OK to use 4-year-old B&W film that's been refrigerated?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by andy_buck|1, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. I have a number of rolls of 120 Tri-X dated 6/13 that was frozen up until two years ago. It has been refrigerated since then. Is it okay? Should I adjust the exposure and/or development? Do you think it would be fogged at all?

  2. Yes it is OK. I would be surprised if there is any change in behavior, and I would not expect fog.

    Many people overexpose by 0.5 - 2 stops as a matter of practice, even with fresh film. Try the first roll at 0.5 stops slower than box speed and develop normally. This suggestion is based on the assumption that you are good at metering a scene. Expose at 1 stop slower than box speed and develop normally if you do not consider yourself a skilled light meter operator.
  3. I probably wouldn't even change the speed, but the best answer is to try it as suggested and see how it comes up.

    4 years in the refrigerator is nothing for B&W.
  4. I figured I was safe to use as I usually do, i.e. two stops over and 30% less development. However, just to be safe, and since I don't have time to test (I'm shooting Saturday) I will pull some out of the freezer and use it. I will shoot a test role with the other at the same time and develop all the same way.

    Thanks very much for the quick replies!
  5. Should be fine. I have used film older than that and it was ok.
  6. [​IMG]Samples from some 2013 Expired Off-Brand ASA 100 Chinese film that had been refrigerated in Ulan Bator:

  7. Even not refrigerated it should be fine. At normal (not tropical) room temperature, 10 to 20 years.

    Much longer for VP and FX, though.

    A few years ago, someone gave me a 100 foot roll of 70mm Tri-X 30 years old, and not refrigerated.

    Most Seattle houses don't have air conditioning, and can get warm in the summer.

    Anyway, it was a little too fogged for what I wanted to use it for.

    But now I have HC-110, and might be able to try it at EI 200 or 100, for better results.

    I will normally use even color film kept cold to 10 or so years, maybe more.
  8. Most of the 4x5 Velvia I have on-hand expired in the '96-'98 time frame. I bought it from folks who I trusted that they were telling the truth that it had been frozen since new and I've kept it that way. It's fine with no real color shift compared to new and a slight loss in sensitivity.

    I'd rather have new stock, but at $5 a sheet to get Velvia 50 from Japan(and $4/sheet for Velvia 100 from US sellers) I'll work with it.
  9. I haven't thought about this lately, how far in the future is the date for new black and white film?

    I think it is about three years, but maybe more.

    It used to be usual for photography stores to have a bin of recent outdated film for half price on the counter.
    Used to be my favorite place to look, and find good deals.

    On my last week of high school, I found a roll of Anscochrome for half price, processing included.
    I used that for pictures of my last week of school, of friends I wouldn't see again.
    (And who never expected the pictures to end up on FB some day.)

    Last day of school. | Facebook
  10. If it was refrigerated it should produce results comparable to fresh film. ISO 400 film is about the limit for what I will store as Delta 3200, TMAX 3200 are much more susceptible to fogging from background radiation. I have a partial bulk roll of Kodak 2484 that expired in mid 80's (I think box speed might be 800) that has fog, but not as bad as one would think.
  11. I just used the last roll from a 5-pack of Tri-X I bought in July of '15 from B&H, and it's dated for November of this year. That makes it 28 months from when I bought it. I don't guess it's all that inconceivable that it would be 8 months from when it was made to when I bought it, which of course would make 3 years.

    From what I've seen, Velvia is usually 12-18 months from when I get it, but that could be that it moves slowly enough that it's a bit "stale" when I buy it. I generally buy either from B&H or Freestyle.
  12. What causes the degradation of the quality of films beyond their expiry date? radiations, gelatin degradation?...
  13. For some higher speed films, it does seem to be radiation.

    Otherwise, there is thermal activation of trap states, commonly surface states.

    Thermal should be Arrhenius, with specific temperature/rate dependence, but it gets worse fast with increasing temperature.

    More than temperature, it is moisture, so keep it dry in the original sealed pack as long as possible.
  14. Thank you for the answer. So keeping films in a fridge and inside their pack, and surrounded by lead should preserve them for... decades?
    I have ~10 Tmax400 at ~4°C and as many Tmax100 that will expire this month, If I put them in an old "Film-Safe"Hama bag, will time stop for them?
  15. The cosmic rays that get to higher speed film will go right through the lead bags.

    That is mostly for TMZ and Delta 3200. They don't last long, even at -4C.

    There might even be radiation from the lead bag itself.

    Frozen TMX and TMY should last for decades, for normal photographic use.

    For your best friend's wedding, use new film.
  16. ok, so no eternity for films.

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