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Thread: How to check of a roll of film is still good

  1. #1
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    Default How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Hi,
    I've got several rolls of very old film (4-5 years) kept in the drawer all this while and one still in my old film camera.
    I wonder if they are still good. Is there any way to check if they're still good or to fix them if they're spoilt?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by WuffRuff View Post
    Hi,
    I've got several rolls of very old film (4-5 years) kept in the drawer all this while and one still in my old film camera.
    I wonder if they are still good. Is there any way to check if they're still good or to fix them if they're spoilt?
    expose it and send it for developing.... you'll see

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    #1, throw away.
    #2, process and see.

    film is cheap.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    This is how I'd do it: pull the film and examine the strip on the light table like what you'd do to x-ray slides.

    (I kid I kid).

    You didn't mention what type of film you've got. If it's slide film, aiyah throw away lah. Should have kept them in the fridge/freezer. But if it's cheapo neg film then use it normally - you might see interesting hues and tones! Combine that with a lensbaby (if you have one) for an interesting angle on your photography.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Check the date. There is usually a best before date stamped on the box. If you value the one in the camera, develop it. What can you loose? If you don't develop you will never see what's on it, if you develop you mat see something.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by WuffRuff View Post
    Hi,
    I've got several rolls of very old film (4-5 years) kept in the drawer all this while and one still in my old film camera.
    I wonder if they are still good. Is there any way to check if they're still good or to fix them if they're spoilt?
    Even those kept in the fridge for so long would have expired. The colour will not be correct anymore.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by WuffRuff View Post
    Hi,
    I've got several rolls of very old film (4-5 years) kept in the drawer all this while and one still in my old film camera.
    I wonder if they are still good. Is there any way to check if they're still good or to fix them if they're spoilt?
    I have kept slide films for that long in the freezer.

    After processed the exposure were under, the film was grainier and there was colour shift.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    usually in the old days, films are kept cool in the fridge when not in use...
    of course, in yr case yr film will still be able to be print with acceptable colors... but expect some color shift ... i have experience once i sent a 3yr old film for processing and it turns out ok, as i hv left in the drawer forgotten...

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    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethnix View Post
    usually in the old days, films are kept cool in the fridge when not in use...
    of course, in yr case yr film will still be able to be print with acceptable colors... but expect some color shift ... i have experience once i sent a 3yr old film for processing and it turns out ok, as i hv left in the drawer forgotten...
    Hmm... colour shift... interesting...
    Can people suggest what I could take photos of that could take advantage of this colour shift to look interesting?

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by WuffRuff View Post
    Hmm... colour shift... interesting...
    Can people suggest what I could take photos of that could take advantage of this colour shift to look interesting?
    Shoot people for one and notice any difference in skin tones compared to your own. The colour shifts aren't anything spectacular, if that's what you are expecting.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    im so glad i caught this thread - i have so many old rolls too and ive thought about just using them and waiting to see if they are still good...but then you don't get the pictures =(

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    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by picturePERRFECT View Post
    im so glad i caught this thread - i have so many old rolls too and ive thought about just using them and waiting to see if they are still good...but then you don't get the pictures =(
    Haha... if there are a few more like us, we could organise an outing to shoot with old films... One of a kind outing man!!!
    Anyone else with old films out there?!?

  13. #13

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by Sion View Post
    I have kept slide films for that long in the freezer.

    After processed the exposure were under, the film was grainier and there was colour shift.
    I think you should never keep film in freezer. You will cause the emulsion to crack.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethnix View Post
    usually in the old days, films are kept cool in the fridge when not in use...
    of course, in yr case yr film will still be able to be print with acceptable colors... but expect some color shift ... i have experience once i sent a 3yr old film for processing and it turns out ok, as i hv left in the drawer forgotten...
    If it's consumer film, you can use slightly beyond the expiry date if kept in the fridge and still get acceptable colours. If professional film, you can forget it. The colour shift is terrible once it's past expiry date. Professional film need to be kept in the fridge until they are to be used.

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    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    If it's consumer film, you can use slightly beyond the expiry date if kept in the fridge and still get acceptable colours. If professional film, you can forget it. The colour shift is terrible once it's past expiry date. Professional film need to be kept in the fridge until they are to be used.
    Depends on your luck sometimes. I've shot with Provia 100F that was expired for two years and the colours still came out well.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    If it's consumer film, you can use slightly beyond the expiry date if kept in the fridge and still get acceptable colours. If professional film, you can forget it. The colour shift is terrible once it's past expiry date. Professional film need to be kept in the fridge until they are to be used.
    Can somebody tell me why film must be kept in fridge?
    How about the dry cabinet?

  17. #17

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by WuffRuff View Post
    Can somebody tell me why film must be kept in fridge?
    How about the dry cabinet?
    the chemicals react with each other causing the film to degrade. The higher the temperature the faster it happens. you put it in the fridge you slow down things...

  18. #18
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    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    hi,
    Shld a film be kept in a freezer, how long can it be kept for?
    How can it be used? need to de-frost it first? Any methods?

  19. #19

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Don't know if anyone ever did this before, but I've read of photographers in the US doing a test strip for very sensitive emulsions and if the film is to be used for very veryy important technical shoots. Probably never done in SG because of the lacheness and cost. To add, such tests were more for calibration purposes as compaered to finding our if the film is 'spolit' or not.

    As Catchlights said, film is cheap. Since I doubt if any normal lab is willing to do a test strip, just shoot a sample roll and develop/scan it to check.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 22nd March 2008 at 12:51 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: How to check of a roll of film is still good

    Quote Originally Posted by lsisaxon View Post
    If it's consumer film, you can use slightly beyond the expiry date if kept in the fridge and still get acceptable colours. If professional film, you can forget it. The colour shift is terrible once it's past expiry date. Professional film need to be kept in the fridge until they are to be used.
    Hi guys,

    So how we know it is a 'professional film'? does it mean 'slide film'? i can't really think of any negative film that is 'professional film'..can someone give some examples? would like to try 'professional film' =)

    By the way, it seems like slide film is more 'sensitive' to negative film? so expired slide film is shorter life?

    do we have to store negative film in freeze also?

    and if we keep in fridge, just normal cold storage or frozen storage?

    thanks for reading..

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