One of the most important things to have when shooting super old film is luck. That whole idea of knocking off a stop for each decade is really just an okay-ish ballpark figure. More than anything, when shooting sixty year old film, you need the good fortune of the owners before you.
Take this film – Adox KB-21. It was originally a 100iso film. Actually, it’s the exact same emulsion of Efke KB100, which was produced until recently. If we deducted a stop for each of the six decades, I’d be shooting this at 1.5ISO. Instead, I’m shooting it at 10 (and it does okay at 25). That’s only three stops, really.
Of course, I had no idea if it’s been refrigerated or frozen over the last half a century. I just know that it’s held up incredibly well. Most film this old is usable, though very little of it is as perfect as this. I have a single roll of Adox KB-21 left. I’m really going to miss it.
So when you’re out shooting, make sure you remember to bring luck. Now available in travel size! Luck! Don’t leave home without it.
‘Black Cat Bones’
Camera: Ricoh KR-5
Film: Adox KB-21 (x-1959); 10iso
Process: Xtol; Stock; 7min