Freezing, Re-Freezing Film

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by arjun_mehra, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. To your knowledge, does frequent freezing, defrosting, and re-freezing of a
    roll of film do any damage to it? I ask because I usually place my film in the
    freezer shortly after getting it home from the store, and, sometimes, I defrost
    it thinking I'll use it in a few days, only to find that I won't, after which I
    throw it right back into the freezer; oh, hell, sometimes, a roll of film in my
    hands will go through four or five such freeze/defrost/re-freeze cycles. Do you
    suppose this is all right?

    Also, am I wrong in thinking it's fine to freeze a roll of film that's been
    exposed, perhaps because I know it won't be developed for a while?

  2. There shouldn't be any problem as long as the film is free from condensation IMO. I also do this myself without any problem so far. No idea about the second question, but I usually put exposed film in a dry box, it's best to keep an exposed film away from air as it fogs it. But even if you leave an exposed film for a month, there shouldn't be any problem.
  3. I have never had a problem refreezing as long as it is in the can or the foil.

  4. I've frozen exposed film many times without problems.
  5. Since water freezes at 0C, we assume that everything else does. There's no water in film, and it doesn't freeze (crystallize or otherwise change state at moderately low temperatures). All it really does is get cold.

    You can go out and shoot at -20C, and the film will be much more comfortable than you!
  6. How do we prevent condensation from messing things up?
  7. Condensation should not be a factor as long as the film is still factory sealed. It probably wouldn't be a factor if you sealed prevously opened film in Ziplocks.
  8. "How do we prevent condensation from messing things up?"

    Easy. Don't open the package until it has warmed up to room temperature. This can take a few hours. On the other side, don't place an open package of film back into the freezer. Ziplock bags work ok. Plastic wrap may be a little better. Vacuum sealed bags are the best. Do I bother with all that? No. Once I've refrigerated my film, it stays there until I'm ready to use it.
  9. I don't do it. What I do is that I keep my film in the freezer and take out a few rolls in the fridge. From there they move to my pack a normal temperature, this routine frees me from having to watch out for condensation.
    So once out the fride they don't get in there unless I don't have a second roll to develop a that time. So at most it's 2 to 3 weeks out of the fridge before it gets developed.
    But I never refreeze.

  10. Kevin Bourque said it all "There's no water in film, and it doesn't freeze (crystallize or otherwise change state at moderately low temperatures). All it really does is get cold."

    Just don't introduce humid air (i.e. water) into the equation.
  11. Does "don't take the film out of its packaging" mean "don't take it out of the box" or "don't take it out of the plastic canister"? If it means the canister, we're good; if it means the box, we're screwed. :'/
  12. The canister. The cardboard box offers no protection.
  13. Tri-x and Plus-x

    Freeze thaw, thaw freeze. Developed, undeveloped. I've done it all. No ill effects that I can

    Um, that sort of rhymes.
  14. Thanks. Off-topic: I love Kodak's (and Ilford's, I suppose) film canisters (as opposed to Fujifilm's): light-proof and fun to pop on anf off (though Fuji's are also fun to pop).
  15. If your relative humidity isn't anywhere near 100% you should be alright placing exposed film back in the canister and then back in the freezer. But when taking the exposed film out of the freezer you must allow as slow warm up before opening to avoid condensation as you would new film coming out of the freezer. The only damage I've ever had is with film coming out of a cold (as in camera bag coming out of the car in a deep freeze) and opening the camera immediately to change rolls. Condensation all over the camera and cloth shutter probably didn't do the camera any good either. Film tended to stick to itself when later put on the reel. The film still came out but with occational blotches.
  16. I keep my Tri-X and Tmax 3200 in the freezer. I thaw and use as needed. After exposure it
    goes BACK in the freezer until it's processed. I have a backlog of of about 400 exposed rolls
    going back to 2004. (Yeah, I'm behind). No problems with the Tri-X. I've stopped doing that
    with the Tmax 3200 and shoot & process it promptly (within about four months). After about
    four years in the freezer it shows some slight add'l fog base. No problems with Tri-X. BTW,
    the Tri-X goes back in the factory plastic can after it's exposed.
  17. John.......400 rolls? Oahhaaahaa. I thought I had problems.
  18. I keep 1/2 my film in the fridge and the other half in the freezer. If I need o use frozen film, I take it from the freezer and leave it overnight in the fridge, then take it with me the next day making sure I do not open the foil or cannister until it is at room temperature. Works fine for me.
  19. Why not just leave the frozen film on the counter over-night; that way, come morning, it's ready to be popped into your camera?
  20. That's exactly what I do; leave it on the counter overnight, that is. If I have enough forethought I move it from the freezer to the fridge one night, and then from the fridge to the counter the next night before using it. That's probably overkill though.

    I have had no ill effects from thawing and refreezing sealed film multiple times.

    I've also had no ill effects from re-refrigerating or refreezing partially used films that have had their factory seals broken (obviously). I try to keep them as airtight as I can in plastic bags. Although there's no doubt that once the seal has been broken any moisture in the air is also inside the film canister too, in practical terms it has never caused any problems for me. When I want to finish them off or get them processed I use the same overnight-on-the-counter slow warmup technique, leaving the film inside the plastic bag and hoping that any condensation that forms will be on the outside of the bag and not on the film inside.
  21. Thanks, Carl.
  22. First gelatin is already well below it's freezing point. You are goin to run into trouble at the other and of the temperature scale, but daytime temperatures of 80 centigrade will probalbly have killed the photographer before the gelatin melts!

    Refreezing is OK as long as moisture is excluded. You can use silica-gel as a drying agent in a ziplock bag to be sure, but to cause problems the moisture would need to penetrate to the film. With 120 rolfilm this is unlikely but 35mm might be at some slight risk.

    The most risky time is just after removal of the film from the deep-freeze. That's when condensation is most likely to form on the cold surface. To completely warm through I would leave it at least 24 hours in the sealed package before developing.

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