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How long can I store frozen film?


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#1 Brian Rose

Brian Rose
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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:23 PM

Hey All,

 

I'm considering stocking up on some of my preferred 16mm B/W neg stock, from Orwo and Kodak, and freezing it just in case, god forbid, further down the road while I'm in production on my documentary, that a particualr stock should become short supply or discontinued, I'll still have a reserve.

 

However, I've never really stockpiled film before. I've always ordered when I needed it, and shot and processed ASAP.  So I'm not sure how long I can reasonably expect the film to keep in sub freezing conditions.  Does anyone have some experience in this?  It will all be factory sealed, fresh from the factory stock.  Assuming that, how long could I safely expect it to keep?  I've heard that higher speeds are a little more volatile and don't have as long a shelf life? I'd be buying mainly Kodak's 200 ASA, and Orwo's 400 ASA. I'm not shooting for super, super long term storage, but if I were to stockpile some film, ideally I'd like it to be able to store frozen for two to three years, which is about how long my production wil last.

 

Any advice or anecdotes would be much appreciated!

 

BR

 


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#2 David Cunningham

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 06:02 PM

2 or 3 years is nothing for frozen film, especially for B&W. In a good freezer (one without self defrost) it should keep at least 10 years without a trace of change. In fact, probably much longer, especially for the 200.

I've shot tri-x that was 15 years old and stored at room temp before and it's haze and bump in grain was acceptable.
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