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Thread: Storing Paper Negatives

  1. #1

    Storing Paper Negatives

    I'm curious to hear how those of you who create paper negatives store them. I use Ilford RC paper, 5x7, and have a few hundred now. I can get the PrintFile clear photo pages which hold two to four per sheet. Or I can get an archival box. What are the pros and cons of each? Which works best for you? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Storing Paper Negatives

    I use Printfile 4x5 sheets (holds 4 negatives per page) that are then stored in 3-ring binders, chronologically, with exposure and development information written in Sharpie marker on the sheets.

    For 8x10 negative storage I use Staples brand 8.5"x11" clear sheets, also archived into 3-ring binders.

    As for archivability of paper negatives, proper fixing and rinsing is pretty important. I have RC paper negatives from the mid-1990s, mainly Ilford MG-RC-III that, while still scannable, won't contact print because there's some kind of internal corrosion happening, working its way from the edge to the center, that's only visible when you backlight the paper. It may be related to my poor fixing and/or rinsing habits of the time, but I'm not entirely sure.

    RC paper is, of course, laminated on both sides with a clear layer of polyethylene plastic, onto the front side of which is coated the photographic emulsion. Now, while fiber paper is considered harder to rinse to archival standards, I've often thought that if chemicals seeped into the RC paper from the edge, they'd be a lot harder to rinse out than with FB paper. So I'm still not certain about the long-term viability of my negatives.


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