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Got a batch of film short-ends - what are the chances they're OK?


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#1 James Martin

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:13 PM

Hi Guys,

I recently acquired a batch of short-ends and re-cans (16mm and 35mm, mainly colour neg). The labels on the cans date from 1988 to around 2000, though many are just silver cans with writing on them. Some have previously dipped OK and some NG, my question is:

What are the chances the rest of the cans are OK? I assume not all will be but am I looking at "if any are OK I am lucky" or 50/50 or "should be OK?"

They have been stored sealed (in can with plenty of tape) by a clapper/loader. I am going to take some of them to be dip tested tomorrow, but not all of them - there's around 65 cans!

Thanks.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:31 PM

You say they've been stored sealed. Have they been stored in a freezer or fridge?

I think you could take a representative sample from all years and get a decent idea. There might be surprises, though. I wouldn't use it on anything really important that you could never reshoot.

Edited by Chris Keth, 27 January 2009 - 08:32 PM.

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#3 Mike Lary

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:38 PM

It depends on how they were stored. Were they frozen, refrigerated, left at room temperature for days/months/years?

I had some 7217 in the freezer for about a year, shot it side by side with some new 7217, and I could see a difference in sensitivity. For film that's ten years old, I wouldn't consider spending money processing and transferring it without snip testing each batch first (if you have any from the same batch). Otherwise it's a crap shoot.
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#4 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:14 PM

They have been stored sealed (in can with plenty of tape) by a clapper/loader. I am going to take some of them to be dip tested tomorrow, but not all of them - there's around 65 cans!

IF they have been refrigerated since new, AND if .. And IF. :rolleyes:

I have had "acceptable" results with slow speed film that was 10 years old and was refrigerated, I doubt that it would intercut with fresh stock without jarring effects., but it was OK for what I wanted to try for my own amusement.

The higher the speed, the more likely that the fog will be high.
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#5 James Martin

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 04:40 AM

Thanks for the replies guys.

I don't really have any massive hopes, but I paid the equivalent of $30 for 22 cans of 16mm and 45 cans of 35mm - so if one turns out to be good then I've basically got my money's worth.

It's for my own personal testing, no pro usage.

I had a feeling film speed would affect it, I think it has been left in a cool environment, but not a fridge (a garage or shed of some kind I think). I'm gonna take a few samples down to Soho film later today and get them to clip test it - I have some nearly full cans of 50D that I would love to be able to use.

At the very least, I have a large collection of film cans I can use as novelty gifts for my film school buddies (who have mostly never used film).
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