This was my first roll of expired film, and I’m confident it won’t be my last.
A few months ago I picked up a couple of rolls of expired Klick 200 film off eBay. I’d never heard of the brand and it looked like cheap consumer film from the early 2000s. However, I got it for £1.04 so I couldn’t really complain about it.
Looking at the negatives, it appears to be some kind of Fuji emulsion, possibly C200 (which I’ve reviewed here, in case you’ve not read it), although I didn’t know this until afterwards. It was 15 years old though, so I knew it would bear little resemblance to any film you can pick up today.
The gamble with buying expired film is that you have no idea how it has been stored. For all you know someone kept it in a bag in their shed, so it could have experienced sub zero temperatures and balmy summer weather and everything in between. Or, it could have been meticulously stored by a photographer in a freezer. This roll was definitely more likely the former than the latter, although if you’re picking up cheap consumer film then I guess it’s more likely that it’s been neglected for a period of time, so this was no surprise.
I shot the roll in Madrid, with my Leica M2 and a 7Artisans 50mm 1.1. I had read the rule of thumb that you should overexpose expired film by one stop for every decade that it’s out of date, so I decided to rate it at 100. I’ve since read that this has no basis in science, but I prefer to overexpose my film by a stop or two anyway, so I’ll shoot the second roll in much the same way.
So, how did it come out? Magenta, basically.
The contrast isn’t too bad, and I like the way the blacks look, so I’m pretty happy with the experience. I probably only got about 11 shots I liked out of a roll of 24, but that’s 11 more than I was expecting. I’m going to shoot the next roll in less sunny conditions, so I’ll see how it copes with a bit more grey Britain and a bit less sunny Spain. I’m not holding my breath for more keepers.
I’ve tried to colour correct these in Lightroom, but they still have a strong purple look to them. It works well for some shots, not so well for others, but here are my five favourites.