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KEEP FILM IN FRIDGE ?

Nicholas Bellamy , Feb 17, 2004; 07:45 a.m.

I bought some Velvia 100F recently which had been kept on a shelf in a local store at room temperature (i.e. 15 to 20 deg. C)

When I paid for it, I pointed out to the sales chap that the box says it must be kept below 15 deg.C and he said he had never had a problem with keeping film like that in 15 years of trading.

The expiry date is May 05.

Is the below 15 deg.C statement a "get out of court free card" or is it for real.

If it is for real, is it to ensure the expiry date is met, or does it degrade the film quality regardless of how long it is kept for ? Do the delivery Fuji delivery guys use only refridgerated vans in the hotter months then ?

This statement which I have only just noticed Fuji state on Neopan 400CN too could have serious consequences for mail order firms ?

Responses

Lex Jenkins , Feb 17, 2004; 10:10 a.m.

Every serious camera shop I know of stocks its better films and pro films in a fridge. Unless this proprietor has a really quick turnover he's doing his customers a disservice.

All of my b&w films except for bulk loaded Tri-X goes in the fridge at the very least. Films I don't use often go in the freezer. Exposed films that I can't process immediately go into the fridge (or freezer, if it'll be awhile before I can get 'em processed). Even my snapshot films like Kodak Gold 100 and Fuji Superia Xtra 800 go into the fridge.

Joseph Verdesca , Feb 17, 2004; 01:05 p.m.

Sivakumar M. Maniam , Feb 17, 2004; 10:27 p.m.

Hello there. Its a good practice to keep those slow colour slides in cool places when not in use. It doesnt take too much effort, just popped it into your fridge. Thats what I do, all my slides including my Velvia 50 (havent tried Velvia 100 yet), Provia 100, Kodak 64, 100 and other prints too like Fuji NVC, NPC, Illford B&W. The cool environment maintains the unexposed emulsion and the chemical to retain the colour quality. If long time storage, freezing is definately a good idea. As for the salesman, 15 years of trading he had no problem he says. Of course he only sells them, the problem arise to the consumers when she or he pops his "15 years trading" experience film into their camera to shoot a once in a life time shot! All serious supplier of pro films i noticed store their films in the freezer.

Brian Diaz , Feb 17, 2004; 11:48 p.m.

Here's the general rule(s): Pro films need to be refrigerated. Consumer films should NOT be refrigerated (unless they are already pretty old.)

The only (chemical) difference between pro and consumer films is how they are aged and refrigerated. Manufacturers know that their films change with age, and they know at what rate they change. For pro films, the manufacturer holds the film until it is at its optimum age and refrigerates it to stop the aging. When it comes out of your local dealer's fridge, pro film is at its peak. Consumer film is sold right after it is produced, and at some point after that, it hits its peak. You just don't know when that is.

So when you buy pro film, you are paying more for the assurance that it has been refrigerated since it left the factory.

Rob Bernhard , Feb 18, 2004; 02:24 a.m.

<< Consumer film is sold right after it is produced, and at some point after that, it hits its peak. You just don't know when that is. >>

So why would it matter if it was in the fridge or not? If it reaches it peak or if it already reached its peak would a fridge not slow the fall-off from said peak?

I fail to understand why placing consumer film in the fridge is inherently bad.

Rob Bernhard , Feb 18, 2004; 02:42 a.m.

Google returned a decent (and now missing) discussion. (I had to turn to google-cache)

Ok, so if consumer film leaves the factory pre-peak and you buy it shortly after it arrives at the drug store you're getting pre-"aged" consumer film. Shoot it right away and you're shooting before the "peak."

But what is the likelihood that the film you buy is so far in front of it's peak as to be radically affected (i.e. ageing process slowed) by refrigeration? That seems unlikely. This is only based on my experience, however. I will admit that it is rather limited. I have rolls of Superia X-Tra 400 and 800 in the fridge; some brand new, some 4 months old. Both the new and the older rolls have performed as I would expect them.

Now, that could be because my photography errors are greater than any errors introduced by pre-pubescent consumer film, or it could be that I just don't know what to really look for, or it could be that the film is close enough to the right "age" already as to not have any real issues with being in the fridge.

gareth harper , Feb 18, 2004; 05:53 a.m.

I'll echo what Lex said. Every serious camera shop I've seen has a fridge for pro film. Having said that I wouldn't be surprised if the many budget film suppliers these days don't, but then they usually have a high turn-over. I keep film marked as you describe in my fridge. However the APX400 I just bought doesn't have such a recommendation and is dated july 2008, it ain't going in the fridge, nor is anthing else that ain't marked for low temperature storage. I like to keep food in my fridge and other things like beer, not film if I can help it.

Brian Diaz , Feb 18, 2004; 04:31 p.m.

Rob, you're right. I only wanted to stress the importance of having refrigerated pro film. It probably doesn't matter whether consumer film is refrigerated, for exactly the reasons you stated. I was just thinking that if you knew your film left the factory underage, you had a better chance of using it at its peak if it were not refrigerated. Of course it might have been sitting in a warehouse in south Jersey for the past 14 months, so you really can't predict how well it will turn out. I guess that's why they sell (and price) it for consumption. Thanks for pointing that out.

...But Gareth makes a good point about saaving room for beer.

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