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Method to test expred film... and lab questions!


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Hi!

So I am new to the world of 16mm... I may well be the only student at my Uni shooting 16mm. I haven't shot much yet, but am eager to learn! This will be the summer of 16 for me!

 

I bought a box of cans of 100' expired color Fuji 500D (from mid to late 90s guessing). I am planning on rating it at around 120 or so... But what is everyone's reccomended method of testing a roll? Shooting a annotated test card at several settings, then clipping that footage (Maybe 1 minute long?) and sending it to a lab would be my guess.

 

From the lab tech perspective, what should I ask for in terms of processing this test? A flat pass? How to send the footage? In a 35mm still film container? I want to make this easy and hassle free for all involved.

 

Basically, I want to know what to rate the film at and if there is streaking. Later on, the lab and I can decide to correct (or to amplify....) odd coloring, so I am not worried about that part.

 

Any advice is appreciated. I am so excited my fingers are tingling!

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This is what we call a "Clip Test" except usually it not exposed so we can read the film on a densitometer and give you base fog results.

 

 

You can also shoot a small amount and send it to your lab and get a video transfer to see the result, usually the lab will do a test transfer for below the minimum transfer charge, we do at cinelab.

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I bought a box of cans of 100' expired color Fuji 500D (from mid to late 90s guessing).

 

From the lab tech perspective, what should I ask for in terms of processing this test? A flat pass? How to send the footage? In a 35mm still film container? I want to make this easy and hassle free for all involved.

 

 

From the lab perspective it is desirable that 16mm film comes in its original 16mm tins, labels legible. You indicate clearly on white tape around the rim: EXPOSED (date) AT ISO XXX (name). The rest in written

 

But why have you bought such old film? Close?

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Robert and Simon, thanks for your replies... I bought the film because it was cheap and I also needed something to test cameras with and, if all else fails, have a dummy load to practice loading and teaching others how to load... Of course I hope the film will still be of use on a short.

 

I am curious, will a test from the densitometer reveal the presence of the strange streaking I 've seen on other's expired film shoots?

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One thing is that you speak of testing cameras but in reality are worrying about the film. I think what you in fact do is to test yourself, my fingers are tingling”.

 

To test a camera is a purely technical affair for which one needs to fully comprehend its construction. Before you’ll be there you practise threading and everything. Mind your expression.

 

Why would one want to prove with the aid of a densitometer what can be seen without apparatus? You ask questions!

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Streaking is unfixable. It might be due to X-ray exposure. Fog due to age is usually more uniform, the densitometer will reveal it and it might be recoverable, but if I found it I'd want to find some fresh film. After all you 're only saving on the stock. Everything else is the same price and you pay for processing whether the film is ruined or not.

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There is in the color still film world a genre that uses old expired film, usually color, since there are random shifts in the color due to differential degrading of the color emulsions. That's part of the 'found art' sort of principle.

 

For B&W, in general, degrading produces more general fog, as well as 'streaks', but I've not seen too many examples of 'old B&W still films being used.

 

Naturally it is far easier to process B&W films, even 8 and 16mm movie films, than color films.

Edited by John E Clark
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