expired tri-x, what to expect?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by macaluan, May 3, 2020.

  1. Hi guys, how is going?

    well, I was searching for a good price 5 rolls pack of kodak TRI-X 120. That's very expensive in Europe at least, about 50€ the pack, so I decided maybe to keep using Ilford HP5+. But in my research, I found in eBay a shop selling a TRI-X 5 rolls pack expired in november 2019. I'm very new in film photography so maybe is to early to sumerge in the expired world, but as the price is about 5€ i'm tempted.

    What should I expect with these expired films?, for my knowledge, they should be fine as they expired just 6 months ago. But I wanna let experts talk about it. Another question about expired films is what people usally use them, its just for experimentations or do you use for photography that matter to you? I'm not talking about important jobs but about family photography but where you want to get good results.
  2. AJG


    Tri-X a year or two out of date should be fine unless it was stored under bad conditions--desert heat, for example. Try one roll to experiment, then you'll know if you can trust the other 4. If you are using it for commercial work, suck it up and buy fresh film and bill your clients accordingly.
  3. ...with age, film loses speed and contrast. It gains fog. Of course film is 'on' all the time - unlike digital.
  4. I've never had a problem with out-of-date Kodak film, even quite a few years later. OTOH, I had a lot of fog with some old HP5 (not plus). Modern paper also stores very poorly.
  5. SCL


    I've been using expired B&W films for over 20 years now, and only once did I have an issue. Some of the films I use today expired 10 years ago (kept in a freezer) and are no longer manufactured, so I cherish still using them. They don't die instant deaths....they mostly fade away if not properly stored.
  6. Thanks for the information guys, unfortunately the guy who sales the Trix expired, told me that the price were only for each roll, and no for the pack. Which sounds very expensive to me.

    Anyway I would like to take advantage of the post to find out if there is a film or technique to get a look similar to trix 400,or for example, using fp4 pushed 2 stops or something like that
  7. Do some searching thru the files here on Photo.net and look up what emulsion batch numbers were on various Kodak 120 rolls troubled by number bleed thru. John Sexton first alerted .NET users to this problem some years ago. The problem was primarily in the 100T and 400T stocks, but some Tri-X was also listed by Kodak as affected. It is always tempting to wonder away from "really" understanding an emulsion when first starting in film. HP-5 is an excellent emulsion and you will find working it enlightening if you try various developers before grabbing another emulsion. Try the films companion emulsion. There are lots of ways to learn film without doing the "shot gun" approach.
    Aloha, Bill
  8. Buy fresh film, especially if you want it to be there when you want more. No one ever said film photography would be cheap in 2020. A 5-pac goes for just under US$40.
  9. 11/2019 ex. I'd shoot as new, especially if it's been cold stored. I've been working through some that I bought fresh stuck back in my freezer that expired in 2018 and 2019-it's good as new.
  10. AJG


    Pushing any film is usually a bad idea unless absolutely necessary. Generally what happens is that the contrast and grain increase but shadow detail doesn't. If that's what you want, then go for it. If you want the best image quality, use a film with the sensitivity that you need built in. Except for controlled studio situations, it is rare to be able to recreate the exact scene that you originally wanted to photograph, so getting it right the first time is the way to go when you can.
  11. The problem with 120 rollfilm is imprinting from the paper onto the film. Kodak had a bad run not so long ago. The faulty batch numbers are around on the internet.
  12. I doubt there would be any problems with 2019 TriX. Expose and develop it normally, it should be ok. Just lately I've been exposing nothing but expired B&W film. This image taken on an overcast day is from a 1982 Kodak Plus X Pan 1 stop overexposed and normal development. It was fogged and bluish in color, so I gave it an extra fixing time of 30mins. The blue color disappeared but much of the fogging was still apparent. You won't get fogging from 2019 B&W film though. You can see that even 38 year old B&W films will still respond to light quite well.

    Expired '82 Plus X Pan copy.jpg
  13. A few months OOD on a roll of TriX is nothing. Unless, as already said, it's been stored badly. But then a day in hot and humid conditions and out of its foil wrapper can do as much damage to a roll of film as several years in a fridge!

    I just opened a brick of fridge-stored T-Max 100 with an 'expiry' date of 04/2004. It's absolutely fine. It might have lost 1/3rd stop of speed, but there's no detectable increase in fog level whatsoever.

    You'll actually see a bigger difference in 'speed' by not processing your film promptly, whether it's in date or not. And a slightly higher base fog level can easily be printed or scanned through.
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  14. I don't know how long Kodak prints the ex. time on B&W products, but I'd guess 2019 would have been manufactured in 2017 or so. The 2019 ex. I have was bought then.

    AFAIK, the backing paper issue appeared and was solved in 2013 or 2014. I had a bunch of Tri-X that I bought fresh in 2015(since shot) that was fine.
  15. How long before Tri-X and TMax 3200 would be unusable if it was always stored in the freezer? Any ideas on that?
  16. P3200 ages pretty quickly if shot at 3200. Frozen, you're usually okay 6 months-1 year past expiration. Room temperature, don't try it much past expiration.

    Tri-X, frozen, I don't treat a few years past ex any different from fresh.
  17. I shot very little B&W during the early 1990s (new baby...), so later on, I had quite a lot of old film in the fridge, cupboards, etc.

    I used this particular film (film of the 1988 Olympics) in 2010 at its rated speed and with normal development. Turned out just fine. A few frames were a little low contast, but easily fixed in post.

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