Dating Verichrome Pan

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by ntenny, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    So as I do annually at this time, I hit the antique shops of Florence, OR to look for cameras, and this time I found something. The actual camera isn't that exciting---an Ansco Viking Readyset---but inside was a very clean-looking exposed roll of the omnipresent Verichrome Pan, and I'm wondering if I can tell anything about it's age from the backing paper.

    Red background, "Kodak" in yellow, black stripes with "VERICHROME PAN 120 FILM" in yellow letters. The sticky strip just says "KODAK FILM" and "EXPOSED" (and in smaller letters "Printed in U.S.A."), with no mention of the "new developing times" that apparently some rolls from the 1960s referred to. I'm guessing it's pretty recent; on the other hand, it's on a metal spool...

    Any way to narrow down the age of the roll from this information?

    -NT
     
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    The metal spool - was that the supply or take up spool? I would guess, based on the photo ephemera I have encountered over time, that you may be looking at early to mid 70's. I doubt many of these old cameras were actively used later than that, other than by old camera kooks like we Apug folks are.

    Try to date it by developing it. Don't be shy about overdeveloping it. I find old film needs longer than recommented times. Check out westfordcomp for his take on processing found film.
     
  3. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Actually both spools are metal, which I guess means this roll dates back to whenever they stopped selling it on metal spools! I don't know why I didn't think of that.

    For its apparent age, the roll really looks ridiculously good. I have high hopes for developing it when I get home.

    -NT
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2011
  4. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    I've used a lot of old Verichrome Pan film. Kodak changed from orthochromatic Verichrome to Verichrome Pan in 1957. I have developed it in HC-110 dilution B, can't remember offhand the development time. The EI should be about 125, I'll have to look back and check on the older stuff. I have developed film from the late 1950's with only a small amount of fog, it is really good stuff. I miss that emulsion, I have only two rolls left.
     
  5. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I discovered similar film in an old Kodak folding camera I picked up last year (I think it was an autographic). I wasn't developing film yet, so I sent it to a friend. The negatives only have the words "Kodak Safety Film" printed on them, with the word "film" in an elongated triangle. I wish I had asked him to save the paper backing.

    Anyway, the negs turned out pretty darn good. Found film is a treat in itself. The negatives appear to document a man and his son putting up a retaining wall. Looks like late 50's, maybe California (?). Here are two of the better ones:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    And here's a proper link to the photos, which includes development information:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/thart2009/5001324105/in/photostream/

    So, ntenny, I'm really curious to hear what you turn up!
     
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Well, I got the film home and developed, but the results weren't nearly as impressive as the ones above. I'm guessing that film had been sitting undisturbed in the camera for a good long time with the emulsion degrading, even though the backing paper looked great. The film has the same edge markings bvy described---"Kodak Safety Film", with "Film" in an elongated triangle. The backing felt thin, like old film-pack sheets. I put it through HC-110 dilution E for 8 minutes at probably 70-72 F or so.

    Fog levels are low, but the images are quite thin with nothing approaching a good solid black anywhere on the negatives (even the edge markings); maybe I should have let them cook longer. It looks like the first three frames were shot normally, the next three were probably wound past and never exposed, and the last two were exposed idly by someone messing around with the camera (they show indistinguishable blurs). Interestingly, the last frame is *almost* discernible, with a lot of manipulation---it's really blurred, but I think I see the front of a house and a person standing in the door or window.

    The best two frames are attached. They show the exterior of a house that could easily be on the Oregon coast where I found the camera---the vegetation seems consistent with that. No real clues as to who, where, or why.

    -NT
     

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