I exposed another expired 35mm roll of Kodak Portra 400 BW.
I'm unsure why or how it happened, but I exposed almost an entire cartridge of expired Kodak Professional Portra 400BW with pictures of my orange tabby, Alphonso Mango. I had written "snow day" in my notes, but when I looked at the scans, I realised that I had also written the same thing on the notes for the expired Ilford HP5 400 I had exposed the previous day. I intended to expose both cartridges from the box of expired 35mm film during the snow. But ... I didn't.
Kodak Professional Portra 400BW was a multi-purpose chromogenic black and white negative film designed to be processed in standard C-41 chemistry alongside rolls of colour negative film and printed on traditional colour paper. It was developed like a colour-negative film in the C-41 process and delivered monochrome images like a black-and-white film. The film was intended for exposure with daylight, electronic flash, and artificial illumination. Kodak Professional Portra 400BWW was a versatile film for 35mm and medium format cameras. It was made with a Kodak T-Grain emulsion and had a wide exposure latitude. Production of the Kodak Portra 400BW was discontinued and replaced with Kodak Professional BW400CN, which was also discontinued. This film incorporated Kodak T-GRAIN® emulsions, which provided wonderful grain and sharpness at a relatively high speed. This film was used for portrait and wedding applications and many commercial applications.
The first time I used Kodak Porta 400BW, I exposed it at box speed. I realised then that I needed to overexpose the expired film. I exposed this 35mm roll of Kodak Professional Portra 400BW at ISO 100. The results are much better. But I think ISO 160 may have produced better results.
The film cartridge was developed at Boutique Photo Lab and scanned on my Epson Perfection V600 with VueScan 9. I processed the negative scans using Negatvibe Lab Pro, adjusted the exposure by -1/3 EV in Adobe Lightroom and cropped out the film borders.
Ilford HP5 400 35mm film was a black and white photographic film that gained a reputation as a versatile and reliable choice for both amateur and professional photographers.
We have had very little snow this winter. One morning in early March, we had snow that lasted more than a few minutes. It was early morning, and I had no pressing meetings. I grabbed the Minolta X-700 and loaded an unlabeled black cartridge from the box of expired 35mm film. The film cartridge was inside a smaller box labelled Ilford HP5 400. I went outside for a quick walk along Salisbury Road.
I have not exposed snowy scenes with any film stock. Snow confuses the camera's exposure meter. It will most likely underexpose your shots because it can't recognise the brightness of the snow. The X-700 doesn’t have the advanced "WYSIWYG" preview features of my Fuji X-T3, so I expected that my exposure would all be shit.
Ilford HP5 400 35mm film was a black and white photographic film that gained a reputation as a versatile and reliable choice for both amateur and professional photographers. This film has been a staple in the photography industry for decades, known for its fine grain, high contrast, and excellent tonal range.
The ISO rating of 400 made this film suitable for many lighting conditions, including low-light situations. It was ideal for capturing sharp, detailed images with a high level of contrast and emphasising deep blacks and bright whites. This made it particularly well-suited for portraits, street photography, and documentary-style photography.
Ilford HP5 400 was also known for its wide exposure latitude, which means it could handle a wide range of exposures without sacrificing image quality. This made it an excellent choice for photographers who needed to work quickly in changing light conditions or who wanted to experiment with different exposure settings.
The film was sold in 35mm format, one of the world’s most widely used film formats, and came in 36 exposure rolls. It was processed using standard black-and-white processing techniques and was compatible with various developers and fixers.
Ilford HP5 400 35mm film was a classic black and white film that has stood the test of time. Its current iteration, HP5 Plus, continues to be famous for black-and-white photography. Its versatility, reliability, and high-quality results have made it a photographer’s favourite for decades. It remains a popular choice for those who value the timeless beauty of black-and-white photography.
To compensate for the number of years that have passed since the film expired, I overexposed this cartridge of expired Ilford HP 400. I exposed it at ASA 50 and sent it to Boutique Film Lab for development. The cartridge was listed for 36 exposure, but I got 38 usable frames from the cartridge. The negatives were scanned with VueScan 9 on my Epson Perfection V600. I added meta-data using Exif Editor and imported the images into Adobe Lightroom, where they were converted to viewable images using Negative Lab Pro. I asked my regular lab, Boutique Film Lab, to pull the film -3 during development. At least, that’s what I have in my notes. I’m not sure if they did that or not.
Looking for a new challenge in photography? How about trying out expired film? That's what I did when I got my hands on a roll of Fujichrome Provia 400F that had long surpassed its expiration date.
One of the first rolls of film I exposed from the box of expired 35mm film I received last year is a 36-exposure cartridge of Fujichrome PROVIA 400F Professional [RHP III]. Fujichrome PROVIA 400F was a high-quality colour reversal film manufactured by Fujifilm. It was known for its excellent colour reproduction, fine grain, and sharpness, making it a popular choice among professional photographers. With a sensitivity of ISO 400, this film was ideal for shooting in low light conditions or for capturing fast-moving subjects. The film's advanced emulsion technology was known to produce vibrant colours and accurate skin tones, making it a popular choice for fashion and advertising photography. I did not know what to expect from a 10-year-old cartridge.
I didn't think much about what it means to expose expired 35mm film. My [first, second and third attempts at using expired film stock were disappointing. I loaded the cartridge in my Pentax P3n, and despite the cold weather, I hopped on my e-bike and headed off to Rocky Hill, a nearby borough in New Jersey.
The sun shone brightly overhead, but I could still feel the cold as I set off on Salisbury Road towards the western end of Blue Spring Road. It was still early morning as I pedalled through the quiet residential streets of my neighbourhood. Just before entering the borough of Rocky Hill, I stopped on Princeton Avenue to expose a few frames before continuing along the more scenic route, passing through Van Horne Park.
Rocky Hill was incorporated in 1890 and had a rich history dating back to the colonial era. It was an important transportation hub during the Revolutionary War and was once home to the Van Horne estate, now a public park. Van Horne Park offers a variety of amenities, such as walking paths, playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic areas.
Today, Rocky Hill is a quiet residential community with a small-town feel. It has a few local businesses, including a general store, a post office, and a few restaurants.
After leaving the park, I continued along Washington Road, a long stretch of a historic route that cuts through the heart of Rocky Hill. One of the most distinctive features of Washington Road is its historic homes and buildings. Many houses along the street were built in the 18th and 19th centuries and have been preserved as part of Rocky Hill's history. Some of the most notable buildings along Washington Road include the historic Rocky Hill Inn, which dates back to the early 1700s and now operates as a restaurant, and the Rocky Hill Schoolhouse, which was built in 1865 and is now home to the Rocky Hill Historical Society.
Originally built as a private residence, the Rocky Hill Inn building was converted into a tavern in the 1800s and has since operated as an American gastropub. The inn has been beautifully restored and retains many original features, including wide-plank flooring and exposed brick walls. It is a popular spot for locals, offering a cosy rural, small-town atmosphere, delicious food (my favourite is Fish n’ Chips with a crisp pilsner), and a wide selection of beer and wine.
I turned off Washington Road, arriving at Crescent Avenue, a quiet road I often photograph due to its tree-lined sidewalks and charming historic homes. Many houses on the street were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and have been carefully preserved. The homes' architecture varies, ranging from Victorian and colonial-style homes to more modern designs.
Crescent Avenue turns into River Road at the southeastern border with Montgomery Township. River Road head south toward the historic town of Kingston. It connects to the other end of Blue Spring Road in a loop that takes me back toward my home.
I think the opportunity to take photographs with expired 35mm film was a unique touch of nostalgia and vintage charm.
I exposed the Fujichrome PROVIA 400F at box speed. After I sent the film off for development, I read that the wisdom on the web is that expired film should be exposed at a lower ISO, one-stop every ten years after it expires. The film should also be pulled during development. I understand it just a bit, but I am stumped about what camera ISO or exposure compensation settings I should have used and what instructions to give the development lab.
Do I set the ISO dial at ISO 200 and tell the lab to pull one stop?
It was too late to correct my potential mistake. I sent the cartridge off to Boutique Film Lab and waited. When the slides arrived, I nervously scanned them with VueScan using my Epson Perfection V600. As I watched the previews, my confidence grew. My efforts were not wasted.
I added camera and lens meta-data and imported the images to Adobe Lightroom to finalise things. I was excited when I saw that the scans produced usable photos. I was even more excited when the photos improved further when I adjusted the exposure,contrast, highlights and shadows.
I am so excited. This worked out better than I expected. While the colours are muted, almost all of the images are usable. This post includes the ones I consider the best of the 36 exposures. A few frames are underexposed, but I think that is primarily because of operator error (i.e. me). I have five more cartridges of expired Fujichrome PROVIA 400F, and I am excited to use them all.
Fujichrome PROVIA 400F
Boutique Film Labs
Epson Perfection V600
VueScan 9, Negative Lab Pro, Adobe Lightroom