How to store unexposed Kodak Tri-X

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by bjarni_m., Oct 20, 2014.

  1. I've bought a large amount of Kodak Tri-X 135/400. Now i'm wondering where the best place is to keep them until i will use them.
    My choices are these:
    1. The living room where the temperature changes from 16-22 degrees celsius and changing humidity as well, depending on the time of the year.
    2. The refrigerator where the temperature is from 4-6 degrees celsius and the humidity is fairly consistent.
    3. The freezer where the temperature is around -16 to -18 degrees celsius and the humidity is fairly consistent.
    Please note that i will use them before they reach the expiry date (05/2016), so my concern isn't to keep them as long as possible, also after the expiry date.
    Any suggestions?
  2. If you're going to use it in the next couple of years, even a couple of years after the expiration date, room temperature is usually just fine for Tri-X. It's one of the most robust films ever made, tolerant of bad storage, bad exposure and bad developing. But if you're got a whole lot and you're talking 5-10 years, puts it in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Bring it out maybe a day before you're going to use it. (A few hours is sufficient, but it doesn't need to be kept refrigerated down to the last minute.)
  3. @Craig: Please note that i will use them before they reach the expiry date (05/2016), so my concern isn't to keep them as long as possible, also after the expiry date.

    My only concern is to keep them the best way i can until i will use them, since i wil use them on a big project, where i can't afford storage to be a source of/to error.
  4. To be on the safe side I mostly freeze mine. Make sure it is in the original containers. As an extra measure I put it in large waterproof Zipper type bags. You just never know when a freezer could accidentally defrost. A refrigerator is OK if you are going to use it before the expire date. I tend to keep a few rolls at room temp and everytime I use one I take one out of the fridge to replace it at room temp. I know this sounds like overkill but where I live you just never know when you will be without power Summer or Winter.
  5. For the past 40 years I've done Option 2, in a sealed plastic bag. Never had a problem even with film well past the expiration date.
    But truth be told... sometimes I end up doing Option 1 for some reason or another with B&W and consumer C-41 film and have the same success.
  6. Kodak's Technical Data only says "Always store film (exposed or unexposed) in a cool, dry place" and no more than that here:
    I would like if they could be a bit more specific regarding temperatures when it's a Technical Data Sheet. After all they are making the Tri-X. Meaning, if Kodak can't be specific, what should i then believe?
  7. ... and I appear to be too repetatively redundant. Sorry about that. :)
  8. I store my film in the freezer because:
    1) It will keep longer.
    2) Unlike the refrigerator, everything in the freezer is solid. I do not have to worry about a liquid spilling and getting on the film. Also nothing ever gets moldy in the freezer - like that piece of cheese hiding in the back of the refrigerator <grin>. Mold can transfer to film.
  9. The original plastic can is vapor-tight, so no further wrapping is required to put Tri-X in refrigerator or freezer. On the other hand, the boxes can wind up a mushy mess if things go wrong, so putting a bunch or boxes in a Zip-Lok bag isn't a bad idea.
    Freezing will pretty much stop chemical deterioration of the film. But you can't stop the damage from cosmic rays, they will cumulatively fog the film, but it takes years. (Your house can't hold up enough lead to stop the cosmic rays.)
  10. If it's in the original unopened canister and you're going to use it in the next year, just refrigerate it and let it warm up to room temperature before opening. If you're going to use it in a week or two, just keep it out of extreme heat like the glove box.
    Freezing is only necessary for long-term storage of unexposed film.
  11. In your area the ambient temperature is cool enough at 16-22C (roughly 60-71F), so no refrigeration is necessary. And you'll be using the film within two years, so no special precautions are needed.
    When I worked for newspapers in Texas we kept bulk rolls of Tri-X in warmer temperatures and the film was fine. The only time I experienced problems with unexpired, unexposed Tri-X was when a bulk roll was kept in a car for awhile where the temperatures could exceed 100F in summer. Other that that, I've kept most unopened, unexposed film at room temperature for years, with an average temperature of 75F. No problems. The only film I usually keep in the refrigerator is infrared.
    If - and only if - you've experienced problems related to humidity with other items, such as mold/mildew/fungus forming on books on the shelf in your home, you might take some precautions to control humidity. Some ordinary desiccants could be used in sealed containers or boxes, although this would not be necessary with unopened, sealed packages of unexposed film. It might be appropriate for long term storage of opened film packages, whether exposed or unexposed.
    But if you haven't experienced any particular problems with humidity affecting paper documents, artwork, etc., then there's no need to worry about special precautions for storing your film. Room temperature will be fine.
  12. If your "room" is only up to 22C, that should be just fine, even for 5 or so years.
    I have had Tri-X in the camera for 30 years, and rooms maybe to 28C. At that point, you can see a little fogging, but the pictures come out pretty fine. (I don't think I will try that again, though.)
    I tend to keep color film refrigerated. My darkroom tends to stay below 20C, where I keep my black and white film.
    The date on most film is for ordinary (not Arizona) room temperature. Some professional films are expected to stay below 55F, about 12C, for storage. Non-pro films are aged to stay good at room temperature.
    I wouldn't start to think about it until 28C or so, within the date on the box.
  13. I agree with Lex and Glen. Absolutely no need to do any special storage if you're going to use it before the expiration date. Room temperature is fine.

Share This Page