Expired, Retired, Still Fired

A few months ago my friend Maurice gave me a Watson Model 100 Bulk Film Loader. The bulk loader still had 35mm film in it! Kodak Plus-X Pan (ASA 125) that expired in 1979. Not knowing how to load my own cartridges and shoot expired film, I turned to the interwebs for some guidance.

Watson Model 100 35mm Bulk Film Loader - Kodak Plus-X Pan (Expired 1979)

Learning to bulk load is a simple and straight forward process: use some art tape to attach the film to the 35mm spool, placing the spool inside the cartridge, close the bulk loader, open the film gate, then slowly crank and decide the number of exposures on the roll. Is the expired film still good? To test the film, I loaded a cartridges with 12 exposures into my Canon Canonet G-III QL17. My conclusion, the film is good! There’s no haze or fogging, but the film definitely needs light. The best images from my test exposures surprisingly came from shooting at box speed, ISO 125.

Would you like a roll to test for yourself? Leave a comment on this post and tell me what camera you’ll use. I’ll pick a random comment on December 1, 2015, and send you a roll.

The images below are some of my favorites from a trip to Wyoming with Scott Smith in September. Along with some others from Utah and a family trip to Wyoming, Montana and Idaho in October.

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10 thoughts on “Expired, Retired, Still Fired

  1. I can see “the old” in a few of these shots. But they’re unmistakably Plus-X! A look that’s never been duplicated.

    If I had a roll of this stuff, I’d shoot it in my Argus A-Four.

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  2. I found a few bulk rolls of film, including Plus-X and Tri-X expired from around the same time as yours! I had to push the tri X a considerable amount, but I think I’m going to shoot the Plus-X at box speed and see what happens!

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      1. I have replied to your email. This is going to be a lot of fun.

        The XA2 is sitting out, ready to go! I chose it partly because I can control the ISO and partly because it fits in a pocket so can travel with me. If you have advice on what speed to shoot this film that would be appreciated. I don’t do my own processing, so I have little control over that part.

        I too have an old bulk film loader, but sadly mine did not come with film! I have not settled on a favourite film yet, so have not gone out to get bulk film. Eventually I will get there.

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