Exploratorius Redux

Atelier Aquarell & Fotografie

New Results With Ancient Film


Bear Rocks Preserve
Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia — June 2016
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM
Kodak Plus-X Pan 125 + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

There’s been a recent movement within the photography community to buy and use expired film, and in some cases — very old expired film.  This is an example of that, for this film was 27-years-old when I exposed it two years ago.  Just look at it — it’s phenomenal!  I was expecting it to deliver substandard results and very thin negatives, but it acted as if it was fresh film.

Buying expired film is a great way to save money, as each roll can be had for as little as $2.00 for a box of 36-exposure film.  Of course, it helps if the film was well cared for and kept in a fridge or deep freeze all that time, but still — the results can be nothing short of amazing.

And for those doubting the expiration date, below is the box that this film came from.

4 thoughts on “New Results With Ancient Film

  1. Jim Grey

    The challenge I have shooting expired film is that it is such a crapshoot. Half the time it doesn’t work out well at all. Unfortunately, the other half the time it works out spectacularly! I have heard that Plus-X (and Verichrome Pan fwiw) are both extremely resilient and will yield good images for decades past their expiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Agreed. I’ve been shooting with expired film for a couple of years now with pretty good luck, but most of the expired stock I’ve used to date has much newer than this Plus-X Pan. I’ve got some even older stock in the freezer, but have yet to dig into that film so far.

      Do you follow Eric over at “Load Film In Subdued Light”? He’s had some spectacularly OLD stock over the years, including some that flaked the emulsion off in the camera! That said, I love the images he posts.


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