Although a lot of us love using expired films, some of us still love the sharp clean look of fresh film. But what do you do to keep expired films looking fresh? FREEZE 'EM!
2008 was a bad year for me when it comes to Lomography and film photography in general. I sold my Fisheye and LC-A in order to pay some "debts" and to buy some other things. I usually keep my exposed films in the freezer even during that time. So from 2009 to mid-2012, I've totally forgotten about Lomography and all the film I kept frozen; damn that Xbox. Note that most of those were expired since 2001 to onwards.
So, fast forward to this year, we decided to buy a newer and bigger refrigerator and had to clean out the old one. What do I find? A frozen, plastic box with about 20 rolls inside! I take it out and see little tiny canisters frozen shut. I decided to have them developed at the local lab (when I say "local" I mean 4 miles away, ugh) and have them developed. I've used expired film before and they usually come out a bit yellowish or washed out depending on the brand. But, to my surprise, the negatives came back as good as new or, well, uhm... fresh.
So if you want fresh film but love the affordability of expired then I'd recommend you freeze them. Here are some tips on how to freeze them properly:
For 35mm film
- Keep the film in their plastic canisters to avoid moisture forming in the film itself
- Seal them in a plastic container. A ziplock bag is recommended
- If you want to keep them organized, but the bags in another container.
For 120 film
- Wrap them up in foil to prevent the film from getting wet. 120 has less protection than 35 mm
- It is up to you if you want to seal them in ziplock bags, but for me, 3 layers of aluminium foil is alright
Remember, it is advised to thaw the films at room temperature before developing them or sending them off to the lab to avoid condensation which will destroy your film.