Portra 400 NC Expired: Should I ask for overdeveloping?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Iridium, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Iridium

    Iridium Member

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    Hello,

    I bought recently a batch of expired (2002) Kodak Portra 400 NC 120 in order to use them in a HOLGA project. The seller told me that the rolls were refrigerated and when he had tried one of them, a few time ago, looked ok. However, I had read somewhere that it might be better to overdevelop +1/3 for better results.

    Thus, should I ask for C41 overdeveloping in the lab or doesn't matter? In fact, I want normal colour quality.

    Regards,

    F
     
  2. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I would forget about that and throw it out right now. Voice of experience. It's just plain no good.
     
  3. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Member

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    Better advice is to try one roll in normal process and see if the results are OK. Since you're using a Holga the exposure won't be spot-on anyway and you're probably more accepting of minor flaws than a professional and exacting photographer.
     
  4. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Total nonsense.

    Expose the film at 200-250 to be on the safe side of any residual fogging and process as normal. Heck make sure you shoot and upload your finished product just so Tom can be further educated on why there's nothing wrong with expired film.
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I've shot some Fuji 400 and 800 that was from the 1990s and while it was more grainy than an in-date product, and the colors were not as saturated, it was still useable. But I definitely would give it at least an extra stop of exposure given the age of the film. Since you're Holga-ing it, that will be very easy. I'd play around with the film and just have low expectations and you won't be disappointed.
     
  6. skysh4rk

    skysh4rk Member

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    For me, I would typically overexpose expired film by at least one stop than normal, not overdevelop.
     
  7. Iridium

    Iridium Member

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    Just to remind to the fellows who recommend overexposure that with Holga this is not possible. I think I will ask from the lab to develop one roll regularly and then I'll see.

    Thanx anyway!
     
  8. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Huh? Holga is pretty much whatever. There is no ISO registration and it's completely freestyle.
     
  9. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    You can absolutely overexpose film in a Holga: just photograph in stronger light. In fact if you expose 400 ISO film during broad daylight in a Holga, you likely overexpose every single shot you take. Say thanks to emulsion engineers creating negative films with such incredible dynamic range that you never noticed ...
     
  10. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Certainly you can overexpose film in any camera. I won't speak for the OP, but I think he meant that you can't set exposure compensation or manually override the ISO, as the Holga has no such controls.
     
  11. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    The newer Holgas have a working aperture selection switch -- cloudy is f16 and sunny is f22 (rounding up to the nearest whole stop). The older ones are fixed at around f16. The shutter is pretty consistent between models -- around 1/100. So "Sunny 16" with 400 speed film suggests that shooting at f22 in bright sunlight will overexpose the film by one stop. f16, by two stops. As such, I think it would be okay to develop normally. If you shot in any other light, you might ask the lab to push it by one stop. But given the parameters here, that might be splitting hairs.
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I thought the Holga apertures were f/11 and f/16.

    To the OP: overexposing C41 Portra is not harmful. Many photographers expose the film one full stop over the ISO speed, just as a general rule of thumb, and overexposure certainly is not where Portra has limitations. You can shoot Portra 400 at 100 or 50 and still have usable negatives. It is incredibly tolerant to overexposure. What it doesn't like is underexposure.
    Put a roll in your Holga, shoot away, process normal, and see what results. If you find that the negatives are very thin, you will want to explore push processing, asking your lab to process the film longer.
     
  13. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I don't think so.............
    http://microsites.lomography.com/holga/specifications
     
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  15. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    The specs are useless. The actual apertures, reported from people who have disassembled the thing and taken measurements, are more like f13.3 (working cloudy setting, and the original fixed setting) and f20 (working sunny setting). As I said, I was rounding up to simplify the math.

    See:
    http://photondetector.com/articles/holga-apertures/
    http://www.squarefrog.co.uk/basics/apertures.html
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/86881528@N00/discuss/72157622305428011/
     
  16. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    If you want normal colour quality then why buy expired film?
    There's nothing wrong in using some expired colour film for "special effects". But, for normal colour work it is always best to use fresh film!
    The remaining film industry will appreciate you to use their fresh film.
    Remember this: buy fresh, shoot the lot and develop ASAP keeps the film industry producing all those nice hight quality films. Buy expired film and in 20 years there might not be any film left for your children to use!
     
  17. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    +1 Well said Sir!
     
  18. clayne

    clayne Member

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    I think you need to separate your motives. What Tom is saying is simply not true. Just because it falls in line with your motive to buy new film for sustainability reasons doesn't mean expired film is unusable.
     
  19. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I've used Portra 160 3 years out of date. Wanna see a picture that no amount of Photoshopping could help? I had 5 rolls of it that came from a known source--new, bought by ME. After it ruining 3 rolls of my work, I threw the rest out. I say again: get rid of it.
     

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  20. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Wanna see four years out of date Portra 160 that looks as good as brand new?

    [​IMG]
     
  21. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    You're overlooking motives. Some people enjoy the unpredictability of expired film. Others are looking at your "failure" and their mouths are watering. For those who shoot casually and like surprises, expired film is hard to beat.
     
  22. Aristotle80

    Aristotle80 Member

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    I recently bought a big package of 2004 expired Portra VC400. It was perfect when developed normally and exposed at EI200. Overexpose one stop and you should be fine if they were honest about the cold storage.
     
  23. martinjames

    martinjames Member

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    Hmm... all this has me eyeing a roll of Kodak Vericolor III, expired 11/90, that came with a Rollei I purchased a couple of years ago. Obviously, way outside the range of expiration being discussed previously in this thread... but it might be interesting to see what comes of it. Just for fun, ya know!
     
  24. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Expose the vericolor +1 or +2, develop as normal, and upload the results. I bet you'll be surprised to find out it isn't trash.
     
  25. Ten301

    Ten301 Member

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    I think it also has a lot to do with how the expired film has been stored. Obviously, if it has been in the freezer, the results will be much better, at least for slower films. I've used film in the 100-200 ISO range which I had stored in the freezer since fresh, and it's been as good as new years after expiration. With faster film, not so much, as you're dealing with the effects gamma radiation, and no amount of freezing can prevent that. That being said, I have come across some exceptions. I'm not trying to start a brand war here, but I've had 35 mm rolls of the old Agfa Optima 125, as well as Konica Centuria Super 200, that have been virtually useless only a few years after expiration, even though they had been stored frozen since fresh. The odd thing about that was, in the case of the latter, Konica promoted their Centuria Super films as being more resistant to fogging from natural background radiation. The one thing I've found through personal experience is that Fuji C41 films do seem to be more resistant than others, including Kodak. I've used Superia 800 a few years out-of-date with little noticeable difference, yet have used Kodak 400 stored frozen for roughly the same amount of time that had noticeably degraded.
     
  26. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I've found the opposite - the Kodak films seemed to do best vis-a-vis aging, but it's all relative to film speed. The stuff that's held up best has been the 100-ish speed films regardless of brand. The fast stuff, not so much.