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Thread: 30yo film

  1. #1
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    30yo film

    Hi all,

    I laid my hands on some pretty old sheet film. A couple of boxes of Plus-X, expired 1973, and Tri-X expired 1982.
    What usually happens with film speed, base fog and those things as film gets older? I have exposed a few sheets, and intend on developing them some time soon, and I develop by inspection, so my question might be a little redundant, but I'm really curious about what to expect. I got this film for experimentation.
    Normally I use nothing but FP4+ and J&C400, and they give great results, but I'm looking for something different, something that'll keep my on my toes a bit.

    Thankful for enlightenment.

    - Thom
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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    jd callow's Avatar
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    I have used B&W film successfully that has been out of date for 15years.

    MY exp is that speed can be decreased as much as two stops, base fog will be rather high and contrast will be lowered.

    OTHO I have shot some that is almost perfect. I suspect a lot has to do with film speed and storage. Faster films will age more quickly (regardless of storage) and frozen slower film will last a good long time.

    *

  3. #3

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    Good Afternoon, Thom,

    Normally, base + fog level will be higher than normal with old film, but a lot depends on the conditions under which the film has been stored. I have some 25-year-old Plus-x which, while still usable for some purposes, has an obviously high base + fog level. An anti-fog additive (benzetriozole??) to your developer may help. Even if not acceptable for most uses the film will still be handy for checking flash sync, film holder integrity, bellows integrity etc. I never throw away old film because I know I'll probably find some use for it.

    Konical

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    Ole
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    I recently tried exposing some xxx years old plates that came with the plate holders with a camera I bought. I assumed that all the speed was gone, and exposed at ISO 6. The plate was exposed, developed, and showed a hint of image. I'll try anotherone tomorrow, with a plate developer recipe from 1940 to see if that helps.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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    bobfowler's Avatar
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    I've managed to get images from a box of Ansco ISOPAN in 3.25x4.25 that expired in November 1955. Not great, and yes, it had a pretty high fog level, but it worked.
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Thank you everybody for your input. It is as I thought. Less contrast and more base+fog. I suppose I should rate the film slightly faster and develop for more contrast. Base+fog I'm not so worried about.

    If I can I'll post some results soon.

    Thanks again,

    - Thomas
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #7
    colrehogan's Avatar
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    I have some HIE from 1977 that I'm going to try and shoot some of this year. I'll give it a try in a month or so. Tomorrow I'm shooting 8x10 Tri-X.
    Diane

    Halak 41

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    Dean Williams's Avatar
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    Hi Thomas;
    I would drop the speed of the film by one stop and develop in something like D76 or HC-110. I've run a number of geriatric films, and have a few web pages put up for them, just for the fun of it.

    Verichrome Pan (1962)

    Ansco All Weather Pan (1964)

    AGFA Isopan IF 17 (1964)

    Have fun. That old film's no good unless ya use it!
    [COLOR=Sienna][FONT=Arial]Some days are diamonds. Some days a tree crashes through your roof.[/FONT][/COLOR]

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    Hi All,
    A favourite shot of mine from the last year is one I took on FP4 dated 1990 that I found in a rubbish skip at the back of a pub last summer. It was a full, unopened 100 foot roll and I just had to "liberate" it and try it. Fog is up slightly but speed seems fine.
    At the same time I also swiped a 100 ft can of HP5, which being faster has a lot more fog, not really usable in the conventional sense but fine for checking fixer, film transport mechanisms and tying on to sticks in the garden to frighten birds off newly-seeded bits of lawn!

    Best wishes,
    Steve

  10. #10
    127
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    Last week I picked up a No3a Brownie, which had an exposed roll of 122 in it! 5 1/4" x 3 1/4" roll film - The original postcard format. Fantastic stuff - large format roll film. That film was discontinued around 1970. However this film was on a WOODEN film spool, so it's probably older still.

    I dev'ed it, and while the contrast is way down, and there's a lot of fog, the images were still worth seeing. I suspect they were from the 1950's - they're of a family posing outside their house, actually little more than test shots. If the camera had belonged to someone I knew, I suspect I could have put the effort in, and got them a decent print.

    Ian

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