Shooting (Very) Expired Ilford

Camera: Afga Clack Film: Ilford HP4 (expired in 10/1979)

Camera: Afga Clack
Film: Ilford HP4 (expired in 10/1979)

In my last post, I mentioned that the “problem” with film photography is that you can’t share your photos right away. This is mostly true, though if you really really want to speed things up, you can just process, dry and scan in the matter of a couple of hours. I don’t move that quickly.

Camera: Mamiya m645 Film: Ilford HP3 (expred 6/1963)

Camera: Mamiya m645
Film: Ilford HP3 (expred 6/1963)

But I did develop four rolls of black & white and then took cell phone photos of a few of the images, which you see here. These aren’t scanned, and are certainly not what they’re going to look like when I finally get around to scanning them.

Camera: Spartus Model 400 Film: Ilford HP5 (expired 1/1981)

Camera: Spartus Model 400
Film: Ilford HP5 (expired 1/1981)

So let me do some explaining. I recently acquired a bunch of very old Ilford film with expirations dating from 1960 to 1981. I’ve shot old film before – even some older Verichrome – but figured there’d probably be a dud somewhere in the mix. So far, four rolls and all seem to be great.

Camera: Imperial Satellite 127 Film: Ilford Selochrome (expired 10/1968)

Camera: Imperial Satellite 127
Film: Ilford Selochrome (expired 10/1968)

I’ll go on more about this when I finally get around to scanning and posting them, I bet. Until then, just know that even with film that’s over half a century expired, you will probably have pretty good luck.

Uncertain how to actually develop most of these films, I decided to stand develop them for an hour in Rodinal 1+100 (with a few inversions at the thirty minute mark). Presto!

Keep in mind, these are not scans, but cell phone shots of negatives lit by a frosted bathroom window.

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6 thoughts on “Shooting (Very) Expired Ilford

    1. Thanks! I get really excited and just have to share them immediately, even if it’s just a cell phone pic. I scanned three rolls last night, and they do look better in a technical sense. But the flaws of 50 year old film also shown bit. That’s not too surprising.

    1. Thanks! If I can, I’ll open it up a stop or two. The general rule is a stop for each decade, but opening up five stops for 50 year old film wouldn’t work. Also, I stand develop in Rodinal. That seems to help.

      Also, most of my cameras have fixed shutter speeds (often around 1/50sec), and even fixed aperture. The Agfa Clack, for example, is 1/50 with two aperture settings – probably f/11 and f/8 – and in sunny shots, f/8 over exposed the 50 year old film.

      So for b&w, shoot one or two stops over and stand develop and you should be okay.

  1. Hi thanks for the shooting tips. I’ll be getting my hand on 120 Verichrome Pans soon. From your experience, will there be issues even loading the films?

    1. I’ve not run into any issues with old Verichrome, but the tape on old Ilford always needs to be replaced. It’s probably a good idea to do the same with anything prior to 1985ish.

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