Old slide film

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by john_esposito|2, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. Hello, I was looking through some draws with old film and photography stuff. Found some (7) rolls of slide film. The boxes say process before 3-7/2005. Is thier any chance that this film is any good? It was in a dark draw.

  2. Film is pretty light tight in its normal retail packaging, but temperature matters more.

    If it was a drawer in a cool closet, the results will likely be better than if it was in a non-climate controlled garage or attic with wild temperature swings and regular high temperatures.

    I have a bunch of frozen Elite Chrome that has been frozen since new AFAIK and expired in 2000. It has degraded from when I bought it in ~2006 but still isn't bad. I also have some Velvia sheet film that expired in 1997 and was claimed to have been frozen since new(not hard to believe given how expensive sheet film in and how particular most photographers are about it). It still looks good.

    On the other hand, the local shop I do business with a lot will often give me expired film of unknown history if I catch it when it comes in(and ask for it). I take B&W without much thought. Not to long ago, I got a 10-sheet box of E100G with a mid-2000 expiration and it looked terrible(granted I wasn't overly hot on that film even when my local shop still had a refrigerator and I bought it in-date).

    It certainly doesn't hurt to try it, but don't set your expectations too high. You may be happy with the results.

    BTW, I will say that if your intention is to scan, some ills due to aging can be overcome. With that said, the lower dynamic range of slide film makes fog more significant and color shifts are a lot more apparent than in color negative film.
  3. I've shot several rolls of expired color negative film and the results have been pretty good. Some advice I've gotten is to lower the ISO rating 1 stop for every decade the film has been expired. That seems to have worked pretty well for me.

    Try a roll and see what happens. It's probably not a good idea to use expired film for that once in a lifetime shot that you want to turn into a large print, but it's great for experimenting. Lately I've been buying and selling a number of cameras. Often I pick up a camera because I'm interested in the lens. This summer I ended up with one because of the tripod that the guy was selling with it. Since I have more cameras then I need, I sell them on eBay and it always goes better if you can film test them. Expired film is perfect for that and I've gotten some nice shots that way. I bring the camera with the expired film in it to work with me and go for a walk over lunch.

    Slide film I don't have much experience with.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  4. I have shot lots of "legacy" film in "legacy" cameras.

    10 years or so at room temperatures is hardly ever much of a problem. At some points film may show unusual colors, but usually even these can be brought back to some extent in scanning and post-processing.
    I'd shoot the test roll to start with at the rated ISO, then try lower settings too. In my experiences, the rated speed seems to work just fine,

    Here is an Kodachrome image, just as an example, created around 1992, but processed in 2014:


    shows some haze and slight color shifts.
  5. Thank you all very much for the feedback. I'll put it to use over the next few weeks (month) and post the results. Enjoy the weekend.
  6. Since you have seven rolls, likely with the same storage conditions, you will find out from the first if the results are bad.

    If they are bad, you know not to use the rest.

    For cold (frozen or refrigerated) I usually expect old color film to work.

    For black and white, I usually expect it even not cold stored.
  7. Agreed.

    The store where I "loaf" often has film come in when people sell their old cameras. I grab up all the Tri-X and whatever other film I see that comes in with it(they usually give it to me if I'm buying something else, or charge me a token amount if not) . I've shot plenty that expired in the 80s and 90s at box speed and not really given it much thought. All I usually see is an increase in base fog over fresh stock.

    I have a few hundred sheets of Ektapan with 1970s expiration dates, and I think the last I used I exposed at EI 80 and it looked pretty good(albeit as this was intended as a copy film, it can be hard to find a consensus for an EI even for fresh stock). I cracked open a box of 1992 ex. TMAX 100 the other day, and the two sheets I shot looked as good as you can expect TMX to look :)

    There again, though, slide film can be iffy and I wouldn't trust unknown expired film if I needed it for direct viewing or projection.
  8. Out of curiosity, did you do the K-14 yourself? If you did, would you mind sharing the process?
  9. No it was done by Dwaynes in the very last dqys. I scanned it in 2014, but forgot I had it sitting around for q while before I got to it
  10. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    With refrigerated storage, I have found that Elite Chrome seems to hold up pretty well, though it can lose some contrast with age. Velvia seems to be a bit more sensitive to color shifts, in my experience. I've not had any issues with expired color print film except for some Ferrania, which had a bronze cast.

    Expired film also sells readily on eBay. I have sometimes sold expired film bundles and used the proceeds to buy a fresh roll or two.
  11. I'm surprised what expired film will sell for on eBay, - often more than what fresh film would cost you on Amazon.
  12. It doesn't appear that anyone has asked what kind of slide film the OP found. It should be noted that, if it is Kodachrome, there is no place to have it processed as color images. It can be developed as B & W, but not color.
  13. There is a lot of overpriced film that likely never sells.

    But some sizes that are not available new, sell for higher prices than sizes that are available.

    Also, often enough exposed film sells for more than unexposed film.

    I mostly don't buy exposed film, but I did buy a roll of VP122 and tray developed it.

    If you bid often enough, and not so high, you can get a lot of film for not so high prices.
  14. Kodak Elite Chrome 100 and 200 36exp.
  15. You'll probably need to do a little research on who can still do E6 processing in your area. Mail-order might be the only option but definitely available. I shot an expired roll of ektachrome earlier in the Summer. It's probably 20 years old. Haven't processed it yet. In fact, I don't even remember what's on it. I have another roll and have been sort of hoping that Kodak would make good on its promise to re-release ecktachrome so I could shoot enough of it to make home processing worthwhile. Maybe I'll just pay to have it processed and see if I want to bother with more slide film or not. I have heard of people freezing E6 chemicals to make them last.
  16. Since they aren't all the same, you might find different aging effects between them.

    More sensitive films also age faster. Depending on how many rolls of each, you can decide which to try first.

    And compare the processing cost to the cost of buying new film.

Share This Page