storing exposed 4x5 transparencies : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

i just developed my first bunch of large format transparencies and am wondering how i should keep them stored. is it best to mount then put them in plastic sleeves. it seems that a mounted slide might result in an uneven surface when printing. is it better just to leave the slide unmounted and keep in an archival sleeve? thanks- tyson

-- tyson fisher (, January 10, 2000


I have always thought it best to leave as many options open as possible...Don't commit yourself until it's absolutely necessary, because you don't know what you may want to try in the future! Storing negatives in archival sleeves seems to fit these criteria very nicely.

-- Dave Richhart (, January 11, 2000.

I store my 4x5 images in individual archival clear sleeves and then file those in Print File 45-4B POL pages, which I then place in a hanging file. The pockets in this specific style of page are oversized enough that it is easy to retrieve an image and it still remains protected by its individual sleeve, which also has a label on it describing the image for stock and historical purposes.

-- Ellis Vener (, January 11, 2000.

I am assuming you are using color materials when you say transparencies. If this is the case then it is important to know that most, if not all, color film materials are made of organic dyes that will show measurable deterioration within two years. After that things can get real bad real quick. To arrest any degradation in color film it is best to freeze the film. Frozen film will retain its original densities even after 100 years.

Clearly, the film must be placed in an air tight plastic bag when freezing them. This will allow you to remove the film from cold storage without condensation forming on the film's surface. After the film has warmed to room temperature you can remove it form the bag for whatever needs you have. When placing the film in cold storage, it is important that you do it on a day with sufficient humidity (above 50% I think) in the air. Froozen film packed in dry air can under some circumstances cause the emulsion to crack.

-- Stephen Willard (, January 14, 2000.

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