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Thread: Shooting expired B&W film

  1. #1

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    Shooting expired B&W film

    Passing my following experience on: Around the year 2000 I bought a lot of 120 Agfa APX 100 and Ilford SFX 200. All the rolls were always kept frozen from the time I had purchased the film. Moving the bricks of 120 B&W Agfa and Ilford film from one freezer to a new one initiated my getting out the Noblex with plans to use up my stash of expired 120 film. Shot one of the Afga rolls and one of the Ilford rolls and processed both rolls in Ultrafin 1:19 at 68 degrees for 15 minutes. Final results astounded a bit... The Agfa APX 100 negatives looked great with a Base + fog density of only 0.18 and printed up beautifully. The Ilford SFX 200 film caught me by surprise. Its base plus fog level was 0.45 which was totally unacceptable. Just passing this on. Different B&W films obviously deteriorate at different rates, but then we already knew that.

    Side note: Several years ago I finally used up my small stash of frozen 8x10 Super-XX film. The very expired film was totally usable, and I dearly miss it. Around that same time I acquired a box of very expired 8x10 Super-XX film. First test sheet determined that it must have been stored in a hot attic for most of its life.

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting expired B&W film

    Somebody should start an ancient film and plate thread with results

    I have already posted this 130 year old NOS Plate

    NOS 130 year old plate 1 by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr
    2022

  3. #3

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    Re: Shooting expired B&W film

    For films with a strong base fog, you might experiment adding a little potassium bromide to your developer and adjusting developing time to get enough density. I started working at a college photo department a few years ago. There were a bunch of 100' bulk rolls mostly of Plus-x dating back to the 1980's in the fridge. With some testing I was able to get these films to behave pretty normally. Which is fun since the film (and many of our cameras) could have been new when their parents were photographing.

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting expired B&W film

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_bromide

    I will buy 454 g when the shop reopens


    Quote Originally Posted by halberstadt View Post
    For films with a strong base fog, you might experiment adding a little potassium bromide to your developer and adjusting developing time to get enough density. I started working at a college photo department a few years ago. There were a bunch of 100' bulk rolls mostly of Plus-x dating back to the 1980's in the fridge. With some testing I was able to get these films to behave pretty normally. Which is fun since the film (and many of our cameras) could have been new when their parents were photographing.
    2022

  5. #5

    Re: Shooting expired B&W film

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Passing my following experience on: Around the year 2000 I bought a lot of 120 Agfa APX 100 and Ilford SFX 200. All the rolls were always kept frozen from the time I had purchased the film. Moving the bricks of 120 B&W Agfa and Ilford film from one freezer to a new one initiated my getting out the Noblex with plans to use up my stash of expired 120 film. Shot one of the Afga rolls and one of the Ilford rolls and processed both rolls in Ultrafin 1:19 at 68 degrees for 15 minutes. Final results astounded a bit... The Agfa APX 100 negatives looked great with a Base + fog density of only 0.18 and printed up beautifully. The Ilford SFX 200 film caught me by surprise. Its base plus fog level was 0.45 which was totally unacceptable. Just passing this on. Different B&W films obviously deteriorate at different rates, but then we already knew that.

    Side note: Several years ago I finally used up my small stash of frozen 8x10 Super-XX film. The very expired film was totally usable, and I dearly miss it. Around that same time I acquired a box of very expired 8x10 Super-XX film. First test sheet determined that it must have been stored in a hot attic for most of its life.
    I believe infra red and near infra red films do not store well, best purchased in date and used straight away. Also slow films are less prone to fog than fast films. This is just what I have noticed over the years, I have no scientific proof of this.

  6. #6

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    Re: Shooting expired B&W film

    It's always a gamble. I've been using 4x5 TMX-100 that expired in 2005, kept frozen since new. It's performed well, with no fog issues. I had, from the same source, some TMY-400 that was too fogged to use- and some 35mm TMZ-3200 that was completely fogged. So I'll agree, speed plays a role.
    I also have some 35mm Kodak HIE, also frozen from new. Now that I have a working darkroom again, I'll have to dig up a red filter and see if that film is still any good.

  7. #7

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    Re: Shooting expired B&W film

    Still have some 11x14 Tri-X, circa. 1988...stored in various hot attics - and while its got a bit of base fog, its still certainly useable. Here is a recent photo which I commonly share on these "expired film" threads. DIY 11x14, Old TX, 305 G-Claron, HC110-B:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting expired B&W film

    My 1967 4x5 HIE has base fog equivalent to about one stop. Still produces excellent images. My HP5 that I've kept frozen since 2005, has about a third more base+fog. FP4 looks like new though.

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