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34 Year Old Film

Posted 2011.08.10 10.52 in Hobbies, Photography

This past weekend loaded my 39 year old Rollei A26 with some 34 year old Kodak Verichrome Pan film, and went out for some driving around.

The film was actually more than 34 years old – it expired 34 years ago (June, 1977 to be exact) so it was probably made in 1975.┬áThe results weren’t fantastic, but they were pretty darn good considering it’s more than three decades past it’s best before date!

I took two indoors (non-flash) shots while I was visiting the Lomography store in Toronto, but the camera wasn’t quite up to the task – it’s slowest settings are 1/30th at f/3.5 and with the 34-year-old 125ASA film… the second image below was barely usable, the other image I took was almost all grain and no detail.

Another problem I discovered was with the Rollei A26, the light sensor is in a location where I tend to let my fingers rest, so a couple sunny outdoor images were completely blown out as the camera exposed for ‘darkness’ while it was about EV+15. Once I realized (from the sound of the shutter) what was happening, I made a point of holding the camera differently.

Here are a couple images from that very expired roll.

Processed for 7 minutes in T-Max 1:4 developer at 76 deg F which is likely too long, except my brew is probably nearly exhausted as well as expired (over a year since I mixed it).

Rollei A26 & 36 Year Old Film

Posted 2009.12.12 12.01 in Hobbies, Photography

Not long ago, I ran some more film through my Rollei A26 camera. The A26 was IMHO one of the better cameras made for the 126 cartridge format film. A very compact, sturdy, well-designed camera, the A26 is a nifty little piece of kit.

The film I used this time was Kodak Verichrome Pan. It was ‘new in box’, sealed & unopened. It was marked with a ‘Process Before’ date in 1973 — in other words, this film was thirty-six years past its best-before date.

Nonetheless, a healthy combination of blind optomism and overconfidence led me to assume that not only would the film still be good, but that I would be able to process it successfully in my haphazard kitchen-sink darkroom.

The results were a resounding ‘not bad’. I had some problems with focusing, because I suck at guessing distances and sometimes forget to focus entirely. However, the A26 has a pretty-good depth of field, especially in bright sunlight.

Here are a few examples:

Technical info: Verichrome Pan ISO 125, automatic exposure. Developed in T-Max 1:4 for 9 1/2 minutes.

Rollei A26

Posted 2009.11.21 17.03 in Photography

Here’s a neat little camera – the Rollei A26. It’s from the 1970’s and was designed during the Instamatic craze. Using 126 format film cartridges, it’s kind of nifty – closed, it’s the same size as the Rollei B35, plus it has a built in lens-protector. You just pull it to open it and it’s ready to go!

On the downside, 126 film has been discontinued since the last millenium, though you can still find some now and then. Or, if you can find some 126 cartridges, you can reload them with 35mm film. This is what I’ve been doing actually – reloading 126 cartridges with modern 35mm film. See, 126 film is actually 35mm wide, but it has different edge hole things.

The biggest problem with the 126 reloads is with the holes is I get a few double-exposures or overlapped exposures, because the 126 format uses one edge-hole per frame where 35mm film has holes every few mm.

Technical info: Agfa APX-100 aka Silvertone 35mm film loaded into 126 cartridge, exposed by Rollei A26 automatic exposure, processed in T-Max developer 1:4 for 6:30 minutes.