Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2018/07/06

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Subject: [Leica] Unusual Photo Story: A Recovered Picture
From: hlritter at (Howard L Ritter Jr)
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2018 10:48:11 -0400
References: <>


I?ve been asking and Googling around for information on developing a 
50-year-old roll of Ektachrome-X. Among other things, I read that film?s 
sensitivity to new light exposure decreases with age, so that while 
exposures made when the film was fresh may develop nicely, those done much 
later may not. Perhaps that, rather than a deterioration in the camera?s 
function, explains the poor results from the more recent shots.


> On Jul 6, 2018, at 08:39, Jim Shulman <jshulman at> wrote:
> A few days ago a friend showed me his latest acquisition: a Vest Pocket
> Kodak Autographic camera, which looked to be from the 1920s or so.  There
> was a partially used roll of film inside, which he finished with some
> snapshots in the back yard.   Visions of long-gone flappers filled the
> imagination, saved on the film therein.
> I told him I'd process the film, but as with any photographic film that old
> getting any discernable images was a crapshoot.  I'd heard that the rule of
> thumb for developing old film is lose one f-stop per each decade.  When I'd
> loaded the film onto the reel (not so easy with film that had been coiled
> for decades!) and sealed the tank, I took a look at the backing paper.  It
> was decidedly more 50s-60s looking, and at the top include an exposure 
> chart
> with a note that Verichrome Pan is ASA 125.  That would probably peg it 
> late
> 1950s and later, and the look of the backing paper reminded me of 50s/60s
> Kodak product.
> With that in mind I figured that the usual VP developing time in D-76 1:1
> was about eight minutes, with each pushed stop adding about four minutes.
> Given five decades, that would be an additional 20 minutes, the total
> rounded to a half-hour.
> That seemed to do the trick.  When I removed the film from the tank two
> exposures taken decades ago were perfectly clear, but the recently taken
> shots a vague, blurry mess.  Perhaps the camera had deteriorated in the
> interim.
> The picture shows a family with clothes and hairstyles of about 1965.  Why
> they were using a 40 year old folding camera is an answer lost to the ages.
> I have no idea who they were, or the occasion of the picture.
> _______________________________________________
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In reply to: Message from jshulman at (Jim Shulman) ([Leica] Unusual Photo Story: A Recovered Picture)