Shooting with expired film is fun. It always yields unexpected results. This time I have an added fun to use a vintage camera that I just restored.
A few months ago I bought this Kodak Retina II at a discount from a collector. The camera is in a reasonably good condition. But it hasn’t been serviced for quite a long time. Hence, there are some haze in the lens and viewfinder. I did the honorable service for it. I shall post the service part later. It is a satisfying activity to do but also time consuming.
Expired Fujifilm Superia ISO200
My good friend gave me this roll of Fujifilm Superia ISO200 a few years ago. It was expired in 2009. He didn’t store the film in the refrigerator. Hence, I don’t know if this film can be exposed and developed properly. It is a frustration to some people but I also think it’s worth a try.
Hesitate to use ISO200 film
I didn’t use the film until now is mainly because I’m running out of 135 film inventory. I hesitate to use it before as I didn’t like using ISO200 film. I prefer ISO400 that gives me more options and comfort in shooting indoor. Furthermore, a decade of expiry means that I would need to shoot at one stop lower like ISO100 to compensate for the age of the film. It makes indoor shoot even more challenging.
So I take on the challenge. In the beginning, I just shoot at ISO200. But after a few shots, I shoot at ISO100 which in hindsight shows a more accurate exposure. I originally planned to use this film as a test of the camera. However, it would be complicated by the uncertainties of expired film. I couldn’t isolate completely, in some case, whether the problem is due to the film or the camera. To my relief that the photos did turn out fine. The focus is largely accurate. The exposure is fine and with some vintage feel to it.
A little bit more Kodak Retina II: https://vintagecameralab.com/kodak-retina-ii/
Cool! I’ve done a little shooting with expired 35 mm film. I’d like to do more, but the simple fact is that expired film prices have gone up considerably. I don’t know if it’s due to the relative scarcity of all kinds of film this year due to pandemic, or because some sellers mistake film for wine and think it’s more valuable as it ages. When I’ve checked eBay for expired film, I’ve found that I could buy fresh stock for at least half of what sellers want.
I think perhaps look at some local forum or ask your friends. I got a few rolls from my good friend that I didn’t know he used film camera. Also some from local forum at good price.
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I’m always surprised by just how sharp Kodak’s rangefinders were, especially the older vintages before meters began to get integrated into cameras. I have a Signet that needs servicing, the viewfinder is full of fungus.
As for the photos, it certainly looks like expired Fuji, but in many of the daylight shots it the characteristic green colorcast is quite well controlled. Personally, I love shooting with C200, but Kodak Gold 200 would always be my first choice for 200-speed film. I’m testing out some Ultra Max 400 now and I may like it better, so you may be onto something about 400-speed film.
I’ll definitely check out your post on the Retina II. Glad to have found another blogger with a passion for film.