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Exposing Expired 7222 - Grey Card Question


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When dealing with expired film, I've heard of the rule of thumb about overexposing 1 stop for every decade a film stock is expired by. 

Does that mean to overexpose the grey card +1 as well so that the whole roll is printed back down to 'normal' exposure, or does it mean to expose the grey card 'normally' and overexpose the rest by 1 stop?

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I have never heard of this...  I have recently shot with expired film.  Kodak 50D - 7245, which was 26 years old, Kodak 500T - 7279, and Kodak 250D - 7205, which ranged from 6 to 8 years old.  My biggest concern was how some of the film was stored.  I owned the 7245 film and stored it in a cool dry place, so I figure it would be okay.  I used the roll of 50D - 7245 to test a 16mm Aaton camera.  I shot everything outside under perfect lighting conditions.  I did have a polarizer filter on the lens.  I set the camera to what the light meter specified and oped a stop to compensate for the polarizer filter.    Aside from a little bit of extra grain structure because of the age of the film, the image was perfect.

The conditions were the same for the 250D - 7205, so the results were the same.

I knew that the grain structure of aged tungsten balanced film has a tendency to get more visible.  I discovered this in the past when I had secured short ends and re-canned rolls for filming.  Once again, I didn't know how the film was stored, so this was a gamble.  The proper exposures were set, the image is solid, but the grain structure is evident.

With the 500T - 7279, I followed all the photographic rules when filming.  The scene was studio lit (daylight balanced LEDs) in front of green screen.  I had an 85 filter on the lens, which means I opened an extra stop.  When I scanned the film I did notice the it looked a bit under exposed and the grain was heavy.  I had to denoise the footage, but there was really nothing I could do with the exposure.  I mean, the image is still great, but I think I could have opened up another stop.

In retrospect, I think the daylight film was fine playing by the rules, but with the tungsten, yeah, a half to a full extra stop might not hurt.

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You shoot the grey scale at the same lower ISO as the rest of the roll, i.e. overexposed, so when it gets corrected back down to normal brightness, so will the scene that follows it.  If you shot the grey scale normal and then overexposed the scene, then the scene would look overexposed.

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20 hours ago, David Mullen ASC said:

You shoot the grey scale at the same lower ISO as the rest of the roll, i.e. overexposed, so when it gets corrected back down to normal brightness, so will the scene that follows it.  If you shot the grey scale normal and then overexposed the scene, then the scene would look overexposed.

Thank you for clarifying!

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I would just add that B&W Stocks just do not have the "falloff" that color stocks do.

I shot a music vid for some friends a few years ago and used a can of Plus-X 16mm negative that had expired in 1962 and in bright sunlight the stock looked really spectacular rated at 40iso which was a stop down from the can 80iso rating.

I think the big driver of color stock fade and fog is the dye couplers being a bit more volatile and without them B&W really stays more stable over time.

 

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On 4/22/2022 at 8:06 AM, Robert Houllahan said:

I would just add that B&W Stocks just do not have the "falloff" that color stocks do.

I shot a music vid for some friends a few years ago and used a can of Plus-X 16mm negative that had expired in 1962 and in bright sunlight the stock looked really spectacular rated at 40iso which was a stop down from the can 80iso rating.

I think the big driver of color stock fade and fog is the dye couplers being a bit more volatile and without them B&W really stays more stable over time.

 

Old film film is unpredictable though, especially really old film.  Vision3 is not a big issue though, but expired Vision3 films benefit from prolonged development times since there the incorporated DIR couplers can do their work, prevent overbuildup of highlight density while the longer development gives more time to develop the mids and shadows while ECN-2 CD is restrained enough to not overly build up fog in the toe. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Ludwig Hagelstein said:

Old film film is unpredictable though, especially really old film. 

Well that is true but also some people will want to use it for it's unpredictable and damaged texture or look if they shoot is as I was for my friends with the Plus-X. Here is that vid, a mix of 1962 Plus-X neg some R8 Fomapan and Canon C500. digi.

And then there are found films which need to be developed.

For the found or shelved films which need to be run it often comes down to a simple will it work question?

We ran a set of EXR Color negative films in ECN2 last year that had been in the fridge of a museum since 1984 and the results were quite good in ECN2 in a PhotoMec processor. With mild color shift and quite reasonable fog levels on almost all the rolls and just two had a bigger color shift. Some of the films were outside in bright sun and some were shot within the submarine the museum had acquired and so they were in darker lighting.

Once scanned they were brought into quite good color balance.

I have noticed that films with latent images tend to have less fog than unshot stocks.

Edited by Robert Houllahan
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Posted (edited)

The one stop for every ten years comes from the photography world probably

E.g. If your film stock is 500 asa set your light metre for 250 asa and work as normal……can’t think of a simpler explanation that’s this……whether it be ambient light readings or spot metres off a grey card……i shoot expired film all the time in my photography…..have stock from 2012 I use with no issues. Tell the lab to develop normal. No N+1 or anything like that

personally I don’t give expired film an extra stop as I found it was giving normal results with my normal film rating….which in the photography world is not normally box speed

Edited by Stephen Perera
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