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Thread: The perils of expired film

  1. #1

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    The perils of expired film

    Picked up an unopened 100 sheet box of Kodak Plus-X for what I thought was a reasonable price and here are the first two shots. At first, I thought my lens was either smudged or fungus-y but it was clean. Doesn't inspire much confidence in the rest of the box but I'm hopeful. Chamonix field camera, Nikkor-SW f4.5 75mm lens.

    21-yr old Plus X: the perils of buying expired film by Kenny Johnson, on Flickr
    21-yr old Plus X: the perils of buying expired film by Kenny Johnson, on Flickr

    Kenny

  2. #2
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: The perils of expired film

    Not seeing it. Can you be specific?

  3. #3

    Re: The perils of expired film

    Expired film cannot make images out of focus. This is a different problem entirely. The grain appears to be out of focus in those areas, indicating a scanning issue. Also, the (underside ?) of the scanner glass seems to be showing marks/smudges, which indicates the focus may be shifting closer to the lens in spots. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say the optical receptor is losing alignment in one corner. Try moving the film to the opposite corner and rescanning. Or, try rotating the film 180 degrees and rescanning. My supposition is the out-of-focus areas will move.

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    Re: The perils of expired film

    The only reason to buy 20 year old film is because it’s likely to have defects and anomalies.

  5. #5

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    Re: The perils of expired film

    Quote Originally Posted by consummate_fritterer View Post
    Expired film cannot make images out of focus. This is a different problem entirely. The grain appears to be out of focus in those areas, indicating a scanning issue. Also, the (underside ?) of the scanner glass seems to be showing marks/smudges, which indicates the focus may be shifting closer to the lens in spots. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say the optical receptor is losing alignment in one corner. Try moving the film to the opposite corner and rescanning. Or, try rotating the film 180 degrees and rescanning. My supposition is the out-of-focus areas will move.
    Didn't think of that. Will try to do it and see what happens. Funny you mention it because I very recently took my Epson V700 'apart' and cleaned the glass surfaces, top and bottom.

  6. #6

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    Re: The perils of expired film

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Whitaker View Post
    Not seeing it. Can you be specific?
    Dunno if you're saying that tongue-in-cheek but the lower left of both images is 'hinky', especially the second one.

  7. #7
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: The perils of expired film

    NOT tongue-in-cheek. I do now see an odd texture in the second image, lower left. But didn't before and still don't see it in the first.

  8. #8

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    Re: The perils of expired film

    Expired film will commonly show increased base fog- resulting in a loss of emulsion speed and contrast. Which can be compensated for, up to a point. Where that point is located is up to you. That said, the problems you show are not ones commonly associated with old film. If you have darkroom access, make a 'proper proof' of your negs and any film-related issues should show up.

  9. #9
    John Olsen
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    Re: The perils of expired film

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    Expired film will commonly show increased base fog- resulting in a loss of emulsion speed and contrast. Which can be compensated for, up to a point. Where that point is located is up to you. That said, the problems you show are not ones commonly associated with old film. If you have darkroom access, make a 'proper proof' of your negs and any film-related issues should show up.
    Good point, and scratches in the second negative should be visible just holding the neg up to a light, if you can't make contact proofs.

  10. #10

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    Re: The perils of expired film

    I do have a small light table and, normally, use it pre-scan to see what I can. Didn't do it last nite in my haste to scan. Holding the negs up to a light didn't seem to show what the scans do. I will check both negs on the light table with a loupe tonight. Alas, I have no darkroom access; everything gets scanned. Which is ironic when you think about it.

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