Old 35mm films: Are they still usable?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ricardo12458, May 26, 2011.

  1. ricardo12458

    ricardo12458 Member

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    I recently bought 5 rolls of old film:

    • 1 Kodacolor II (exp. 1976)
    • 3 Kodacolor VR-G 100 (1989-1991)
    • 1 Kodacolor Gold 200 (1992)

    Are they still usable now? All are process C-41, so they can be developed anywhere.
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Yes, BUT!
    There may be a little or a lot of color shift. Only one way to know for sure though :smile:
    If they were stored in a hot place, a lot.
     
  3. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Ricardo ,

    I hope they work but I dont advise you to shoot valuable photographs with them. Just load a camera and have fun. If they developable , you will have strange colors and it is sometimes opens your eyes to new possibilities. I think you will have dark pictures also. Spend your day with them and dont expect too much.

    Umut
     
  4. ricardo12458

    ricardo12458 Member

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    No, nothing valuable here, maybe just some family photos. Thanks.
     
  5. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Funny, family photos are the most valuable for many ;-)

    But yes, those films will still be usable if they were stored properly. May have loss of speed and color shifts but should yield images. They're C-41 at least. Make sure you use a stabilizer, not a new 'final rinse'.
     
  6. Michael R 1974

    Michael R 1974 Subscriber

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    Please buy new film if you use film. If we don't buy new film manufacturers won't make film.
     
  7. fstop

    fstop Member

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    If it hasn't been exposed save it to test used cameras, otherwise throw it out.
     
  8. Ron G

    Ron G Member

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    If I wanted to test a camera I certainly would not want old film in it.Ron G
     
  9. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Kind of depends on what you\'re trying to test. If you want to see if you\'ve got the light seals correct why would you care?
     
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  10. fstop

    fstop Member

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    To test the wind/rewind mechanism with the back open you would use fresh film?

    This is the second thing I test after checking shutter speeds with my shutter speed tester. No sense in putting in fresh film to find out theres a problem and have to open the back.


    yeah that too
     
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  11. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    1976? That's the year I first toured the States, during your Bicentenary, armed with a copy of Horace's 'Odes' printed in London in 1775!

    I'd save that film. In 200 years it will be a collectors item, if not already! :wink:
     
  12. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Use them and see what happens!

    Jeff
     
  13. Ron G

    Ron G Member

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    I guess that depends on your definition of "test" then.I use exposed film for testing the wind mechanism if I need it but if I wanted to test the results of my work I don't want to wonder if the problem is the camera or maybe second rate film.
    You can sure make a case for anything for the sake of an arguement.Ron G
     
  14. fstop

    fstop Member

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    Theres no argument, just maybe a misunderstanding.
    When I said test the camera I meant test the camera, if I meant test exposure I would have said test exposure.
     
  15. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Old color film...color shifts due to age
    ...fogging due to accumulation of cosmic rays (Kodak published a tech tip about inability to stop accumulation of cosmic rays by film being in a freezer.
     
  16. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    They are probably usable for something, but not your traditional "good" photo, in the technical sense.
     
  17. ricardo12458

    ricardo12458 Member

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    Ok, I think I'm pushing the envelope on this one: I bought a roll of 400TX (or Tri-X Pan 400) film dating to June 1972. From what I've heard, black and white films last longer than their color counterparts, because they lack color dyes. Just the silver.

    @wiltw: Can you send me a link to the Kodak tech pub discussing the accumulation of radioactivity on films?

    If you really wanted to halt radiation fogging, you may want to put the film in lead-lined boxes/bags.
     
  18. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The "radiation" that results in long term damage to film isn't the sort that lead-lined bags protect against.

    It is cosmic rays that cause the damage, and unless you have your own, very deep salt mine, there really aren't any steps you can take to protect film from them.

    40 year old Tri-X will probably have lost some speed, and have a fair bit of base fog. It is worth experimenting with, but the effects of age are unpredictable.
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    A lot depends on how the film has been stored. I was once given a huge lot of 40-50 year old Tri-X. I tried developing an unexposed roll, and got a 100% black strip of film, edge to edge. Some people get images out of old film. I might hold hope for 40 year old slow films, but not much for Tri-X. It's always worth piggybacking an unexposed strip of the old film on one of your "normal" rolls, though.
     
  20. ricardo12458

    ricardo12458 Member

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    We'll see about the fog. Yes, it all depends on how the film was stored. I, personally *don't* like using slow ASA films. In fact, the slowest speed I will use is ASA 100/DIN 21. But I stop at ASA 800/30 DIN for excessive grain at ASA 1000+.
     
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  21. ricardo12458

    ricardo12458 Member

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    Bump...

    UPDATE 11.9.11: Developed (or tried to) the 1976 film. Fogged beyond repair. My only regret: I should have kept the film (uncut) to practise loading film onto developing reels.

    R
     
  22. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    Sure but, only with old cameras :smile:.