Ethics and Definition of "Short Dated" Film

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Noble, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Noble

    Noble Member

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    I usually buy film from the usual outlets (Adorama, Freestyle, Maco, B&H) but I was in a crunch and sourced film from a different retailer and when it arrived today the box had an expiration date of 11/2013. It was a box of TMAX 100. This film was sold as new. There was no indication that it was short dated. Does an expiration date 5 months out qualify as short dated? Should this be indicated in the advertisement? I freeze everything and I will probably use all that film by then but I have my reservations about giving those people any more of my business. Am I being uptight?
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Take this from an expert at being uptight - yes. :laugh:

    The film you bought sounds to me to be both new and in date at time of sale. I would call "June 15, 2013" to be short-dated. Fear not, that film will be just as good three years from now.
     
  3. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    In most reputable retailers in the U.K. I think this would be labelled "short-dated" but only just as it still has 5 months to run. It would probably be reduced in price but not by much with 5 months to run. Maybe the retailer in question operates to a shorter timescale, like 3 months, before applying the label.

    In reality and given you freeze everything, then what you have bought is as good as say TMax which still had a year to run when you couldn't expect it to be labelled "short-dated"

    Always nice to get a price reduction but I don't think you will suffer.

    Key to this is whether no short-dated label indicates a retailer who is less concerned for the customer in other ways that might make you think twice about using that source again.

    I'd contact the retailer and point out that you were surprised that with only 5 months before expiry it wasn't labelled short-dated.

    The reaction you get will tell you all you need to know about whether the retailer is worth using again

    pentaxuser
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I would contact the retailer, express my concern, ask about how they store their inventory, and ask them to confirm they obtained the film from a regular Kodak distributor.
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Yes, you are being too uptight. The film IS new and it is NOT short dated. Go out and take pictures and relax.
     
  6. komla

    komla Member

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    It is Friday, have a couple of beers, relax and enjoy life.

    Tomorrow you can contact Michal Moore, he can make a doco about this horrible story. Working title: A short dated lie?
    Or just relax and enjoy life.:wink:
     
  7. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    ^^^ :laugh::laugh:
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i know someone who used to inter-store deliver between stores
    and the pro film was never on ice, it was in a box in the back of his 80-90º van
    sometimes while the van was stopped for an hour between deliveries ..
    so even if you think it was stored correctly it wasn't :wink:
     
  9. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    TMX seems to store very well. I'm shooting some TMX sheet film from 2003 and it looks great. I also have some TMX from 2009 that has some base fog, but is otherwise ok. I wouldn't have any concerns at all about short-dated TMX.
     
  10. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Freestyle keeps their non kodak, non fuji sheet films on a shelf at room temp too. 10years ago you'd never get film that exp in 5 months. I've had it happen once and that was Adorama.
     
  11. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I'd say if it bothers you, contact the vendor and return it or at least discuss with someone. While 5 months is still within expiration date, it's kind of short. Regardless, if you aren't pleased with it, that's just it. It'd bother me if I were in your place. I know of two other vendors who sell short dated film but they advertise it as such and discount them.

    Do you plan to consume all of the film in 5 months? I typically don't as I keep enough stock here on hand.
     
  12. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    When I was in the eight grade I was told that color film was best the closer it was to expiration. Was there any truth in this?
     
  13. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    There seems to be some confusion about professional vs amateur color film. Because the response of color film changes with age, at one time amateur and professional film were treated differently. I don't know if this is still necessary with modern films. Amateur film was released for sale shortly after manufacture and so had a long life as indicated by the expiration date. Professional film was retained until a certain point in its life so that professional photographers had some assurance as to the film's color response.
     
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  15. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Does anyone watch the show The Big Bang Theory? Then you know it is wise never to eat in a restaurant again where you have sent food back for any reason. :smile:
     
  16. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Bit of a non-issue. It means the seller has held onto the stock for some time and the expiry date is coming up this year. Freeze it and it will keep well.
    Besides which, B&W film doesn't suffer from expiry as noticeably as e.g. transparency film that hasn't been optimally stored.
     
  17. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    Nothing to worry about....it's not food! And film doesn't self-destruct on the expiry date.

    The only problem would be if the film had been blatently abused or badly stored...e.g. sitting in the sun in a shop window for a month. In that case, it wouldn't matter whether the expiry date was 5 months or 5 years away!
     
  18. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Actually, as I remember it from my color negative days at Kodak, the sensitometric properties of color negative film change the most in the period right after coating. Because amateur film can stay in a camera, at room temperature, for a long time, amateur film was aged before slitting and packaging so that the film changed only slightly after it was sold. Professional film was though to be shot and processed promptly and it was slit and packaged shortly after coating and shipped (and stored) refrigerated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2013
  19. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Personally, I'm more concerned about how it's been stored than what the date says.
    My few local stores around that still sell film all have them in a fridge, some have all their stock in that fridge from the date that it come in, some have a fridge or freezer out the back.
    I was in Singapore last week, where the average temp is 24-31C (75-88F) year-round, and the coldest ever on record is 19.4C. I ran out of 100B+W film and went to find some. A few shops around Peninsula Plaza had some, mostly only Slide films and one had Neopan400. They were all just sitting on a shelf. Eventually I found some Delta100Pro, also sitting on a shelf (they did have a fridge there, but it was dedicated to 100' rolls and 4x5").

    Frankly, I'd rather trust my local shops, where I know it's been sitting in a fridge all its life (besides a bit of transport), I'd have no qualms about buying it near- or even over-date from them.
    Those shops in Singapore, however, the date may be a few months or even a year in the future, but I'd be more concerned about buying from them (especially the Silde films).
     
  20. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I wish that I was good enough that a couple of months on my film made any difference.
     
  21. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa Member

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    I bought this TMax 100 with the 11/2013 date from Adorama back in April and May.

    They were selling it for $2.99 per 36 exposure roll.

    The expiration date was clearly noted in the description.

    After the price returned to $4.50 a roll, I bought more and the
    expiration was 5/2015
     
  22. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Spoken like a true artist.
    Spare a thought for those of us who are still in denial that we don't have any real skill, and need to blame cheap gear and film storage to cover up our mediocre photos...
     
  23. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Me too!
     
  24. andrew.roos

    andrew.roos Member

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    I bought some Ilford Delta 400 from the SA distributor in May. It was dated March 2013. Now that's short dated! I'll shoot it (only 5 rolls) but next time will be sure to ask...

    Andrew
     
  25. madgardener

    madgardener Member

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    The book store at my college is selling bulk rolls of HP5+ that expired in March 2013, I started buying it in Feb, when the price dropped to $25 a roll, bought a roll a week and its all in the freezer. I have several hundred feet and I doubt there will be any change. I also bought 30 rolls of Provia from a local place that was due to expire in 3 days for $1.50 for a 36exp roll, its also in the freezer. Personally I like short dated film. Just keep it in the freezer and it will be fine. Especially for those of us who are still trying to be better at taking pictures...
     
  26. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    :smile: you are always spot on!!

    Mike