how to develop a BW film expired in 1944?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by marjolijn, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. marjolijn

    marjolijn Member

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    Hi

    Yesterday I bought an orthochromatic anti-halo Scaldis Rollfilm 26o from Gevaert. It was expired in apr 1944.

    Funny when I opened the box to see the film is wrapped in a red paper and also has a wooden spool.

    Does anyone have a clue how to develop and expose this film? I usually work with HC110.

    Marjolijn
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Give a stop extra exposure so expose and develop as if it was FP4 but with 20% extra dev time, it may be useless but that'll be be in the right ballpark.

    Ian
     
  3. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Personally I'd think it's shot. I've got some HP3 from 1963 that I need to shoot at ASA20 to get anything useful. It might be better left unused on a display shelf as a novelty item.
     
  4. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Go for it then !!

    :smile:
     
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  5. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I think the motivation to do something with the film is rather like the answer a mountaineer gave to why climb Everest. He said "because its there"

    As a race we are intrinsically curious as to what is possible. I'd give it a go and use Ian Grant's advice as he is pretty switched on in such matters.

    pentaxuser
     
  6. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    Only one stop extra exposure? That surprises me. I'd think you'd need quite a bit more exposure to overcome base fog for a film that is 70 years old. But I have no experience with such old film, so I don't know.
     
  7. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    You can't sell Mount Everest. I think you could try to sell this roll for an interesting price. Imagine a collectioner needing an old virgin roll to complete a vintage "kit" (camera + film, maybe in a nice wooden box with red felt, that kind of stuff).

    In any case I think that keeping it in its virgin form would be much more interesting that trying to take pictures on it which probably would not come out well anyway. IMO it's like trying to cook with a 60 years old bottle of wine, to see what comes out.
     
  8. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    LOL....you are so right though.....human X -> curious X :smile: We're hard wired that way!

    It is a bit of a dilemma though....it maybe worth $$ in it's pure state to a collector but one does want to see what can be teased out of it.

     
  9. ctsundevil

    ctsundevil Member

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    I actually shot and developed some Gevaert Superchrome 616 film last year that expired in 1948. I had nine rolls and was able to experiment a little. An EI of 6 gave decent results. The processing was the difficult part. I used HC110 dilution B at a low temperature. I tried to hold it at 45 F, but it stayed between 45 and 50. The processing time worked out to about 47 minutes. I used a stainless steel tank and put it in a pyrex container with ice and water in it. I agitated it 6 times every minute. When the ice melted, I stuck the whole thing in the freezer between agitating. The cold temperature was to minimize the base fog (It really does work). The negatives were still pretty dark, but I could print them without much trouble.

    I tried developing a roll at 68 F and it was jet black. Unprintable.

    You will find that the negatives will be a little blotchy as well. I think that must be because the film was only wrapped in paper. It wasn't sealed from air exposure. When Kodak started sealing their film in the foil pouches in the 50's, it made a huge difference.

    You could try using dilution A, that will shorten the processing times. I thought about using D-19 or D-11 to improve contrast, but I think they may not suppress the fog as well as HC110.

    Good luck.
     
  10. marjolijn

    marjolijn Member

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    Thanks guys for your replies. I think I am gonna shoot it, because I am sure I'll never climb the Everest :D

    ctsundevil, funny how you'd get fine results with cold water! But did you also try to develop in dil B and around 20C (68F)?
     
  11. toro_mike

    toro_mike Subscriber

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    Just for a vague reference, I shot some 53 year old (expiration Mar 1956) Ansco Plenachrome Fast Orthochromatic 116 sized film. Developed in HC110 dilution B for 6.5 minutes. Taken with a 1930's Kodak Hawkeye 2B Cassette camera. Old film is a lot of fun! This particular film was very flimsy and curled a lot!

    Here's what I got:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. ctsundevil

    ctsundevil Member

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    I did try developing a roll at 68F, it was the first one I tried and it came out jet black. That's why I tried using the low temp developer. It was a hassle, but the results were better.
     
  13. marjolijn

    marjolijn Member

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    oeh! I like those effects!

    Thanks, I will let you know about the results!
     
  14. John Weinland

    John Weinland Member

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    Your Gevaert roll probably has more aesthetic and monetary value as an antique. I've experimented with Kodak Portrait Panchromatic sheet film from 1959 with an ASA 200 rating, and had to derate it to ASA 5 to obtain a useable image. Any imaginary aesthetic added-value from the base fog was more than offset by the film's sheet-to-sheet unpredictablilty, and surface ripple and 'artifacts' that had formed on the film over the years. If you want special aesthetics, maybe you are better off using Photoshop.

    If your roll had images on it, I would definitely take a chance on developing the images.