The Camera House Blog

How To Store and Care for Film - Before and After Processing

Published On: 11 Sep, 2018 11:51 AM

This blog outlines proper storage of your film. Remember, it's a guideline for best case scenarios. If you're traveling or storing above these temperatures for short periods of time, don't sweat it...or as we say on The Film Photography Podcast, don't get The Film Sweats! Enjoy shooting, processing, scanning and printing! - Michael Raso

Storage and Care of Photographic Materials - Before and After Processing

Information provided by Kodak Alaris

The photographic materials that you use to record images deserve the same kind of care and attention as other valuable objects. Before you expose film or paper, you must store and handle it properly so that it can provide the finest possible results. After exposure, proper care in processing and in storing or displaying the negative, slide, transparency, or print helps to preserve the long-term usefulness of the image.

Unprocessed photographic films and papers are perishable products that can be damaged by high temperatures and high relative humidities. Some photographic characteristics—speed, contrast, color balance, and fog level—change gradually after manufacture. Adverse storage conditions accelerate these changes. Color materials are more seriously affected than black-and-white materials because adverse conditions usually affect the emulsion layers to different degrees.

Kodak Alaris packages films and papers in plastic and metal cans, foil envelopes, or polyethylene bags to protect them from contaminants and from changes in relative humidity. Do not open the original package until you are ready to use the product. Specific storage instructions for each product are printed on the package, but here are a few general principles to keep in mind:

Use film promptly.
For best results, always use film before the expiration date printed on the package.

Keep the temperature low.
You can store Kodak color films, at temperatures up to 70/ 21°. However, you must keep all films away from places where they are subject to excessive heat, such as a car parked in the sun, or an attic during the summer. The glove compartment, trunk, and back window of a car in the sun become very hot on a warm day. If you carry film in a car in warm weather, keep it in an insulated bag or cooler.
We recommend that you store KODAK PROFESSIONAL color films in their original sealed packaging under refrigeration at 13°C (55°F) or lower to maintain consistent performance.

Store KODAK color papers and display materials at 13°C (55°F) or lower in their original sealed packages.
You can store unexposed black-and-white films for short periods of time at temperatures up to 24°C (75°F). For storage over long periods of time, maintain the following storage temperatures for black-and-white film whenever possible:


Warm up after refrigeration.
To prevent condensation on the surfaces of film taken from a refrigerator or freezer, allow the package to warm up to room temperature before breaking the seal or opening the container. Warm-up times vary with the amount of material, the type of package, and the storage temperature. Typical warm-up times are given in the table below.


Note: Times are based on separating packages to allow for good air circulation. Remove large packages and rolls of film from refrigeration the day before you plan to use them.

Keep the relative humidity low.
Although the packaging helps to protect the materials from moisture, exposure to a relative humidity (RH) of 60 percent or higher for long periods damages cardboard packages, labels, adhesives, and metal. It also promotes the growth of bacteria, molds, and fungi. Some species of fungi can destroy emulsions by ingesting the gelatin.
Usually the relative humidity in refrigerators and freezers is high, so inspect the packaging periodically for signs of deterioration and fungus growth. Use a room dehumidifier to keep the humidity low—ideally below 50 percent RH.

Store opened packages carefully.
After you have opened the original sealed packaging, the material is no longer protected from the damaging effects of high relative humidity and atmospheric contaminants such as chemical fumes.* For this reason, it is important to use the material promptly.

*Chemical fumes that can harm photographic products may come from industrial emissions, motor exhausts, paints, solvents, cleaners, mothballs, chipboard, glues, mildew and fungus preventives, foam-injected insulation, fabric treatments such as permanent press and stain inhibitors, and insecticides. These may contain formaldehyde or aldehyde derivatives, sulfides, or other agents that can harm either unprocessed or processed photographic materials.

Protect film from x-rays.
X-rays can fog unprocessed film when the level of radiation is high or when the film receives several low-level doses, because the effects of x-ray exposure are cumulative. Once film has been processed, however, it is not affected by x-rays. When you travel by commercial airline, your checked luggage is usually subjected to x-ray examination. You can avoid this danger to unprocessed film by hand-carrying your supply, including loaded cameras, and requesting a visual inspection. The walk-through and hand-held electronic devices used to check passengers are not x-ray devices and do not affect film. Sometimes mailed packages are also x-rayed; if you include unprocessed film in a package, label the package “Undeveloped Photographic Film. Please Do Not X-Ray.” Film mailed in clearly marked processing mailers sold by photofinishers is usually not subjected to x-ray inspection.

Protect the latent image.
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. If you have professional films processed at a distant processing laboratory, ship them by priority mail or air express promptly after exposure. Do not deposit film in a metal mailbox where it may be subjected to high temperatures. For best results, process paper or display material on the same day you expose it. You should not notice shifts in the latent image with keeping times from 1 minute to 24 hours. Therefore, you do not need to change your printing procedures to compensate for latent-image shifts under normal temperature and handling conditions. For consistent results, keep the time between exposure and processing the same for each type of paper or display material.

The quality of processing is a very important factor in image stability. Improper processing can result in deterioration of the image. Follow proper procedures. Commercial processing laboratories are aware of the important influence that processing has on the photographic quality and long-term keeping properties of prints, negatives, slides, and transparencies. If you do your own processing, remember that failing to follow the manufacturer's processing recommendations can impair image stability. Incorrect processing procedures such as faulty agitation, insufficient or excessive fixing, and inadequate or excessive washing, can result in defects after long-term storage that were not apparent shortly after processing. Other guidelines include avoiding contamination of solutions, using proper replenishment, minimizing oxidation of developers,
cleaning the tanks regularly to avoid bacterial growth, and using a stop bath when recommended.




Yes thank you that is so helpful

Posted By: Madlen Test on 11 Sep, 2018 11:45 AM

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