Freezing Fuji FP-100C Instant Film

By now we have all heard that Fuji is discontinuing this amazing film, FP-100C- right?

 

 

 

 

 

Shit! Shit! Shit!

If you’re like me, and a fan of this material, right now you’re asking, what am I going to do? Well, you could just buy a lot of this film and stick in the refrigerator unopened and get a solid 8-10 years… But here’s a question: can you freeze it?

In fact, contrary to popular belief you can freeze Fuji FP-100C. But how can this be, you ask, without the PODS bursting? Yes, Polaroid PODS burst when frozen, BUT Fuji PODS are constructed of a different material and as such they don’t suffer the same horrible fate.

Here is the test I ran trying it out. I call it The Han Solo Test:

  • On January 13, 2016 I froze two boxes of FP-100C…
  • First I let both boxes get cold in my refrigerator for 48 hours to stabilize and in a vertical orientation so the box is upright… this is very important due to the location of the POD.
  • Then I placed both boxes in my freezer, still in a vertical orientation.
  • On February 27th I took a box down from the freezer and placed it back in my refrigerator again (Yes! Still in a vertical orientation...) and there it rested until this morning March 1st. I allowed it to warm to room temperature for 2 hours prior to running a series of tests shots to test color, exposure and, well, to be perfectly honest to see if it still worked at all! And guess what… all 10 shots were perfect! Not a single issue with burst PODS or uneven development or chemical separation… all perfect!
  • See all the test images below for proof… please note these were just quick iPhone snaps of the pics as they dried on my dining room table.

 

Now, can I guarantee this process will work 100%? Nope… but it did work for me. AND I have another box in the freezer that I will leave for 1 year as a long-term storage test, so look out for that follow up article in January 2017!

In conclusion my thoughts are…. buy a lot of this material and put in your refrigerator using a vertical orientation. Shoot as you normally do- it’s great film and I, for one, am going to enjoy shooting it. Once a box of film gets several years past its expiration date, (and if they have been stored in a vertical orientation in the refrigerator during this time) move them to the freezer using the steps I outlined above. This should give you even more leeway on the life of this film.

Did I mention the vertical orientation? Just checking.

I also plan on running the same test with the same freeze-to-warm process outlined above with some Fuji Instax Wide material this month, so stay tuned…

Viva la Revolution- Steve

UPDATE: please take note that I am not telling you to freeze this film now as there is no reason to do so as the current stock is quite fresh and will live for many years in a refrigerator.  I will do an update in one year so we can have more information on long term storage.

 

 

10 Responses

  1. First off, for those telling you to NOT freeze FP-100C I say ignore them. Years ago I heard the same thing. Froze over 30 packs (accidentally) in the horizontal position and they sat like that for almost two years I suspect. After moving to the fridge then to room temperature I used some and there wasn’t a single issue. Others have also attempted this (on purpose) with the same results. Just do it and stop listening to the naysayers. IP film is a different story. And yes, I did say horizontal lol.

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