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Using out of date film?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Diamond Gaz, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Diamond Gaz

    Diamond Gaz Well-Known Member

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    I've just been given some medium format film (Ilford FP4, Ilford Pan F 50 and Fuji Provia), which is way out of date (1996 / 1997!!!), but which has spent all its time being stored in a fridge.

    Are these films likely to be usuable, or should I just bin them?
     
  2. 60017

    60017 Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    There's only one sure fire way of finding out ! Back in the 60's, when I was a poor teenager I could only afford to buy 'out of date' film (which hadn't been stored in a fridge). Mind you - it wasn't as 'out' as the stuff you have. I'd put money on the FP4 being ok though :)
     
  3. VirtualSteam

    VirtualSteam Member

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    Probably would be OK - just wouldn't trust it if I was shooting a wedding!
     
  4. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    When I was a bit younger I could only use out of date slides.. (c1989) and I used them 1991-1994.

    all was fine, even when I stored them for 5 years whilst I finished university so I could afford to process them, developed in 1999/2000 they looked great..

    Sadly now in 2009... i'm paying the price as the slides are deteriorating badly now.


    Here's an example..

    [attachment=0:hymxisko]_207195.JPG[/attachment:hymxisko]

    If anyones got any suggestions for cleanup of the slides or a solution which involves less than 100hours of clean up per image in photoshop i'd love to hear from you, however from my experience I wouldnt now use old film (but thats moot as I'm now digitial).
     
  5. blackfive

    blackfive Member

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    If it had been in a freezer you'd have nothing to worry about but stored for that length of time in a fridge it should still be Ok but I would rate it at around 2/3rds its recommended speed. Try FP4 at 80 rather than 125. Process the first one normally and if that one looks a bit flat, give the next one 25% more. Pan F may well be Ok at, or nearer to, its rated speed; try it at 40 and process normally.
    As to the Fuji; never used it so you'll just have to try it and see but I would down rate it a little.
     
  6. simon

    simon Resident of Nat Pres

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    I would get them scanned and digitalised then at least you will have a copy that won't deteriorate any further.
     
  7. lickeybanker

    lickeybanker Well-Known Member

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    Try this for removing scratches and dust, it is free and it works quite well. Overall condition of the original is the defining factor.

    http://www.polaroid.com/service/software/poladsr/poladsr.html
     
  8. shredder1

    shredder1 Member

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    they`ll probably be OK but for the price of films I`d bin them, films do have an half life which after the date can deteriorate exponentionally
     
  9. blackfive

    blackfive Member

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    That was true with some chromogenic emulsions, XP-2 for example if they weren't stored in a freezer but not for standard silver halide emulsions. FP4, etc., should be perfectly usable if stored in a fridge. Not sure about the Fuji as the dyes in the emulsion may deteriorate with time but certainly worth a test.
     
  10. shredder1

    shredder1 Member

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    well, every chemical element has a half life, some just deteriorate quicker than others, probably worth trying on something not too important
     
  11. blackfive

    blackfive Member

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    I am about to drift well off topic here.
    The term half life normally concerns radioactive materials, not non-radioactive elements so, unless you are using nuclear film(?) it doesn't really apply here. A grain of salt, for example, remains a grain of salt no matter how long you store it.
    What you may be thinking off is that an exposed emulsion, if stored for long periods, will loose the exposed image.
    Without getting too technical (he says, immediately launching into the highly technical!); when a silver halide emulsion is exposed to light, the silver halide crystals develop small metallic silver inclusions which will form the nucleus for the developing process to convert more silver halide to metallic silver. This is why an undeveloped emulsion, when exposed to light, goes dark. If the exposed film is stored for a long period of time, the metallic silver inclusions are reconverted to silver halide and, given time, the image will not be developable.
    Perhaps that what you were thinking off concerning half life.
    I speak from experience here having had the task at one time of trying to get something out of a collection of undeveloped glass plates over 80 years old. Unsuccessfully I might add. Of course, they might not have been exposed in the first place!
     
  12. shredder1

    shredder1 Member

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    the term half life is apparently applied to other things these days, a little like saying you could eat an horse or kill a kebab, ( people generally understand the meaning of these thing without going into too much scientific explaination), However, to be honest I` cant say as I`ve actually see a dead kebab, although I have seen the odd one without a pulse, the molecular structure of salt can change in state and often does, this would be evident to you if you saw the state of my salt cellar ](*,) , now getting back to this out of date film milarkey, to save any more scientific explaination, or bad science, best thing to do is try it and see 8-[ .

    heres some fasinating information on half life terminology

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-life
     
  13. Diamond Gaz

    Diamond Gaz Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm going to try a few of the films this weekend, so will soon see if they are okay. Thats if they survive my first ever attempt at developing them at home - in the words of Jeremy Clarkson, "How hard can it be??!"
     
  14. shredder1

    shredder1 Member

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    well I managed to develop the cat last time I tried, I`ll stick with digital :-k
     
  15. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    I guess that was a puurfect picture..or was it within a whisker of being over exposed ?

    (ok i'll give up with the jokes).
     
  16. shredder1

    shredder1 Member

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    haha, at least I have a well developed pussy
     

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