I had my first experience with expired film last month and I both liked it and hated it. In fact, I experienced alot of firsts in October. I used my first medium format film in my first medium format camera, a Mamiya 645, and I used my first expired 35mm film in my Canon TX.
The Fujicolor Super G Plus 200 film I used in the Canon TX was made from the years 1995 until 2000. My roll was expired in 1997, and I received it inside a boxed set with my Fujifilm Discovery 270 Zoom Date. See my video on that here.
I had decided to use the film in my SLR Canon TX instead of the Discovery Zoom so that I could control the ISO setting.
I’ve learned that the rule of thumb when shooting with expired film is to overexpose one stop for every decade (10 years) that the film is expired. Since this one expired 22 years ago, I set the ISO on my Canon TX to 50 and let it meter my shots as if the film were that ISO speed. I didn’t have my lab push it. I wasn’t sure if I should. I have heard you can do it both ways, so I decided not to this time.
I had no idea what to expect, because I had never shot expired film before, and I’ve heard it can be hit or miss. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. They have a dreamy, warm quality to them.
Now as for the results I got back from using the expired Fomapan 100 black and white 120 film that I used in the Mamiya 645, I wasn’t as happy with.
I recieved several rolls of this film from a friend. He said he thought it was about 15 years old and I should shoot it in bright light. So that’s what I did.
I had just gotten my Mamiya 645 from Ebay, and this was the only 120 film I had on hand. I figured I may as well test the camera out using a not so valuable film.
I only went one stop down on this one, so the results were a little dark. They also have these weird hair-like marks on them which I am not sure if that is from the labs scanner, or from the film. I know it’s not from the camera because I ran a different roll of film through it to make sure after I got these results.
On the other hand, I now really love medium format. The sharpness of the lens, and the detail is great. I never realised what I was missing out on until now.
All in all, I really liked the Fujicolor expired film and the experience of shooting with it. It changed things up for me, and added to the excitement of waiting to get those results back from the lab.
I will be using the rest of the rolls of Fomapan as well to test some of my vintage cameras. I just hope they all don’t have those weird hairy things on them.
Those reviews will be coming soon, so please be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel for the video version and sign up to get notified about my future reviews on here as well.
I will definitely be trying more expired film in the future if I can get my hands on some, and I definitely recommend it.
In fact, I’ve found this film that I forgot I had in my vintage camera collection cabinet. It is 127 film that expired in 1943! That is 76 year old film.
What do you think? Should I shoot it with one of my Kodak Vest Pocket Cameras? Is it too old? Would it even give me pictures? Let me know what you think in the comments below. What’s the oldest film youve shot with?
4 thoughts on “My First Experience with Expired Film – Fujicolor Super G Plus & Fomapan 100”
I just developed a roll of expired 400ASA film but forgot to adjust for its age both in camera and when developing it.. I Used a Praktica MTL5B camera and used the film up over about a 9 month period. I have a lot of expired film both 35mm and 120.
Nice. How’d they come out even without adjusting for it?
I have mixed feelings about expired film. When I shoot some old 620 box camera I usually find some expired Verichrome Pan on eBay for it. I try for stuff expired since no earlier than the 1980s. I’ve yet to be disappointed in the results — Verichrome Pan is robust and keeps well.
On the other hand, almost every other expired-film experience I’ve had has been disappointing. I have a few rolls of expired Kodak Max 400 at home that I keep putting off using, because when I’ve shot it before the color shifts just weren’t pleasing to me. I tend to use the stuff in a camera that I’m not sure is functioning properly, just to test it, now.
That 1943 roll of Verichrome may well produce some sort of image, and it would be interesting to see how it turns out. I’m not at all sure where I’d send it for developing, though. Film Rescue International would probably get the best images off it as they specialize in very expired film, but they’re crazy expensive. I might try emailing Old School Photo Lab, the lab I like best, and ask how they would handle it.
Thank you. I will do that if I do decide to shoot it. I’m still not sure. It may be a little too old to take the risk.