Slide film is still very much a “special purpose” medium for me, which means my use in general is restricted let alone experimentation with expired options. So far I’ve enjoyed the results offered by “Retrochrome” but this was sourced from a reliable seller, and there is plenty of existing documentation on what that particular cold-stored stock offers.
Sensia is a little harder to find, with only a few rolls appearing now and then on eBay. The provenance is often more questionable – no assurances that the film has been kept frozen, or otherwise uncontaminated. If you buy rolls from more than one source it’s possible you are getting films that have been stored all kinds of ways, and which may have any number of image quality compromises as a result.
I bought a couple of rolls with an expiry date of 2006 only after I found them cheap enough to not really be worried if they turned out underwhelmingly, and saved them until a sunny day which is my preference for shooting any kind of colour film these days. I still had concerns that I would have an experience similar to my use of expired C41, which is not something I want to repeat.
I shot this roll over the space of two days in July; the first few frames after loading it into my F2 in London, and the rest during a day-trip to Margate. I allowed myself to be a little freer, which meant more mediocre images, but I was trying to be a little more playful than usual – to let go of any expectations for this roll, as it was entirely possible that I would have no results in the first place, and to just shoot without discretion.
Luckily I was pretty happy with my results – exposures came out fine with good colour and grain. There was little shift in the colour, but what there was definitely added to the summery aesthetic rather than detract. I assume this roll had been cold stored, as the results match up with some of the better examples I can find of this film online. Compared with the Retrochrome 400 I’ve shot I think that those two stops of speed may be a large influence in the very different level of colour cast seen on those rolls.
A few frames had a weird mark, which looked like moisture scarring I assume happened in development, although if this is wrong I’m sure someone will correct me in the comments.
My scan process was unchanged from my usual slide-workflow. I used my Plustek, and aside from setting the black-point in Photoshop, and then processing the tiffs into Jpeg in Lightroom I didn’t tweak anything about the “look” of these files.
I managed to shoot 39 frames on this roll overall, and have presented them below in terms of A-roll, B-roll, and C-roll, rather than in the order they were shot in. A-roll are the keepers I’m happy with, B-roll are fairly executed but empty/nothing shots, and C-roll are technical failures/stupid shots I can’t justify the existence of, and which I’ll unlikely ever use for anything serious.
C-Roll (14 frames)
B-Roll (17 frames)
A-Roll (8 frames)
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