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Thread: 35mm Film Storage

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    35mm Film Storage

    Hey guys,
    Need your expertise yet again!
    Got a whole bunch of 35mm negatives lying around in and out of packaging and was wondering about what the best product to store them in would be?

    Any advice would be muchly appreciated
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    Put your negatives in neg sleeves, can get them from most decent camera stores. Then just put the sleeves in a binder type folder.

    Then for long term storage I've been told best way is put your neg's in an air tight container with silica gel packs in there also. Then drop the whole container in the freezer.

    Because of the gelatine layer on the film is an organic compound, this is what breaks down over time, so freezing it allows it to be sorted indefinitely (so I've been told)

    I'm sure there are other more knowledgeable film users who might have other ideas on the best storage methods. This method came from a lecturer at uni.
    Last edited by mikec; 17-06-2011 at 4:56pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikec View Post
    Put your negatives in ... so freezing it allows it to be sorted indefinitely (so I've been told) ... I'm sure there are other more knowledgeable film users who might have other ideas on the best storage methods. This method came from a lecturer at uni...
    Mikec, I'll pass on the "more knowledgable", but as I got to the end I had to wonder if the lecturer had actually tried this. I don't doubt your sincerity in suggesting it, though.

    Who's gunner shoot me when I say how well all OK, most of my slides and negs have fared that did not go under during three flood events, using my sophisticated storage means. Well, force fields are on so:

    Negs in original sleeves, usually of paper, sometimes plastic, inside the same envelope that contain the original prints. These are in a couple of cardboard boxes on shelves in the study. Slides are in original plastic boxes they came in, stored rather similarly to the negs.

    What deterioration have I noticed over the years? (I go through a selection of them about every couple of years.) Some of the negatives show some marked change in colour. This was in a few of a number of batches of cheaper brand film (such as might be called Amcon Super - that's made up, because I can't remember the name...) One batch of Kodachrome slides from 1974 seemed to have a bit of crazed emulsion, but the other like boxes were OK.

    I have lots of good looking monochrome negs, some from the late '60s - not many, though, because some are lost - and most from the 70s.

    The one doubt I have about the freezer step is that if the film changed temperature regularly it might affect the emulsion. I think keeping it dry and away from light are the main factors.
    OK, shoot!
    {[(Am.)]}
    Last edited by ameerat42; 17-06-2011 at 5:28pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    ameerat: You know what, I dare say the lecturer probably has. He is that type of guy. Seeing some of his film work his does know what's he talking about but I think the actual practicalities of this are probably not that easy, like you said temp changes would probably effect it, so really it'd need to be kept in constant freeze and brought to room temp slowly when you do want to use a neg.

    I think what you sad about keeping it dry and away from light are the best though. I'd probably also add I do think in an air tight container would be good also keep any other nasty stuff away.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Thanks for explaining that, Mikec.

    There are few film buffs here, I'd like to know what they do too.
    Am.

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    Member nightbringer's Avatar
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    I just get them and put them in plastic sleeves, you can buy them from most camera stores for about $15 or so, depending on whether you want to store strips of 4 or 6.
    I still need to get albums to stick the sleeves into.

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    Keeping negatives and transparencies in the freezer is a well known method of long term storage. Freezing removed the moisture from things, which is why it is good for them. The container however, needs to be very firmly sealed - ie with tape of vacuum sealed before freezing.
    Odille

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