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Derek Van Gorder

Bought a used camera-- full of film! What do I do?

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Hello!

 

I recently purchased a used Eclair ACL on eBay. It came with two 200' magazines and one 400' magazine (the English one, which I hear is a bit dodgy). To my surprise, both 200' magazines are full of film! The first one appears to be halfway spent, there's film over the pressure plate. The second mag I opened in a darkened room-- the take-up side is empty, but the other side has what I'm guessing is 160' of unexposed Double-X (the magazine is labeled with a piece of tape, "160' 7222"). From what I could tell in the dark, there's indeed a good amount of film on a core, not a daylight spool, and it hasn't been threaded through to the take-up side.

 

The seller mentioned nothing about any included film, only that the camera had been unused for four years. And I've heard no answer from him about the film...

 

So, I assume there's a decent chance this is simply trash film, good for practice loading. But I also figure there's a chance the half-spent roll is shot but undeveloped. Is there any way I can tell? Should I bring it to the lab for processing? Should I attempt to shoot the remaining half, or would it be safer to just wind it through?

 

As for the 7222, I have no clue what condition it's in. I'm assuming there is no chance it is exposed/undeveloped, and I'd be best off just junking it and using it to practice loading-- then once I have the basics of the camera figured out, I can get around to dealing with the half-shot mag. Is this a sensible plan?

 

Anyway, what would you do in this situation? This is my first 16mm camera. I plan to spend a good long while practicing loading and basic operation, shoot a test roll, then get it serviced, then shoot more test rolls...

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Honestly, I'd use it as waste. That's just me. Scratch testing and the like. You could get a lab to do a clip test of the un-exposed film, and or process the exposed film, but lord only knows how long it's been in there and how it's been stored ect. Better, in my opinion, to save the money you'd spend on processing and transferr for someone else's film and just order 400' of your own.

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Honestly, I'd use it as waste. That's just me. Scratch testing and the like. You could get a lab to do a clip test of the un-exposed film, and or process the exposed film, but lord only knows how long it's been in there and how it's been stored ect.

 

if it is double x, and you had a still film darkroom, you could do a dip test , but 4 years at room temperature is likely to not be a good thing.

 

There is a bit of curiosity of course over the exposed film, maybe it is a long lost missing link, or maybe it is someones idea of porn.

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Wow, my curiosity is really beating. Probably nothing (or too old), but you never know. I love a good garage sale though- so consider the source.

 

Tom

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Thanks for the replies! I decided to junk the 160' and practice with it, but my curiosity is getting the better of me with the left-over film and I just might have to process it. What can I say, I'm a sucker for the unknown. If I come up with anything interesting I'll be sure to post it!

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I'd get the camera checked too. See if there's any buildup in the pressure plate and check the ground glass. Sound like the seller had it chucked somewhere in their house and didn't bother with it.

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Thanks for the replies! I decided to junk the 160' and practice with it, but my curiosity is getting the better of me with the left-over film and I just might have to process it. What can I say, I'm a sucker for the unknown. If I come up with anything interesting I'll be sure to post it!

 

It's funny I remember the 8mm forums years ago used to be filled with people who used to swear up and down to try and save/ develop the film they found in used cameras. Mabye 16mm shooters being more business then hobby oriented aren't curious for that kind of stuff? Or mabye it's the fact that it's a good chunk of change that might be spent on nothing :P. ::shrugs:: Just a thought... tell me how it turns out!

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Thanks for the replies! I decided to junk the 160' and practice with it, but my curiosity is getting the better of me with the left-over film and I just might have to process it. What can I say, I'm a sucker for the unknown. If I come up with anything interesting I'll be sure to post it!

 

It'll probably be footage of the "staging" of the moon landing :D

 

Definitely post if something comes out.

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if it is double x, and you had a still film darkroom, you could do a dip test , but 4 years at room temperature is likely to not be a good thing.

 

There is a bit of curiosity of course over the exposed film, maybe it is a long lost missing link, or maybe it is someones idea of porn.

 

Yeah Given it's B&W, I'd process it myself! Cut a bit off, enough to cram into a 35mm developing tank if you have one and then just develop it as B&W neg. The Chemicals are cheap enough. If you get pictures they could be fun for some experiment, if you don't it might be blank and you can shoot your own experiment and camera test on it!

 

I think it would be fun. Taking it anywhere near a proper lab would be crazy tho! :)

 

love

 

Freya

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