Storing exposed B&W film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Mr Worry, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Mr Worry

    Mr Worry Member

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    I was wondering is it ok to keep exposed B&W film refrigerated as i am unable to develop it at the moment. And if it is what is the max time it will keep :confused:
     
  2. E76

    E76 Member

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    As long as you keep it cool and process it within a reasonable amount of time I don't think you have anything to worry about. Some people have processed rolls of film 10, 20, 30 years old and have still gotten usable images (albeit with quite a bit of fog).
     
  3. calexg

    calexg Member

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    Store it in a freezer and it will last for years! Of course, YMMV as high-speed films do not last nearly as long as slow-speed films.
     
  4. OP
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    Mr Worry

    Mr Worry Member

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    So Just put it back in the fridge then :smile:
     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    You should always process as soon as is practical, but I've kept film up to a year before I had time to process it. It's best to keep it refrigerated (in ziploc bags or 35mm film cans) if you can't process it right away. Freezing it is even better.

    Just be sure to give it a few hours to warm up before you open the bags or cans.
     
  6. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

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    Keeping the film refrigerated certainly beats keeping it in the glove compartment of a car parked in Phoenix, AZ during July. The max time it will keep is dependent upon how much loss in quality you are able to tolerate. You should develop your film ASAP after exposure. If you won't be able to develop your films for an extended period you would be much better off sending them to a lab then letting them sit in the fridge for too long.

    I developed some 400 asa films that had been siting in the holders in a climate controlled room for amost 10 years. The developed films had a higher than normal base fog and would have taken a grade 6 paper to render a half decent print. YMMV

    Good Luck!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2009
  7. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Process ASAP! Now, this isn't always do-able, so refrig for short term, freeze for long term. Don't put "bare" film in fridge; store in ziploc/film canister first. Allow 1 hour for film to warm up from fridge, 3 from freezer.
     
  8. Kino

    Kino Subscriber

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    Well, here's my system;

    I enthusiastically shoot several rolls of film in a day, telling myself I'll "document it later" and then proceed to put it "in a safe place" on a shelf in my darkroom, and then close the door to keep it safe for the 3 to 6 weeks I'll fume, fret and procrastinate before processing it.

    I find it helpful to occasionally open the door, sweep the shelf with a glance and then spend several minutes in bug-eyed panic when I realize there are 40+ rolls of film to be processed; some dating back to the Eisenhower administration, and then suck copious amounts of air through my teeth as I promise to "do better" soon and close the door to forget the entire mess for at least another week.

    Soon, in a blind panic, when I do secure, say, one of those rare six hour blocks of free time; I eagerly retire to my darkroom, rubbing my hands together in anticipation of some quality, creative time!

    But, wait; the D-76 was mixed two years ago and the fix.. should it be PURPLE? Hey, the stop bath has NO SMELL! Oh well.

    So then, I decide to mix a batch of some prune-juice based developer I read about over on "Darkroom Panic; a blog for the extra regular" and "give it a whirl" with no less than 6 rolls in my super-nikkor tank that more resembles a thermos than a developing tank.

    Long story short, I hang several yards of very attractive, clear leader about 5 hours later and retire to my bed at 2 in the morning after sweeping up the assorted broken glassware and smoking piles of chemistry that were inadvertently knocked onto the floor as I struggled with the nikkor reels in the dark.

    And, I can hardly keep from smiling, knowing that in only 6 to 9 more weeks, I can scratch that creative itch that inevitably comes from plenty of time, space and good supply of psychotherapy drugs.

    It's a complex system, but it works for me.

    Feel free to adopt any part of it and enjoy!
     
  9. aluk

    aluk Member

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    From what I understand, exposed Ilford Pan F+ does not keep for extended periods, even with refrigeration. This being anecdotal evidence, please feel free to correct me.
     
  10. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Funny you should bring this up. I'm sure that storage conditions and the type of film in question have a lot to do with the answer. Ideally, you want to process the film as soon as practically possible. That doesn't mean you need to worry over a few days, or even weeks. A couple of years ago, I ran some Delta 400 that had been sitting at the back of my friends freezer for what he claims was about 10 years. Apparently, he'd forgotten about it and his wife never said anything about it either. Turns out, the film was fine. The negatives printed beautifully, and we all had a look at mid 90's vintage Downtown Brooklyn.
     
  11. rcoda

    rcoda Member

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