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Thread: Will low temperatures affect film?

  1. #1
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    Default Will low temperatures affect film?

    I was thinking, since the film photographs taken by having the light landing on the film and a chemical reaction is involved, will low temperatures like (0 degree celcius) affect the exposure? I do know that low temperature slows down chemical reactions.

    I tried searching for information online, but they are like bits and pieces... I saw that most of them mentioned the problems with the shutter, and metering systems.

    Anyone with experience?
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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    Low temperatures shouldn't affect how the images being record on film, if it does, we won't be seeing photos of arctic at all.

    The only chemical reaction is only take place when the film is processing, that subject to strict temperatures control.

    you can Google Kodak and Fuji Film "film data sheet", you will able to find all the records of all you need to know about this particularly film, but none of them ever mention about working temperatures of the film. so as long your camera still able to work in the extreme environment, you should able to shoot with the film.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    How low is the temperature are we talking about? Humidity level?

    Be very careful if the humidity level is below 45% often encountered on cold climate.
    The film may become brittle and snaps in your camera and is advisable not to use rapid/continuous motor driven film advance.

    Besides the above, static marks may also appear on the processed images which show up as branch-like markings.

    Therefore, it best to keep it warm in your coat/jacket. Take it out only when your're ready to shoot.

    Another way to safely continue snapping is to mount/tape a battery operated electric hand warmer on the back of the camera.
    It also prevents any exposed skin of your face from sticking to any cold metal parts of the camera.
    That's what i did when i was up in Breacon Beacon, Scotland.
    Last edited by anuar ahmad; 24th November 2009 at 09:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    Low temperatures shouldn't affect how the images being record on film, if it does, we won't be seeing photos of arctic at all.

    The only chemical reaction is only take place when the film is processing, that subject to strict temperatures control.

    you can Google Kodak and Fuji Film "film data sheet", you will able to find all the records of all you need to know about this particularly film, but none of them ever mention about working temperatures of the film. so as long your camera still able to work in the extreme environment, you should able to shoot with the film.
    eh... actually that capturing part is also chemistry...

    i guess u are right in a sense. becoz if my camera circuits/mechanisms already failed (shutter, battery, whatever), there is no need to even consider capturing the shot, no need to even talk about temperature affecting the film.

    Quote Originally Posted by anuar ahmad View Post
    How low is the temperature are we talking about? Humidity level?

    Be very careful if the humidity level is below 45% often encountered on cold climate.
    The film may be brittle and snaps in your camera and is advisable not to use rapid/continuous motor driven film advance.

    Besides the above, static marks may also appear on the processed images which show up as branch-like markings.

    Therefore, it best to keep it warm in your coat/jacket. Take it out only when your're ready to shoot.

    Another way to safely continue snapping away is to mount an electric hand warmer on the back of the camera.
    It also prevents your face from sticking to any cold metal parts of the camera.
    That's what i did when i was up in Breacon Beacon, Scotland.
    thanks for sharing ur experience.

    i found a nice read: Photography Under Arctic Conditions
    http://www.kodak.com/global/en/profe...Pubs/c9/c9.pdf
    cameras are not made of tofu

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    shutter might get sticky at artic conditions but generally normal winter in china & japan are fine. hehe maybe time to invest in a OM-1.

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    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    I am not 100% sure about this, but here is my attempt to explain the reaction. During exposure, the reaction is between photons and electrons. I believe the photons displace the electrons to change the oxidation state of the molecule involved (which is silver (Ag) in the case of black and white film). The particles involved are moving at the speed of light, and their movement is not impeded by temperature (i.e. does light travel slower in winter?). On the other hand, development involves a reaction between molecules. These move much slower than photons (that move at the speed of light) and their movement is directly affected by temperature. In fact, temperature is a way to measure the average movement of molecules and at sub-zero, molecules stop moving altogether. That is why people freeze film for storage and development time takes longer in cooler temperatures. Therefore, temperature has an impact on development and not exposure.

    Disclaimer: Take this with a pinch of salt since I only did chemistry up to A-levels. If you are interested in this, it might help post this in a flickr group. There are lots of scientist and phd types hanging out there.

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    Deregistered shaoken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    For films, it's good to keep it in low temperature.
    It can keep film longer..

    Read THIS.

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    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    Yea... Every now and then I hear of someone using frozen film that is 10-20 years expired and the results still look pretty amazing.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    Technically temperature HAVE an effect on all sorts of reactions.

    But I guess in this particular case, the temperature might have to be extreme(say less than 80 degrees and more than 100 degrees) to have any effect.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    I'd imagine absolute zero might cause a problem in traditional cameras

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    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    Quote Originally Posted by photograham View Post
    I'd imagine absolute zero might cause a problem in traditional cameras
    In all digital cameras as well ... and even long before, depending on the materials used.
    EOS

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    Default Re: Will low temperatures affect film?

    Quote Originally Posted by photograham View Post
    I'd imagine absolute zero might cause a problem in traditional cameras
    i can't think of a place where its absolute zero....

    ok la, i guess we have come to a conclusion already. Thanks for your input.

    Thread closed.
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