Cold storage of film : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I need some advice!! I've just discovered that Agfa are phasing out my choice of film in 120 format.....APX25!! I use it in both 6x9 and 6x12, the B******S!!!!!!!!!!!!! Any way, I know a supplier who can provide it in large quantities , so my question is, if I buy in bulk and store it in a freezer, how should I pack it, and how long can I expect it to last?? Or is their an alternative to APX25?? THANKS IN ADVANCE Paul

-- paul owen (, February 04, 2001


Paul, Good old Agfa they never seem to be able to hold onto a good thing, I refer of course to products like Portriga and Record Rapid.

With regard to storage I would expect an emulsion like APX25 to last for many years in the freezer if kept in its original packing with an outer aluminium foil wrap. I did try some 20 year old frozen Kodak 4x5 IR film last year but that had well passed its sell by date and of course was quite useless, but that was an infra red emulsion which is only stable for a few years. I would expect a panchromatic emulsion to be much more stable in cold storage.

If you haven't already done so try Delta 100 an emulsion I feel is every bit as good as APX25.

Good luck, Trevor.

-- Trevor Crone (, February 04, 2001.

Why help out a manufacturer who discontinues your favourite film?

Better to leave them with thousands (or even tens of thousands) of rolls of unsold film on their hands.

Try to find a manufacturer who has a long-term commitment to your needs and support them instead.

-- Philip Y. Graham (, February 04, 2001.

Philip, when you find a manufacturer with your long term interests at heart, let the rest of us know...

-- Steve Clark (, February 04, 2001.

Thanks for the advice re:storage. On the subject of manufacturers, IMHO they are all the same, if they can make profit then great, if not the consumer suffers - this is a sad fact of life. The fact that Agfa are B******S (IMHO!!) does not help me with the problem of finding a replacement for my fave film, and knowing my luck, if I do find one, that will probably be phased out too !!!!!!!!! I think that it is part of the "evolution" of photography, and that as black and white becomes less popular (with the masses) emulsions wil be phased out. I WILL stockpile some APX25 because it would be a pity never to use it again, but on reflection I should also "evolve" and move on to another film, and so on!! I was a great believer in the idea that black and white would always survive and thrive, but it is only when a particular favourite disappears that you appreciate how delicate the balance can be between popularity and obscurity. Anyway, its not all doom and gloom.........just as long as FP4+ survives!! Many thanks (again) Paul

-- paul owen (, February 04, 2001.

Slow and medium-speed films will last for perhaps decades if frozen.

The only films you shouldn't stockpile are the really fast films, TMZ and Delta 3200; they'll fog from cosmic rays. Kodak stores TMZ stock in salt mines for that reason. Seriously.

-- John Hicks (, February 04, 2001.

Ho well, some days I am positive about B/W surviving, and other days I am on the brink of giving up and going digital, although digital is no serious option as I decidedly dislike battery-dependent cameras.

But when I take out my Arca the world smiles again, no matter what.

My guess is that the smaller companies producing Bergger, Maco, and Efke will eventually be the ones left making B/W sheet films.

When it comes to alternatives to APX 25 (which is a great film) I come to think of two: Efke R25 (which is orthopanchromatic, which means that it puts red in the correct place in the grey tone values) and the Kodak Technical Pan.

-- Jimi Axelsson (, February 05, 2001.

I don't know if my experiences with Panatomic X when it was discontinued by Kodak a number of years ago would be helpful here or not. But I'll tell you anyway. I had used that film a lot and loved it. So when it was rumored that it would be discontinued, I horded away a bunch of 100 foot 35mm rolls that I stored in the freezer. I knew it would last for many years stored that way. However, after several years, I started having an unforeseen problem. After processing a large tank (8 rolls) of films shot on a trip to the coast, I found all of the rolls covered on the base side by small flakes of semi-transparent material. It looked like the flakes were from a layer of anti-halation coating (or something else, I don't know for sure) that was supposed to either dissolve completely or not dissolve at all. Anyway, after experimenting with the film I had left, I couldn't find any way of avoiding the problem. I tried long pre-wet times, long fix times, long times in sodium sulfite or sodium carbonate, and extremely long wash times. I tried to physically remove them by hand. Nothing worked, and I eventually had to dispose of the unused film. I have no idea if the APX25 will have any such unforeseen problems with long-term storage or not. But, I would be a bit reluctant to assume that I could stash away a lifetime supply. It might pay off to investigate the other film options. You might have to learn to live with TMX or Delta.

-- Ken Burns (, February 05, 2001.

Paul, I am also sad to see this film go. I have purchased whatever my photo store had left in stock. I think that if you are going to freeze the film for storage you should ensure that moisture does not get into the package. I would put the film into a big ziplock bag and then insert the bag into a second ziplock. A double vapor barrier will prevent any moisture from getting in.

As for an alternative to APX25, i will probably stick to PanF even though it is not really the same (panF tends to give me a "creamy" image).


-- Dave Anton (, February 05, 2001.

Well, it's still on the lists of available film on the Agfaphoto website anyway. Some nut is selling out APX25 on e-bay, though. Maybe that's where the rumour has started? Has anyone actually confirmed with Agfa that the film is disappearing off the shelves?

-- Jimi Axelsson (, February 07, 2001.

Just a foot note to my query. APX25 is being phased out - it's official! The main dealers/suppliers in the U.K. have sold out of their stocks of 120 film, but there is still a glut of 35mm stock that is readily available. I spoke to several who described "panic buying" of 120 stock over the past few weeks!! Regards Paul

-- paul owen (, February 07, 2001.

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