Out of date film.

soupdragon

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This topic has probably been done to death but I could not find a thread relating to it.

I have a stock of film in my freezer at about -18 deg C.
A lot of it will go past its use by date by the time I get round to using it.

Does anyone have a feel for how long colour film can go past bbe date before there is a change in character?

I guess a week or a month or maybe a year won't make any difference but, beyond that...........................................
I have no feel for this as in the past I have always used in date film.
The reason I have a stock pile is that raw materials are getting harder to source in the UK and, I'd rather not be stuck with expensive camera shaped ornaments any time soon.
 
Film used to have a 5 year expiry date, that only changed to meet ISO 9002 stock control. I'm using film I bought in 2004 with no problems. stored in my darkroom at floor level where it's cool.

Ian
 
This topic has probably been done to death but I could not find a thread relating to it.

I have a stock of film in my freezer at about -18 deg C.
A lot of it will go past its use by date by the time I get round to using it.

Does anyone have a feel for how long colour film can go past bbe date before there is a change in character?

I guess a week or a month or maybe a year won't make any difference but, beyond that...........................................
I have no feel for this as in the past I have always used in date film.
The reason I have a stock pile is that raw materials are getting harder to source in the UK and, I'd rather not be stuck with expensive camera shaped ornaments any time soon.

I routinely use frozen film from the 1990s. I've processed unfrozen film from the 1970s and 1980s using semistand techniques with D-23 and Pyrocat-HD. The oldest I've processed was an unopened box of 6x9 SuperXX from 1961! It produced perfectly usable images, but the film was so old it was mechanically compromised (sheet sticking together, etc.). Here are scans of a couple prints I made from that film:

 
As a follow on, but D-23 1:2 or even 1:3 or Pyrocat-HD 1.5:1:250 will process older films well and deliver pretty much full box speed if you semistand develop for 60min (2min initial agitation, one 10 second agitation at 31min), in my experience. The Pyrocat tends to show a bit more fogging, and the D-23 yields a cleaner image with almost no fog. However, grain is more visible with D-23 than Pyrocat, which is mostly just an issue - if it is an issue - for 35mm.

The only exception to this was some old 6x9 Plus-X. No matter what I did, I could not find a way prevent bromide drag no matter how I suspended the film.

But the takeaway here is that old films can often be used or rescued using semistand development techniques. I would note that my test of older films has mostly been Kodak products, though I have developed a lot of other brands of films from the 1990s and beyond this way and they exhibit no visible fog or deterioration.
 
Does that apply to colour film E6 and C41?
Nope. Semistand and its variants work because of the particular properties of how monochrome film behaves. Colour media have all matter of complexity that essentially make fiddling with the prescribed development process almost impossible. There is complex chemical timing at work to ensure that all the various colour components develop fully around the same time. Varying development temperature or duration of any one of the steps can significantly alter the resulting colours. Back when I was doing my own Ektachrome development, for example, as I recall, you had to hold temperatures to within under 1 degree F for proper results.

People do talk about pushing colour films, but I find that they almost invariably mess up the colours.

That said, there are people fiddling the colour processes to either try and use the film as some sort of different monochrome capture and/or for artistic effect. I find neither of these particularly compelling.
 
I've found with E6 that only the first development is critical. The rest of the steps appear to be largely minimum times.

So you think colour films may age differently to B&W?
 
I buy and use expired C41 film back to about 2010 without two many problems. Expect some colour shift but that is usually easy to deal with in post if you are scanning. Same goes for E6 but the results can be more variable. To get the best results you need to be very consistent with your exposure and development for colour.
 
Yes, I have noticed E6 is more temperamental than C41 regardless of film age.
 
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