leaving exposed film in camera

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by msbarnes, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

    Messages:
    385
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How long can film sit in a camera? I guess this is similar to asking how long should exposed film go undeveloped? More specifically, I'm talking about Tri-X for 35mm and 120 films. Obviously the sooner the better, but I'm wondering if I can safely stretch a roll for a few weeks if I had wanted to. This is assuming that I'm storing my camera in a cool/dark place.
     
  2. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

    Messages:
    879
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The longest i have stored exposed film was around 2 months I think. It was on my canonet 19 that had sticky shutter problem. I placed underneath the table where I keep my camera stuff and remembered it had film when I was about to give it away. It was very hot and humid then, but I noticed nothing wrong when I developed the film.
     
  3. ROL

    ROL Member

    Messages:
    792
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As I understand it, the longer exposed film sits around, the less bonded charged electrons become to the film. In the case of Tri–X specifically, the Tri's become separated from the X's and reattaching them can be time-consuming if not nearly impossible. SuperGlue has been known to work as a substitute for fix in particularly recalcitrant films. :D
     
  4. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,984
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Here is a relevant thread...

    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=91949

    Short answer: 30 seconds.

    Long answer: The thread discusses how much loss of latent image you can expect.
     
  5. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    With 120 you can have film flatness issues also if say you shoot half a roll and come back days/weeks later.
     
  6. JSebrof

    JSebrof Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I remember when I got into photography my Mom handed me a compact p&s 35mm camera with half a roll of kodak color print film yet to be shot still loaded in it. Half the roll had been exposed easily 10 years before. I shot the remainder of the film and processed it, and what I found was that the frames exposed when the film was still fresh looked great, despite being left in the camera for more than a decade. The more recent frames that I took however were underexposed and had a reddish tint (could have been the tungsten lighting, though it was tungsten film). I remember being surprised that the original frames looked so good, I was expecting the whole roll to look like the more recent ones.
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

    Messages:
    4,206
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond/Geelong, AUS
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Leave it in for as long as you feel comfortable with. I regularly leave a roll of Velvia 50 in my camera for anything from 3 to 4 months. Neither myself nor a medley of printers have ever brought up anything relating to spoilage of any film I have used.

    A roll of Provia 100F has been in my Zero Image Pinhole since late June. B&W films IIRC degrade very, very slowly. Film left in a camera and subjected to repeated extremes of temperature (particularly very hot temperatures) will become deranged and show casts. B&W film will lose effective film speed. I don't get in a sweat about it.
     
  8. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

    Messages:
    6,237
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Location:
    Southern USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A problem with leaving film in a camera is that it can take on a particular curl. This can lead to problems when you try to load it onto a reel. TLR's are the worst offenders in this respect since the film path often has a 90 degree turn. For 35mm choose a fim length 12, 20 or 36 exposures that you can completely use in a single session.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2011
  9. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't recommend it, but in 2008 I discovered an almost finished roll of 120 Plus-X in an old TLR. Developed in HC110, I got images from it that indicated it had been exposed in 1981! They were certainly not optimum, and the base density was high, but I was able to scan a couple of them for web use. So I don't think I'd lose sleep over a few weeks -- or even a few months.
     
  10. KanFotog

    KanFotog Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Location:
    Mumbai, Indi
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I recently found a roll of 35mm Kodak 200 film that was sitting in the attic of my home since at least 2003.

    Got curious, got it developed and it came out fine with 36 images.
    Colors are a bit off but considering that the film has experienced 40 degree celsius summers, about 12-15 winters, and all kinds of humidity, that's okay.

    It was shot with a focus free, fixed aperture and fixed shutter camera too so I'm 27 different kinds of impressed with film as a medium.

    On the other end of this spectrum, there are d-shooters who crib about their 3 year old RAWs not opening anymore :smile:

    Cheers,
    Som
     
  11. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

    Messages:
    2,025
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I often leave part-exposed film in a camera from a few weeks up to a month-or-two, if I'm not doing any shooting. No worries at all. The only time I'd deliberately use up a film quickly would be anything specialist, like a very fast film or an IR film.

    Obviously, I keep the camera in normal domestic conditions, not anywhere like a hot car.

    (Not directly relevent, but have just used an old Orwocolor (expiry 1992!) film found in the depths of my freezer....24 (technically) perfect prints, indistinguishable from those from a fresh film exposed at the same time!)
     
  12. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sometimes I leave film for a couple weeks no problem.

    Jeff
     
  13. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,105
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, DE
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I got old agfa isolettle in one store in Munich - and film was inside: I develop it in Rodinal 1+100 for one hour - semistand, and results are there. I guess film was in camera for 30 years or something like that - you can judge by clothes :smile:
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

    Messages:
    442
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Garry Winogrand used tri-x and often waited years before having exposed rolls developed.They were probably stored properly though!
     
  16. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,404
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dunno about that, there are some videos showing some of that stash he left behind, large trash bags of film rolls stuffed in file cabinets and desk drawers, as I recall. Not exactly what most would consider "proper".
    The image starts degrading very quickly, and the process continues until the film is processed. But on a pratical basis, a few months is generally no problem, when you start measuring the timeframe in years the affects start to be obvious. How bad the affects are depend on the film and the conditions.
     
  17. markd

    markd Member

    Messages:
    7
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've waited months to process film and I haven't seen any real issues with it. It's usually better that way because then you forget what you shot and lose the expectation of how you thought your images should look, right? I've been shooting a lot of slide film and the processing doesn't come cheap so I have to squirrel it away until I'm able to pay for it. They say that slide film should be processed IMMEDIATELY but I think that's mostly for people who have to deliver a product or other people just spouting off what they've heard before.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk
     
  18. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,376
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Location:
    florida
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    A number of years ago we took my wife's point and shoot that had (I believe) Kodacolor loaded to one of our son's college graduation. After finishing the roll of snapshots we took it for processing to a one hour shop. When we got the prints, much to my surprise we had his high school and college graduation pictures on the same roll. All were fine.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  19. wblynch

    wblynch Member

    Messages:
    1,646
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Shooter:
    127 Format
    Found a roll from 1958 in a box camera my sister got. We developed it and got pictures.

    Look up Vivian Maier. They are still developing her film from 50 years ago. Beautiful stuff. A real treasure.
     
  20. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,206
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have developed film on a couple occasions that was more than 30 years post-exposure. Not optimal... but the latent images sure stick around.
     
  21. Wade D

    Wade D Member

    Messages:
    901
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jamul, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I found an old roll of Kodachrome 25 in a camera that quit working on a trip to Yosemite in 1980. The camera was in a box in a hot garage for 20+ years before I had it processed. To my surprise the slides came out great. Granted, it is not typical that film that old would be so good with vibrant colors and no side effects. Now if I could only find those slides after 5 moves...
     
  22. Garry71

    Garry71 Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Location:
    Birmingham,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have had a half exposed roll of Ilford XP2 in a camera for 2 years now. I'll find out what it's like in a couple of weeks time!
     
  23. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    No, actually. That's simply how they still dress in Munich. :whistling:



    All joking aside, that's really pretty cool. Wasn't there some guy who has a whole website devoted to developing rolls from old cameras?
     
  24. brian d

    brian d Member

    Messages:
    396
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    here is one such site;
    http://westfordcomp.com/updated/found.htm

    A few years ago I managed to develope a few sheets of 2X3 film from someone's wedding that I estimated to be from late 50's or early 60's
     
  25. Barrie B.

    Barrie B. Subscriber

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne Au
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Exposed Film left in camera.

    .
    As long as you wish - it`s your film, depends on when you want to use the camera again.
     
  26. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

    Messages:
    2,258
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Shooter:
    35mm
    A couple of months I suppose for me. I've left exposed film for much longer before processing - just over one year in fact when I was living abroad and had no darkroom access. I just put all the rolls in a drawer and then had a huge developing and printing session when I got home. I think I must have had 50 rolls by then, I spent weeks in the dark, it was quite good fun as it brought back memories.