Experimenting with expired film, 30 September 2009


Oh, look…I’m actually getting this one posted on the correct day. Er, maybe…depends on how long it takes me to write this!


Photo Information:

Camera: Canon AE-1 Program
Lens: Canon 135mm f/3.5 FD
Film: Mitsubishi MX-III ISO 400 (35mm), expired
Exposure: TTL metering

As with yesterday’s photo, this is one of the results from my shoot with a roll of massively expired 35mm color film. [1] The first thing you may notice is that the colors look a bit, well, off; this is a result of the film itself. In fact, I suspect that it is a direct result of the age of the film. How do I know this? Glad you asked. Below, you’ll find a similar view that I shot with my Nikon P80 digital camera. Now, I’ll grant you that the colors in the digital photo are also a bit bright and garish (hey, that happens at night), but they are also fairly indistinguishable from what I saw when I shot the photos.


Photo Information:

Camera: Nikon P80
Lens Setting: Approximately 150mm (35mm equivalent)
Shutter speed: 4 seconds
Aperture Setting: f/4
ISO Setting: 64 (equivalent)

And yes, before you ask, I did shoot both of these on the same night, one after the other (though I’m not sure which came first, the film or digital shot). Hey, I already had the tripod set up for the shot, and it wasn’t too difficult to switch the quick-release plate from one camera to the other. [2]

As for the subject of the photo, this is part of the skyline of downtown Norfolk, Virginia (my hometown – woohoo!). Obviously, this is at night. [3] The view is from the Portsmouth side of the Elizabeth River, looking (roughly) east.



[1]: If you think that’s fun, I’m currently shooting a roll of Kodak Elitechrome slide film. [*] Thing is, the last time I bought a roll of Kodak slide film was my last year in undergrad at UVA (that would be in the spring of 2001), so this film is at least eight years old by now. I suspect this film will be even more out-of-date than the Mitsubishi film.

[*]: Yeah, I know…I’m on a bit of a slide film kick lately. Hey, when you get results like those I got with the Velvia film (in a 50’s-era snapshot camera, no less), you’d be having fun with it, too. Now, if only someone made a black and white slide film…

[2]: Why yes, I do carry multiple cameras when I’m out shooting. Thanks for asking. My record is five when I was visiting the observation deck of the Empire State Building: 1) Canon AE-1 Program (and lenses); 2) Hasselblad 500C (and lenses); 3) Kodak Junior Six-20; 4) Kodak Bantam Special; and 5) Sony DSC-W1. In my defense, only three of them were usable (the Canon, Hasselblad, and Sony); I was showing the other two to a friend, and left them in my pack (they didn’t weigh much or take up much space, so their presence didn’t bother me much). It still confused the hell outta the security guard at the metal detectors…he had no idea what to make of the contents of my pack!

[3]: Okay, seriously…if you didn’t notice that before I pointed it out, wow. Seek help.

[4]: Aaaaannnd I’ve missed midnight by 15 minutes. *Sigh* I should probably try writing these earlier in the day, shouldn’t I?


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