Expired film...what should I expect?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by LowriderS10, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    So I'm just getting back into film...and the last time I shot film was before digital (late 90s), so this whole concept of expired film is a bit new to me...

    However, I see great prices on high-quality film both on here and other places on the net...so I'm wondering what should I expect when shooting expired film?

    A friend of mine said that the lower the ISO the less effect it has on it. Here are my questions:

    Is that true?

    Will I notice anything unusual on something that's expired 1 or 2 or 3 years ago?

    What can I expect when using something that's been expired for 5-10 years?

    How much of a difference will freezer stored mean? (99.9999% of the expired film I see is non-freezer stored, so it doesn't matter, but you never know)

    Thanks,
    Tamas
     
  2. yellowcatt

    yellowcatt Member

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    The faster films will show age problems more quickly.
    Films that have been stored in a freezer should be good, I have used freezer stored colour neg films that were four years out of date, they showed no problems. I suspect that they would be of better quality than newer films that had been sitting in a warm shop display.
    Poorly stored or out of date C41 films tend to show a pink cast on the prints.
    E6 is much less tolerant of heat/ageing and will show a marked lack of shadow density, I have got interesting and usable results from cross processing out of date E6.
     
  3. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    Using out of date film is always a risk especially if you come across a killer shot and a film cast lets your once in a lifetime photo down. I would advise shooting some test rolls first .
     
  4. NSantos

    NSantos Member

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    Kodak Gold 100 expired in 01/2007

    [​IMG]
     
  5. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Hmm...that looks perfect :smile: or am I missing something? haha...
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Most BW medium to slower speed films are still good after decades past the expiry date. Transparency films stored properly will shift to magenta. But shoot them anyway!
     
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks! Well I just bought a shoe box full of film yesterday and the guy says all the film was bought within the last 2 years (I don't think he was lying, seemed like a pretty straight up guy), so I think I'm good for a while :smile: Plus, I tend to stick to 100/200 ASA :smile:
     
  8. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    These days I'm shooting Tech Pan 25 wich expired more than 10 years ago. It's been stored in freezer all the time. Developed a couple of test rolls first and they look absolutely fantastic.

    Color film however I will not use if expired, unless I want the "look" it may give.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I have had excellent results with expired film of all kinds. Black and white is the most forgiving, followed by color negative. Transparency films get slight casts that are correctable if reproducing the transparencies as opposed to projecting them. My guess is that negative films also take on color casts, but we don't see them because color balancing is a routine part of making the negative into a positive.

    At any rate, old film should work fine if it has been stored in a fridge or freezer, and will often be fine even if it has not been. Ask this question about storage specifically before buying, and do not buy unless the seller has promised you your money back for the unused portion, should the results not be pleasing.

    Yes, the lower the speed, the slower fogging occurs. Delta 3200 (a 1000 ISO film) does not last long at all, IMO. Certainly past expiration, but not as long as slower films.
     
  10. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks for all the info! :smile:
     
  11. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I have had good results with expired film, I was given 10 rolls of Fuji 400 which expired in 2003:
    [​IMG]

    Not too bad,
     
  12. film_man

    film_man Member

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    I've shot some HP5 and FP4 that was 6 years past expiry, stored lying around. The end result was very grainy, low contrast photos. Didn't like it at all, although I could see that it might be useful for certain types of shots.

    I have also shot 1-2 year expired E100G stored in a freezer that was as good as new. And have had a bunch of colour film (Superia/Gold/Portra), various speeds that were 3-6 years past expiry, not stored in a freezer. The grain and colour cast was more noticeable the older the film was. I'd say that they were unusable for anything but snapshots and even then it was bad, unless of course you wanted that look. Of course you won't know the look until you develop it! But that's the fun of it. :D Note that I have no idea how this film was stored, could be left on top of a radiator for all I know!
     
  13. Grytpype

    Grytpype Member

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    I'm currently using some Ilford Pan F (35mm B & W 50 ASA) I bought at a car-boot-sale last year as a 30 metre roll, along with a bulk film loader. The can is marked Feb '88, which I assume to be a use-before date, though it could be a manufacturing date. I've no idea how it had been stored.

    Rightly or wrongly, I'm giving it about 30% extra time in the developer, but results have been excellent - much finer grain, in fact, than the in-date FP4+ I'd been using before I started on the Pan F.
     
  14. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I am surprised by your results with the 1-2 year old freezer-stored E100G, but not with the results you got from the b/w that was "lying around."
     
  15. Nightfly

    Nightfly Member

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    I have a batch of E100S that expired in 2003, but has been kept frozen since new. It shows no color shift or loss of reciprocity.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Great pic, thanks :smile:

    I only have a few rolls of expired, I think I'll toss them in my toy cameras and the rangefinders and see what happens :smile:
     
  17. Sonicmook56

    Sonicmook56 Member

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    Ektachrome 100 (expired in 1991)
    Holga 120 WPC
    10 second exposure

    [​IMG]
     
  18. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    oooh...very cool :smile: