Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

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Silverdream
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Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by Silverdream » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:33 pm

Looking for advise on using long expired Kodak black and white film. If the prior history is not known is it worth bothering with. We're talking film between 20- 40 years old.
I have read up as much as possible on the subject but there's not really that much information out there. I guy by the name of lealar on vimeo has a lot of examples that look good.
What are your experiences and what sort of exposure and developing process would you recommend. I would like to develope them in my spiral tank. Thanks.

nikonr10
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by nikonr10 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:01 am

Silverdream wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:33 pm
Looking for advise on using long expired Kodak black and white film. If the prior history is not known is it worth bothering with. We're talking film between 20- 40 years old.
I have read up as much as possible on the subject but there's not really that much information out there. I guy by the name of lealar on vimeo has a lot of examples that look good.
What are your experiences and what sort of exposure and developing process would you recommend. I would like to develope them in my spiral tank. Thanks.
Have used and still do, Outdated BW film even had expose film siting around for years , before getting around to developing them .
but its not being 20 / 40 years old film .
Just cooked then like you should in the soup !

It.s only by playing around you get something outside the box, Beside if you do not try how are you going to know ?
The BW soup is cheap / :-? you have a tank .

doug
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by doug » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:28 pm

I still have FP3 16mm from 1960s that gives a useable image :)
I rate it at about 50 ISO
some though is a bit shrunk
Doug
www.filmisfine.co

Silverdream
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by Silverdream » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:34 pm

Thanks for the replies so far.
What I have read is there seems to be a number of methods of using outdated film.

First method;
Under rate the film and process as normal.
Second method:
Expose as rated and increase processing time.
Third method;
Under rate film and increase processing time.

I suppose the third method is if the film is really old and lost a lot of it's sensitivity.

Some other notes;
Use a high contrast developer.
Processing to be done at around 20°C.
Agitate more often to increase contrast.

Please advise any other tips.
Maybe a flow chart could be created to make all the information easy to follow.

studiocarter2
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by studiocarter2 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:27 pm

What I do is shoot a bracket test first on every aperture. Just a 3 foot length with clear or black single frames between each shot. Development is in a Jobo tank that holds two 110 reels. I only develop one. Each holds about 6 feet. More than enough to project a spliced loop. The best exposure is done again with 1/3 stop brackets, or another developer is tried until pictures appear. Then the best Asa is used and 10 or 20 feet are shot and developed in a Lomo tank on spirals.

7OSE9
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by 7OSE9 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:50 am

My experience has always been positive, even if I don't personally develop (apart from some Fomapan), but I leave it to the laboratories. Without asking push or pull, I limit myself to open iris more (or set the Asa appropriately). It's said open one stop for ten years from the expired date, I think it is a good method.

I think it's an underrated way to shoot (b/w. color is another argument), the results are generally good, and we want an 8mm/Super8/9.5mm/16mm, not a 4k.
The costs are not very very high: if you develop yourself there is the cost of chemists, a development at the laboratory can cost more than a not expired film, but don't forget that an expired film can be found for few coins. I paid on ebay 16mm films (or 8mm, etc.) even less than 5 euros.
I like to shoot "experimental" films, and the heavy grain or the ruined effect can help the work. :)

David M. Leugers
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by David M. Leugers » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:26 am

If you have only one roll of expired, previous storage history unknown, B+W film and the can has not been opened, I would just go ahead and shoot some stuff that is not too important and open up the exposure by 1/2 stop and hope for the best. The film speed drops as the film ages that is why I say to expose the film to more light. If you were to open up the exposure 1 stop or more, you just might overexpose a film that had been stored properly. If you have more rolls, then I'd shoot tests and adjust accordingly. I shoot out of date B+W film all the time. Usually get good results. I freeze all my film stocks.

7OSE9
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by 7OSE9 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:42 pm

You're right David, if the film was freezer, 1 stop or more can be too much.
I was talking about very dry films, but even with this examples a half a stop would be enough. The ideal is to try various openings at different times, with difference scenes.

Silverdream
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by Silverdream » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:24 pm

Since I have several rolls of the same film I will do a bracket exposure test on a short piece as suggested. Are there any recommended filters that would help?
What sort of processing chemistry is best for Tri-X? I was thinking of using a Caffenol recipe but it seems they leave a sepia tone and may not be the best for reversal. Perhaps D-76 is good?
Any advice would be appreciated and thanks for the replies so far.

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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by studiocarter2 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:37 pm

Do you want to develop the film to negative or reverse it to positive? Try each in turn. D-76 gives soft reverses and good negs. How will development be done? Bucket, spirals, or rewinds? That'll effect results. I like to Stand process on spirals hours and hours with high contrast film to achieve nice gray tones.

studiocarter2
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by studiocarter2 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:46 pm

I started a FB group about using Tri-X. Then moved on to Double X, and sound track film, now 7363. Some day I will print more.
https://m.facebook.com/groups/218244772 ... f=mentions

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Patrick
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by Patrick » Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:27 pm

I once bought a bunch of old B&W 16mm films from a market stall for about $4 each. Judging by the design of the paper packaging, they looked extremely old but I had no idea how old. Had kind of a vintage design with the style of lettering etc. I exposed them normally and had them processed normally and they turned out fine. Contrast didn't look too bad either.

Silverdream
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by Silverdream » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:29 pm

Studiocarter,
I will process them in a spiral tank and would like to do reversal to positive. I understand that leaving it negative can be more successful with very old film.
I watched a lot of your Utube samples. Interesting and detailed. Your projector is quite noisy though.
When you say D-76 gives soft reverses, do you mean low contrast or low picture sharpness?
I never thought I would be keen on shooting black and white but I really like the look of trees and flowers in monochrome, even on high contrast film. I'm not so keen on street scenes showing modern cars and people with modern gadgets. Not yet anyway.

Silverdream
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by Silverdream » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:35 pm

Patrick,
Thanks for adding your experience. The reason I asked the question initially was because I came across some old film but didn't have time to test it before making a decision to buy it. So I just was trying to gauge whether it was worth risking money on it. By accounts so far B/W is always worth a try.

7OSE9
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Re: Your Experiences Using Expired B/W Film

Post by 7OSE9 » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:19 pm

Andrew, on Lealar's channel, which ones are shot with expired films?
There are also many good films, also as a subject and form, as well as excellent scans!

I have a question for everyone: have you ever tried Soviet emulsions? B&w or color. Not from the DDR like the Orwo.
Do you know what development processes they use? It's true that ALL color emulsions used a special development (called "cold", I read), typical or Iron Curtain, and that none had, for example, the E6?
I know some labs that can develop them, but the costs and times are high, I would like to know if there was a brand that could be developed well at home too.

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