Analog: Long Expired Kodak Royal-X Pan

November 18th, 2010
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_MG_0101 - Version 2
In all my analog experimenting, I’ve only played with expired film once or twice. The only notable results I found were with a roll I shot in Hawai’i that I posted about last year.
Last weekend at “Dan’s Parent’s House” at the Brooklyn Flea, I came across this single roll of 120mm Royal-X Pan film. The box was still sealed and the stamp on the side said ‘develop before December 1959.’
The vendor, Dan told me he had no idea if it was any good, so gave it to me for $3.
Check out the results after the jump.


Royal-X-010
First, to be clear, these results were heavily (and clunkily) worked on in Photoshop. When I got it back from the lab, there was a note saying the roll wasn’t scannable. The negative is basically a dark fog that you can barely discern the faintest traces of an image from.
Royal-X-003a
Before shooting it, I did a bit of googling and found that this used to be a high speed film – ASA 1250, according to Wikipedia. As such , it tended to degrade easily and fog up severely. Those who had used it recommended shooting as daylight film in order to cut through it.
Not knowing if anything would materialize, I just walked out of my place and shot the roll with the Kiev 88 around Bed-Stuy.
Royal-X-014
It’s been 15+ years since I’ve been in a darkroom, so I fear that I mistakenly extrapolated on that logic. I told the lab to develop as iso 100, I wonder if I’d have gotten better results if I’d said to process at a higher speed.
Some of it is hard to make out, probably in part because of my less than stellar photoshopping skills. Regardless, the effect is interesting and a little spooky. The low contrast effect goes counter to my usual aesthetic, so could be an interesting exercise for me to move beyond my habits. Maybe I’ll make a trip to Lomography one of these days to find some more expired rolls to try out.

One Comment:

  1. These are fantastic! So grainy and dark. Yum!

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