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  1. #1

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    Determine age of found Tri-X Pan 400

    I found a roll of Tri-x pan film, ASA 400, and I want to shoot it. However I've never exposed this kind of film, and I have no idea how old the roll is.

    See the picture below; can anyone estimate how old it might be by the print/design on the roll? It doesn't have any DX coding on it.

    I've also never shot black and white before...so assuming I can figure out roughly how old it is, how would I go about adjusting for exposure? Pretty much all of my experience is in color negative films.


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  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Welcome to APUG.

    That film has an ASA speed rating printed on it, rather than the current ISO nomenclature.

    That indicates it is at least 25 years old, and more likely older.

    It has likely undergone at least some deterioration over that period of time. This means that it would be hard to predict whether it will perform well, perform adequately or disappoint entirely.

    If you had a bunch of the film, and at least some indication that it had all been stored together, we could give you advice on how to test it for usability and how to modify your technique to take into account its age.

    But without at least a couple of rolls to first "waste" on tests, it would be a bad idea to take any photos on it that might matter.

    A fun experiment might be to shoot a new roll of Tri-X beside this roll, and see how they compare.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

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  3. #3
    clayne's Avatar
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    Looks like early/mid 70s. Then rule of thumb is usually 1 stop per decade, but I'd try shooting it at EI 100. Don't be quick to write it off though.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  4. #4

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    I only have the one roll; I figure, why not give it a shot. Thanks for the insights--I'll try shooting it and I'll get what I get.

  5. #5
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    Bare in mind that the current version of Tri-X has other developing times than the previous version. Don't know about your version, but check first before developing it like "standard" Tri-X.
    "Have fun and catch that light beam!"
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  6. #6

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    Thank you! I'm new to this so I appreciate the heads-up.

  7. #7
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    mikepadua,

    clayne gave a good estimate. I found old Tri-X speed was 64 once. So anywhere around 100 to 64 are good speeds to try.

    This is why: Since the film is so old it will have very likely "fogged" with age. Fog makes the whole film look a little gray (you would get gray results if you developed it as-is).

    So when you use exposure speed 100 to shoot it, instead of the normal speed 400, you overexpose enough to "rise above the fog".

    In the end, your negatives will be denser than usual, and a little grainier. You print for longer exposure times, and effectively do not see the fog at all in the print (except for the grain it added).

  8. #8
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    I shot cassetts that looked like that in 1982.... the cassetts started changing to other graphics about 1984 then on to dx ect in the later 80's.

  9. #9
    vpwphoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    Welcome to APUG.

    That film has an ASA speed rating printed on it, rather than the current ISO nomenclature.

    That indicates it is at least 25 years old, and more likely older..
    It's older than that DX codes came along 25 ish years ago.

  10. #10

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    I notice also it has DIN 27 on it, which gives away it's age.

    Jeff

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