I have a bit of a convoluted question, pretty much two in one. One part is about film-storage before it's sold to consumers, the other is about how susceptible film actually is to degradation. But I'll try to be as straightforward as possible:
The storage of (un-exposed/developed) film has been discussed to death. But after many hours of research throughout the recent months I found that it basically comes down to keeping it cool and dry. The details depend on different variables, but generally speaking film just degrades more quickly the higher the temperature and humidity it is in.
That's great and all, that we know this and that we, the consumers, know how to store our film. However, that raises a bunch of question (to me);
What happens to film after it comes out of the factory? - I assume during the first trip it will still be transported under the right conditions, if a manufacturer cares enough about their product. - But what happens as soon as it's distributed? - Does it get transported in warm vans? - Does it get stored in warehouses at average temperatures and in stores at even higher temperatures? - What about film that's made in the USA, transported to the EU and sold there or the other way around? - There are so many scenarios a roll of film can end up in.
Just to give an example; I have one shop in my city that has a few types of film (and they sell more types online) and they're quite a sizeable branch who seem to know their stuff. - I went to buy in person one time, it was cold outside, but when I walked into the shop I noticed that the air was sweltering, probably well above 20 degrees Celsius. I bought a roll of film anyway, but some time later I thought back and realized the film was right behind the counter, in the same air. - And who knows how long it sits on the shelf considering film doesn't just sell out like freshly baked bread every day. - Though, to be fair, I do not know if they actually have a cooler and just take out a few for when they're open. - And again; What if I buy it online and it's transported in a heated (or non-cooled, in the summer) mail-van or something?
The point being; We're all up in arms about how we store our films. But does it even matter when we don't even know what happened to it between the factory and our storage? - That raises a few more questions yet again;
Is film more resistant to degradation the fresher/newer it is? (i.e. Is it less vulnerable right out of the factory and until it's sold? As long as the amount of time is reasonable and it's well before the expiration-date.)
Does film degrade at different rates at different ages? (Such as, again, when it's fresh out of the factory as opposed to sitting on a store-shelf some time later.)
Of course, this is all speaking in general and of average situations. Things might again be different when the boxes of films are sealed in plastic, or maybe when you have hotter or colder countries and different levels of humidity, and so on and so forth.
But basically the question is; How much chance does film have to degrade between manufacturing and selling?
And as a related question; Do shops/stores/warehouses/etc. need to be responsible for the storage and quality of film-products? - And in case of bad results that can be boiled down to bad film from the start (which obviously is difficult to prove after the fact), cán they be held responsible for selling what is practically a faulty product?
Again, I hope this isn't too convoluted. I've tried to make it as concrete as possible. - Answers to all the sub-questions are welcome, but it all boils down to the one question in bold. - Thanks for reading.