Expired film

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by jim_gardner|4, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. I've been taking quite a lot of photographs recently (trying to make the best of the unfortunate situation we are all in) and have been using some b+w film up to 14 years "out of date" to see what happens.

    I have learnt, a) film 14 years past its use by date, NOT kept in the fridge, seems to work perfectly.
    b) Print developer less than 24 hours old (mixed) which we are told should be ok, really isn't. Horrible muddy prints and not even worth trying.

    What age film do most people give up on and not load in the camera?
  2. Black and white film lasts a long time.

    I expect reasonable results from Tri-X to 25 years, Verichrome Pan to 40 years, and
    Panatomic-X to maybe 60 years. I have some Panatomic-X from 1941 that I might
    try next year. Someone suggested that I should use it in Pearl Harbor.

    Color films don't last as long, partly because they get color changes.

    But a reasonable approximation is that a color film is similar to a black and
    white film of 4 times the speed. (Since each layer is only sensitive to about
    one third of the light, besides having to go through other layers.)

    Color film refrigerated since new, I mostly don't worry about the age, but I
    don't have so much of that.

    More of the reason for not using older color film is the cost of processing.

    Though I recently got great results from 8 year old Instax film.
    (No processing cost for that.)
  3. I have been occasionally spooling a roll from a 100 foot bulk roll of 35mm Panatomic-X, expiry date: 12/1988. It came from a friend of a friend, and I don't know for sure, but suspect it was just kept on a shelf it's entire life. It still works quite decently, though I wouldn't use it for any once in a lifetime events. I have several times used in in my Argus C-3 to take pictures on Argus Day (falls on Argust 20th this year!) There is a certain warm fuzzy to running 1987 vintage film through a camera I've owned since late 1957. :)
  4. I suspect I wouldn't use an ISO 32 film for "once in a lifetime" events, unless they were very brightly lit.

    I have a 100 foot roll of PanF+ that I bought from a real store, kept refrigerated, just after its date, so half price.

    I used some for a wedding, not of my closest friend (and not as a wedding photographer, just as a guest).
    Since I used Diafine, it was at EI 80, which is still low for a wedding.

    For a bulk roll, once you have gone a few rolls in, you will know how well, or not so well, it works.

    I have older than 1987 Panatomic-X, too.

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