FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Customer Service

You may request a catalog by filling out the Catalog Request form or via phone at 800-508-8539. The “full-line” product catalog* is free. In trying to be environmentally friendly we encourage you to check our Virtual Catalog, which is an exact duplicate of our catalog where you can flip pages, zoom in on products, click on products to go straight to its information on the website and even print pages off of it. *Catalog prices are subject to change, please consult our website for up-to-date prices.

Check out the “Where to buy” page to find a dealer or distributor in your area.

Print File’s Black Mat products, designed for transparency presentation, LOKSAK waterproof storage and the complete line of Proof Boxes, which is an economical alternative for delivering prints, albums and CDs, are non-archival. We do not recommend these products for long-term storage. All other Print File products are archival quality and safe for long-term storage.

NO, Print File definitely does not sell magnetic photo pages. The pre-applied adhesive that is used on magnetic photo pages is very harmful to photographs. The adhesive will yellow photography and cause substantial premature aging and discoloration to your prints.

We do sell some similar page without the adhesive that are safe for photography, you can find them here.

We strive most diligently to make every single package that leaves our plant the perfect product you deserve. We spare neither effort nor expense in manufacturing Print File archival preservers. Additionally, we have Quality Assurance personnel constantly monitoring the quality of our products at every step of the production process. We do, however, realize we are not perfect and occasionally, defective products slip through the process. We stand behind every product we sell. If you are not 100% satisfied with our products, please contact us within 90 days of purchase to receive an exchange or refund. If a problem occurs with our product, we will replace the product in a prompt manner or refund the full purchase price and we will also pay all costs involved in shipping the replacement to you. You can also fill out a Return Request form.

Materials

We believe the presentation of your valuable photographs requires the clearest and most transparent archival preserver available. Print File’s superior polypropylene offers this clarity whereas polyethylene is more translucent. Because the film is protected from rubbing against the film by the mounts, slides are not subject to the same static problems as negatives. Furthermore, photographs are not customarily reproduced from the print and the consequences of dust on the photographs are less critical to the final outcome of your preserved image.

For almost thirty years, Print File has manufactured negative preservers from polyethylene, an archival material proven safe for maximum long-term storage. We use polyethylene since the alternative polypropylene, creates a greater static charge, which consequently attracts more dirt and dust to the negative. In addition, dust and scratches are more noticeable on enlarged negatives and slides; therefore, it is imperative that the conditions to reduce dust and scratches be controlled as much as possible. We optimize these conditions by manufacturing our negative preservers from polyethylene.

PVC or Polyvinyl chlorides are very harmful to photographic material. Any plastic formulated from PVC should be avoided and will cause rapid image degradation. PVC contains and transfers plasticizers, salts, and hydrochloric acid to print emulsion, which is very harmful to photographic material.

Glassine envelopes are not archival quality and should not be used for long-term storage. You should avoid normal glassine. Biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) can be identified chiefly by its superior clarity and “crinkly” or crisp feel. BOPP is growing in popularity among manufacturers of archival products because of the ability to make a nice presentation sleeve as well as being safe for long-term storage.

An acid-free and lignin-free paper or board is a purified material that will not break down over time and become acidic. A paper or board that is only acid-free and still has lignin content will become acidic. Lignin is an organic substance found in wood pulp. The lignin breaks down into acid and will yellow or discolor the paper or board and whatever else contacts the paper or board.

The Photographic Activity Test (PAT) is a worldwide standard (ISO Standard 14523) for archival quality in photographic enclosures. Developed by Image Permanence Institute in Rochester NY, this test predicts possible interactions between photographic images and the enclosures in which they are stored. The PAT is also used to test the components of enclosures, such as adhesives, inks, paints, labels, and tapes. The test involves incubating materials in temperature- and humidity-controlled chambers to simulate aging and takes from four to six weeks. After incubation and sample evaluation, a final report is provided.For more information visit their website at www.imagepermanenceinstitute.com

When storage materials are “buffered” it means an alkaline substance has been added to counteract the acids that may form in the future and to help absorb acids from artifacts. Alkaline-buffered storage materials usually have a pH of between 7.5 and 9. Most objects can be safely housed in unbuffered neutral pH material (with some exceptions). When in doubt about the type of enclosure or container to use, an unbuffered neutral pH enclosure is recommended. Read more about it and see a list of what items should be stored using buffered or unbuffered materials here- Buffered And Unbuffered Storage Materials.

We suggest using our Permapaque opaque paint markers. Chisel point for wider coverage

Product Information

If you contact print your negatives through our preservers, you can take advantage of our exclusive thin backing for clearer contact prints, if the film is emulsion side down. For archival storage purposes, there is no difference. The emulsion side is down if the print on the film edges reads correctly.

Our solid seals allow you to insert your negatives more easily without the corners becoming hung-up and causing scratches, wrinkles, or bending of your negatives. A stitch seal increases this risk. Also, solid seals are thinner and allow contact printing of 35mm negative on 8″x10″ paper.

The 35-6HB will accommodate six strips of 6 frames of 35mm un-sleeved negatives and is made from archival 4.8 mil polyethylene. The CP 35-6HB also accommodates six strips of 6  frames of 35mm un-sleeved negatives  but has an additional 812” x 11″ pocket attached to the preserver for a contact sheet. The ULT 35-6HB will accommodate six strips of 5 frames of 35mm negatives but the openings are slightly larger in order to accept a strip of sleeved 35mm negatives. The Ultima negative preservers are also 6 mil polypropylene.

The ALB albums are the Print File premium brand photo album. The ALB has a black buckram textured material covering and 1.5″ D-rings. As an added feature a matching slipcase is available for the ALB-G and ALB-S albums. The ARC albums are a more “utilitarian” choice for photo, slide, negative or CD preserver storage. The ARC album features a highly textured polyethylene interior and exterior. The ARC-G has a 1.5″ silver D-ring and the ARC-S  feature a 1″ silver D-ring. Both albums are completely archival and safe for long-term storage.

The advantages of using a slipcase are of great importance to consider. The slipcase will keep the album contents free of dust and light. Dust and light can cause many problems in premature degradation of your photos. The slipcase also protects from physical damage of the photo album and the contents. The slipcase allows for convenient storage on a bookshelf and will be more secure on the shelf. A slipcase is highly recommended for proper archival storage.

Try our Hanging File System designed specifically for hanging photographic records in standard file drawers or file boxes. Simply slide our SLB-1 hanger (sold separately) into the preserver’s I.D. strip and it’s ready for hanging. Pages designated as H, HB, and P can be used in the hanging file system.

You can also use any of our archival boxes for all your storage needs.

All of our photo and album pages are archival quality, NO PVC and safe for long-term storage. Click here for in-depth description.

Shipping Questions

Check out “Shipping Information” page for information on delivery times and shipping options.

Ground Flat Rate or Free shipping offer does not apply to Hawaii/Alaska/Puerto Rico. We offer different options by FedEx or US Mail, once you go through the checkout process on our website you will be able to see the different options, please select any of those shipping services.

Print File now ships directly to many countries throughout the world and has distributors in over 20 countries. Once you go through the checkout process on our website you will be able to see the different options. If your country is not available you can contact us for other options. We encourage our international customers to contact our international distributors for Print File products. The shipping cost from the United States is very expensive and, especially for smaller orders, be cost prohibitive.

Check out where to find our products here

We have a flat-rate for orders within the Continental US and free shipping over $300. Check out the “Free Shipping Offer” page for more information on shipping costs.

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