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Thread: what do i do with expired color negative film?

  1. #1

    what do i do with expired color negative film?

    hi,

    i just cleared out my refrigerator and found tons of cn film. the oldest expired 2001, most of it expired 2004-2006. i am scanning the negs so i have a certain control. are there people out there that can tell me how this film will behave? could i do assigned work with it? i will leave for colombia and have to process the film there on a jobo so i can't really test it before.
    thanks in advance,
    christoph morlinghaus

    www.morlinghaus.com

  2. #2

    Re: what do i do with expired color negative film?

    I use expired film all the time. You will really want to test it first for any application where "creative" is not a good descriptor for the output as the results can be unpredictable. Usually the color will shift a bit, same with contrast.

    If it's mission-critical work you're doing for someone else then pony up the cash for some fresh film.

  3. #3
    Wayne venchka's Avatar
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    Re: what do i do with expired color negative film?

    Send it to me. Yours is newer than mine.
    Wayne
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  4. #4

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    Re: what do i do with expired color negative film?

    I use expired film a lot. Color negative film can be unpredicable, though. I keep mine frozen, which makes it last much longer. When shooting on assignment, however, I wouldn't gamble. Get fresh film for your shoot.

  5. #5
    3d Visual Effects artist
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    Re: what do i do with expired color negative film?

    Yea, it should be pretty usable. You may get a little bit of color casting, but since you are scanning them, that will probably be easily dealt with.
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
    3d work: DanielBuck.net
    photography: 404Photography.net - BuckshotsBlog.com

  6. #6
    Glenn Mellen
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    Re: what do i do with expired color negative film?

    It was asked "could I do assigned work with it?"

    I personally would NEVER use expired film for an important project... especially expired by that much, and especially negative films. I've had two occurrences where I've tried expired film (expired by 2-3 years). One was using NPC, and the other Reala (both medium format roll film). Results for both equated more than a little color casting and loss of color intensities... so much (especially with Reala) that corrections in scanning/editing could not correct the images.

    I personally would relegate badly expired film for use in non-critical images, and not consider its use for anything of an important nature. Film is a relatively cheap part of shoot when travel is involved... so... why take a chance with very old outdated film?

  7. #7

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    Re: what do i do with expired color negative film?

    Glenn,

    If you know, were your bad experiences with film that had been kept at room temperature, in a fridge or in a freezer? I've just acquired a commercial freezer, for other reasons, and I'm thinking of stocking up on some 5x7 film in light of questions about availability.
    Cheers!

  8. #8
    3d Visual Effects artist
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    Re: what do i do with expired color negative film?

    Quote Originally Posted by anchored View Post
    I personally would relegate badly expired film for use in non-critical images, and not consider its use for anything of an important nature. Film is a relatively cheap part of shoot when travel is involved... so... why take a chance with very old outdated film?
    that sounds like good advice
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
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    photography: 404Photography.net - BuckshotsBlog.com

  9. #9
    Glenn Mellen
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    Re: what do i do with expired color negative film?

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    Glenn,

    If you know, were your bad experiences with film that had been kept at room temperature, in a fridge or in a freezer? I've just acquired a commercial freezer, for other reasons, and I'm thinking of stocking up on some 5x7 film in light of questions about availability.
    r.e. - Concerning storage of the film I had bad experiences with:

    The bad Fuji Reala (imported film) was newly purchased from a camera store at a "discount" price knowing it was expired film. Film storage as shipped or stored by the merchant was unknown. I bought 20-rolls... shot 4 rolls on a vacation... threw away the balance after seeing results.

    The bad Fuji NPC was stored by me for quite a few years in a refrigerator.

    I usually buy film in fairly large quantities, and keep it stored refrigerated in air-tight plastic containers... have a full-sized refrigerator/freezer dedicated for film storage. I rarely shoot color negative film, and in all honesty have never had any issues with expired transparency film... but I generally discard any films expired by more than 2-years.

  10. #10

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    Re: what do i do with expired color negative film?

    Whatever you do, I wouldn't throw it away. There's always someone who likes to play with the stuff, some student or someone who's learning with their LF camera just now.

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