How long after the expiration date does unopened rolls of 35mm film stay good for?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by ktarvis, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Today I received over 150 rolls of expired film (for free).
    The films expired 2/2006, 4/2006, and 5/2007. I want to know if these are still good and how long they will stay for.

    the 2/2006 rolls are Kodak 400

    the 4/2006 rolls are Kodak HD 400

    and the 5/2007 rolls are Fujifilm Super HQ 200
  2. Depends highly on the storage conditions. Freezer? Fridge? Air-conditioned room temperature? Non-air-conditioned room temperature? Attic?

    The Fuji is probably the best, as keeping quality goes down as film speed goes up. Both because the sensitization wilts, and you lose speed, but also because faster films get more fogged by cosmic rays.

    Expose some with bracketed overexposures by half stops, and compare the results of box speeds and slower speeds.

    You may also have subtle color rendition problems by now. These films are really 4 years old by now.

    If they were B&W, I'd be much more positive.
  3. I agree with John that faster films are a bigger problem because of sensitivity to background radiation. I disagree the Fuji products are better overall. Overall, Kodak and Fuji are roughly comparable. As for radiation sensitivity, the current generation of Kodak 800 speed film is less sensitive than the Fuji counterparts.

    I'd say your film is worth slightly more than what you paid for it. With current silver prices, you might get $0.20 for each roll. Fogged silver is still worth something.
  4. tossed out a roll of color print film that was NOT DX coded. 30 years old.

    the fuji is SLOWER. that makes all the difference NOT the brand.
    if it were 4-5 year old 800 speed I would test a roll it is more unstable.

    try this: expose a roll as suggested bracketing the exposure, YOU need not expose all 24 exp, just 10-12 to get a sample. walmart or another 1 hr lab only charges for the prints and a small fee for the film processing.

    I believe the 2007 film is quite usable. UNLESS it was Kept in a very hot place.
    do you live in the temperate zone?

    the older film is prossibly good also.
    If you don't have freezer refrigerator space, put it in a decent quality package
    like tupperware and keep it in the basement. Pick a dry day ( low humidity) and wipe it with napkins if it is just in the cans. moisture and stuff from hands could eventually turn to mold.

    let me relate a story
    I liven in NJ no A.C. hot in summer cold in winter. 12 years ago I moved here to PA
    . I had misplaces a roll of Kodak 400 color print film. When I developed 2 rolls of
    the same stuff, ( fresh) I added the 3rd roll. ( last month)

    one print says happy 21st burthday jonathon. - he is now about 45!
    the other was a photo of a lady holding a baby. the baby is now 24 years old.

    No special care was EVER taken with this film,. it was very hot in my bedroom in nj.
    the film SHOULD have been cooked. it was not.
    the moral of this story is NOT TO WORRY

    but try out some before you shoot a weddding or something.
    if a roll of exposed and undeveloped 400 speed film lasts that long
    how long will unopened unexposed film last?

    Film shoul;d, they say, be developed soon after exposure,.
    is 20 years " soon" colors were not OFF.
  5. Different color layers may be affected differently upsetting the color balance. Never had any problems with color film a year or two out of date, but beyond that YMMV.
  6. Walter, you tossed it out? ebay has a 120 spool beginning at $1.00.

    The newer stuff may be more of a problem, film already seems to have expiration dates two to three years in the future.

    Nothing wrong with running a roll through the machine, unexposed, and asking the techie how it is, you may wish to try this at a real camera store.

    I had some 30 year old ASA 100 film that was seriously fogged, and in the freezer all that time, suppose it was those darn cosmic rays, should have put some Aluminum foil on top the fridge. ;-)

    Just kidding, I think they pretty much go through anything, including the earth. You may get longer life with film in a freezer nearer the equator, am not sure Shutterbug is up to the testing.

    I was somewhat serious on getting recommendations on a replacement for my old 1966 Fridge in terms of what is the best for film storage, I have more film than anything else stored.

    I had some bad luck with some custom coated and cut paper, lasted only a few years. I probably sold enough to break even, and have no idea how customs handled the stuff, it was not marked do not X Ray.
  7. Throw them all in the freezer. That will prevent it from getting worse. Try a few rolls, my guess, its all ok. Ive found film from decades ago that has been great but I have also found rolls that expired in 2006 to be terrible.

    Like people above said, you will have best luck with the 200.
  8. I tossed out a roll od 35mm color print film that was not DX coded,
    my DX coded iso 400 film was ok. but how much older is non-dx film?

    I still have a roll of Plentichome 620 in my wifes brownie hawkeye.
    ( ansco B&W panchromatic)

    My FREE pentax me super camera is not compatible with DX.
    does this date the start of dx coding on film?
  9. The oldest rolls you have are only about two years out of date. I wouldn't shoot a paying job on any of them but they should all be perfectly fine for snapshots and casual use, provided they were not stored in extreme heat. The test is always to shoot a roll and see what you get. Film doesn't magically die the day after its expiration date. It just starts to slowly go downhill, color more quickly than B&W. I've shot color that was five years out of date, stored at room temperature, and it was fine. The other day I shot Tmax 100 that expired in 2000 or 2001 and it was fine.

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