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Roger Hicks
05-25-2010, 12:12
When it comes to expired film, you can take that either way.

"Will the 4000 rolls of ________ I bought for $35 be any good?"

Probably not, if it's colour and has been stored badly (awful colour casts, crossed curves so you can't even match highlights and shadows).

Probably, if it's B+W and you expose and develop generously and sdon't mind extra grain and reduced sharpness.

ALL film deteriorates over time. You'll never know how badly until you try it. My own inclination is to resist buying another 'bargain' camera, and put the money towards decent film. Sure, I've had good outdated film from Freestyle. I was still using Fuji 50 a couple of years after it went out of date. But if you're buying bulk lots with an unknown history off the Bay Pirates, there's only one way to find out.

Take it out and shoot it in your camera. And if it's rubbish, take it out and shoot it with a revolver. Or pass it on to some other sucker...

Addendum from Frances: "But, of course, you might get something you really like." Reply from me: "Pity you'll never get any more that's exactly the same thing."

Cheers,

R.

David 11084
05-25-2010, 12:21
Hi Roger, a slightly different take on your title "Take it out and shoot it":
I was accosted by a gentleman who, on seeing me shoot my children playing football (dodging miss-kicked balls!), with a 90 year old Leica, asked me how on earth I could bring myself to risk it being broken/lost by day to day use. It made me smile as I use it all the time, always with B&W film, always purchased (with a hint of good fortune) from Ebay.
Addendum from my wife: get off that web site!
David

Juan Valdenebro
05-25-2010, 12:23
I wouldn't buy expired film. Not even B&W. I have used some old velvia stuff to make tests related to focus, DOF, bokeh and things far from tonality or real shooting.

Well, I wouldn't buy expired film, unless I had to do it during the yet to come Pickett Wilson era... :)

Cheers,

Juan

pakeha
05-25-2010, 12:29
Or pass it on to some other sucker...

Or admit you were the sucker, lost out this time, then dump it, no reason to make a sucker of someone else:)
regards
CW

Roger Hicks
05-25-2010, 12:38
Or pass it on to some other sucker...

Or admit you were the sucker, lost out this time, then dump it, no reason to make a sucker of someone else:)
regards
CW
That is indeed the honorable thing to do. But as Juan says, outdated film is seldom totally useless, and people do have uses for it. The most honourable thing is probably to give it to someone else, with full disclosure of its shortcomings (insofar as they are known). As I've never bought or sold anything via the Bay, I have to admit that I did not think this through fully.

Cheers,

R.

sevo
05-25-2010, 12:41
If it is really terrible, I can still use it to test camera transports...

DNG
05-25-2010, 12:49
My 1st Expired purchase:
I just bought 8 rolls of 1 year old Fuji 200... I've shot 4 so far... all good... :) (Oh... $1.50 a roll including the S/H.. 1/2 price or so)

I do keep in the "Butter Tray" on my Fridge door.
Owner said it was kept cool when not used...

A few samples....

http://files.myopera.com/arbib/albums/814357/600h-Pioneer%20Park-35mm-Tree%20w%20Purple%20blooms-4-2010%200.tn.jpg

http://files.myopera.com/arbib/albums/814357/600h-Pioneer%20Park-35mm-Trees%20-%204-2010--07.tn.jpg

Spleenrippa
05-25-2010, 12:54
If expired color film turns out wacky, you can just pretend to be a hipster and post your photos to a lo-fi group on Flickr :p

Ronald_H
05-25-2010, 13:00
A fair bit of experience with expired film, mostly B/W. The oldest was a 18 year expired roll of Tri-X which still yielded more or less usable pictures (they were published). B/W stuff from 0-5 years old I use without any reservation.

Last year I bought a few rolls of 2005 expired Fuji Superia 400. They were almost giving it away. As it turned out, it behaves perfectly ok at 160-200ISO so I bought the whole stock of that seller. But YMMV.

Have a few rolls of 2003 expired C41 and E6, see what that does.

But... if you want good results, buy good, fresh film. It is still quite cheap if you buy in bulk on-line. Combined with the dirt cheap expired film there is really not that much space for food in my freezer anymore.

Expired Ilford FP4+:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3413/3206152004_5a933aea05_o.jpg

pakeha
05-25-2010, 13:10
That is indeed the honorable thing to do. But as Juan says, outdated film is seldom totally useless, and people do have uses for it. The most honourable thing is probably to give it to someone else, with full disclosure of its shortcomings (insofar as they are known). As I've never bought or sold anything via the Bay, I have to admit that I did not think this through fully.

Cheers,

R.

Your reply is what i really meant Roger.Particually the ,`honorable thing to do'
I really should try using more words:)
regards
CW

35mmdelux
05-25-2010, 13:15
I bought a bunch of 25/50/64 Kodachrome; some of it from the early 1980s. Sent it to Dwayne's via Walmart boutique and all came back beautifully exposed. I thought at least the K25 would go belly up--it didn't.

Phantomas
05-25-2010, 13:24
Isopan IF17, expired in 1969, my favorite B&W in 120. I have friend in LA on order to keep buying it for me everytime she comes across it in thrift stores.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3557/3346805257_c3eafa9208.jpg

Juan Valdenebro
05-25-2010, 13:36
The risk is not the age (unless we talk about fast film) but how it has been treated... And you never know that... I wouldn't even be sure after positively testing part of it, because some people can make the lot look like all rolls were the same batch, but even being the same batch, who knows the airports and heat some of them could have come through... Some shots and some people just never come back. Definitely not a risk for me to take.

Cheers,

Juan

Roger Hicks
05-25-2010, 14:10
A fair bit of experience with expired film, mostly B/W. The oldest was a 18 year expired roll of Tri-X which still yielded more or less usable pictures (they were published). B/W stuff from 0-5 years old I use without any reservation.

Last year I bought a few rolls of 2005 expired Fuji Superia 400. They were almost giving it away. As it turned out, it behaves perfectly ok at 160-200ISO so I bought the whole stock of that seller. But YMMV.

Have a few rolls of 2003 expired C41 and E6, see what that does.

But... if you want good results, buy good, fresh film. It is still quite cheap if you buy in bulk on-line. Combined with the dirt cheap expired film there is really not that much space for food in my freezer anymore.

Expired Ilford FP4+:



Dear Not-Ron,

A slight rephrase:

But... if you want RELIABLE good results, buy good, fresh film.

Your pic is certainly an excellent example of superb results that I'd hate to rely on being able to repeat with ancient film.

Cheers,

Not-Rog.

Renzsu
05-25-2010, 14:40
...that's what she said.



(sorry, just had to :p )

Robin Harrison
05-25-2010, 14:50
Isopan IF17, expired in 1969, my favorite B&W in 120. I have friend in LA on order to keep buying it for me everytime she comes across it in thrift stores.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3557/3346805257_c3eafa9208.jpg

Is that a Renault 4?

john neal
05-25-2010, 22:51
I have some 100 ft rolls of Kodak R60 (35mm B&W) that expired in 1968 / 69. It's so old that Kodak have no record of it, and were unable to suggest dev times. It was from the commercial lab at work, and probably originally used for technical work (electricity industry).

I have had it in the garage for the past 15 years - gave a roll to a starving student who tried it and found it gives quite usable, if grainy, results rated at asa50. I really must give it a go when I run out of the Agfapan that "expired" about 6 years ago :)

Ronald_H
05-25-2010, 22:54
Dear Not-Ron,

A slight rephrase:

But... if you want RELIABLE good results, buy good, fresh film.

Your pic is certainly an excellent example of superb results that I'd hate to rely on being able to repeat with ancient film.

Cheers,

Not-Rog.

True of course.

Phantomas
05-25-2010, 23:23
Is that a Renault 4?

If my memory servs me right, yes.


I have some 100 ft rolls of Kodak R60 (35mm B&W) that expired in 1968 / 69. It's so old that Kodak have no record of it, and were unable to suggest dev times. It was from the commercial lab at work, and probably originally used for technical work (electricity industry).

I have had it in the garage for the past 15 years - gave a roll to a starving student who tried it and found it gives quite usable, if grainy, results rated at asa50. I really must give it a go when I run out of the Agfapan that "expired" about 6 years ago :)

You can try what i do with my 40 year old Isopan - stand develop. That way you don't have to worry about developing times.

250swb
05-25-2010, 23:49
Admittedly its a long time since I used a 35mm film, but I wouldn't feel happy going out the door with an unknown quantity in my camera, even as a test roll. I sort of already know instinctively the photo opporunity of a lifetime will occur when I haven't got a camera with me, but I don't see any reason to increase this risk!

Steve

pakeha
05-26-2010, 21:18
And so i go to the lab today to pick up some scans and am given two bricks of Agfa Arista. exp 2008.

Yet another timely thread:angel:
regards
CW

filmtwit
05-26-2010, 21:27
I'm currently working on 10+ rolls of Kodak PlusX that came to me this way. Actually the previous owner hadn't used any and wasn't sure of it. So far, it's been decent, but not great.

That is indeed the honorable thing to do. But as Juan says, outdated film is seldom totally useless, and people do have uses for it. The most honourable thing is probably to give it to someone else, with full disclosure of its shortcomings (insofar as they are known). As I've never bought or sold anything via the Bay, I have to admit that I did not think this through fully.

Cheers,

R.

craygc
05-26-2010, 21:35
Ive got some 400+ rolls of B&W film in the freezer. Bought new back in 2004 and all past its expiry date by now. Its always been frozen barr 4x now its been defrosted for a couple of days each time with moving. No problems with any of this film so far...

amateriat
05-26-2010, 21:45
On account of a chronic shortage of proper storage space (no room even for a mini-fridge, although I'm working on that one), I've always been a just-in-time-plus film buyer. By "plus", I mean buying a handful more rolls than I know I'll need for a given project, especially if the film in question is used regularly by me (i.e. Tri-X/HP5, BW400NC/XP2, and almost anything in Portra). The only thing I ever bought in bulk was a 100' roll of Agfa 200 Professional slide film, which I bought in the mid-90s when I was working in a lab with a Refrema E6 processor. I loaded it in a Watson bulk-loader, which I thought I'd lost until stumbling across it six months ago. Yep, most of that roll is still in it...


- Barrett

johannielscom
05-26-2010, 23:02
While I completely agree with Roger (Not-Rog...:p) that one needs fresh film to replicate earlier results, I still have a 5mtr roll of 1971-expired Tri-X and some 1980-ish expired 100ft roll of Panatomic lying about, that I will start to use shortly. See how it comes out, just for the fun of it.

Currently I'm shooting expired Delta100Pro as my main B&W film and it does great in Rodinal when exposed @ 80ASA. YMMV.

pvdhaar
05-27-2010, 02:28
Addendum from Frances: "But, of course, you might get something you really like."

Reply from me: "Pity you'll never get any more that's exactly the same thing." ..

Does it really matter that you'll never get any more that's exactly the same thing?

Will the subject and light that you're shooting ever be exactly the same as well?

I've taken some of my better landscape shots with an Olympus MjuII that I happened to have in my pockets. Going back to the same place, the same time, but now with a 6x6 to get an 'even better shot' never paid off. The 'magic' that made those P&S pictures was always gone.. I wouldn't even have been able to replicate them had I used the same camera with identical film from the same batch..

So I guess that yes, with expired film you take some chances, but it may also lead to a pleasant discovery or that one 'super keeper'. And if you make that 'super keeper' it's one to be cherished even if it's never reproducible..

l.mar
05-27-2010, 02:45
http://gallery.photo.net/photo/7434682-lg.jpg

Verichrome Pan, 620 film format, expired in 8/1965, shot with a circa 1930 Target Hawkeye.
(D-76, 1:1).

gb hill
05-27-2010, 02:52
I bought most of my film from expired film bins @ camera stores. So cheap I couldn't dare pass it up. I've shot Konica color film 8 & 9 years old never refrigerated & I couldn't tell it from fresh film I bought from Walgreens. If I were a pro I wouldn't shoot it but since I do this for enjoyment then why not?

parsec1
05-27-2010, 02:59
Take it out and shoot it in your camera. And if it's rubbish, take it out and shoot it with a revolver.
Cheers,

R.

'Revolver' The best album the Beatles ever made and that changed modern music forever. Off topic I know but........................

Nokton48
05-27-2010, 03:11
I have expired 35mm, 70mm, 120 and 220, and sheet film, in color and B&W, in my deep freeze. I never hesitate using it up, and except for a roll of 70mm that had the emulsion come off in the fixer (!) I have not been disappointed.

hipsterdufus
05-27-2010, 03:25
Does it really matter that you'll never get any more that's exactly the same thing?

Will the subject and light that you're shooting ever be exactly the same as well?

I've taken some of my better landscape shots with an Olympus MjuII that I happened to have in my pockets. Going back to the same place, the same time, but now with a 6x6 to get an 'even better shot' never paid off. The 'magic' that made those P&S pictures was always gone.. I wouldn't even have been able to replicate them had I used the same camera with identical film from the same batch..

So I guess that yes, with expired film you take some chances, but it may also lead to a pleasant discovery or that one 'super keeper'. And if you make that 'super keeper' it's one to be cherished even if it's never reproducible..

I couldn't agree with this more. Most rangefinder shooters are not trying to be Ansel Adams (to my knowledge) and most of us do not use a densitometer on our film when done developing. I have never actually had an expired roll of film give poor results. Maybe not reproducible, but isn't that some of the fun of shooting film?

Roger Hicks
05-27-2010, 04:08
I couldn't agree with this more. Most rangefinder shooters are not trying to be Ansel Adams (to my knowledge) and most of us do not use a densitometer on our film when done developing. I have never actually had an expired roll of film give poor results. Maybe not reproducible, but isn't that some of the fun of shooting film?

Not as far as I am concerned, but then, I started in advertising where quality really matters. Clearly there are those who revel in not knowing what they're going to get, and those who reckon there are enough other variables without having to worry about imprecise speeds, fog and duff colours.

Over the years I've shot a lot of outdated film, but I'd NEVER rely on something I'd not previously tested -- unless, of course, I had no alternative. Hence the title of the thread...

Cheers,

R.

Don Parsons
05-27-2010, 04:27
'Revolver' The best album the Beatles ever made and that changed modern music forever. Off topic I know but........................

And the Beatles shot with Pentax's but probably not with old film. :-)

hipsterdufus
05-27-2010, 04:44
Not as far as I am concerned, but then, I started in advertising where quality really matters.
Ah, that makes perfect sense. If I were shooting something where I was actually getting paid, I would NEVER use expired film. Actually, even for my own "serious" work, I only use unexpired film. However, if I am just shooting for fun, I will use just about anything. :D