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  1. #1
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    Fresh film dating question

    I just bought 200 rolls 120 ACROS. It came in two cases, one case dated 8-2009 and the other case dated 9-2009. In 2005 I bought 100 rolls of 120 AGFA 100 and it was dated 9/2010. So it would seem that the film I bought going on 3 years ago is fresher than the film I got today. What is up with that? Does that mean that I am getting the tail end of a huge batch of ACROS that was produced sometime prior to 2005? Does it mean that ACROS doesn't give as distant a fresh date as Agfa did? Does Agfa keep better than ACROS? Is this possibly why ACROS pricing has been holding steady for so long... because they have a lot of film they have to move?

    Does anyone have an insight in this? Thanks
    Dennis

  2. #2
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    OK I should have made note of this first: I just looked at some ACROS I bought 6 months ago and it is dated 1-2009. I am not sure what that implies.

  3. #3

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    It would be interesting to find out each film manufacturer's policy on film dating. We have a great link with Ilford for answers. There are links with some European manufacturers as well. Are there any such similar links with Fuji and Kodak?

    pentaxuser

  4. #4
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    dpurdy,

    Not sure this is a manufacturer's matter. Did you buy all of the film from the same supplier?

    Wouldn't the source of the supplier be the key factor here? Presumably, a large seller will have faster turnover and consequently will generally have longer-dated fresh film.

  5. #5
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    I bought the ACROS all from FreeStyle partly because I assume they have a very high turnover in film and partly because they are on the west coast so the film doesn't have to travel cross country. I bought the APX 100 from a local supplier who couldn't possibly have near the volume of film sales but 3 years ago they carried all the Agfa films. The interesting factor might be that I bought the AGFA film the day I read on the internet that Agfa was discontinuing it. I litterally got up from the computer and drove right to the store and bought the film and it seemed that the local supplier had just gotten a new shipment. I asked them that day if they had heard of Agfa stopping the film and they hadn't heard. I guess it is possible that Agfa made a large batch of film and then put out the word that they were quitting so people could go out and stock up and that day I got the freshest film possible. Still though does that imply that the ACROS I got today is not as fresh as the APX 100 I got nearly 3 years ago? Or does ACROS just give much shorter fresh dated times.

  6. #6
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Dating is based in part on film stability. This varies from film to film and across the film companies. There is no set policy as to this. Also, another factor is the time a given product sits unpackaged in the factory. This time will serve as 'clock' time on keeping. So if a product sells well and another sells poorly their clocks are still running before being packed at the company.

    PE

  7. #7
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    In my experience, Agfa was among the least conservative about expiry dates of its film. I can't make any comment as to whether this made sense for these films or not, but I certainly noticed it when I purchased Agfa films many times.

    Ilford and Kodak have significantly more conservative dating.

    In my limited experience, Foma and Efke seem to date similar to Kodak and Ilford, but I've bought less of these films so it's harder to be sure.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

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    Maybe film (paper, chemical solutions, etc??) should have a "born on" date as well, such as some beers do. Mmmmm, beer... Also, are the expiration dates on these items drop dead dates, as in DONT use after this date, or we cant be held liable for bad outcome? Or do they suggest to please use prior to this date, BUT they may work ok afterwards?

    I think I have some beer around here, I hope it is still in season...

    paulie

  9. #9
    Alex Bishop-Thorpe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauliej View Post
    Maybe film (paper, chemical solutions, etc??) should have a "born on" date as well, such as some beers do. Mmmmm, beer... Also, are the expiration dates on these items drop dead dates, as in DONT use after this date, or we cant be held liable for bad outcome? Or do they suggest to please use prior to this date, BUT they may work ok afterwards?

    I think I have some beer around here, I hope it is still in season...

    paulie
    Film still works after it's expiry date, but fog increases with age thanks to cosmic radiation and whatnot. "Whatnot" can be a lot of things like storage and heat and how lucky you are. Slower black and white film keeps better than faster film or colour film, and chemicals keep depending on storage conditions and oxidisation, differing from product to product. I think of them more as guidelines, "Yeah, we're pretty sure it'll be fine at least until then".
    I've never seen an expiry date on paper, now I think about it.

    But when you're buying 200 rolls, it's nice to know how old they are already are.
    The Analogue Laboratory, or 'so you built a darkroom in an old factory in the industrial zone'.
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  10. #10
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleath View Post
    Film still works after it's expiry date, but fog increases with age thanks to cosmic radiation and whatnot. "Whatnot" can be a lot of things like storage and heat and how lucky you are. Slower black and white film keeps better than faster film or colour film, and chemicals keep depending on storage conditions and oxidisation, differing from product to product. I think of them more as guidelines, "Yeah, we're pretty sure it'll be fine at least until then".
    I've never seen an expiry date on paper, now I think about it.

    But when you're buying 200 rolls, it's nice to know how old they are already are.
    Exactly. That is why I was looking at it. I am trying to stock a freezer with film for many years hopefully. It is just my guess that Fuji gives far shorter fresh datings for ACROS than Agfa does for APX100. It might be a reflection of instability of the newer style film. But frozen it should be ok I would think.

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