All About Expired Film

Daniel J. Schneider put together this comprehensive piece on expired film for PopPhoto that details how film works and what happens as it ages. You’ll learn about how time, heat and cosmic and background radiation changes film and see examples of what those changes look like on prints.

Expired film, especially things that aren’t particularly old or unusual, can be dirt cheap. Lots of consumer and even professional color negative film that’s been well-stored and expired just a few years ago can be had for between 50 percent and 10 percent of the price of comparable fresh films, and still produce excellent results.

Older films, particularly consumer films from the 1980s and 1990s, can be found for $1 (US) per roll or even less. That’s where enigma comes into play.

For many photographers, using film of unknown provenance offers an unpredictability full of fun surprises. You may even get a variety of different effects on a single roll.

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If film isn’t really your thing but you like having prints, give this Instant Camera using Raspberry Pi and Thermal Printer guide in the Adafruit Learning System and try!


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