Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

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hirudin
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Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by hirudin » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:29 am

Hi All,

I have a 100ft roll of double-8 tri-X sitting in my bolex underwater housing, with only 65ft exposed. Being winter, my kids get sick each Sunday morning the last two weeks, right when I'm about to go for a dive, so this week's a wash and I won't get in the water until next Sunday. I've never tested, but what's the general practical consideration on leaving exposed but undeveloped film at room temp. It'll be a month by the time it gets to the lab.

Thanks!

-Jesse-

David M. Leugers
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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by David M. Leugers » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:44 am

Although it is always recommended to develop film right away, you will have no problem as long as the film doesn't get exposed to very high temps or put through an airport screening.

hirudin
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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by hirudin » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:09 am

cool... Well, funny you should mention airport screenings... I'll be traveling to Truk Lagoon in Micronesia in September, and will be shooting film for an underwater short film. It will be tropical, wet, salty and there will be at least 8 airport screenings. What would be the best way to deal with this? (... And the answer "shoot digital" is not an answer)

Thanks!

-Jesse-

Will2
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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by Will2 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:59 pm

hirudin wrote:What would be the best way to deal with this?
Keep the stock in a separate Pelican case with some silica gel packets to help reduce moisture. Make sure you make it one of your carry-ons and have them hand inspect it each time. Avoid any x-ray if possible; absolutely do not check film in baggage.

Is it 35mm, 16mm or Super 8?

For Super 8 and 100' loads of 16mm you can go as far as opening the reels if they really want it, but usually that isn't a problem; they just brush it and put it in the "sniffer" device looking for explosives.

Silica Gel:
Image

hirudin
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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by hirudin » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:05 am

Thanks for the info... Would it be worth sending the unexposed film by mail direct to the lab? Maybe that's the best way to deal with it. AFAIK there'd be no x-raying mail from Guam to Canada..

-Jesse-

aj
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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by aj » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:01 am

Postal packages are NOT routinely x-rayed. It is a myth. Who is supposed to look at all these images? What would shipping cost then? USPS has upped international shipping considerably just this 27th january. If we were to pay for all this x-raying we couldn't send anything across border.

You can do as you like with your half exposed roll. If you are not in a hurry just leave it in the camera and expose it this spring. Rolls of 20 year old can be exposed and processed without noticable trouble. Exposed old rolls can be processed and usually just give images as if it were from yesterday. Especially on BW. One month or three months just doesn't make a difference.

The gravest danger comes from fungus. Periods of heat can wreck colourbalance in a few weeks. Extreme long storage can lead to a foglevel in the emulsion which will reduce contrast.

Just for fun to read : http://www.filmrescue.com/
who make a triving business of processing really olf stuff.

Here you can see what can found in some people's heritage http://www.vivianmaier.com
Kind regards,

André

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BAC
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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by BAC » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:26 pm

When I go to Guam and Saipan, another US territory not far from Guam, I mailed my film to the lab and had it waiting at home when I got back. The U.S. Postal Service is the best way to ship from the islands. I'm not sure about Guam but on Saipan services like FedEx and UPS are much slower and more expensive than the U.S. Postal Service. They only have one or two flights off the island each week. The U.S. Postal Service does not X-ray packages.

When you go through the security checkpoint have your film ready to give to them for a hand inspection so they don't X-ray it. If your flight goes through Japan you will have to do it again when you get off the plane. I think the Japanese are better about it than the US. They actually have signs at the security station warning about putting film through the X-ray. If you bring one of those lead lined film bags it will confuse the security people because they cant see through it with the X-ray. They will likely have you remove it so they can inspect it. I did let my film go through the X-ray once and it messed it up pretty good. That was with Ektachrome 100D, so it's not just the high speed film that you have to worry about.

Have fun in Guam and make sure you got to the Wednesday Night Market at the Chamorro Village in Hagatna.

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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by aj » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:38 pm

BAC wrote: I did let my film go through the X-ray once and it messed it up pretty good. That was with Ektachrome 100D, so it's not just the high speed film that you have to worry about.
.
This is plain nonsense. It is impossible your film got damaged from a one time x-ray scan. Are the people which were there still OK? Didn't they loose their hair? Such high doses will certainly affect people working there. Which they are not.
Kind regards,

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BAC
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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by BAC » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:19 pm

aj wrote:
BAC wrote: I did let my film go through the X-ray once and it messed it up pretty good. That was with Ektachrome 100D, so it's not just the high speed film that you have to worry about.
.
This is plain nonsense. It is impossible your film got damaged from a one time x-ray scan. Are the people which were there still OK? Didn't they loose their hair? Such high doses will certainly affect people working there. Which they are not.
Sorry, by once I meant one trip. I think it went through at least 5 X-rays on that trip, 3 at the airports and 2 at the Empire State building. 5 may be a bit excessive but after that I avoid X-Rays altogether. A trip to and from Guam can easily have 4 X-rays if you go through Japan.

woods01
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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by woods01 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:33 pm

I've left rolls of Tri-X and 200T Super 8 for up to a year before processing, they look fine. Certainly not an ideal thing but nothing to stress about. I just kept them in a cool dark space.

Last summer I went to Peru and shot 35mm stills on Tri-X. I decided I didn't want to argue with guards in broken Spanish. So I left the rolls of film in my carry on and they were X-ray'd about 8+ times. They got zapped between connection flights in Canada, U.S.A., Peru and Bolivia. Plus they were x-rayed for several domestic flights within Peru. They turned out great.

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Re: Ok to leave a roll undeveloped for 3-4 weeks?

Post by Will2 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:47 pm

woods01 wrote:They got zapped between connection flights in Canada, U.S.A., Peru and Bolivia. Plus they were x-rayed for several domestic flights within Peru. They turned out great.
There are so many variables in that you can't make a rule. In general, films with speeds less than 400asa or so are probably just fine in MOST carry-on x-ray scanners.

If you check it, there's probably a 75% chance it would be toast. In my case, 100% as the two times I accidentally checked film in my bags it was nuked hard.

Having hauled tons of film through airports I don't generally find an issue with hand inspection anywhere in the world.

I usually try to have Kodak ship directly to the hotel the day I arrive so there's one less thing to think about.

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