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02-29-2008, 05:36 PM   #1
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How long does shot film last?

My brothers fiancee just found about 20 rolls of film from her mothers trip to south america.....THIRTEEN YEARS AGO!!

It has never been developed.

What are we facing here in terms of aged film.

02-29-2008, 05:44 PM   #2
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What the heck, give it a shot and have it developed. You never know. I know I had some film that was two years out of date, shot it, had it sit for about another year, and had it developed. The pictures turned out pretty good considering.
02-29-2008, 06:42 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJB DIGITAL Quote
What are we facing here in terms of aged film.
I recently found a roll that I shot in ... 1976. I had it developed. The end of the roll had gone a bit stale, but most of the pictures were good.

Give it a go. If truly hesitant, pick one and see what the results are. If good, do the rest.

02-29-2008, 07:07 PM   #4
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What type of film is it and how has it been stored for the last 13 years? It will make a big difference. If it's been stored in a fairly cool dry place, it could be very good. If it's been stored in a hot attic, garage, or trunk of a car, it's most likely very bad. It would probably be a good idea to process just a couple of rolls first to see what you've got. If it's severly fogged, you might be able to adjust processing and printing some to get through it.

02-29-2008, 08:01 PM   #5
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It has waited all these years, it can wait a little while longer until you search out somebody who is experienced in handling this sort of thing.

I would recommend contacting greywater AT westfordcomp DOT com

He has quite a bit of experience with old film and could probably give you some good advice.
03-01-2008, 09:08 PM   #6
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I just spent an hour looking through all of those photos on that site, Mike... damn nice find...
03-02-2008, 01:04 AM   #7
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an hour here too.

thanks for validating my love of this stuff.....

i was born into digital.....but i have a pd15 clipper and a kodak anastigmat 100mm f 6.3....

and a canonette rangefinder... 8)
03-02-2008, 03:43 AM   #8
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Well, I am not alone! I too spent some time going through the old pics on that site. It seems kind of voyeuristic peeping in on other folks lives like that, but definitely satisfying. I guess it astounds me that people take pictures and then forget to develop them.

03-02-2008, 07:29 AM   #9
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That was a really cool site, but now I don't dare confess to how many rolls of undeveloped film my wife and i have laying around... We are slowly but surely taking care of it though. At one time it was over 50 and now it's almost down to half that

ETA: these rolls are from a period over the last 15 years, and so far almost all of the images have been OK (those that weren't have been more the fault of the person behind the camera).
03-03-2008, 02:26 AM   #10
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MJB, last year I came across a couple of 10+ year old rolls of Kodak print film which had been misplaced during a move. Horrible storage conditions, but I was curious to see what had happened to the images. Had them developed and burned to CD.

Opened the files in Photoshop to find a hideous red-orange cast. Removed same with a couple clicks, tweaked Curves and did a little bit of color compensation for some residual fading in the blue dyes. The results weren't beautiful, but they were nearly '90s-vintage Costco snapshot quality. A friend saw them and dragged out a few poorly stored negatives from the early 1970s for me to scan and work up. The results weren't great (contrast was through the ceiling), but these were friends and family snaps, they're important to him, and he's got the resulting prints up on his wall today.

It's always worth a try, says I!
03-12-2008, 12:28 PM   #11
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I was just given an old camera from a friend. It is a Kodak Duaflex II camera. These were manufactured between 1950 and 1954. It is in pretty decent condition for such an old camera but the real bonus was that it had a roll of exposed (620 medium format) film in it's innards! Now I need to find someone confident enough to process it.

It looks like this...

Last edited by J.Scott; 03-30-2009 at 03:27 AM.
03-12-2008, 05:47 PM   #12
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Had some 20+ years old Kodachrome developed.

The development voucher coming with it was still valid so I used it Sent it to Stuttgart, Germany, developped film came back from Switzerland with a remark from Kodak labs that image quality may have been compromised due to excessive storage time What a service!

Actually, image quality was still good. Nothing a little bit of PP couldn't fix. However, there have been spots where light managed to travel into the roll over the years.

So, definitely give it a try!
03-12-2008, 06:21 PM   #13
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Its done
they turned out fine.
Some film came back messed up. Looks like it was dunked.

eh...all of her shots (my brothers fiancee had the film...her mom shot it) were regular P&S shots.

nothing special.

this has been a really cool thread though.

03-13-2008, 12:20 AM   #14

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Back in the day when I bought film in 100 foot rolls. I had some film lay around for 2-3 years before I developed it. However, I kept the film in the refrigerator (my mother told me to develop it or throw it away). Everything came out OK, but I lost all my negatives due to water and mice years later.

I do know of some film that laid around for 10's of years that still developed quite nicely. The keys are temperature and humidity. Control that and the latent image should last for a few decades.

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL

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