View Full Version : What Expiration Date Should I expect for new Chromes?

Michael Heald
30-May-2006, 17:30
Hello! I've been mostly shooting B&W, but I purchased 3 boxes of 4x5 Kodak 100G from B&H along with 3 boxes of TMax 400. The TMax has an expiration date of 8/07. The 100G has an expiration date of 6/06
6/06 seems rather short! I doubt whether I will shoot 30 chromes in one month. (I was thinking more of 6 to 8 months) From reading posts, I expect that the film would actually be good longer than its expiration date, but especially for me as a newbie chrome shooter, I don't want to have that as a variable in my shooting.
Should I have expected chromes with a longer expiration date from B&H? Best regards.


Eric Leppanen
30-May-2006, 17:47
I would definitely not be happy with B&H for selling me essentially short-dated film at new film pricing, although I'm not sure what recourse you'll have if B&H elects to dig in their heels and refuse to replace the film. More reason to deal with specialty LF dealers (Badger, Midwest Photo, J&C, View Camera Store, etc.) who do a better job taking care of their customers.

Fortunately refrigerated film will remain good for months after its expiration date, and frozen film will remain good nearly indefinitely. If you want to be extra safe, freeze part of your film stock, then thaw as required. When freezing, I understand it is best to keep the film sealed in its original packaging, and most folks enclose the film boxes in a ziplock freezer bag.

I'm assuming none of your film is packaged in Readyloads. I'm not sure how gracefully Readyloads will take to freezing.

Ted Harris
30-May-2006, 17:51
Assuming you paid full price for the film you should expect at least 6 months and evenb that is sort of short. Given that the end of June is less than 40 days away the film you just got should hve been sold as short dated or even out dated! Could simply be a mistake on B&H's part. Call them and ask for either more filmor a refund of some sort or just return it.

As for the rest of your question, sure it will freeze just fine and lats for years.

Robert Ley
30-May-2006, 17:53
Michael, That seems like an awful short date for film sold as new/fresh. I have been paying about 1/3 on Ebay for film dated longer than that. I would call B&H and complain. B&H is pretty reputable and should be able to satisfy you. I would ask to either return it or give you a credit due to the fact that it is old and very near expired film. The TMax is even a little short for fresh film. That does not mean that the film will not be good.
The manufacturers are usually very conservative on their expiration dates. I routinely will buy large amounts of film and freeze it. Frozen film, atleast the slow (200 and under) will last a very long time. I have used film that I have frozen many years past the expiration date with no ill effect.
It is kind of like going to the car dealer to pick up your brand new car and finding that it has 5,000 miles on it :)

30-May-2006, 19:55
I'd be headed back to B+H if I were in your shoes... that's far, far too short if you paid full price for it!

FWIW, I always check the expiry date prior to paying for my films nowadays. I had a local seller try to sell me some chromes with a 3 week expiry date. Apparently, they hadn't checked their stock in quite some time. At the end of the day, he ended up selling me the remaining 6 x 50 sheet boxes for less than half price! :)

Couldn't complain about that one! :)


Steven Barall
30-May-2006, 21:00
I live in NYC and I buy film right at the B&H store. Even with me standing right there they usually try to pull a fast one with short dated film. You have to figure that with me buying 4X5 film they might assume that I might be a bit more demanding than someone buying a 24 exposure roll of Kodacolor. I have also never gotten a box of film there that had been refrigerated either. That said, they are always very agreeable and pleasant when I correct them.

The only place to buy refrigerated long dated film in NYC is at Calumet but they do cost more and they have trouble keeping film in stock so you can't rely on them. Buy from Badger or a place like that. Call B&H and tell them to atleast exchange it at their cost and mention that it's the last time you buy from them. Good luck.

31-May-2006, 07:04
I had the same issue with B&H about a year ago--a couple of boxes of Quickloads with less than 2 months from expiration. I didn't complain...(should have)...and my solution was to buy from Badger Graphic after that. Their prices are better on many films with fresh dates (12+ months for a couple of orders since).

A few months in the ziplock+refridgerator after exp. date didn't hurt my films.

31-May-2006, 08:13
I live in NYC and I buy film right at the B&H store. Even with me standing right there they usually try to pull a fast one with short dated film. You have to figure that with me buying 4X5 film they might assume that I might be a bit more demanding than someone buying ...

It's not just B&H. I've had this experience many times in LA camera shops. You have to understand their logic -- they need to rotate their stock so it's FIFO. Makes sense from their perspective, doesn't it. I once asked for a longer-dated box of 4x5 and the clerk humored me (but with a snarl). He basically let me know that it wouldn't be an issue if I shot more film. A box of 4x5 tends to last a long time in my house so lopng-dated is a plus! Many shops seem to prefer being oriented to the pros who shoot lots of film rather than "hobbiests".

Michael Heald
31-May-2006, 08:24
Hello! I called B&H and they agreed to take the film back. I asked for an exchange as opposed to a refund. The sales clerk said something interesting. He said that they wouldn't know the expiration date of the film when they shipped it and that I found out only because I opened the box.
It became apparent that the salesperson didn't know how LF film was shipped, since each box has the expiratoin date printed on it.
In any case, they will exchange it. Hopefully, they'll give me a fresher batch when in is returned. Best regards.


Tom Westbrook
31-May-2006, 18:42
He was just making excuses. I have the outside boxes holding a brick of 35mm 160NC and for TMY that have the exp date clearly marked on the outside. I'd guess the same is true of other formats. That's for Kodak, but I'd guess the same is true for Fuji.