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How Long Can You Store Film?

Some years ago I bought a brick (20 rolls) of Fuji Velvia slide film. I needed some for a trip that I took right away, but there was no way I was going to use all of it at once. I stored the remaining rolls in the freezer.

Life intervened, and it was several years before I was able to schedule another trip dedicated to photography. I was a little concerned that the film had been stored for so long that it would have become stale, but I didn’t have time to shoot a roll and get it developed before leaving for the trip, so I pulled the film out of the freezer and decided to use it anyway.

I just got my pictures back yesterday, and it seems that the faith was justified. On initial inspection I don’t see any sort of color shift or other sign that the film was in less than optimal condition. This weekend I plan to go through and scan some of the more promising images to I can see how they look. But all of the initial indications are good.

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