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cold storage advice - 16mm vision 3


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#1 Julian Fletcher

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 04:07 PM

Hi All

I shoot stills and keep my 35mm film stock either in the fridge or freezer. I dabble in 16mm film making as well.

I have a selection of Kodak Vision 3 mainly 500t, 250d and 50d. I am keeping this in my fridge with the rest of the film. I have a couple of questions

 

a) a few years ago, unfortunately my 16mm footage was refridgerated and then kept at room temperature for a couple of years, and then I used the film - and when exposed, it was much more grainy than expected. Could this had been a result of the cold/warm/ageing effect, and then not using the film for a couple of years?

 

B) I didn't get the same issue with my 35mm still film stock - if it gets warmed and then refridgerated again, and even when used a little time later - I didn't get the same issue. Is 16mm motion picture film stock much more fragile in this respect?

 

Cheers

Julian


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#2 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 04:38 PM

Hi Julian,

 

It's very possible that the age of your film, as well as having kept it stored at room temperature, could have led to the increased grain in your film.

 

What was the ASA of the film you were using? In general, color films will show signs of aging - loss of speed, increased grain, fogging, color shifts - sooner than black & white film will. This is because color film has different color layers within its emulsion and those layers break down faster than black & white film. The layers of color film also don't break down at the same rate - I think the magenta layer is usually the first one to start dying.

 

Also, the higher the ASA of your film, the faster it will start to break down. Cold storing your film and protecting it from radiation are the best ways to help preserve your film.

 

Remember, each roll of film is different, so it's impossible to say when a roll of film is bad. I shoot stills too and have rolls of Kodak High Contrast Copy Film, the forerunner of Kodak Technical Pan. I bought them off Ebay and while the rolls did expire in 1973, they still produce wonderful negatives. Granted, in the 41 years since they have expired, they have lost two stops of speed, so I rate that film at 6 instead of 25. I also have rolls of Kodak HIE - generally, they still work, but I did develop a roll over the summer that was fogged prior to being exposed.


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#3 Julian Fletcher

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 05:29 PM

Hi - thanks for the reply. the worst affected were 200t and 500t. I guess that my real question is does 16mm film break down faster or is more susceptible to ageing and temperature fluctuations than 35mm stills film?

 

Thanks


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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 06:13 PM

There's no reason why your s16 stock should degrade faster than your 35mm stills. Bear in mind that a 35mm FF neg is much bigger than a s16 frame, and so any increase in grain due to age will be much less noticeable


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#5 Sandy Thomson

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:41 PM

I have several 400 ft rolls of 16mm Vision 3 500, 250 and 50 film that have been in my freezer for about 5 years. I am about to take a chance on using this stock although a test would likely be smart.


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#6 David Cunningham

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 10:08 PM

I have several 400 ft rolls of 16mm Vision 3 500, 250 and 50 film that have been in my freezer for about 5 years. I am about to take a chance on using this stock although a test would likely be smart.

 

If it's been in a freezer you should have NO issues, if it was fresh to begin with.

 

If any of them, the 500 MIGHT have a little something off about it.  But the 250 and definitely the 50D will be perfectly fine.  I've shot film that was 10+ years old that lived it's whole life in my freezer with zero ill effects.  I've even shot life long refrigerated (not frozen) Polaroid roll film (from the early 90s) in the last few years that had hardly any issues.


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