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Lighting Gel Longievity.


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 05:40 PM

Hi.

I'm looking to buy a couple of bit rolls of lighting gels to start myself a supply. A lot more than I'll need at this point, if I store the gels away from light and excessive heat will they still retain their original colour in, say, ten or fifteen years?

This may sound like a stupid question, but I want to be absolutely sure before I spend a lot of money.


Thanks in advance.
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#2 Spencer Hutchins

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:03 PM

Never thought about this Matthew, hope to find out.
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#3 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:55 PM

Gel on a roll does tend to go off after a period of time. The biggest problem for stored rolls of gel is a form of vinegar syndrome, primary due to moisture levels within the roll.

With Lee gel the sheets on the roll tend will tend to stick together and when you pull them apart the coloured layer comes off too, leaving you with a nicely paterned piece of useless and very putrid smelling gel. Depending on how far along the problem is you can sometimes you can salvage some of the roll, as it tends to affect the top layers first.

Rosco tends to be better than Lee in terms of storage longevity, but when it does turn, there is no salvaging any of it as the whole roll sticks together and wont peel apart without seriously tearing.

Store you rolls in a cool DRY place, away from extreme temperatures. I would not count on well stored gel to last more than about 5-6 years or 3 years in a truck. You might get much more time out of the rolls, but don't count on it.

Perhaps as an alternative you could negotiate a rate for quarter of half rolls from where you purchase your gel. I know i have occasionally done this will my suppliers.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:46 AM

With Color Temp gels like CTB, CTO, CTS, I tend to toss them right after I use them. Especially if they spent a lot of time clipped to a hot fresnel or HMI. You can actually see how he color has faded, completely changing any assumptions you would normally make when using a Color Temp gel.

Storage wise, if you store them in a gel roll away from air, they keep really well. I have a lot of party gels I've held onto for a few years, and they're still perfectly fine.
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#5 David Rakoczy

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 04:35 AM

10 years.. no.. Mr. Parnell is right on on this point...

You can also get Heat Shield ($500/roll) that is a clear gel that you place between the Lamp and your 'gel' and it acts as a .. well.. Heat Shield to keep it from burning up.

Why would you want to keep Gel for 10 - 15 years anyway?
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#6 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 05:45 PM

If you don't leave an airgap between the heatshield and the gel, using heatshield is a of a waste of time and will more likely to do more bad than good.

In terms of the longevity of gel cuts, 12-24 months of casual use is all I would be relying on getting, and that is not counting gels fading when on hot lamp heads, melting and being otherwise damaged.

Why would you want to keep Gel for 10 - 15 years anyway?


I think Mr Buick was talking about purchasing gels by the roll and cutting off the roll what he needs, when he needs it. Therefore he would have gel still on the roll in storage after a fair while.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 06:47 PM

I've held onto gels for a bit; on the roll, well keps, they last awhile. Once cut, normally around a year or so before they break. Normally; though, after I use one of my cuts on another sheet I give it away to one of the Pas or Interns around. It's how I got my gel collection started and kinda became just a thing I do (if that makes any sense?)
Gels pretty cheap when you buy it by the roll; though sometimes I still get sticker shock
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#8 Matthew Buick

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 06:50 PM

Right! I'm glad I asked. Thanks everyone. :rolleyes: Anyway I spotted some packs for aorund $30 that will do me OK.
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#9 David Rakoczy

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 07:31 AM


If you don't leave an airgap between the heatshield and the gel, using heatshield is a of a waste of time and will more likely to do more bad than good. - Parnell



Wrong.

Obviously you have to leave a slight gap as Heat Shield .. well.. heats up.

That inconvenience (if you can call it that) aside, Heat Shield got me through an entire feature film and kept the 1/4 CTB going on the Dinos. Without it, it never would have worked. Saying Heat Shield is a waste of time and will do more harm than good is simply wrong. There is a reason it is used every day of the week. I needed some yesterday.

Edited by David Rakoczy, 11 November 2008 - 07:32 AM.

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#10 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 06:08 PM


If you don't leave an airgap between the heatshield and the gel, using heatshield is a of a waste of time and will more likely to do more bad than good. - Parnell



Wrong.

Obviously you have to leave a slight gap as Heat Shield .. well.. heats up.

That inconvenience (if you can call it that) aside, Heat Shield got me through an entire feature film and kept the 1/4 CTB going on the Dinos. Without it, it never would have worked. Saying Heat Shield is a waste of time and will do more harm than good is simply wrong. There is a reason it is used every day of the week. I needed some yesterday.


David,
Obviously you mis-read what i was saying. I wasn't not saying its a waste of time altogether, heatshield is highly effective when used properly, what i was saying is that if you don't leave an airgap it is a waste if time. Sorry for the mis-understanding, and thanks for clarifying that.
Cheers,
Matt.
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#11 David Rakoczy

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 06:18 PM

Cheers to you Matt.

Glad you explained!

Have a relaxing evening.
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