Expired Film Day!

I participated in this year’s Expired Film Day. It is a fun event that encourages photographers to scour the planet for expired film, load it in a camera and shoot with it.

I purchase used camera equipment and sometimes run across darkroom accessories, film, paper and other photographic items. From two different photographic lots, I now possess three bulk loaders with film of questionable age and storage.

I chose to shoot a roll pulled from a bulk loader marked “Tri-X” and with a hand written note from 1989 taped to the back. It came from a lot of camera equipment purchased from a high school yearbook staff, stored in an unheated room. I figured the heat and cold would do nothing but enhance the beauty of this possibly 30 year old film!

I spent the day split between hiking a nearby nature preserve and walking around in a more urban setting. It was nice getting outside on a chilly but nice spring day to make some pictures.

My camera is a Nikon FM2N, purchased in the late 90’s. The lens is new, however, a Lensbaby Twist 60. It is a Petzval lens and shoots beautiful swirly bokeh wide open.

I rated the film at 200 and developed it at 400 in Eco Pro developer. The film came out flat and a bit fogged but had enough density to print. Surprisingly it wasn’t Tri-X. Instead it is T-Max 400, stamped with the emulsion reference TMY on the sprockets, denoting the older emulsion updated in 2007.

The Ilford Multigrade RC paper I printed on is also expired. It came from a former photo student, and had been stored for some time before I had a chance to print with it. Luckily it wasn’t fogged, and only had a small light leak mark on the short edge of the 8×10 paper.

With the help of a #3 filter the negative printed quite nicely.

Overall it was a great experience to trust the photo gods that both the film and the paper were good enough to make a decent image. I had a fun time and now look forward to shooting more expired film from my bulk loader bonanza!

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