM

Thank you for your reply. How much is it likely to cost for a snip test? Also just to give me an idea roughly how long does stock generally last, is it a matter of months or years? And if I did a snip test and it turned out slightly fogged, would over exposing to increase the density help?

James
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 02:32 AM

You're right on the nose with what to do if it's fogged. I'm not sure of the cost of a snip test, though; but yes, you'd want to over-expose to get above the fog-layer on the stock.
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 02:37 AM

I think Jonathan just meant that stock does expire - but just when is a secret :blink:


Yeah, they're not exactly cartons of milk in that sense ;)

Even expiration can be a subjective thing I suppose, ha ha. What might be fogged and fugly to one might be cool and artsy to another. As stated, a clip test at the lab will tell you what condition it's in. And it's really cheap, just phone them up and ask.
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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 04:49 AM

I have some Fuji 250D, and then a mixture of Kodak Vision 2 (Mostly 7218), and some Kodak Black and White stock. Its all super 16. I am looking on the labels and cant find any dates. Where can I find the expiration date?


Going on the stocks I'd guess that the black and white will be totally okay as it ages much slower than colour stocks. I suspect the Fuji 250D might be okay, especially if you give it an extra stop and that the 7218 is the most likely to be dodgy as people keep telling me it goes off really quickly.

I wouldn't bother clip testing the B&W, it will be okay, unless you did something very bad to it.

I'd think twice about clip testing the other stock too and just use it for the kind of thing where artifacts might not be critical. Sometimes film can fail a clip test but still be okay for telecine (not prints) but as Jonathon very wisely said, it depends what kind of look you kije anyway, and I would suggest it also depends what kind of project you are shooting. Completey decaying stock might be okay on a music video for example whereas minor imperfections might be out of place on an expensive costume drama, just to give 2 extremes.

If you have lots of cans of identical sealed stock then you could get one can tested and assume the rest are preety similar if they all have the same history.

In a lot of these situations you have to weigh up risk vs reward too. If you have some great deal (massive student discount?) on fresh stock and you are shooting something complex or using professional actors or something you can't reshoot or something where you are worried about a critical look then you might want to think twice.

love

Freya
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#9 Vincent Sweeney

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 05:06 AM

I recently shot one 400ft roll of 7218 as part of a test and it was stored for a year in a non freezing fridge. There was a loss of range and there was grain trouble. 35mm might not have been a big problem but with 500asa 16mm stocks, you don't want issues like that.

Freezing can keep film for a while but what you can't stop is the affecting ambient radiation. This slowly ruins film, frozen or not. I wouldn't use a 500 stock if it's been stored for more than a few months for anything other than shorts or camera tests. Any professional work should simply buy new. I've heard of slow stocks holding up well after a lot longer time.
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