Shooting expired film can sometimes be a crapshoot. Such was the case with this past roll of Kodak Plus X, expired in 1983. That means this film was most likely packaged in the mid to late 70’s. This roll of expired Kodak Plus X is almost 40 years old. I have no idea how this film was stored (heat is a killer for film) but was given a few rolls of this from a lot of expired tmax400 I wanted. Here is an image of the finished roll:
Ahhhhh, the old yellow grandfather.
Now, I did a little research before I shot this. I knew that I would need to develop in Kodak hc-110 to hopefully deal with the base fog better. I also knew that I needed to rate it lower, at least 2 or 3 stops at best. So I shot this 2 stops over the rated speed of 125. An old film needed old components, or so that was my reasoning. Might as well go really old. I chose my Leica IIIF from 1952, lens was the collapsible summitar with corresponding Leitz Wetzlar yellow filter. I actually used an old handheld Agfa Lucameter S from the 1950’s that surprisingly still works well. I was set. The roll was shot this past Sunday. Developing was timed at 3 minutes 45 seconds in dilution b of the hc-110. I had to compensate for the warmer water I had (approx. 75deg).
Now so much can go wrong with really old expired film. And certainly, this film was not stored well. If refrigerated or frozen, this film would still be nearly new with just some loss of speed. Not so. The negs came out really flat (loooooow contrast) and many frames the emulsion was coming off the film. However, I was still able to get quite a few usable images. Processing was minimal. The negatives were extremely fogged however my Kodak pakon f135+ scanner handled it without a hiccup. Adobe Lightroom 5 was used to bring the black point down and add a little sharpening. That is about it. See for yourself.
So don’t throw away those old cassettes of film you find at the garage sale, estate sale or at the grandparents/parents house. It still has some life left in it.