Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/06/02

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Subject: [Leica] Expired film advice
From: henningw at (Henning Wulff)
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 10:21:50 -0700
References: <>

At 3:23 PM +0800 6/2/09, Thein Onn Ming wrote:
>Quick question for the film experts out there - I discovered a cache 
>of slide film (velvia 50, 100, provia 100) in my freezer while 
>looking for something for dinner the other day. Any ideas as to 
>whether it's still useable, or is going to trigger horrible color 
>shifts? Expiry date is mid-2007, and it's been stored refrigerated 
>both in the store and since I bought it. Instinct tells me it's 
>probably fine, but what do you think?
>Thanks in advance!
>THEIN Onn Ming
>*photohorologer ming at

It'll be just fine. Frozen slow film lasts longest. Slow B&W film is 
probably OK even 50 years out of date and kept at room temperature. 
Might have lost a little speed. 50 year old colour negative film is 
not good; in part because it was no good in the first place.

'Pro' colour negative film that is out of date and has not been 
frozen is doubtful and I wouldn't use it for anything important. 
Reversal colour seems a little more forgiving. The main problem with 
colour films is colour shift. The various layers lose speed at 
different rates, so the colours go wonky. Higher speed colour films 
are more problematic, and I wouldn't use 800 or higher colour films 
past their expiration dates.

B&W film is generally fine even if out of date for a number of years 
even if it hasn't been in a fridge. Again, some speed loss may occur. 
The really fast films like 3200 Kodak and Ilford and 1600 Fuji are 
not that good past their expiration date even when frozen as enough 
cosmic rays go through fridges, and these films are sensitive enough 
to them to start fogging them. HIE also has some of this, as it is 
actually extremely sensitive. Keep it frozen, but quality will 
decrease to some degree.


    *            Henning J. Wulff
   /|\      Wulff Photography & Design
  /###\   mailto:henningw at
  |[ ]|

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