View Full Version : Really, really old film experiment

Jim Graves
24-Jun-2008, 17:25
I have no idea why I bought these ... but 2 years ago I bought 4 sealed boxes of 4x5 Panatomic-X (24 sheets each ... haven't seen that in awhile, I'd bet) with an expiration date of June 1947.

Now, I know about gamma rays and their effect on film. But, I thought, what the heck ... let's try some fog-limiting developer (HC-110?) and possibly some additives and take some pictures ... maybe the resulting affect will be interesting ... maybe like taking pictures on the Sacramento delta on a foggy day ... or in Vaughn's case ... like shooting a regular day on the Humboldt coast.

So, now I need to take some pictures and develop some film ... it always comes down to that, doesn't it? What I'd like is some suggestions: film speed (exposure index), filters, developing tricks (Kodak anti-fog pills), printing possibilities, subject matter that might work, etc.

Any ideas out there????????

Alan Curtis
24-Jun-2008, 18:27
Wow it is hard to believe that you have film that is just one month younger than I am. I would make one exposure of a normally lite area and cut the ASA by at least 75% and develop in HC-110 for 50% more than the recommended time (if Kodak even had a time for HC-110). See what it looks like, if the higher zones are too light or dark adjust development time if the lower zones are too low or high adjust ASA. You don't have much film to experiment with so just getting in the ballpark is probably most important. Then make the adjustment for the next sheet and hopefully you have something to work with. Next option is put it on ebay as a highly valued antique.

Glenn Thoreson
24-Jun-2008, 18:38
HC-110 was only a gleam in George's eye back then. I hope you get something out of it. I have a box of Royal Pan to try. At least it's new enough to have a modern speed rating of 400. Any good? The Shadow knows............ :D

W K Longcor
24-Jun-2008, 19:27
Not that film and paper are the same thing -- but a few years back, I was given some photo paper ( most was 16x20 size - that had gone out of date around 1937 ( that's 10 years outdated by the time I arrived on the scene). I played with exposure and monkeyed with the developer a bit. It was the closest thng to time travel that I may ever experience. a few of the papers stopped being made before or during WWII. It was a real experience -- I hope you have as much fun with your films!:D

24-Jun-2008, 19:30
If you can sacrifice a couple of sheets to test for base+fog and establishing an EI and time, I'd recommend it. Otherwise cutting EI by about 75% and increasing dev time seems the way to go. FWIW, I have had great fun with Tri-X expired in 1967 - shot pinholes with them. I actually bought them for the 620 reels they came on :)