I have a small work from home business scanning film and I have a client that insist the film be kept around 65 degrees I was thinking of an idea of buying a new apartment refrigerator and taking the door off so that there would be no moisture or condensation. I would appreciate any input thank you

  • 3
    The only result this will give you is a burned out fridge compressor. Sep 27 '18 at 13:16
  • Ambient temperature is one factor. If the relative humidity is too low, emulsion will shrink creating curling of the film. Excessive curl can complicate handling and possibly cause enough stress for splits to appear in the layer when attempting to flatten it for printing/scanning.
    – Stan
    Sep 27 '18 at 23:20

The refrigerator not only cools, it causes moisture contained within to condense and become liquid water. Thus the air inside is much dryer than surrounds. The extracted water accumulates in a pan under the refrigerator. The amount is trifling and naturally evaporates. Thus your problems as to film storage are solved. However, when you remove the cold film, it is endangered as cold objects will cause water in the air (humidity) to condense. Thus the film could potentially become wet.

Factorial: Professional unexposed rolls are typically stored refrigerated. This action prolongs the shelf life of the film. Film is packaged under low humidity conditions and wrapping is airtight. We are advised to allow refrigerated film to warm to room temperature before opening, this action avoids the formation of condensation.

Process film can be harmed if stored under humid conditions Likely your client is over cautious as film is robust so it is unlikely to be harmed by short term storage in your work area. That being said, clients are always right, so we try hard to accommodate. Your best solution is to install an air conditioning system in your work room, it cools and dehumidifies

  • Thanks for your help I guess I will stick with my original idea of installing a indoor AC unit
    – Brian
    Sep 27 '18 at 18:08

As a professional photographer for over 25 years, I can appreciate your clients desire to protect his precious negatives. If something happens to them he has lost his art. Ansel Adams considered his prints his art, and ran his negatives through a machine to destroy them (or so I have read somewhere). The air conditioned office makes sense to cool and dehumidify the air, hence protecting his negs from condensation, mold, etc. When Kodak, Fuji, etc. made films their ‘amateur’ films were shipped for sale prior to peek color saturation which occurred at sometime down the road. Their thinking was that the amateur would leave films in their cameras for several months prior to processing and that the films would mature color wise during that hiatus. Their pro lines where shipped at peek color and speed maturity, providing the pro photographer consistent ISO and color rendition. Hence, why pro films were refrigerated at the store and before use. Refrigeration of the films prevented changes to speed and color saturation. (This info came from Kodak employees)

  • Another important consideration for consistency (a good thing™) was to ensure your batch of film had the same emulsion number.
    – Stan
    Sep 27 '18 at 13:15
  • True, thus why I bought many bricks of the same emulsion at a time and filled our freezer with film. ;-)
    – Tony
    Sep 27 '18 at 20:58

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