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  1. #1

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    Expired Film Problem, Care to Diagnose?

    I have been going through my considerable stockpile of 35mm film to test various acquisitions, and I recently tested some expired Kodak Vision 320T film. It is an ECN-2 negative film and was allegedly cold stored before (and during) my acquisition. It's probably about ten years old or maybe more.

    Per the attached thumbnails, you can see that the top edge of the film seems more exposed than than the rest of the film. It also seems to have a somewhat different color balance. I am trying to figure what would cause this.

    One thought is that perhaps the top edge has lost less speed than the rest of the film. Another thought is that perhaps one of the layers may have lost sensitivity along the top edge (eg yellow). It could be a processing error, but the same problem showed up on separate films developed with separate, freshly mixed batches of developer (although the other chemistry including the ferricyanide bleach was shared).

    It does seem that the film has lost speed - it was exposed at its rated speed (effective speed 125ASA using an 85B filter).

    I wonder if the phenomenon shown would be mitigated if I reduced the EI of the film to say 64ASA with the filter or even 32 ASA. I guess the only way to find out is to run the test.

    Meanwhile any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vision320T-test2-7b.jpg   Vision320T-test2-5b.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Was it stored on the original film reel or had it been transferred to 35mm cans? It does look like the edge has been exposed to light. :/

  3. #3

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    It was in the original 1,000 ft can - it doesn't look like it had ever been opened.

  4. #4
    kerne's Avatar
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    K, so it's probably not that. Are you sure your bulk loader was light tight on that side?

  5. #5

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    That is a good question. I had wound about 50 feet off the big roll -- maybe I should do some more and use a different loader and see if there is any difference. I have used the same loader with other stocks and have not had this problem, but you never know.

  6. #6

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    And for the record, it is not the camera, as the same problem showed up on films shot in two different cameras.

  7. #7
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    Can you see extra density on that edge in the rebate?

  8. #8
    mts
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    Muddy grey areas look like retained silver (incomplete fixing and/or bleaching).
    By denying the facts, any paradox can be sustained--Galileo

  9. #9

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    Yeah, that looks like the classic "not enough chemicals in tank" symptom from hand-developed B&W film. Were these hand processed in a tank?

    Duncan

  10. #10

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    Hi all: Yes, I hand processed in a tank. I used 350cc of developer in a tank that is designed to use 300cc. I just today used the same bleach and fixer to develop some Portra and that visually looks very good, I will scan that this evening.

    That said, Portra and other C 41 films generally seem to fix faster than ECN-2. I am wondering if the subject film under discussion was not sufficiently fixed. I will bring it back to the darkroom tomorrow and re-bleach and re-fix it to see what happens. It would be great if it were just an incomplete processing issue.

    I did bleach for longer than the stated process and the edges (sprocket areas) look clear, so I doubt it is anything to do with the bleach. The fixer could be a bit exhausted though. However, I did fix for at least two minutes beyond visual clearing of the film.

    As for whether extra density can be seen, it is very hard to make out. the sprocketed part of the film is as clear as it is on the other side of the negative. If I look very carefully with a loup, it looks like the very edge of the image itself may be colored slightly differently from the rest of the negative but it is hard to see.

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