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Determining Expiration Dates W/ Kodak Film


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#1 K Borowski

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 09:40 PM

Hey everyone:
I bought two 400-ft. tins of B&W neg 16mm Eastman last summer, which was going to be used for an experimental short a few weeks later. As many film projects go, it is only now that we're finally getting around to shoot this stock. I just pulled the cans out of the fridge to look them over, and was surprised to find that there is no expiration date stamped anywhere. How does one go about determining when the stuff expires? Is there a number I can call with the emulsion batch number at Kodak? John? I am certain ?he stuff is still usable, but if it is near expired I want to know so that I can introduce an antifoggant during development or overexpose a third of a stop more.

Regards,

~Karl Borowski
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#2 Brian Pritchard

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 06:30 AM

Hey everyone:
I bought two 400-ft. tins of B&W neg 16mm Eastman last summer, which was going to be used for an experimental short a few weeks later. As many film projects go, it is only now that we're finally getting around to shoot this stock. I just pulled the cans out of the fridge to look them over, and was surprised to find that there is no expiration date stamped anywhere. How does one go about determining when the stuff expires? Is there a number I can call with the emulsion batch number at Kodak? John? I am certain ?he stuff is still usable, but if it is near expired I want to know so that I can introduce an antifoggant during development or overexpose a third of a stop more.

Regards,

~Karl Borowski

Motion Picture film stock does not have an expiry date on it. If you process a short length, Kodak stock will have a date code on it which will tell you when it was manufactured. You can find information on date codes on the Kodak website.Neither a date code or an expiry date is of much help to you. You need to determine the fog level of the film and its speed. These will depend on the storage history of the film. You need to process a short length of unexposed film and also do an exposure test using the normal development time and temperature. You can then make any adjustments for the film. If the fog level is too high than it is preferable not to use the film although you can try an anti foggant.

In the days when features were regularly shot on B/W film every batch of film would be sent to a lab before shooting to have gamma tests made so that the lab knew how to process the film to get the correct gamma and to get the exact speed.

Brian
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 01:12 PM

In the days when features were regularly shot on B/W film every batch of film would be sent to a lab before shooting to have gamma tests made so that the lab knew how to process the film to get the correct gamma and to get the exact speed.

Brian


Thanks for the info Brian. It was purchased new about one year ago and has been refrigerated ever since. How exactly do you shoot a test with B&W? I've shot them with color film only. Is there a specific chart I should shoot for such a test?

Regards,

~Karl
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#4 Mark Dunn

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 03:40 AM

I wouldn't worry at all about B/W film that's been in the freezer, or even fridge, for only a year, if it was fresh when you got it. The fog level goes up a bit, but I'd be happy using B/W for stills after a few years.
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#5 Brian Pritchard

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 10:29 AM

Thanks for the info Brian. It was purchased new about one year ago and has been refrigerated ever since. How exactly do you shoot a test with B&W? I've shot them with color film only. Is there a specific chart I should shoot for such a test?

Regards,

~Karl

Hello karl
A normal Greyscale chart as used for colour film would be fine. You need to make sure that you get a range of density from white to black and that you can see all the steps of the wedge. I would have thought that if the film had been refridgerated then it should be in excellent condition. It might be sufficient just to shoot a short length of picture and include a fleshtone in it and make sure the density of the face is not too light or too dark.
Brian
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 07:25 AM

Kodak normally assigned emulsion batch numbers on a sequential basis. Here is what the numbers mean:

http://www.kodak.com.../...15.18&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com.../...15.14&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com.../h1/sizes.shtml

Professional motion picture film is not labeled with an expiration date, as storage conditions determine how fast the characteristics change. The emulsion batch and roll number provide the information needed for Kodak to track the history of a particular film roll.

Here is information about proper film storage:

http://www.kodak.com...rage_cond.jhtml

http://www.kodak.com...b/tib5202.shtml
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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