View Full Version : developing older film

Stephen Longmire
1-Nov-2005, 14:41
Embarrassing as it is to admit, I'm finally getting around to developing some shot film I've had in my fridge for years. Obviously it wasn't on top of my list, but these pictures do matter to me, and I don't wnat to take any more chances with them. I'm sure no one else has ever been here...

Most of the film is the older TMAX 100, shot between 5 and 10 years ago, and has been consistently refrigerated. I typically develop in D-76 1:1. Should I be adding benzotriazole to reduce fogging, or is that going to play havoc with development times? Or perhaps trying another developer? Reading old threads from people using out-of-date film (as opposed to developing older shot film), others seem not to have much fogging.

I also have a small amount of FP4 that, much to my annoyance, has not been refrigerated, though it's perhaps the most important. This was shot 5 years ago. I don't have enough of this stuff to experiment with. Anyone else want to come out of the closet and share their experience?

This is the reult of moving too much, and having no reliable darkroom for too long. Thanks a lot,

Jay DeFehr
1-Nov-2005, 16:33
Sounds like an excellent opportunity to compare the latent image keeping properties of T-grain, and K-grain films. I don't think fog will be your biggest problem. I would develop one film normally, and see what you get. You might be just fine, especially with the TMX. I don't know any way to compensate for latent image degradation, but the results of your first, normally processed film should suggest a course of action. For what it's worth, I bought an old camera with an exposed roll of film in it, and when I developed the film normally, I got really nice negs, with a little base fog, of Mountain Home AFB during WWII. Good luck.


John Berry ( Roadkill )
1-Nov-2005, 19:15
I agree the first action is to develop one sheet to know what the is, is. Can you do DBI?

Doremus Scudder
2-Nov-2005, 05:58
Develop some of the film normally to see if you need to increase development time due to fogging or lack of contrast (both possible when exposed film is stored for a long time). Chances are, things will be alright, since you have had the film in the refridgerator. However, if there is a loss of contrast, then an increase of development time will help. If the fogging is significant, an anti-fog agent like BZT will help, but lengthen development times quite a bit. Testing will be necessary. Light fog can be printed through, although some loss of shadow detail can be expected. Longer development will bring the shadows up very little, but some. The anti-fog is what you need if this turns out to be an issue.

Best of luck

Stephen Longmire
2-Nov-2005, 09:53
I spoke with someone at Kodak about this, and came away thinking a shift from D-76 to XTOL (which I'd been trying anyway) mgith be beneficial here, since it apparently produces greater shadow detail, and that seems to be what I'm most in danger of losing from latent image degradation. I would typically use these developers 1:1, but the last post has me wondering whether I shouldn't start with straight developer, which will give a slight boost in contrast. Sound reasonable so far? The wildcard is whether to add benzotriazole or another anti-fogging agent up front, or will that play havoc with the developing time? Any chemists out there?