30yo film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Thomas Bertilsson, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Hi all,

    I laid my hands on some pretty old sheet film. A couple of boxes of Plus-X, expired 1973, and Tri-X expired 1982.
    What usually happens with film speed, base fog and those things as film gets older? I have exposed a few sheets, and intend on developing them some time soon, and I develop by inspection, so my question might be a little redundant, but I'm really curious about what to expect. I got this film for experimentation.
    Normally I use nothing but FP4+ and J&C400, and they give great results, but I'm looking for something different, something that'll keep my on my toes a bit.

    Thankful for enlightenment.

    - Thom
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have used B&W film successfully that has been out of date for 15years.

    MY exp is that speed can be decreased as much as two stops, base fog will be rather high and contrast will be lowered.

    OTHO I have shot some that is almost perfect. I suspect a lot has to do with film speed and storage. Faster films will age more quickly (regardless of storage) and frozen slower film will last a good long time.
     
  3. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Afternoon, Thom,

    Normally, base + fog level will be higher than normal with old film, but a lot depends on the conditions under which the film has been stored. I have some 25-year-old Plus-x which, while still usable for some purposes, has an obviously high base + fog level. An anti-fog additive (benzetriozole??) to your developer may help. Even if not acceptable for most uses the film will still be handy for checking flash sync, film holder integrity, bellows integrity etc. I never throw away old film because I know I'll probably find some use for it.

    Konical
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I recently tried exposing some xxx years old plates that came with the plate holders with a camera I bought. I assumed that all the speed was gone, and exposed at ISO 6. The plate was exposed, developed, and showed a hint of image. I'll try anotherone tomorrow, with a plate developer recipe from 1940 to see if that helps.
     
  5. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I've managed to get images from a box of Ansco ISOPAN in 3.25x4.25 that expired in November 1955. Not great, and yes, it had a pretty high fog level, but it worked.
     
  6. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Thank you everybody for your input. It is as I thought. Less contrast and more base+fog. I suppose I should rate the film slightly faster and develop for more contrast. Base+fog I'm not so worried about.

    If I can I'll post some results soon.

    Thanks again,

    - Thomas
     
  7. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I have some HIE from 1977 that I'm going to try and shoot some of this year. I'll give it a try in a month or so. Tomorrow I'm shooting 8x10 Tri-X.
     
  8. Dean Williams

    Dean Williams Member

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  9. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    Hi All,
    A favourite shot of mine from the last year is one I took on FP4 dated 1990 that I found in a rubbish skip at the back of a pub last summer. It was a full, unopened 100 foot roll and I just had to "liberate" it and try it. Fog is up slightly but speed seems fine.
    At the same time I also swiped a 100 ft can of HP5, which being faster has a lot more fog, not really usable in the conventional sense but fine for checking fixer, film transport mechanisms and tying on to sticks in the garden to frighten birds off newly-seeded bits of lawn!

    Best wishes,
    Steve
     
  10. 127

    127 Member

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    Last week I picked up a No3a Brownie, which had an exposed roll of 122 in it! 5 1/4" x 3 1/4" roll film - The original postcard format. Fantastic stuff - large format roll film. That film was discontinued around 1970. However this film was on a WOODEN film spool, so it's probably older still.

    I dev'ed it, and while the contrast is way down, and there's a lot of fog, the images were still worth seeing. I suspect they were from the 1950's - they're of a family posing outside their house, actually little more than test shots. If the camera had belonged to someone I knew, I suspect I could have put the effort in, and got them a decent print.

    Ian
     
  11. ecarme

    ecarme Member

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    This is a great site. I'm glad to see such good results from old film. I recently aquired 25 sheets of 4x5 Tech Pan which is about 25 years old. Now I think I'll play around with it.
    The questions is what developer to use. I picked up about 12 packs of the powder Technol developer for 25 cents a box at a close out sale. I heard somewhere to use the powder only for 35mm Tech pan and not for Roll film. Also I do have a few packs of the liquid version and I assume thats the one to use for the 4x5. Has anyone tried to use the power with roll or sheet film. Does anyone know why they don't recommend the powder for 120 or sheet?
    Lastly I know that if you're not careful with this stuff your film will be extremely cointrasty. Any suggestions for getting the gray value up?

    Thanks
     
  12. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, ecarme,

    Perhaps your first consideration should be the subject matter you use the film on. If you're planning general pictorial use, you will have to keep Tech Pan's contrasty character in mind. Does ancient Tech Pan suffer the contrast loss of other films? Don't know, but suspect that, as a very slow film, it might not lose as much contrast as standard films. I'd run a couple of sheets as test shots, perhaps using multiple exposures on a single sheet by removing the dark slide in three or four steps. Try the cheap Technidol and see what happens, then proceed accordingly.

    Konical
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Tech Pan in Rodinal

    Welcome to the site, ecarme!

    Here is an image my father made when he was in the Alsace region last year. Shot with TechPan developed in Rodinal. I don't know which time he used. I do know that he had that roll of Tech Pan lying around for a long time, though, so I don't think the age of your film will be a problem, especially since it's a slow film.

    Hope this helps,

    - Thom

    PS. I've tried getting my pops to join the site, but he claims he's too busy. Priorities, priorities... He granted permission to use the image, though.