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Expired film stocks- idiots guide?


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#1 Gareth Blackstock

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 03:15 PM

G'day,

 

I have been keeping an eye out for expired 16mm stocks so I can practice shooting film, getting my head around things, experimenting etc.  I have been focusing on B&W stocks as I am of the belief that less sensitivity is still workable, whereas with expired colour stocks I figure the dyes must degrade in a haphazard way, like having a red or blue streak running through the film. 

 

Of course these are uneducated assumptions, is there a web site that details how stocks degrade?  I imagine a few people rely on expired stocks to actively remain shooting, and knowing how some stocks will degrade will help purchasing decisions of auction sites.

 

Any ideas on where this info is?

 

Cheers, Gareth


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 03:20 PM

The info is in the heads of filmmakers who use outdated stock.

B/W can still be fine after decades if it has been stored in cool, dry conditions. Colour stock doesn't usually degrade in the way you imagine- the fog level goes up, the sensitivity drops and the colour shifts, but it can be corrected somewhat in post. You'd test it first, of course, before shooting anything critical.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 14 December 2014 - 03:22 PM.

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#3 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 10:51 AM

Older color stocks = add more light


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#4 Heikki Repo

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 02:56 PM

My rule of thumb with expired color negative is 2/3 stops overexposure by default, add one stop for every decade of expiration.

 

Some Fuji 250D from the early 90s or late 80s:


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#5 Gareth Blackstock

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 02:46 PM

Thanks for the good tips guys, they will be helpful when it comes to buying old stock.  What about reversal stocks, can the same allowances, ie: increase stops of exposure be applied?


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#6 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 03:03 PM

Ektachrome shifts towards blue a tiny bit over time. I've box-rated 10 year old ektachrome (EPP) and been fine, but did have to dial back a bluish tint (very slight). 


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#7 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 06:29 PM

Here are examples. When shot, the film was 6 years past expiration. 

 

5053380686_ec4e8a0339_b.jpg4987618814_0a7435f376_b.jpg4852285247_3ca59fe189_b.jpg


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#8 Richard Tuohy

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 01:07 AM

Thanks for the good tips guys, they will be helpful when it comes to buying old stock.  What about reversal stocks, can the same allowances, ie: increase stops of exposure be applied?


No. There is no in camera compensation you can make with old film that is to be processed as reversal, at least with regards fogging.
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#9 Mark Dunn

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 06:02 AM

Overexposing reversal plows out the highlights and one the detail has gone, it's gone, Neg is the other way round.


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#10 Mark Dunn

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 10:16 AM

I mean 'blows out'.


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#11 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 05:56 PM

 

Here are examples. When shot, the film was 6 years past expiration. 
 
.....


Kenny, sorry if I missed the reference to it... but what format is that Ektachrome?

It looks very nice!
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#12 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 07:54 PM

Thanks Gregg! It's 6x6, remarkably scanned on a flatbed! They're so crystal-clear because they're MF, but even with 35mm EPP was a beautiful emulsion. I wish Kodak gave Alaris the stills division before ektachrome and the old portras were killed off. 

 

It also raises the question - why can't they also offload MP production to Alaris? 


Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 17 December 2014 - 07:56 PM.

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#13 Mark Dunn

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 05:30 AM

Kodak still makes the films that Kodak Alaris markets. The division was quite specifically sold off separately and bought by Kodak UK's pension fund. MP wasn't offered.


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#14 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 11:27 AM

I know that, but I'm saying that I would hope something like that happens with MP business. 


Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 18 December 2014 - 11:29 AM.

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