Wednesday, April 21, 2021

More Tri-X expired

 A quarter century on this Tri-X performs nicely thanks to frozen storage.  It seems to me that the tonalities and grain are very close to what a fresh roll of the film would produce.

I still lost one frame due to the curling of the thin film at the end of the roll.  For the next roll I will reverse the loading to put the curly end at the innermost part of the reel.  Or, maybe a better solution would be to insert the film strip in the reel with the emulsion side out since both ends are likely to have a strong curl.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Tri-X Prof (TXP) 07/1994

 I shot a roll of Tri-X Prof (TXP) in my Mamiya C330.  The expiration date on the 320 ASA film was an intimidating 07/1994, but it had been frozen. I gave the film a little extra exposure and a little more time in the developer and it performed very well.  My handling and processing, however, left something to be desired.  I lost a couple frames to poor loading onto the reel and also saw some light leak damage in some of the pictures.  The tonal values and grain were very nice in the surviving frames.

Plaza Don Luis

Plaza Vieja

I have four more rolls of this old Tri-X.  I'll try to be more careful with the processing, and I'm thinking it will be interesting to try some portraits to take advantage of the unique character of this film.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Ultra Wide Color

Having a good supply of expired but properly stored Fuji and Kodak color film gave me a good reason to get out with my Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim camera.  I loaded a roll of Kodak Gold 200 with an expiration date of 09/2009 and made 24 exposures on walks in the neighborhood.

Several things became apparent when I processed the film normally in Cinestill C-41.  The decade of refrigerated storage had resulted in very little deterioration.  And, having not used the little vuws camera for some time, I had forgotten the fine points of shooting it.  I managed to capture my finger in about half the shots.  The 22mm lens, the small aperture and great depth of focus means you really need to shoot the camera much as you would a pinhole.  The processed film did have quite marked curvature across the width, so I had to scan it upside down with the curve away from the glass to avoid Newton rings.

I'm pleased I have lived to see another Spring.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Like New

I decided to try some of the expired color film I recently acquired.  I am not usually optimistic about the chances of getting predictable results from old color film, but this Fuji 400 was only a few years past its expiration date and it had been in frozen storage.  I loaded the roll into my Spotmatic SP, made a few shots on a walk in the Sandia Mountains, and then finished up with a morning stroll around our neighborhood.

I processed the film in Cinestill C-41 for six minutes at 95C and can't see any issues with the pictures attributable to the film's age.  I have one more roll of the Fuji, and several of Kodak Gold which is considerably older, but it has also been properly stored.

No film test of course is complete without a picture of the cat.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Old Film, Old Camera

 Among the trove of expired film I was recently gifted were six rolls of 120 Tri-X Professional with an ISO of 320.  I decided to shoot the first roll with a use-by date of 08/1992 in my Welta Perle folder.  I made a few shots in my neighborhood and then spent a morning walking around the UNM campus.

I gave the film an extra stop of exposure to compensate for age and then processed it in L110-b for six minutes at 20C.  The negative density was a little thin, but there were no obvious age-related artifacts in the images.  I'll try an additional stop of exposure in the next roll, and maybe add another minute in the developer as well.

The Welta Perle is the oldest of my 6x4.5 folders, but also the best preserved, it looks like it was hardly used since it was produced in 1935.  The f3.5/75mm lens is a Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar which is uncoated, but still a sharp performer as long as it is not brought too close to the sun.  The rugged old Compur shutter seems accurate throughout its range.

Many of the 6x4.5 cameras have light leak problems because of the need for two ruby windows in the back.  The Welta Perle is totally light-proofed with a swiveling cover for the windows and tubular baffles over the film holders.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Ilford Pan F 50

Thanks to my friend, Kodachromeguy, I have a big pile of expired film to play with.  First up is a roll of Ilford Pan F 50.  The expiration date on this one is June 1991.  I loaded the first roll into my Argoflex Forty and went to the Botanical Garden to shoot some familiar scenes.   I gave the film a couple extra stops of exposure to compensate for age and processed in Rodinal 1:50 for 11 minutes at 20 deg. C.

The first shot of the brick path through the garden seemed perfect in regard to exposure and tonalities, but I either misfocused, or the speed was a bit too slow.  The next shot of the fountain was better in regard to sharpness.  Bracing the camera on the ground probably helped to keep it steady.

In the middle of the roll there were a couple very dense, strange looking frames.  Hard to say what happened there.

Toward the end of the roll the images seemed normal in every respect.

Here is what I really, really like about this film:

the backing paper.

The numerals and lead-up symbols are marvelously visible through the ruby window which is used for advancing the film in a lot of old medium format film cameras.  By contrast, the framing marks on modern films are so dim and low contrast that it is nearly impossible to properly advance the film without overlapping frames or missing frames altogether. 

I have a couple more rolls of Pan F and am looking forward to shooting them, perhaps in different cameras which offer a bit more control over exposure and focusing.