Just got some 1600 speed Ektapress film

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by RGS122, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. RGS122

    RGS122 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I received some 1600 speed Ektapress film that was stored in a freezer. Now I am not sure about the age of the film as I am not sure of the expiration date but what ISO do I shoot the film at? Do I just keep it at 1600 or decrease the speed?
     
  2. mattk

    mattk Subscriber

    Messages:
    265
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota, U
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I picked up a bunch that had been stored in a basement for the last 18 yrs and it turned out very nice. If you look in my gallery (I cant seem to get the link directly to it), you will see a couple of examples of scanned negs from the first roll I used. I was very pleased. Look towards the bottom--a little girl blowing bubbles. That was home processed with a blix kit in a Jobo.

    Matt
     
  3. B&Wpositive

    B&Wpositive Member

    Messages:
    402
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    RGS122 and Matt:

    Some will tell you don't bother shooting it.

    I say shoot it, but not on something critical. Shoot it on something that if you don't get images you won't care too much.

    BUT...shoot it at like EI 125 as the starting point...no joke! You really need to, because high speed color film loses sensitivity very quickly. I once had a Fuji 800 speed roll that was of similar vintage, and I shot it at EI 320. Big mistake; it looked 2 stops underexposed!

    Color will be off, and shadows will lack density. If this had been color slide film, I'd say don't even bother with it.

    Good luck.

    BTW: It can't be 18 years old. That film wasn;t around more than about 10 years ago!
     
  4. mattk

    mattk Subscriber

    Messages:
    265
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota, U
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    All I can tell you is I have several propacks that say expire 08/1990 (I was off a year--that makes it 19yrs old). I can also tell you that in my case I rated the film at box speed and the results of which can be viewed in my gallery as described. Your mileage may vary--this was my experience. The negs were level and auto color adjusted when scanned. Give it a whirl--I for one am going to continue shooting the film I have that can't possibly exist :wink:

     

    Attached Files:

  5. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,859
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Location:
    Brandon, MB
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I used this film for a bit, back when newspapers shot colour neg.

    It was meant to be exposed at 1600, and could be pushed relatively easily (hence the 'press' suffix)

    for today, odds are it's OK but I'd recommend shooting a test roll at various EI's and process normally. I found the grain on this and Fuji's hi speed film quite nice.
     
  6. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Colin has the correct advice. It will not have gained speed so you can forget about shooting it at anything more than box. If it were mine and I had multiple rolls I'd do a clip test if 135. I'd rate the film 200, 400, 800 and maybe 1600 on three or four subjects of distinctly different light settings (broad day light/high noon w/ dark shadows and lots of contrast; overcast with no or open shadows and minimal contrast; and perfectly lit skin). process the exposed bit and spool the rest back into the can. Leave a bit of leader out of the can and a couple frames extra on the cliped portion. Soup it normal and see what you get.

    If the film is good and you like grain than I have gotten beautiful painterly images with similar film overexposing by 3 or 4 stops and pull processing it by 2. The trick is finding a place that can pull process at 2 stops and having desire to experiment .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2010
  7. RGS122

    RGS122 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for the replies, so that means that if I shoot it at say 400, do I still have my lab process it at 1600, or at 400? Also I have 4 rolls of this film to experiment with. I won't worry because I know that Fuji still makes this type of film.
     
  8. hrst

    hrst Member

    Messages:
    1,300
    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Process normally.

    There's probably fog due to age. Overexposure gives higher density for the picture over the fog. That's the idea in overexposing old film. Overdevelopment can also increase fog level which is not wanted. Underdevelopment might be good for fog but it probably decreases picture contrast more, so just process normally, it's the least risky.

    I would start exposing at ISO 800 but you can't know before trying. It may work well at 1600 as well. Bracket multiple exposures at 200, 400, 800, 1600.
     
  9. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It means that you have no idea what the film's speed is until you test it by shooting it at multiple EI's and dev normal. If you discover that the film's speed is 400 due to a loss of a couple stops from age than you would either expose the rest of what you have at 400 developed normal or increase or decrease the EI and adjust development accordingly.

    Does this make sense?
     
  10. RGS122

    RGS122 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Yes I think, that means I shoot it at 400, but have it developed at 1600? I have'nt done anything like this before and so I want to know the right information.
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Kind of...
    It means that you choose a scene and let the in camera meter (set it on auto) determine exposure. Shoot one frame with the ISO setting at 200, and the next frames at 400, 800 and 1600 (1600 is an option) each. Take notes of what you shot at what speeds -- just in case you shoot multiple shots with the same iso or you forget what order you did things.

    I would do this 3 times for a total of 12 frames (or 9 frames if you decide not to shoot at 1600). I would choose broad daylight where there is the greatest difference between highlight and shadow (this way you get an idea of how well it manages the two in one scene); an overcast day where everything including shadows are pretty evenly illuminated (this way you see how it renders things in what should be the meat of the film's rendering ability); and finally I would shoot someone who is evenly lit (this way you can see how it renders flesh -- which might give you an idea of how well or accurately it records colour).

    When you are finished, advance the film 2 frames. You can simply put the lens cap on, set the camera to manual and trip the shutter and advance the film twice.

    You will then develop the film normally.

    There is no setting on development machines for 1600. There are settings for adding or subtracting development times. Adding time is called *pushing* subtracting time is called *pulling*. You generally add development time or push when you have shot film at a speed that is in excess of the film's actual speed e.g. shooting iso 100 speed film at 200 might require extra development time as the film will not have received enough exposure or shooting iso 100 speed film at 50 might require less development time or be pulled as the film received too much exposure.

    Generally speaking all colour film responds best when developed normally. When pushed it can become very contrasty or the shadows have no information and the highlights become to dense to pass light. When pulled, films can be overly saturated (although high speed kodak films don't always go this way), the subject looses contrast and highlights can get muddy. In pull processing more than push processing colours can go off as the film's colour layers will get uneven development. Pull processing can also increase the appearance of grain and this is especially true for high speed films.

    At this point you have no idea what the speed of the film is because film losses speed over time and very fast film tends to build a latent image all by itself over time -- the film exposes itself from ambient radiation and heat over time. What this means is that the film may have become slower, it may be foggy and have lost latitude (it loses the ability to capture a wider spectrum). To get a good image you may find you need to give it extra exposure and shoot scenes that are less contrasty or avoid scenes that require colour accuracy. Or, if you are like me, you may want to shoot to the films weakness as this may create a more interesting picture.

    The loss of film speed over time is why I stated in my earlier comment that shooting at 1600 is an option. It is very likely that the film will not record a good image at 1600 unless it is within a year or two of being fresh and has been well stored.

    But you do not know what its weaknesses are or what speed the film likes to be shot at yet.

    Go to a pro lab, not Walmart, with the camera and ask them to do a clip test on the exposed portion of the film and ask them to save what is in the canister with a bit of a leader. Tell them what you did and that you want to have the exposed strip developed normally. Alternately, you can clip the film yourself, but you will need a light tight area or a film changing bag and a canister to put the film. The lab will probably be better suited to do this than you.

    Ask the lab to do a contact sheet of the clip test. Machine prints will not help you as the machine will try to compensate for the film's failings and it is the failings that you want to see. Ask the lab to tell you which exposures were best. It will be at this point, with the physical evidence of the contact sheet and the advice of the lab that you will know what speed to rate the film for normal development.

    I'm sorry if this was too pedantic, but I don't know how much you already know and I wanted to make sure I was clear. As others read this they will add what I have missed, but what I have described is a very basic and standard way of testing film with your camera of choice -- if you switch cameras you may find that the results of the test will nolonger apply.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2010
  12. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    THis is one of Mattk's shots using the film. If you were a subscriber you could see more of Matt's work...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. mattk

    mattk Subscriber

    Messages:
    265
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota, U
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for posting that JD I wasn't sure how to (did you just insert an html link). I cannot say how much I agree with JD Clallow on the joining of APUG at the subscriber level. I don't even want to put a $ amount on what I have saved in paper, chems, and equipment due to the advice of kind contributors on the forums/galleries of APUG. Worth every penny--not to mention the enjoyment of having a world of enthusiasts at my keyboard. Sign up and never look back! Good luck with the tests--after you get a subscriber account you can post your results!
     
  14. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Before you do anything tell us what camera you will be using. Some cameras will automatically unwind all of the film and respool the film as you shoot it. This kind of camera will not work fro clip tests. Some cameras will read the canister and not allow you to overide the iso setting. These cameras will not work for film speed testing.

    Matt using Firefox I found one of your images, right clicked on the image and chose "View Image." This displayed the image all by its self in the browser window. I copied the url for the image and then pasted the url in the dialog box that poped up when I chose the picture icon in the 'Post Reply' page.

    Does this make sense?
     
  15. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    BY the way if anyone has any of this film they'd like to get rid of or sell please contact me.
     
  16. RGS122

    RGS122 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for the replies to my question. JD you've explained testing the film very well. I have a Canon EOS Rebel XS that can rewind the film before all of the film has been exposed and I can change the ISO of the camera while there is film inside of it. I will gladly pay the 1yr student subscription fee. I really got into film photography after taking a black and white photography class. While it's a community college, they have an extensive photography program with a darkroom, processing rooms, studios, and stuff to mount the pictures. But whats important is that they have very professional people who love photography teach the classes.
     
  17. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good for you RGS and thanx.

    You don't want the film rewound as you'll need to clip off the exposed bit to get processed and if it is wound back into the canister there is no way to determine where the exposed bit ends and the unexposed bit begins.

    The idea of testing the film this way is to save as much as possible for 'real shooting' and with this film it is important because the film is great stuff and it is nolonger made.

    A couple more things use a tripod when testing, don't change the zoom on any given scene. You'll want each picture to be identical to the last with the only difference being the film's rating. When shooting skin make sure that the model's skin occupies about 70% of the frame or something in a little excess of Matt's example. Finally if the lab can do projection contacts those might work better for 135 as the frames are small. Projection contacts are where they put all the film in an enlarger and project them onto the paper. It still allows you to compare each frame put the frame size will be larger and therefore easier to inspect. The cost should be around 5.00 for processing and 10-15 for the contact.
     
  18. RGS122

    RGS122 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    How would I then clip off the exposed shots? Will I have to do that in a darkroom with no safe-light? Unfortunately there is no lab in my area that can probably do that, I would have to ship out the film for that. All of the "pro labs" in my area are using dlabs from either Agfa or Kodak. Also I'm going off topic but the last place that did E6, stopped doing processing for E6 right after the first of the year. The irony is that I was probably the only one getting it done there :sad: I now have to ship it out to get it done, it's too complicated for me to process it myself.
     
  19. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,635
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viej
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    I have an auto-load/rewind P&S that I needed to pull the film from before shooting the whole roll. It was a bit complicated but it worked.

    First I shot one last throwaway shot and took out the battery.

    Then went into a pitch black room with the camera, an old opened canister and reel and a piece of masking tape (oh, and a scissors). In there, I opened the camera, pulled a little bit more film and cut the film about 3/8" from its canister.

    I then taped the tail of the exposed film to the old reel, put that in the old canister and squeezed the cap on as best I could. I put that canister back in the slot and closed the camera.

    After all that I put the battery back in the camera and let it rewind the film. I took out the film and squeezed the caps on a little tighter with a pliers.

    I pulled a bit of film from the original roll, cut the tail to look like a new one and put the rest back in the camera.

    In the end I had only lost about one picture from the first set.

    All this is easier to do than explain.

    -Bill L.
     
  20. RGS122

    RGS122 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't have a point and shoot though, so do I just test with the whole roll?
     
  21. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,005
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Clip the film in a darkroom with the safe light off (make sure it is absolute darkness, by standing in the room for a minute to see if it remains pitch black to your eyes). Be sure to leave a little bit hanging out from the cartridge. Take the clipped film and put it into a black plastic empty 35mm film canister (the thing the film came in), tape it shut, and mail it off to a pro lab with instructions.
     
  22. RGS122

    RGS122 Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for the answer!