35mm · Film photography · Photography

The Expiry Files – preparing to shoot a load of expired film

I’ve aquired some more expired film, some of past it’s best date by quite some margin – the oldest roll being the Ilford FP3 which is dated 1970! Now, normally I would stay away from old film such as this, but this didn’t cost me too much and I thought it might make for an interesting series of blog posts as I shoot the stuff and present the results here.

For the curious, the batch includes the following (in chronological order – oldest to newest):

  • 1 x Ilford FP3 – 1970
  • 1 x Ilford FP4 – 1981
  • 4 x Ilford HP5 – 1982
  • 1 x Kodacolor VR 400 – 1989
  • 5 x Kodak Vericolor HC – 1991
  • 1 x Ilford FP4 – 1993
  • 1 x Kodak Vericolor VPL – No date on packaging, but I expect 1980s / 90s
  • 1 x Kodak Tmax 200 – No date on packaging, but again probably 1980s / 90s (it was manufactured from 1986 I believe)
  • 1 x Polaroid Polachrome – No date on packaging, but sometime after 1983 which is when it was introduced.
  • 1 x Polaroid Polapan – No date on packaging, but sometime after 1983 which is when it was introduced.
  • 1 x Polaroid Polablue – No date on packaging, but sometime after 1983 which is when it was introduced.

My plan is to try and shoot at least a roll of this each month. The HP5 and Vericolor both have the advantage of there being multiple rolls so I can shoot one and then re-assess exposure times for the remaining film. All the others are something of a crapshoot though, so I’ll be using the 1-stop of overexposure per decade of expiry rule for the colour stuff, and probably the same but with just half as much overexposure for the B&W. I’ve not decided on what chemicals I’ll use to develop the B&W (the colour will go to the lab), but probably not my expensive DD-X. Maybe Adox Adonal, but we’ll see.

The Polaroid film is possibly the most interesting of the lot – each roll comes with it’s own developing cartridge (and the film needs to be processed in a dedicated Autoprocessor device), so I’m looking forward to seeing how that stuff turns out.

It may be that the whole lot is an absolute waste of my time and effort, but I’m going to aim for optimism and, at the very least, there will be some blog posts falling off the back of the experience.

The oldest roll of expired film I’ve shot previously was some Kodacolor Gold 200 which had expired in 1989. While that showed definite signs of deterioration (odd colours and a mottled appearance) I was quite taken by the results, and I managed to win a prize in Expired Film Day from one of the shots. You can see some of those results here. I still have another roll of that same film in the feezer too.

As this post has been about expired film that I plan to shoot, here’s a photo made on some expired film that I did shoot five years ago. That roll was over twenty years expired and still produced lovely images, including this one.

FILM - White rose

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Kodak Tmax 100 (expired 1994 – shot at 50asa and developed for box speed).

Taken on 19 August 2017

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Chesterfield market

As an adjunct to yesterday’s post about the old Chesterfield Magistrate’s Court building, today I’m posting some photos of Chesterfield market, which is a mere stone’s throw away from the court (with a good arm, at least).

Chesterfield’s markets cover two outdoor areas with covered stalls, and a market hall with indoor stalls that sits between the two (the hall, with its clocktower,  can be seen in the first picture in today’s set). Thursday morning features a flea market, from which I’ve had a camera bargain or two in the past. I’m not sure which days the markets are busiest, but there were a noticable number of unoccupied stalls on the day I took these pictures.

Again, these are shot on the Lloyds Paharmacy 200 expired film, so the colours are a little off and the contrast is pretty high, but it hasn’t turned out too badly all things considered.

The first and final images are my favourites.

FILM - Chesterfield market

FILM - Chesterfield market-2

FILM - Chesterfield market-3

FILM - Chesterfield market-4

FILM - Chesterfield market-5

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D & Lloyds Pharmacy 200 (expired).

Taken on 30 September 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

The old Chesterfield Magistrate’s Court

A few months ago I was given a couple of rolls of film by one of the ladies at the local photographic society. Both were Lloyds Pharmacy 200, with an expiry date of 2008. You can’t get much more “drugstore film” than this, I guess. Some research suggests that it is actually Solaris Color FG Plus 200 that has been rebranded.

Both rolls have been sat in my freezer since then, so I decided last week to shoot one of them. Given the age of the film and the fact that I didn’t really know it’s provenance, I decided to rate it at 80ASA and loaded it into my Nikon F70. It turned out to be in a pretty good state, and rating it at 80ASA was probably too much – most of the images are a little overexposed, although I’ve recovered them pretty well in Lightroom. Otherwise, while there are some minor colour shifts, and the shadows are not the best, it’s not too bad. I’ll have much more confidence when I shoot the remaining roll.

I’m always a little wary of putting too much effort into making photographs with expired film, at least unless I’ve already had satisfactory results from a roll from the same batch, and this was very much the case with this roll. Most of the frames were shot on a walk around Chesterfield town centre, and the ones shown in this post are of the old Magistrate’s Court building.

The building was constructed in the early 1960s and was in use until the 2000s when a new building was constructed about half a mile from the old site. Since then the building has fallen into disrepair. As it is Grade II listed, it cannot be demolished, but there are apparently plans afoot to convert it into residential use.

It’s an interesting structure and one I’ve photographed on more than one occasion, so here are a few of the most recent pictures. I think the fourth photo, with the roosting pigeons, is my favourite.

FILM - The old Chesterfield Magistrate's Court building

FILM - The old Chesterfield Magistrate's Court building-2

FILM - The old Chesterfield Magistrate's Court building-3

FILM - The old Chesterfield Magistrate's Court building-4

FILM - The old Chesterfield Magistrate's Court building-5

FILM - The old Chesterfield Magistrate's Court building-6

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D & Lloyds Pharmacy 200 (expired).

Taken on 30 September 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

At Clumber Park

This one’s a bit of a random re-scan – after I finished re-scanning the Agfa CT Precisa slides, I scanned a single frame of Superia 100 – mostly because I’d not done anything with this shot before. So here it is.

I’ll hopefully have a bunch of new stuff to go through this week once Easter has passed and the labs are open again.

FILM - At Clumber Park

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Fuji Superia 100 (expired 2007).

Taken on 17 October 2017

35mm · Film photography · Photography

A couple of churches

My slide re-scanning has continued again today. Here’s a double-helping of churches from the roll (there’re a couple more on the roll too, but they’ve either not been post-processed yet, or I’ve already posted them here when I did the original flatbed scans).

The first is St. Michael’s and All Angels church at Brodsworth (this was taken from the grounds of Brodsworth Hall – there’s a gate into the churchyard, but I don’t think it’s accessible for visitors to the hall).


FILM - St. Michaels and All Angels church

The second is St. Mary’s church at Boston Spa and is another phot I took after visiting the camera fair.

FILM - St. Mary's Church, Boston Spa

Nikon F70, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5 – 5.6 AF-D & Agfa CT Precisa.

Taken on 15 October 2017

35mm · Film photography · Photography

An autumn morning in Boston Spa

A photo that’s around 18-months old now at the time of posting. It was taken at Boston Spa in North Yorkshire. They have a camera fair there several times a year, and I’d decided to visit. The morning was lovely and crispy, as the best autumn mornings are, and the light was lovely. This was my first (and so far only) roll of slide film, although that will change when I get around to shooting the roll of Ektachrome that is waiting patiently in the fridge.

FILM - An autumn morning in Boston Spa

Nikon F70, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5 – 5.6 AF-D & Agfa CT Precisa.

Taken on 15 October 2017

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Life among the ruins

This shot was taken not too far from the S1 Artspace building which had an exhibition last year entitled “Love among the ruins” which was a collection of photographs taken of people going about their lives in the Park Hill Flats complex in the 60s, 70s & 80s, so the title of today’s shot is a spin on that.

This shot isn’t linked otherwise, but sometimes a weed growing out of a crack in some concrete steps makes for a pleasing photograph.


FILM - Life among the ruins

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Klick XD200 (expired in 2001).

Taken on 16 March 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Work continues

The refurbishment of another section of Park Hill flats is underway and the block in question is cocooned in scaffolding and yellow netting.

This was taken on a roll of 2001 expired Klick XD200 film that I was shooting for this year’s Expired Film Day. Due to the age of the film, I overexposed it a couple of stops. It’s not come out too badly though – a little extra noise and a slight pink cast are the only real signs of its age.

FILM - Work Continues

Nikon F70, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF-D & Klick XD200 (expired in 2001).

Taken on 16 March 2019

35mm · Film photography · Photography

See you later ol’ fella

We had to say goodbye to our cat, Luigi, last night. He was 19 years old, so had enjoyed a pretty long life for a moggy, but his health had been failing over recent years. He was pretty much totally blind and deaf, and was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure last year. He’s been on a special renal diet and daily blood pressure medication for the past few months but over recent weeks had started to lose a lot of weight and suffer from stomach upsets.

We took him to the vets yesterday probably expecting the worse, but also hoping for the best, but the diagnosis was that he had contracted a secondary digestive illness, possibly IBS or lymphoma. While steroids can be given to help relieve these, this isn’t possible for a cat with renal problems, so there was nothing to be done.

We love him very much, but didn’t want him to suffer, so agreed with the vet that it was time to say goodbye.

Farewell old buddy, we have so many happy memories of you. You were loved and will be missed so very much. 😦

FILM - Old fella

Nikon F70, Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 D & Kodak Tmax P3200.

Taken January 2019