Old B&W Film

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by GaryK227, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Gulp! That's old!
    I bought a block of 2475 Recording film just after it was discontinued. It was a little oudated and pretty foggy when I got it, and within a few years was pretty much unuseable.

    I really don't know if there's any developer that'll rescue it. Best bet is something really 'clean' working like T-Max, but a clip-test would be my recommendation. Just keep your fingers crossed as it comes out of the soup.
  2. Try developing the film for about twice the normal time. That guess worked great for me in 1990, when I developed a roll of film lost since 1955.

    That film was Ilford HP3 Hypersensitive (ASA 250), an ancestor of today's HP5 Plus. However, the roll I found had been stored under terrible conditions. For many years, it rested in an Ohio barn through scorching summers and freezing winters. I developed the film for 15 minutes at 68F in Kodak T-Max developer. My normal time for HP5 Plus is 7:15 at 68F.

    I was so happy with the results that I wrote an article for Shutterbug magazine:
    "Back to the Future"
    Jeff_2522 and inoneeye like this.
  3. Thanks Tom for the info. I checked out your article. The results are surprising... encouraging; I have many 20-30 year old unprocessed rolls.
    tom_halfhill likes this.
  4. For most black and white films, 20 to 30 years is fine.

    Films faster than about ISO 400 don't last as long, and it gets bad pretty fast at higher and higher speeds.

    Most films below 400, at 20 to 30 years, I would develop as usual.
    Verichrome Pan does very will with age.

    When you say unprocessed rolls, I presume you mean ones with images that are 20 or 30 years old.
    VP to 50 years and Tri-X to 30 years do very well with old latent images.

    Ilford PanF+ is well known for poor latent image keeping. They just seem to fade away.
    I haven't heard that about other Ilford films.
  5. 472078_3611541049465_1787684695_o B.jpeg

    This was taken by me in 8th grade on VP126 and developed in Diafine 40 years later.
  6. snowartA.jpeg

    This is taken last week on VP127 that expired in 1970.

    There is a noticeable fog level, but it seems that I overexposed a little, such that it is above the fog level.
    It was taken with a Certo Dolly folding camera, with the bellows seeming in good condition.

    And you never know what art projects people might feel like making.
  7. I used dilution B for fresh shots
    Great results
  8. WRT HC-110: People might be doing an apples-to-oranges comparison here. Because it's sold in different forms in different parts of the world.

    Apparently a thick 'syrup' is the most commonly sold form in the US. Needing dilution to form a stock solution that needs further (A, B, C, etc.) dilution for use. Whereas in the UK and Europe it's sold pre-diluted as stock.

    The keeping qualities are obviously different for the two forms.
    Oh! So using well out-of-date film turns any old snapshot into 'art', does it?
  9. The art project was what the girls were making out of snow.

    Fortunately for them, you can't recognize them in the picture.

    Fortunately for me, the contrast is right for the art project.
  10. Sorry Glen. Got the wrong end of the stick there.

    I thought you were suggesting the use of OD film as an art project.
  11. Is "wrong end of the stick" something that I should know?

    Just to be sure, you do see what the girls are making out of snow?
  12. I thought that was a common expression both sides of the Atlantic.

    It means to take the wrong meaning from something said or written.

    Like the phrase "What are you drinking?", can be taken as a curious inquiry, or as an invitation to be bought a drink.
  13. I wonder if an intended part of the art was the humor/irony, maybe even nihilism, in the chosen medium. No matter how stiff the freeze, there’s always the threat of its melting.
  14. It wasn't so cold to be a "stiff freeze", and I think they were too young to have thought of the irony,
    but I suppose usual teenage humor. And then not so much later, smashed it down.

    And, as far as I know, they didn't notice me.

    That was my first roll in this camera, and I might not know how the focus works so well.

    It doesn't snow often here, maybe once a year. Though only about an hour's drive to snowy mountain passes.
  15. being the operative word
  16. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    On this topic, may I suggest listening to 'Psychotherapy' by Melanie Safka ? Should clear up all your doubts.
  17. Another vote for this. My experiences even with plain old D-76 (I am an agnostic on the subject of the existence of other developers) is that 'standard' development works well enough to give a negative that can be 'restored' in Photoshop if need be.

    Lots of my old film, mostly shot up by now, was even Tri-X, and normal (whatever that is) worked fine. Some of it was over 50 years old.
    Color is another story, depending...
  18. Plus X Pan 120 size, 37 yrs old, exposed and developed just last year (2020). The blacks are about the only thing you need to watch. Give the film a little more exposure, say one stop and develop for normal time or a smidgin extra in 1:1 D76 or ID 11. Pity Kodak didn't still make this excellent film, it has good tonal range. I just bought 100 sheets of it for a no 3 Kodak folder. Same age, got them for a very low price, in as-new sealed boxes. If it hasn't been overheated, it will be ok.

    Test landscape PXP ID 11.jpg
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  19. If stored carefully, Plus-X can last quite a while past expiration date. Of course, individual results will vary as well as what we consider acceptable results. All of my Plus-X is refrigerated (two 120 pro paks and 4 or 5 35mm rolls of 24exp. I use HC110 dilution H. Panatomic-X really lasts a long time. I shot a roll a few years ago that expired in 1964. Looked like new stock.
  20. I have some 80 year old Panatomic-X sheet film. I haven't tried it yet, though.

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