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expired 35mm film

I'm thinking of purchasing some expired 35mm film, as I've heard that some of the effects can be quite unusual.
I have a Minolta DYNAX 5; would I be putting my camera at risk in any way? Does anyone have any tips on using expired 35mm?


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5 Jun 2011 9:32AM
Hiya Colin

I took this from WikiAnswers

"Some photographers use expired film to achieve certain effects. When film is aged, it can result in unpredictable color, saturation, and contrast shifts, Often giving photos a vintage look. I've shot with film that was five years expired. The shots came out desaturated(color not as vivid) but others wise developed well. Bottom line, don't use expired film for weddings, or other important photographs, unless your willing to take the risk."

As for your camera, if you think about it, you wont be putting your camera at risk at all. In effect it would be comparable to using an out of date black pen to write on paper (if pen inks went out of date). You wont damage your hand by using the pen (your hand being the camera) and you may make a mess of the paper (will the ink come out black or multi coloured) or it may come out well (your processed photographs).

I would like to see your results! It looks like there is quite a big market in out of date film!

Hope this helps

franken Plus
15 4.5k 4 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2011 9:32AM
You will not be putting your camera in any risk. The effects of old film are dependant on how out of date they are. Is it slide or print film?

What tends to happen is you get changes in colours etc. (colour casts) It also depends as to how the films have been stored.

Processing times can also be effected.

Thanks for advice. I'll look on e-bay or amazon for the best prices.


User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
5 Jun 2011 10:34AM
Just a word of caution.

No, you will not damage your camera.

But how much money will you save? It costs as much to process outdated film as to process brand new stock. The saving on the combined film + processing costs may not be worth the risk of getting nothing.

"Ordinary" films, if stored sensibly, should be OK for a few years past their "use by date" but professional films, which need to be stored in a refrigerator anyway, will possibly go off more quickly if they have not been refrigerated.
ensign Plus
10 210 1 United Kingdom
5 Jun 2011 3:34PM
Just a bit of Info. Recently I "found" a whole box of old film so though I would get out my old camera an EOS 3 and reopen the darkroom. Hiding in the back of the darkroom was a unopened pack of ID11 about 10 yrs. out of date and a half used fixer, both Black and White. So as they matched the vintage of film I gave it go, and yes both seem to work fine. Hope this is a bit of use Colin, good luck and enjoy.
My husband has lots of outdated film -- he was given another lot recently. He has put on ephotozone photos taken with 1987 dated Kodak Vericolor III film and they are very good -- you must give more exposure to outdated film though,especially colour negative.
strokebloke Plus
9 493 17 England
6 Jun 2011 11:21AM
you must give more exposure to outdated film though,especially colour negative
Can this be recovered in Photoshop?
Or is it necessary to enter compensation?
If, so, is there an equation to the :-
a) make of film ?
b) extent of 'out-of-dateness' ?
pentaxpete Plus
12 635 1 United Kingdom
6 Jun 2011 5:53PM
I am GardenofEden's husband as mentioned -- well, I have many years of using 'outdated films' as I do not have any IN DATE in my fridge!!!! We keep getting GIVEN a lot -- the last lot from a studio photographer who came to our Club and we went to his studio in Benfleet (Essex) and he gave my boy and I all the contents of his 'fridge so he could use it again for BEER !! There were about 80 rolls of 120 and 35mm films !
1. Outdated negative films loose sensitivity -- the 'faster' ones are worse so the T-max 3200 1999 I have I now rate at 400ASA for example but some 1978 dated Ilford Pan F I rate down to only 25ASA. 1996 dated Ilford FP4+ I find is 80ASA .
2. You cannot 'recover' badly under-exposed negatives in PhotoShop -- you just magnify the grain and contrast.
3. 'Make' of film -- SLIDE films do not need extra exposure I find as all that happens is the D-Max looses its 'blackness' as it is outdated afrter say 6 0r 7 years. I still rate some Kodak Elite Extra 2005 at 100 ASA and it comes out well.
4. not knowing about any 'equation' but it depends on how the film was STORED -- I have my films in the 'fridge - pack as much as I can in the freezer and rest in the ordinary -- but I DO have my OWN film 'fridge.
5. I took some 2002 dated Fuji Superia 400 to Morocco and rated it at 200ASA and it came out perfectly -- that was about 5 years ago now -- and I have some of my latest FREE film from the bloke in Benfleet Kodak 120 size GPF nominal 160 ASA dated 1997 I rated at 80 ASA and it came out perfectly and some 1987 Kodak Vericolor III 220 size nominal 160 ASA I rated at 32ASA and gave an extra 15 seconds in the C41 developer and that came out perfectly and I have done some 16x12" RA4 colour prints from it .
13 Jun 2011 2:51PM
It's worth noting that many of the sellers of expired film on eBay charge more than the cost of new film from the cheaper internet sellers. If you want to pay more for unpredictability, fine. If you get given expired film for free, fine. If you want to save money, don't go looking for expired film on eBay.
18 Jun 2011 8:16AM

I'm very often using an expired film (3-6 years).
For example, my "old" Fuji Velvia films are stored in my freezer(-18C).

Velvia 50, Nikon F100, Zenitar Fisheye Ai-s 16/2.8. Date of expiration - 2006.

P.S. Just say in your photolab about date of expiration!
As a matter of interest, colingarrard, are you a digital camera enthusiast now dipping your toes into the film world ? If so do not snap up all the bargain film cameras and film. Please leave some for us film devotees.Wink And if you are a Dynax fan, have a look at ebay for 800si's - got one last year for 40, at mint-; and also the Dynax 7 can be had for about 140. And in the last month a Dynax 9 with grip went for 170.
22 Jun 2011 7:08PM
As a complete amateur and not a bit ashamed of it, I can't understand the necessity of storing film in fridges or freezers.

I have about 30 rolls of assorted film that I last purchased about 4 years ago. I still have my EOS 3 and an old Fed 4L cameras which I need to dig out and use again.

For negative films I'll simply take them to Morrisons - I'm not too fussed. For slide film I'll just see what I find online.

ckristoff, I think they may have gone off by now. Put them in your wheelie bin, give me your address, then I will sneak round and collect them before the bin wagon arrives.Wink
22 Jun 2011 9:14PM

As a complete amateur and not a bit ashamed of it, I can't understand the necessity of storing film in fridges or freezers.

The reason is simple. The matter is that at low temperatures all chemical processes( including "aging" as well) are slowed down!


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