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Putting Film on ice


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#1 Freya Black

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 07:47 AM

Is there anything I need to be aware of with regard to storing film in the freezer?

I've just scored a lot of old 16mm film cheaply, sadly a lot of VNF but also some PlusX! :) I'm very excited and it is presently stored in my cellar which is generally dark and cold (even today when it is sunny). I'm thinking of freezing it.

Is film bothered by sudden changes in temperature, for instance if the film suddenly gets very cold?

Should the film be wrapped in any specal way?

Anything else I should be aware of?

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#2 Dominic Case

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:40 AM

You should avoid sudden changes in temperature which may lead to condensation in the film.

Cold storage is a good thing - but the most important thing is not to let it get too damp in the process of chilling it. It WILL get damp if you wrap it warm then cool it - so cool it gradually in your cellar or in the fridge: then if you want to freeze it, I suggest you use ziplock plastic bags, and put the film in then when it is already cold.

Though unless you are planning to keep the film for years and years, the fridge should be more than adequate for storage.

When you are ready to use the film warm it up gradually for a couple of days before use. If you load it cold, you will get condensation forming on the film as it unrolls through the camera - this is not a good look!
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#3 L K Keerthi Basu

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:48 AM

Dear Freya,

Since you told that they are old stocks be aware of the previous storage properties. Some old stocks are still in good condition when their are stored in proper maintanance. First do a fog test. Films should be stored in a very cold temperature,It should be 0- -10degreeF. Store in frost free freezer.
Before going for the shoot take the film form the freezer in advance and leave to reach the room temperature , don't open the cans before this, because it will form moisture content and spotting in the film. Don't heat the cans with any heater to make them warm. Film should always be stored in a very cold temperature.

just go through for futher infomation in kodak,

http://www.kodak.com...rage_cond.jhtml

L.K.Keerthibasu
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:59 AM

Dear Freya,

  Since you told that they are old stocks be aware of the previous storage properties. Some old stocks are still in good condition when their are stored in proper maintanance.  First do a fog test. Films should be stored in a very cold temperature,It should be 0- -10degreeF. Store in frost free freezer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Isn't Fog more a function of age than temperature? (or of course possible exposure to light) I thought temperature was more likely to affect colour?

I'm definitely planning to do a fog/camera test. I'm planning to shoot some dream sequence stuff as my tests, so if there is fogging maybe it will add to the look! ;)

I'm not expecting this film to be in tip top condition to be honest, because of the age, but I've heard that plus-x and VNF are quite hardy even at room temp, the colour neg stock might be quite dubious of course. I'm sure I will be able to find a use for it all tho, as I'm an art student ;) and I'm planning to telecine.

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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 09:14 AM

You should avoid sudden changes in temperature which may lead to condensation in the film.

Cold storage is a good thing - but the most important thing is not to let it get too damp in the process of chilling it. It WILL get damp if you wrap it warm then cool it - so cool it gradually  in your cellar or in the fridge: then if you want to freeze it, I suggest you use ziplock plastic bags, and put the film in then when it is already cold.

Though unless you are planning to keep the film for years and years, the fridge should be more than adequate for storage.

When you are ready to use the film warm it up gradually for a couple of days before use. If you load it cold, you will get condensation forming on the film as it unrolls through the camera - this is not a good look!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I don't actually have a fridge, I have a special stone thing that was used before they invented fridges.

It sounds like it is more the water than the actual temperature that is the big danger to film, this concerns me as perhaps the moisture level in the cellar will be greater than in the rest of the house, but then these are sealed cans so maybe this is less of an issue.

I notice that kodak ships film in cardboard boxes. Perhaps these are a good medium as the cardboard would absorb the moisture ahead of the cans inside?

I have a "coca cola" ice bag that I could put some of the film in.

As an aside, presumably, film on set should be just kept at room temp?
Theres no point in keeping film in an ice bag with an ice block, or anything?

Out of interest, what about hot, dry conditions like in the desert?

So heres a question, is freezing the film potentially more harmful then storing it at room temperature?

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Freya
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#6 Dominic Case

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 07:47 PM

It's common to keep film in a coolroom, and carry it to location in an icebox (right word? it's an "Eskie" in Australia).

Then you need to allow it to warm gradually. Overall the main thing is to avoid rapid changes in the temperature.

THe base fog builds up at a certain speed. It happens faster at higher temperatures, or at higher relative humidity. So it is time as well as temperature that you have to fight. Lower temperature, more time before fog is a problem. Higher temperature, less time.
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#7 Freya Black

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 05:08 AM

It's common to keep film in a coolroom, and carry it to location in an icebox (right word? it's an "Eskie" in Australia).


I think it's an icebox yes! :)
Can you tell me what a ziplock bag is? Is it a small polythenne bag thing with a plastic zipper thing or something else?
I've never seen one big enough to hold 400 foot spools? (If it is the polythene thing.)
Or maybe you mean more of a conventional bag?

Then you need to allow it to warm gradually. Overall the main thing is to avoid rapid changes in the temperature.


Maybe if I put the film in the freezer before I turn the freezer on?

THe base fog builds up at a certain speed. It happens faster at higher temperatures, or at higher relative humidity.  So it is time as well as temperature that you have to fight. Lower temperature, more time before fog is a problem. Higher temperature, less time.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Ah I see!
So you think it's definitely better to freeze than not to freeze?
This makes it all sound quite dangerous to freeze.

How do kodak store stock?

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Freya
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 02:35 PM

Kodak manufactures and packages film in a carefully controlled environment of 50 percent relative humidity and 21 Celsius. After sealing in the package (can or foil wrap), the film is kept refrigerated during transportation and distribution, typically at about 10 Celsius.

Only special purpose films and pre-exposed films (e.g., process control strips) are normally stored at sub-freezing temperatures.

Although storing film at below freezing temperatures does slow any chemical reactions, it does run the risk of forming ice crystals, especially if the film was kept in humid conditions before packaging. Many "frost free" home freezers have significant cycling of the temperature during the defrost cycle, aggravating the risk from ice crystals. Cold storage will not stop the slow degradation of the film by natural radiation like cosmic rays.

"Cycling" the film rolls between temperature extremes can loosen the wind of the film, and does risk condensation if the film is below the dew point of the air.

The Kodak website has a wealth of information about film storage:

http://www.kodak.com...rage_cond.jhtml

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