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  1. #1

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    Images made on old and well expired sheet film

    Just for fun, I took out some expired ( 8 years ) FP4 sheet film that hadn't been stored with any particular care. After developing, there was no general fog ( as seen on the film margins ). However, there was very little evidence of an image....a bit of shadows here and there. Since I am trying sheet film in the 2840 tank ( 11x14 ) for "fun" I am curious if the lack of an image is likely due to the age of the film, or an error in processing. Hence I wonder: What is the effect of age on the emulsion of black and white sheet film? I am aware of the general "fog" caused by cosmic rays, but as noted, the film margins are clear....would aging make the silver emulsion less "sensitive" to light? Thanks for any possible help and opinions.

    Ed

  2. #2
    David William White's Avatar
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    I suggest lack of image is due to lack of exposure! 8 years past expiry is nothing.

    My experience with old film is very positive. In the past year alone, I've made successful negatives and then prints from:
    1. Super-XX, "expired" in 1956.
    2. Dental X-ray film, "expired" in 1951
    3. Tri-X Pan, "expired" in 1979
    4. Geveart Panchromatic, no expiry, but known purchased in 1966, probably the worst of the bunch but still viable, see hand sculpture image in my gallery.

    These were all stored indoors, but not fridged or anything.
    In addition to these treats, my regular stock of Delta 100 expired in 2000, never fridged, and I'm not the least bit concerned.

    Very high speed film may suffer sooner, but not FP4.
    Last edited by David William White; 04-14-2009 at 10:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Thanks David....information I can really use! Can one tell if the problem is "exposure" vs. development?

  4. #4

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    You know, I looked at the sheet today and I think there is really some over all fog on the film...edges are clear...puzzling.

  5. #5
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    Exposure, rather a lack thereof.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  6. #6

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    If the edges are clear then it's not fogged. If it was overall fogging then you wouldn't differentiate between the "image" and the film edges. Try developing one sheet without any exposure and see how that looks. If it's relatively clear, (there's bound to be some higher b+f density on this than on fresh film) then the issue isn't with the film.

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  7. #7

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    Will do Bob, and thanks.

  8. #8

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    Bob....would the age of the film indicate that a longer exposure might be needed?

  9. #9

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    Probably - films tend to lose speed with age. I'd probably do an EI test based around 80 or so. You will likely have higher base fog than with fresh film, but as long as you have exposure nailed you'll just print through the higher b+f.

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  10. #10

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    OK Bob...I checked the shutter, and holders. I checked the developer dilutions, tank loading, etc. etc. Exposure was correct according to film curves. Still nothing much image wise. The only variable is the film age. I guess that the only way to be certain is to get some sheets of "in date" 11x14 film and see what happens. Thanks to all for the help.

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