really really really old film

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really really really old film

Post by squirrelworking » Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:07 pm

i have an ancient brownie, its got wooden spools and everything, with some film in it.

i rolled out the film a bit and the patent is about 100 years old. its been exposed, so there may be some pictures on the film. is there any chance that i can get to them? and if so which dev and fix etc would anyone suggest? the only marking that may indicated what type of film it is

the box seems light proof, so 'in theory' it should be fine, right?
if not, its no big deal, i may just use the camera, as the lens is clean and the mechanisms are working ok, and i got it as a gift from my aunt who knows nothing about cameras she just know that i like them.

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Post by Digitaltruth » Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:38 pm

A lot will depend on how old the film really is, and the patent info might be misleading. If the film is very old it will be fogged and you are unlikely to get anything out of it. All I can recommend is that you use a very aggressive developer as if there is anything salvagable, it will be low in contrast and high in fog. You might try running it in a print developer for 10 minutes, or Rodinal 1+10 for a similar time. If you want to use something like D-76, then use a stock solution for 30 minutes. These are just guesses though. The main aim is to develop as much as you can (within reason) . If you do get any usable negatives you can remove some of the resultant fog with a reducing agent.
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Post by MarkJ » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:32 pm

I have developed a few rolls of pretty old film. Two in particular were somewhat to very successful, both appear to have been exposed in the 1970's. I didn't do anything particularly special for either one. Both involved Verichrome Pan film. One was somewhat fogged, the other looked like it was fresh film. What I've found difficult is getting development times for long out of production films, to where I've had to guess a few times. At least with Verichrome Pan you can still find data. You probably should develop longer than published data for your film (if you can find it) and I also understand that there are anti-fog chemicals you can add to the developer, though I haven't tried them.

Good luck--it's lots of fun developing these mystery films and seeing what comes up! If you want to see some good examples (not mine) check out this web site:

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Post by squirrelworking » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:03 am

wow thanks a lot guys, I'm gonna develop it as soon as possible now.

ps that website is amazing!

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