Especially old film
I seem to be on a roll lately with people giving me their old film...sadly, no one giving away any Type 55.
The latest has Ilford PanF, some FP4 and Kodak Plus-X from at least 25 years ago - it really was stored in a fridge for all or most of that time.
Is there any special shooting or developing that has to be done with this? Anything weird in particular happen with film that old?
I've also come in to some Fuji 100 slide film with an expiry date of 1980, similarly refridgerated. Can colour shifts or other deterioration over time be taken advantage of to get a particular look or effect?
Colin! You know what? Questions like this come up...and the answers are often vague or based on guestimations. If you've got this nice selection of slow film and it was fridged properly, maybe we could beg you to run some experiments for us?
Say, for instance, get a fresh roll of PanF+ and shoot it's older brother on the same subjects, then develop both identically and contact print them on the same paper. Mid grey, highlights, shadows. I'm not sure how to best quantify your findings, but if there is any difference, a side-by-side scan might just do it.
It sure would settle some arguments as to whether these fine old films remain at speed over 25 years.
Sorry to put all this pressure on....
Darkroom weather forecast: expect some fog.
don't bother wasting time and materials doing pointless badly controlled tests, just use and develop as you normally would and see what you get
'Pointless' because we know the answer or because the answer doesn't matter? 'Badly controlled' because we can't meter light?
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pointless because the manufacturer did more than enough testing to give us a start point, badly controlled because we aren't scientist
and specifically in this case, "Can colour shifts or other deterioration over time be taken advantage of to get a particular look or effect?" we want to get a result that we don't normally get
The following is for B&W film only. Color film will show also some sift in colors.
If the film was refrigerate, you should reduce its speed 1 stop for each 10 years after expiration. Than, develop normaly. Example: 20 years 100 ISO film should be exposed at 25 ISO, and developed for the time given for the original 100 ISO speed. Do not reduce the development, as you don't work with new film. Do not increase it as the fog (see below) will increase too.
Yes, you should expect some fog from the natural radiation (has nothing to do with refrigeration). But the slower the original film was, the lesser fog will show. At 100 ISO (original film) the fog should be close to nothing, even after 20 years. At 400 ISO it is visible, but you still can do something in the darkroom, to partially compensate it (increassing the contrast). There's also a substance you can add to the developer to reduce fog, but I can't remember it's name now, maybe because I never used it.
I developed 400 ISO HP5 from the '90s (120 & 220 film) and it worked far above my expectations (and, as noted before, without any fog reducer).
Last edited by phenix; 05-17-2008 at 12:28 AM. Click to view previous post history.
You may want that, but I've had big fun and success with old film. The fact that I am unlikely to repeat it is not important.
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
Back to the topic
With old slide film you will often get a really strong colour cast and lowered dmax -- even if it has been frozen. The lose of Dmax makes it pretty unusable as slide film but plenty good as neg film.
Do a snip test of 3-5 frames (if 35mm) and expose it at box speed and bracket toward over exposure in full stops (100, 50, 25, 12, 6) and soup it in c41 and ask the lab to do a contact. It may be overly blue or pink and it may be interesting. If you have sheets use the darkslide to create a 'test strip': expose the full sheet at box speed, 1/5 at 50, 2/5 at 25 etc..
I can pretty much guarantee that the slide film will not respond well at the box speed or that it will not work as a slide, but one sheet or a snip test souped in e6 will tell you.
What I've found is sometimes the film will take lots of exposure, never block up and render scenes that fit the colour cast well -- if it goes pink shoot red, pink, and or violet flowers as an example.
I've posted a few relevant experiments in this thread--
If you have old color slide film, I find it can help to pull one stop (increase exposure one stop, and tell the lab to pull one stop, or process it yourself that way), to reduce the magenta cast that is typical of old E-6 film. It will also reduce contrast so take the opportunity to use it in contrastier light that you normally would with slide film.
I'd shoot the 125 B&W at 20 and develop in D76 1:1 with 10ml orthazite added to one liter of solution or =anti-fog of your choice for about 8min and go from there
Pan F probably 25 and a few ml of orthazite