Tri-X from 2005/2006...

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Felinik

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Some time ago I was given a box of 15-20 rolls (35mm) of Tri-X. It has not been stored in a fridge or freezer until I got my hands on it (it's sleeping well in the freezer now since I got it a cpl of months ago).

In order to test that it's still "working", can I simply do a test pouring some developer in a tray and let a piece of the film "exposed" in daylight soak in it?

What should I look out for, and while it's "developing", how should I use the time from "start" until it get's dark (as I assume and hope it will if it still is "ok").

Any advice or experience on this?

I'm not really up for shooting and trial/error, if there's a more "scientific" way as the one above to find out if it's still working and possibly what dev times I should use in the end.



Thanks!!



Cheers
JF
 

David Lyga

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Felinik: this is what you do: First, cut off the leader of one of the rolls, leaving only enough (about 1/2 inch) to be able to pull the film out of the cassette if you wanted to. Then, in total darkness, pull out about two inches of UNexposed film and cut it off. Then, in the same dark, place this two inch film on the film gate aperture on the back of your 35mm camera (taping it if you cannot assure that it wlll stay put on the film gate. Close the camera back and expose the film ACCURATELY at EI 200. Chose a scene that you KNOW the exposure for (at EI 200) and process this clip normally.

Now you know that situation for the whole batch (IF, importantly, that batch is composed of the same situation as far as expiration, storage, etc) and you wasted only a couple of frames to find out.

Chances are what I said will be 'spot on'. Indeed, you might even have OVER exposed the film if it retained its full box speed. But, regardless, the negative that you now are able to inspect will reveal what direction you must now go regarding proper development and exposure. In other words, based upon your findings, extrapolate new information into your test so that you, going forward, now can mitigate any errors in that test finding. It's not rocket science, just pragmatism.

NB: From your post it does sound as if you do not even know how to develop film in the most basic way: process it in total darkness and agitate it every 30 seconds for the time that is stated by the manufacturer. Learn the basics first before you 'test' film. Which developer do you use? - David Lyga
 
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Truzi

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Listen to anyone else first, as my experience is limited, but I'd come across a few rolls of decade-old tri-x of unknown storage conditions (most likely NOT refrigerated). So I tested the first roll by increasing exposure one stop.
It ended up over-exposed. That film is robust, so I don't worry about it anymore.
You could bracket exposures on one roll and compare once developed.

David's suggestion, however, is efficient and will keep you from wasting an entire roll.
 
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If you don't know how it was stored, test a roll and that should indicate the state of the rest I would think. Personally, my experience is this film keeps really well as long as it is not stored in EXTREMES. Fluctating from 50 to 75 F for four years and mine is still spot on. I know, not ideal by any stretch of the imagination, just personal experience. If you plan to shoot anything really important, test film to be used ahead of time regardless.
 

Red Tractors

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I have a couple of bricks of similar vintage that were stored in an office file cabinet. Still shoots and develops like the current stuff. Tri-X is fairly resistant, unless it's lived in an attic in Tuscon it should be fine.
 
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Felinik

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Thanks for all advice!

Yes, I know how to develop film, and most often use X-Tol or HC-110 depending on what emulsion and speed I've shot. I was just referring to how I do when I test old developer that has been in my locker for too long, and thought that maybe the same process could be used in some kind of way to discover if and how the film reacts on the developer.

Seems that the most common way to go is to shoot a lil strip and develop and analyze then.

Red Tractors even makes me think that probably I dont even need to bother, the film has it's origin in Sweden, where it's darn cold 7 months a year, and only slightly "warm" 2 months TOPS a year….

:D


Thanks a lot, highly appreciated!



Cheers
JF
 
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Tom1956

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I think Lyga got it pretty close to right.
 

David Lyga

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I do rate ALL my Tri-X at a stop slower, even fresh.

Red Tractors, that is fine but you can fine tune that habit by recognizing that scenes that are low in contrast and have few light tones do not need this generosity in exposure because, in those scenes, the meter will not be fooled. -David Lyga
 

Xmas

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Stop worrying about testing, assume the film is fresh, soup it in normal developer.

The developer needs to be fresh.

Most of the film I shoot is 2005 400ISO and not stored properly...

At the very worst you might get some fog the scanner or enlarger will ignore, only ever seen that (fog) on film that has been cooked at 40C for long intervals...
 

removed account4

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hi jf

i wouldn't worry about the film
i regularly use long expired tri x,
you won't have any trouble.

if you are worried about what to expose it at
bracket, pay attention to your exposures
and shoot the next roll the better of the 3 or 4 or 2 bracketed exposures.

(don't forget to have fun)
john
 

Red Tractors

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Red Tractors, that is fine but you can fine tune that habit by recognizing that scenes that are low in contrast and have few light tones do not need this generosity in exposure because, in those scenes, the meter will not be fooled. -David Lyga

David,

You are absolutely correct,

I personally feel that Tr-X, (Even the current version) is closer to an ISO 320 film than 400. I'm not that scientific of a processor, but I find I am comfortable with shooting at ISO 320 and adjusting in processing for N+1/-1, (Using the old times) in HC-110. I prefer printing from a slightly dense negative.

Aaron
 

wblynch

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While I believe as others have said that film this recent should be fine, why worry about testing only a small strip?


If the stock was truly beyond use, finding that out on one small strip is of no value since you'd be discarding the entirety. (but I don't believe it would be unviable)

I still have some AGFA Superpan 200 from 1984 that wasn't stored particularly well and I use it on occasion. It's a very pleasing film. But I did learn that it works better at 100 than 200.
 

Xmas

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There is no point in worrying about lightening bolts or tornados either.

And 1984 was way before 2005.

And the film has been cold stored.
 

momus

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I'm not sure there is any better scientific method than testing it and seeing how it comes out. It's probably gonna be fine. That's not that expired. I'm no expert on this, but shouldn't you be able to shoot the same shot in the same light at 400, one frame at 200, one at 800, etc, keep careful notes, develop normally, and get a good ball park idea from one roll? If I ever get any more expired film, which I doubt that I will, I'll try that. The one time I bought some (Tri-X that was dated 1999) it turned out to be really fogged. It was probably stored improperly. But your film isn't that old.
 
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