What's the general opinion on expired film that is received with a collectors item?
This stuff is in original packaging, never been opened, and is well over 40 years old.
Do you keep it in tact as it is? Carefully open it and keep the packaging? Or don't regard film as a collectors item, open it, and use it?
I have some film that old and older. The advise I was given is that it probably isn't useable and to keep in as is in the sealed package, for collecting. Not mush interested in collecting such but won't throw it out.
Depends on the type of film. If it was B&W i'd give it a go, but color, forget about it... However, some people mix up thier own C-22 and get (Good?) results...
I generally use a bit out dated film. If it is old, I keep it in it's original packaging, and display it in my glass display case, along side the cameras of the same era it was made and used.
I used to keep old packaging, and display it after using the package contents. Then I thought this was a bit too close to the line of hoarding.
Now I limit myself to a mostly hidden stash of packaging.
I flatten a 35mm cassette after removing the end caps, and toss the flat result into a small box.
For 120/220 films I save the backing paper at either end and tape it onto the extra carboard backing from 8.5x11 design paper pads that I collect as I use up these pads at work.
Some day in the future I want to show someone the number of different film types and vendors that once existed in the film marketplace.
All the old 120 B&W film I run across cheaply I'll shoot (not expecting much). I'll keep the boxes, wrapping and backing paper, and spools-for what, I don't know.
Ive shot some Ilford HP3 from July 1963 lately. I found a bulk 100' roll of 35mm on eBay. I had to get it as this is the year and month of my birth. I shot it at ASA 12 and it came out pretty well.
I used some Agfa film in a Rapid cassette recently that dated from the 1970s and it turned out quite well - and it must have been developed in C41 chemistry as I took it to our local 1-hour lab for development.
I found some SL-cassetttes (same as agfa rapid cassetes) with Orwo NP20 last year and they were still good. I just wanted to have the cassettes for my Penti, but since the film was still in it, I had to try it out. With a bit of overexposure and overdevelopement (yes, both) it came out great with only light fogging. That stuff wasn't made anymore after '89, so it was a pleasant surprise for me.
And there was also a 120 roll of NP21 in its original paper packaging (without cardboard box) that I got with a box camera at the flea market. Since the camera can't really control exposure, I just stand-developed it in Rodinal 1+100 and it came out ok, though a little thin.
Film and cameras are made for taking photographs, so I do just that, if there is the slightest chance that it might work. Let the collectors scream in agony, I don't care. If someone handed me the original Ur-Leica, I'd test the shutter and take some photos - without white gloves.
Keep it intact as a museum-quality display (until I can stand it no more and have to test it and shoot it).
Depends what it is, really. If it's something requiring a funny developing process, or something that in the best case would offer nothing different from current films I've got, and/or it looks nice as an intact roll, I'd probably keep it as decor. A roll (or box) of an interesting b&w film, especially if it isn't cool-looking---sure, I'd give it a try. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, once I discovered that the first few sheets of the box were already exposed but undeveloped and I ended up with someone's photos of the Pacific Northwest taken with a Speed Graphic in about 1950! (Fortunately the sensitivity was shot, so my exposures didn't show up on top of theirs.)
I keep the metal spools too. I don't know why, but it feels wrong to throw them away.