Can storing unexposed film in a refrigerator cause moulds?
Old 09-29-2015   #1
Gilo25
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Can storing unexposed film in a refrigerator cause moulds?

I searched all the forums but I couldn't find this topic anywhere. I am having recurrent problems with white dots on my scans and prints and I was wondering if (apart from processing issues) one of the causes may be moulds developed on unexposed film kept in a refrigerator for a prolonged period of time. Since refrigerators tend to be wet, I am thinking whether it would be preferable to keep them at ambient temperature. However, being based in a tropical country, this would imply keeping them all year around at temperatures of about 30 degrees and a humidity of 70% on average. What would be less damaging?
Many thanks to all!
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Old 09-29-2015   #2
photomoof
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Seems very unlikely, but you could open a package of film and examine it, under a loupe.

I would look at your film processing and later storage.
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Old 09-29-2015   #3
f16sunshine
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Fungus needs something to eat. If your film is factory fresh in the canister it's unlikely there is any dust or debris that could be a food source.
If your films bounced around in a bag without a canister before going in the fridge it is possible fungus could grow. Otherwise not likely.
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Old 09-29-2015   #4
Calzone
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I know that in hospitals they use silver plating on door knobs for an antibacteral effect. In the dehumidifier that I use there is what they call an "Ionic Stick" that I highly suspect is a small amount of silver to prevent bacteria from growing.

I suspect mineral deposits from your water. Do you live in an area that has hard water?

Also know that I work in a hospital in a research lab. I have access to a reverse osmosis water purification system, and it is chemically pure water (H2O) that is so pure that it is not safe to drink because it will chemically react with living tissue. Your problem could be a water quality issue.

I store my unexposed and exposed film in the fridge for extended periods of time.

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Old 09-29-2015   #5
photomoof
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Your problem could be a water quality issue.
I would second that.
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Old 09-29-2015   #6
rjstep3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilo25 View Post
I searched all the forums but I couldn't find this topic anywhere. I am having recurrent problems with white dots on my scans and prints and I was wondering if (apart from processing issues) one of the causes may be moulds developed on unexposed film kept in a refrigerator for a prolonged period of time. Since refrigerators tend to be wet, I am thinking whether it would be preferable to keep them at ambient temperature. However, being based in a tropical country, this would imply keeping them all year around at temperatures of about 30 degrees and a humidity of 70% on average. What would be less damaging?
Many thanks to all!
I assume you are keeping them in their plastic containers? I always keep film in the fridge (or freezer for the long term) but keep it in the plastic canister they are sold in. In the case of roll film, I keep it in the plastic wrapper unopened. When film is opened, I keep it in the fridge but in a snap tight plastic food container.

It works for me!

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Old 09-29-2015   #7
Dwig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
Fungus needs something to eat. If your film is factory fresh in the canister it's unlikely there is any dust or debris that could be a food source. ...
The emulsion itself, being made from gelatin, is a very good culture medium and food source. Nothing else is needed.

That said, factory fresh film sealed in its original factory packaging is well protected. Storing film in the refrigerator or freezer will not harm it in any way, much less encourage mold. Issues can and will arise if chilled or frozen film is unpackaged before it warms to room temperature, not just the outside packaging but all the way to the core. Issues will also occur if the original air tight packaging has been opened before freezing, and can occur even if it is resealed if the air trapped inside is overly humid.
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Old 09-29-2015   #8
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It is not impossible, however White dots in your emulsion is pointing out to a processing error, a larger amount of Calcium in your developer water. Normally in combination with a higher level of metal ions.
How to get rid of it:
Cook you tap water and let it cool down.
Use a Brita (TM) water filter because then you have almost demi-water, very suitable for "photo water".
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Old 09-29-2015   #9
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I think that white spots are a typical sign of a film that has been stored in a hot environment for too long. Make it a rule to keep unexposed film in the freezer, and put it in there right after exposing and before developing, unless you develop the same day. I'd think that fungus would more likely attack unsealed 120 film, so I store this one in plastic canisters.
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Old 09-29-2015   #10
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The problem with unsealed 120 roll films is that the humidity finds place between the backing paper and the emulsion causing dots on the film. So only sealed 120 roll films and sealed 35mm cassettes in the canister in the freezer and use a zip-lock bag for it. Take also some time when taking out the films from the freezer that coming on room temperature the condensation on the packing and films has gone away. Freezing is only interesting when putting films away for alonger time, several months at least. Exposed films you have to develop a.s.a.p.
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Old 09-29-2015   #11
Dwig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotohuis View Post
It is not impossible, however White dots in your emulsion is pointing out to a processing error, a larger amount of Calcium in your developer water. Normally in combination with a higher level of metal ions.
How to get rid of it:
Cook you tap water and let it cool down.
Use a Brita (TM) water filter because then you have almost demi-water, very suitable for "photo water".
+1

Also, an overly concentrated wetting agent (e.g. Photo-flo, ...) will produce small white "dots" that are all but impossible to wash off after the film has dried. Water with a high mineral content can do this on its own and wetting agent needs to be used at an even lower concentration in such water.
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Old 09-29-2015   #12
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Mold can grow on film but it's unlikely. Gelatin is a perfect neutrient for its growth which is a large part of film. Mold appears as a spider web or fuzzy looking blob not a sharply defined spot.

If the the spots appear as sharply defined small specks it's most likely dust that settled on the film when drying or was I. Your setting agent.

If you save your diluted wetting agent and reuse it it can develope a slime that could be a problem but don't know if it would appear as spots.

Overly strong wetting agent will produce areas that don't dry properly and can cause light to streaks and or larger areas of light tones or large spots. I find the recommended dilution of most setting agents to be too strong. You can see the areas on your film that do t dry properly. They appear more dense on the film.

You do not need to put exposed film in the fridge or freezer unless you're holding it for a month or more before development. It's really not a good idea to put opened rolls in the fridge. Moisture /condensation when you take it out can be a problem.

It's possible that trash in the water could be a problem but most water supplies are pretty clean. If in doubt try deionized or distilled water to mix your wetting agent. High levels of calcium can cause a scum but it's usually associated with streaks. I live in a city with very high mineral content in the water but have no problems with spots or streaks.

In over 55 years and after processing many thousands of rolls Ive never seen spots due to heat. Most of the time it's a drying problem with dust.
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Old 09-29-2015   #13
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Well, I've never seen mold on film, but that's not to say it doesn't.

I'm wondering if you aren't getting some kind of artifact from processing. What kind of film? I read somewhere that Foma Classic 100 (possibly others) is notorious for getting white spots if you use an acid stop bath. And then there's the water used in developing (as mentioned in a post above)......

.......I use distilled water for my entire processing. I get away with that because I usually run just a couple rolls in a 2-roll stainless tank. I find that 1 full gallon of distilled water can fully processes my 2 rolls. That includes mixing up the developer (3.5ml HC110 in 400ml water), post-develop water rinse, stop bath, [fixer is already made], post-fix rinse, [hypoclear already made], Ilford wash method (the bulk of my water use), and photo-flo at the end. If I'm frugal, all that can be done with one jug (1 gal.) of distilled water from the grocery store.
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Old 09-29-2015   #14
Gilo25
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Thank you all for your replies, which confirm that it is probably a processing problem (probably due to the water) and not fungus on the film. I always store the film in the fridge sealed in its canister and original unopened box. 120 rolls sometimes come lose and if that's the case I seal them in a zip lock before storing them. I sometimes keep them for up to 2 years before using them so that's why I store them in a fridge. Sometimes though I do put back in the fridge (in its canister) exposed film which I may take 1 or 2 months to process. I will upload a couple of images to show you the dots I get.
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Old 09-29-2015   #15
Pablito
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I have not used film in a while, but Kodak and Fuji used to sell their professional films refrigerated... Camera shops had big refrigerators...
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Old 09-29-2015   #16
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Those are all processing problems, have nothing to do with the film being refrigerated.
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Old 09-29-2015   #17
Gilo25
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These are the artifacts I get:
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Old 09-29-2015   #18
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I have been storing film and photo paper in the refer for well over 40 years and have never has any issues whatsoever.

My preferred method of storage is the freezer..
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