Using VERY expired film.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by skyrick, May 22, 2009.

  1. skyrick

    skyrick Member

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    I've noticed that a couple of posters (Banana, for one) have mentioned that they seek out and use expired film. I've come across some Kodak Plus-X and Super-XX Panchromatic sheet film (2x3) that is more than a couple of decades old. Reportedly, it was stored in the freezer all that time. I'm going to use this film to do my first processing in a CombiPlan; for that matter, my first processing of any kind.

    One problem is that neither package has an ISO or ASA listed. Can I assume 25, or maybe 64?

    Does anyone have any tips on exposure, e.g. shooting one stop larger or smaller/faster or slower than indicated on my Sekonic meter? This is all based on the long shot that I'll get a usable image from this film.

    Also, would you recommend I vary the developing time from the mfgrs recommendations? Also also, any ideas what would be a good developer for this film?

    I figure, if nothing else, I'll get some practice loading my Graflex and Riteway film holders and the CombiPlan in the dark.

    Muchas gracias, y'all,

    Rick

    PS: I've also got some 25 yr old Ektachrome IE 2236 and some 20 yr old Kodachrome 120 hibernating in the freezer, but that's another topic for later.

    RN
     
  2. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Are there emulsion numbers on the packages? That might help to determine what the original speeds were. I believe Super XX Pan was originally 100, later 200; I don't know if Plus-X was ever anything other than 125.

    I'd start by giving it one extra stop of exposure, take a test shot, and go from there. You could get some pretty good results, especially if the film really was frozen all that time.

    -NT
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    If it's only a couple of decades old, the Plus-X is 125. The Super-XX pan is 200 according to my 3 decades old Kodak dataguide.
     
  4. skyrick

    skyrick Member

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    The Plus-X has 292 stamped on the carton. The Super-XX has P6142-17.

    Rick
     
  5. skyrick

    skyrick Member

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    Actually it's a little more than 2 decades. Closer to six! Super-XX sheets are dated 1-48. The Plus-X film pack is 12-50.
    Ahem! (eyes downcast, hands behind back, feet scuffing the ground in embarrassment.) But, I did say that if nothing else, at $5 each it'll be cheap practice loading in the dark!

    Rick
     
  6. stealthman_1

    stealthman_1 Member

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    You never know until you try. Frozen, I think you've got a decent chance. I'm playing with a bulk roll of Panatomic-X that expired in 1944. Unfortunately the box had been opened and the bag slightly ripped and the first 5 feet were fully exposed. The film however is in excellent condition, it's not curled laterally, nor brittle. I'm going to start pulling five foot lengths and just developing it without exposing to see if I can work my way to some that isn't exposed. Some other Pan-X from a 70mm roll that expired in 72 is perfect and shoots at rated speed, ISO32. A roll of 70mm Tri-x, also from 72 is fogged about a stop, which isn't bad for 40 year old ISO400 film, another 135 bulk roll with '82 expiration is badly fogged. It's a crap shoot.
     
  7. Mark Antony

    Mark Antony Member

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    I used a roll of Royal X pan from 1976 I have also processed exposed film from the 1940's and got results so anything is possible.
    Here is my blog post on the Royal X
    http://photo-utopia.blogspot.com/2008_02_17_archive.html

    The film will have a high base fog and be hard to print for sure but you won't know till you try but film that old I would over expose by 2 stops and give as little development as possible to keep the base fog down. Use a Developer with low fogging something like HC110 or Rodinal
    give it a go...
     
  8. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    You've got faster emulsions, of course, but I've successfully gotten usable images on plates around 65 years old. Definitely use a low-fog developer and cut development time a little. And do post the results!

    -NT
     
  9. skyrick

    skyrick Member

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    Thanks to everyone for all of the tips! I bought the chemistry this weekend, HC110, and had hoped to do some shooting and dive right into it. But baseball happened (TX Rangers) and got too fixated on watching them sweep the Astros. We've got tickets to see them play the NY Yankees (boo!) today, so it will probably be a couple of weeks now. Going to my niece's wedding in OKC on 6-6, I may try shooting some of that. Will definitely post any results I get.

    Thanks again to all,

    Rick
     
  10. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    Interesting that you raise this question at this time. I've just developed my first-of-seven-rolls of Verichrome Pan in 127 size, dated 1966. I decided to try Edwal 10 (metol/glycin) as a stand developer for 35 minutes, one agitation at the 15 minute mark. To reduce activity somewhat, I started the developer at 64 degrees F. I exposed the ASA 125 film at ASA 80, shot in a Yashica 44. Oh, I also added 2 ml of 1% solution of benzotriazole to reduce the fog. Results: the film has significant base fog, perhaps exaggerated by the stand development, but I can scan through the base fog to get usable photos. VP has an interesting look. I'm going to do my second roll in a proprietary MQ developer, short dev time to see if that reduces fog levels.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  12. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    I have found that Metol is the main culprit in fogging old film. Some of my best results have been with Xtol
    Mark
     
  13. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    try 25ml benzotriazole solution/500ml developer at 1/5 rated speed