Developing expired film

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billorg

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Today I shot a roll of Tri-X that expired in Dec 1984 and a roll of Plus-X that expired in Jan 1999. I don't know their storage history so I am assuming room temp all these years. I have heard the rule of thumb that you overexpose by 1 stop per decade of age. Problem is the film had already been shot before I learned this. So I was wondering if anyone has tried push processing by the same number of stops? So maybe on the order of pushing 3-4 stops for the 1984 roll and 2 stops for the 1999 roll? I know it's not the equivalent of overexposing in the camera, but it's all I could think of. I can cut the rolls in 1/2 in the darkroom and use two different variables to hedge my bets if it would help ensure success. Let me know what you think, Thanks!
 

Don Heisz

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The problem with that plan is that you overexpose expired film to overcome increased base fog and diminished film speed. So, when you overdevelop, you will be overdeveloping the base fog which will eat the majority of your detail.

However, the Plus-X is probably ok to be developed normally or perhaps just a bit longer than normal. If storage conditions were average, that film should not have a load of fog.

The Tri-X probably should have been shot at 80 and slightly underdeveloped. You may as well just try developing that normally or perhaps a single stop push. 3-4 stops push developing that will result in opaque film, is my guess.
 

ags2mikon

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Another thing to remember is use a developer with low solvent action / sulfite. The problem with out of date film is the base fog and high solvent action developers make the fog levels higher. Perceptol, microdol are 2 developers with high solvent action. FX-37 is a low solvent action developer.
 

Tel

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I've shot a lot of expired film (though mostly not older than 2001) and I've developed a bunch of found rolls (mostly in thrift-store cameras). By and large, I've gotten good results by developing normally in both cases. I exposed the 2001 stuff normally too (a 100-foot roll so I shot a lot of it) and didn't regret it, though I did intentionally overexpose some film from the 1980s--I figured stock that old would need some help. Just don't expect your expired film to give the same results as new film--that's probably not going to happen.
 

NB23

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Hc110, develop normally.

No stand, or semi-stand, BS. You need contrast.
You need it to be developed as fast as possible.
 

kykr

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I’ve “inherited” a couple rolls of Plus-X and others recently and might try it, so this advice helps.

I’m wondering about what seems to be a craze for old/very old expired film. Probably discussed plenty of times before but I haven’t been here much yet. Am I missing something? It would seem to me that I’m farther ahead with a $5 roll of Kentmere.
 

pentaxuser

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If it is not too much trouble in relation to the benefits you feel you will get, then I'd certainly favour the idea of cutting in half or even thirds and develop one piece at a time, changing whatever the processed negs indicate may be required action

pentaxuser
 

MultiFormat Shooter

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Today I shot a roll...of Plus-X that expired in Jan 1999. I don't know their storage history so I am assuming room temp all these years.
Here is an image from a roll of Plus-X Pan, that expired January of 1975. Exposed at box speed of ASA 125, and lab-developed in Clayton F76+ with no special instructions. I would imagine that your film should be fine.
 

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billorg

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Hc110, develop normally.

No stand, or semi-stand, BS. You need contrast.
You need it to be developed as fast as possible.

I was planning on using HC-110
 
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billorg

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I’ve “inherited” a couple rolls of Plus-X and others recently and might try it, so this advice helps.

I’m wondering about what seems to be a craze for old/very old expired film. Probably discussed plenty of times before but I haven’t been here much yet. Am I missing something? It would seem to me that I’m farther ahead with a $5 roll of Kentmere.

For me, I used Plus-X in the 70’s and loved it so much - just very creamy and beautiful And since it is no longer made, I wanted to see if I can get anything close from an old roll. I also used Tri-X back then but they have since changed the Tri-X formula and I just wanted to see if I could see the difference. So I would say while I can’t speak for everyone I think a lot of people miss certain films that have been discontinued and they want to go back and try and see if they can get decent results with it for old times sake.
 

kykr

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So I would say while I can’t speak for everyone I think a lot of people miss certain films that have been discontinued and they want to go back and try and see if they can get decent results with it for old times sake.

Plus-X is always the film I see mentioned that way. I’ve shot plenty of Tri-X but didn’t get the chance with this one. On one hand, I’ll save it for something special, on the other I won’t expect perfection since I have no idea how it was stored.
 

eatfrog

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Hc110, develop normally.

No stand, or semi-stand, BS. You need contrast.
You need it to be developed as fast as possible.

This is correct. I've read some people say that cold developer is good for expired film, so I tested it - and the opposite is actually true. You want to develop it as fast as possible, so a warmer developer is better. There was a significant difference between 16c and 20c (with dev length temp adjusted of course). The piece of film that was developed in 16c was clearly much more fogged. Stand and semi-stand development makes fogging much worse.
 

john_s

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Here is an image from a roll of Plus-X Pan, that expired January of 1975. Exposed at box speed of ASA 125, and lab-developed in Clayton F76+ with no special instructions. I would imagine that your film should be fine.

In my limited experience, old Kodak films have held up very well (in my case, Kodachrome from the 1950s and Tri-X from the 1980s)
 

Agulliver

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That "rule of thumb" only ever applied to colour films and is still often wildly inaccurate.

Kodak B&W films in particular seem to hold up well. That Tri-X might be a bit under exposed and fogged but the Plus-X will probably work just fine.

No issues with the recommendation for avoiding stand processing, nor with avoiding cold processing. What I'd do is use ID-11 but that's because I usually have plenty around. If you "push" the films much in development you'll also increase the fog so I suggest normal development with plenty of agitation.
 
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