How to develop a old film of the 70's
Old 01-11-2013   #1
RSilva
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How to develop a old film of the 70's

I found a b&w 135mm 26exp Ilford FP4 film that I assume has at least 40 years.
I will try to develop it either with Ilford ID11 or Rodinal and I don't know what to expect.
I will fix it with Ilford rapid fixer.
I need advice please.
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Old 01-11-2013   #2
rlouzan
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Hi,

Increase developing time by 50% and add some anti-fog agent. Expect the pictures to be barely printable do to cosmic radiation.

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Robert
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Old 01-11-2013   #3
begona
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Stand in rodinal 1:100 - one hour
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Old 01-11-2013   #4
sevo
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Exposed back then or now? Stored in camera or in a film can? From a cellar or air-conditioned room, or found in a hot attic?

If well stored in original package and exposed only now, proceed as usual - a low fog developer like HC-110 might be beneficial, but the film probably will not be in a significantly worse shape than fresh film that has been on a six week trekking expedition.

If the latent image is ancient and/or the film has been exposed to temperature and humidity changes and environmental pollution, all bets are off - cut off a test clip of a frame or two from the start and start with the values giving by Robert, and repeat, increasing or reducing development, until you get a negative that can be salvaged in Photoshop.
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Old 01-11-2013   #5
Mark C
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I second the HC-110 recommendation. Well worth getting some for this if that is practical for you.
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Old 01-11-2013   #6
taskoni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevo View Post
... cut off a test clip of a frame or two from the start and start with the values giving by Robert, and repeat, increasing or reducing development, until you get a negative that can be salvaged in Photoshop.
Yes, this how I would do it.
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Old 01-11-2013   #7
RSilva
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The film was in a hot summer and cold winter attic and I guess it is exposed since the film tip is in the can.
I will develop a sample of the film as told and then try to fine tune the remain. i guess it is a nice advice.
Also I am afraid of dirt particles since the can is in very bad shape with rust all over.
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Old 01-11-2013   #8
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I think you are on the right track. A couple of things to be aware of. Your film is likely fogged after sitting around for so long. I second the recommendation to use an anti-fogging agent (benzotriazole) when you are doing your testing. Second, because the effect of fog is to increase the base density of your negatives (and therefore grain), I would stay away from Rodinal, even as a stand developer. There is nothing wrong with Rodinal inherently and I have run some tests with it using the stand method -- it is great for certain applications, just not this one. You want a developer that is going to decrease the appearance of grain -- something with a solvent in it like D-76 or ID-11 1:1. Your idea of developing a strip of film is right-on. I would clip off about 10 cm of the film and give it "best-guess" development. Start with rlouzin's recommendation of a 50% increase in development time, but with a good anti-fog agent in the mix. If you get interesting results, post 'em!

Edit: I wouldn't be too worried about rust inside the film canister. I don't think you would get the same condensation inside as outside. On the other hand, if the whole works were submerged in water, the film emulsion will be a fused mess inside the canister (don't ask me how I know this) and it is unlikely that you would be able to unwind the film without ripping it, or salvage any images.
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Old 01-11-2013   #9
RSilva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Marks View Post
I think you are on the right track. A couple of things to be aware of. Your film is likely fogged after sitting around for so long. I second the recommendation to use an anti-fogging agent (benzotriazole) when you are doing your testing. Second, because the effect of fog is to increase the base density of your negatives (and therefore grain), I would stay away from Rodinal, even as a stand developer. There is nothing wrong with Rodinal inherently and I have run some tests with it using the stand method -- it is great for certain applications, just not this one. You want a developer that is going to decrease the appearance of grain -- something with a solvent in it like D-76 or ID-11 1:1. Your idea of developing a strip of film is right-on. I would clip off about 10 cm of the film and give it "best-guess" development. Start with rlouzin's recommendation of a 50% increase in development time, but with a good anti-fog agent in the mix. If you get interesting results, post 'em!

Edit: I wouldn't be too worried about rust inside the film canister. I don't think you would get the same condensation inside as outside. On the other hand, if the whole works were submerged in water, the film emulsion will be a fused mess inside the canister (don't ask me how I know this) and it is unlikely that you would be able to unwind the film without ripping it, or salvage any images.
Sevo gave me the advice for test clip - Thank you Sevo!
I don´t know were I can find an anti-fog agent for sell but I can try to find HC-110 developer.
I am also very afraid about putting the film into the spiral, maybe I will avoid using it.
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Old 01-11-2013   #10
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Please share the results with us! Although I am so busy shooting expired film that the stuff I buy fresh is itsef expired when I finally get to using it (sad but true), I never worked with very old film that was exposed long ago. Good luck!
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Old 01-12-2013   #11
Photo_Smith
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I've done this dozens of times with films from the 1920-90's most of the time you get a printable image, certainly scanning will be possible.
Another problem especially with poorly stored film is damp, especially with 120 where the backing paper can cause damage.
http://photo-utopia.blogspot.co.uk/2...lford-fp4.html
I use HC110 or Rodinal as both of them include anti fog agents, expect some fogging depending on the storage, B&W tends to fare quite well—you may be surprised!
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Old 01-12-2013   #12
RSilva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photo_Smith View Post
I've done this dozens of times with films from the 1920-90's most of the time you get a printable image, certainly scanning will be possible.
Another problem especially with poorly stored film is damp, especially with 120 where the backing paper can cause damage.
http://photo-utopia.blogspot.co.uk/2...lford-fp4.html
I use HC110 or Rodinal as both of them include anti fog agents, expect some fogging depending on the storage, B&W tends to fare quite well—you may be surprised!
Thank you for the advice, I will try rodinal then since I have it already at home.
Also, I will post the results if any.
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Old 01-12-2013   #13
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Awesome!
I just develop a film clip! The first images are from a safari either in South Africa or Swaziland. This film was stored with an already developed film with photos also from a safari. My sister appears in the photos as a baby of 1 or 2 years so I can date this film as having 40/41 years.
The great thing about this is that I can scan both films and compare how ageing had an effect on the development.
I used rodinal 1:25 and increased developing time in 50%. Fixing as usual.
The film is very curled and it was almost impossible to place it into the spiral.
Also, it was stuck to each other which may explain why there are spots where the image is very faded.
The film seems very fogged (a brown/grey color) and contrast seems very low.
I will post the results monday.
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Old 01-14-2013   #14
RSilva
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So, here are those vintage film images:



(Scanned with a epson V700 and +50 sharpness +20% clarity in LR3)

Please give me your sugestions for development of the rest of the film. Remember, I increased the developing time in 50% for a 40 year's old film.
And this is a photo from another roll taken on the same safari and developed at the time:
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Old 01-14-2013   #15
sevo
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HC-110 or a shot of Benzotriazole might improve matters a bit, but there are obvious humidity/organic growth patterns which nothing can get rid of.
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Old 01-16-2013   #16
Benjamin Marks
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Looks great for a 40 year-old latent image. I hope I look as good in 40 years. - Ben
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Old 01-17-2013   #17
RSilva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKR View Post
If it were me, I would clip test a couple of times to get a ball park for a final dev time.
Every time I do a clip, I loose at least one picture... but maybe I will need to cut the film at least in two portions since it is very hard to place it in the spiral.
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Old 01-17-2013   #18
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A mate of mine bought an old instamatic camera which still had a part shot roll of Kodachrome 64 in there! I used Rodinal 1:100 and stand dev for about 1hr20' (should have been an hour but I forgot about it). We got some viewable B&W images off it, the long soak shifted the remjet backing pretty well too.

I know its not much help now but someone may find this in a search and be of use. I'm of the impression if you know nothing about the film, at least with a weak stand development where you are taking the developer to exhaustion then timing is less of an issue.
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Old 01-17-2013   #19
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For what it is worth, use Diafine. I done this and Diafine will compensate for the ASA used back then.
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