Aware that there are a lot of uncertainty involved in film photography, I went ahead and shot a roll of Fujicolor YKL 100 that expired in 2013. As always, I had no expectations, did not take things too seriously, and basically had fun for a short while on a rather gloomy Sunday morning. To put it in more ‘serious’ terms, I went ahead with faith in my camera and the film stock I loaded, which I think is the only way to go sometimes, especially in the realm of film photography.
For Baguio-based film photographers who are interested, I bought the expired films from Fujifilm, Session Road for less than 25 PhP. The only reason I bought them was to practice loading film onto a metal spool when I started learning how to develop my own black and white films. They were on the refrigerator for a while and I thought I’d get one roll and have a go at shooting it.
Before shooting the expired film one of my Instagram friends reminded me that there is usually about one stop loss in speed for every ten years. What I did was to shoot it at box speed (ASA 100) but was overexposing one stop for almost all of my shots.
One thing I noticed is that there is a lot of grain in the photos. I do not recall ever shooting with this film before (when I say before, I mean when I was much much younger and was probably armed with a camera that only required me to depress the shutter button) so I can not give a comparison, but since I shot this at ASA 100, that much grain was a bit of a surprise. I am attributing the grain to one of those things that you might get when shooting a roll of film after its expiration date. Now, I can be totally wrong, so if there are any film gurus out there reading this blog and want to correct me, please go ahead. I also noticed a decrease in saturation and a lack of sharpness in some photos. On that note, I do not mind the grain and the little imperfections in the photos. Why? I find it unique and aesthetically pleasing.
I’m glad I tried shooting with a roll of expired film. I printed my favourites.
As with other things in life, unpredictability can be interesting, so if you have an expired film laying somewhere at home, it could be worth a try loading it into your favourite film camera.
Camera: Olympus OM-1 | Film: Fujicolor YKL 100 (Expiry Date: March 2013) | Developing and Scanning: Fujifilm Baguio, Session Road, Philippines
Have you tried shooting expired film before?