File 2017-02-13, 9 26 42 PM.jpeg

BLOG

film photography

Best Before and Other Guidelines to Break

It’s not expired. It’s simply exceeded its best-before date - and even that is arguable. A couple weeks ago, I was seeking out old film in hopes of having some reserves for Daniel Schneider’s #ExpiredFilmDay. I managed to conjure a few stocks from eBay and they showed up just in time for this past weekend, along with my regular film order.

 My stash of expired film from eBay and regular film order from B&H arrived at the same time. 

My stash of expired film from eBay and regular film order from B&H arrived at the same time. 

I’ve used expired film before, but in a small capacity, and it was not far past its recommended Process-By Date (2007). I still did get some interesting results but I was looking forward to trying out some of the stuff you can’t quite get anymore, at least not easily.

 August 2015 - Kodak Gold 200 Exp. 7/2007

August 2015 - Kodak Gold 200 Exp. 7/2007

 September 2015 - Kodak Gold 200 Exp. 7/2007

September 2015 - Kodak Gold 200 Exp. 7/2007

The internet marketplace has been a bit of a love/hate relationship for me, as of late. With the current status of the Canadian dollar, it makes these type of impulse purchases more difficult to justify since the conversion rate is less than desirable. AND MY GIRLFRIEND LOOKS OVER MY SHOULDER AND YELLS AT ME FOR SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY ON FILM!! To help alleviate some of that stress, I limited my search to Canadian eBay listings. Before long, I found a shop out of Toronto that had plenty of what I was looking for and started my spree.

I ended up with these in my cart:

·         Kodak Ektachrome 100 (Exp. 05/1996)

·         Fuji PRO 64T (Exp 10/1990)

·         Kodak Ektachrome 100 Plus (Exp. 09/1999)

·         Kodak TMax 100 (Exp. 12/2002)

·         Fuji Sensia 100 (Exp. 05/2004)

·         Kodak Vericolor II (Exp. 03/1984)

·         Kodak Ektachrome 50 T (Exp. 05/1981)

I am most drawn to the Ektachrome for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. I think it may be that I’ve always been partial to slide film (the look and feeling of it in your hands is unmatched by any other medium) and my current go-to Kodak color film is Ektar. Justifications for my attraction set aside, I was really interested in seeing what this colorful companion could do for my creative vision and thirst for experimentation.

As luck would have it, I woke Saturday morning, before the sun made its way above the horizon, to see mainly cloud-cover but with a few promising breaks, revealing areas where some opportunity might just leak out. I decided to head out and greet the day to see what I could capture on this new (to me) film.

 The old drive-in theatre on the edge of town made a perfect setting to try some exposure tests. Taken with Canon 70D.

The old drive-in theatre on the edge of town made a perfect setting to try some exposure tests. Taken with Canon 70D.

I started with the Ektar 100 Plus, in what I thought was actually 64. My panic continued as I rated it for ISO 25, to compensate for its age. With my experience in processing my own films, I was able to do the compensation calculation quickly, but since I only have C41 chemistry in my employ, I also had to cross-process it. I later learned that slide films will gain a noticeable bump in speed during cross-processing, to add to round-about exposure calculations.

Without further ado, here are the results from the first roll of Kodak Ektachrome 100 Plus as shot with a Hasselblad 500 CM with Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2.8:

 

Reviewing the roll as a whole, there are a few things to note in terms of artifacts. On the right side of the frame, there seems to be some markings which I can imagine is a sign of deterioration of the emulsion. At this point, I don’t really know; it could also have been from the processing. (If you have any hypotheses, please let me know in the comments.) There also appears to be a bit of discoloration in a few of the overexposed frames, giving a very rich, yet subtle vintage look.

I likely could have found a scene with less contrast to test but I really couldn’t resist a beautiful Saskatchewan sunrise. It was a great opportunity to give this film a shot but one thing I realized is that I really need to take a more systematic approach when shooting with older film stocks.

In summation, I am now more aware of what factors play a part in influencing the total exposure, i.e. cross-processing, and that I can slow down a bit more to make sure I can get the best out of this film.

 

Next up, Fuji 64T and Kodak Ektachrome 100.

Dustin VeitchComment