How do I store film after shooting?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by bagbumblin, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Hey guys,
    A quick question that I've not found asked anywhere else on the internet. Maybe It's a stupid one.

    There's lots of talk about storing film in frost-free fridges/freezers before you shoot to preserve it.
    But what about after you've shot the roll!

    I recently took about 40 rolls on a trip & won't have the money to develop & print them for maybe 6 months.
    I'm shooting AGFA 200 that is in date, so not exactly a fancy or professional model.
    Are the concerns about expiry/degradation & the storage methods the same after the film has been exposed & the chemicals set?

    Cheers for any answers you can give.
  2. "How do I store film after shooting?"

    - The simple short answer is, you shouldn't!

    Shadow detail begins to decay from the instant the exposure is finished, due to re-combination of freed electrons within the silver halide crystal lattice. The longer you store film after development the lower its effective speed becomes.

    Low temperature storage may slow down the process, but it won't halt it. So if you have important rolls, save up and process them ASAP.

    Of course, it takes a long time for the latent image to degrade completely, but there will be a noticeable loss of quality after 6 months or so at room temperature. Then you have to figure in the cost of cold storage. Running a fridge or freezer for 6 months when it's full of film isn't cost free.

    "...and the chemicals set?"
    The "chemicals" do not set. Exposure causes a change in the electronic state of silver halide crystals. As said above, that change is reversible and will decay over time. The latent image in film is just as electronic as a digital camera's CMOS sensor image.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
  3. "A quick question that I've not found asked anywhere else on the internet." This has indeed already been asked on the internet...
    Refrigerating/Freezing Film ?
    Can I store exposed film in the fridge (when it was stored before shooting, too)?

    As to the answer, Kodak says:
    "Once you have exposed your film, paper, or display material, it is important to minimize changes in the latent (unprocessed) image. For consistent results, process the film, paper, or display material promptly after exposure. This is particularly important with professional color films, because they are optimized for processing soon after exposure. Storage at a low temperature after exposure will retard latent-image changes. You can keep exposed, unprocessed film in a refrigerator for a few days when necessary. Put the film in a sealed container, and allow the unopened container to reach room temperature before removing the film for processing."
    (from 'Storage and Care of KODAK Photographic Materials' <>)

    Having said all that, I disagree with this urgency to process. With properly-stored, in-date, consumer Agfa 200 C-41 film, I doubt you will notice any difference processing immediately or in a few months' time.
  4. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    I would definitely NOT store the film. If money is tight, you should consider just getting the film developed without prints. I use Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas.

    A trusted name in photo processing for over 50 years - Dwayne's Photo

    They charge $5 per roll for development only. I've had excellent results from them, otherwise I wouldn't use them.
  5. It is always "cool dry place". Below 55F is usual, but dry might be more important.

    With refrigeration, you have to be careful about condensation.

    A sealed bottle with a dessicant, and then refrigerated, would be good.
    Let it warm to room temperature before opening.

    Keeping it cool does slow down recombination, and while shorter is better, I don't expect six months to be a problem.

    For years now, it is assumed that amateur films will be in the camera some months, and the first on the roll will be there longer.

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