“Are you interested by this?” My neighbor and friend Philippe, hand widely opened, shows me a yellow canister tagged Gold 200. I grab it, a bit confused:
“I thought you only shoot digital.”
“I do. But I found this little baby in my attic yesterday and bet you should be interested!”
“In your attic…? But… when did you buy it?”
“In the late 90’s I think, may be 2000.”
“More than 20 years? I must try it!”
Next Sunday is carnival in Paris and the wheather forecast is pretty encouraging. Let’s give it a try. That day I grabbed my Yashica Electro 35 GSN, loaded it with the Gold 200 and rated it at 100 ISO to compensate the 20 years of the film.
Results proved I should have dialed 50 ISO as a few frames came out too dark. Later, I learn one should overexpose one stop per decade.
This Yashica is a wonderful point and shoot and is my go to camera. It has a razor blade lens with a wide aperture of f:1.7 made with six lenses of thorium salts (yes it’s a little bit radio-active).The meter is pin point accurate from 25 to 1000 ASA (yes it’s from the 80’s) and it is fully automatic with an aperture priority mode. That’s for the pro’s.
It’ a big camera, nearly a small SLR size and won’t fit in a pocket. It cannot be used in manual mode unless you dial the speed at a 1/30th of a second. That’s for the con’s.
This camera was one of the first to use a totaly electronic shutter command. It fires from 30 seconds to 1/500th of a second continuously with no step. So there is a funny logo on the body: an atom design surrounded by orbiting electrons.
Carnival in Paris is a small one. Nothing to compare with Rio or Venice! But this was a pleasant day with colorful people fancy being photographed.
So, I walked all afternoon long taking pictures of featured people.
I was a little bit anxious on what the results would be.
Back home, I developed in a C-41 Tetenal soup and began scanning the roll.
Curiously it came out with a very dark yellow mask which, I think, is the result of age of the roll. So I had to struggle a bit with the scanning process to get rid of this issue.
Despite the wrong ISO setting, the age of the film and the problems in scanning, half the 36 frames came out printable.
For me, who mainly shoots Kodak Portra, this was a pleasant surprise for this 20 years old film!
Contribute to 35mmc for an Ad-free Experience
There are two ways to experience 35mmc without the adverts:
Paid Subscription - £2.99 per month and you'll never see an advert again! (Free 3-day trial).
Content contributor - become a part of the world’s biggest film and alternative photography community blog. All our Contributors have an ad-free experience for life.
Sign up here.
15 thoughts on “5 Frames on Expired Kodak Gold 200 at The Carnival in Paris – By Benoit Arlet”
Great photos. By coincidence friends gave me a Minolta Riva 105 zoom and 3 rolls of Kodak Gold 200 dated 2009. I loaded a brand new roll of Kodak Gold 200 film in the Minolta along with 2 new batteries and took 2 photos. Next day the camera was completely dead and I haven’t extracted the film yet.
But your story and photos have inspired me to use my gifted rolls of expired Gold 200 in another of my old 35mm film cameras and to take notice of your advice and rate it at perhaps 100 ASA
Thank you very much. Apologie for the Minolta. It’s a pitty.
About the ISO dial, may I suggest you rate it 100 for bright sunny light and 50 for dummy light?
Very cool. Especially the last image. I love his shirt!!
YES, you’d light, I like it too
Nice job and great scenes! Amazing that 20 year old film worked so well. And your Yashica appears to be perfect. Keep exercising it and have fun.
Thank you very much
I was in Paris a couple of weekends ago- it’s an insanely photogenic city and I had a great time. Knowing nothing at all about slide film I bought a roll of 20-yr expired 120 Ektachrome off a street trader for a laugh and it turned out to be almost useless… you have done so much better!
Bad luck for you.I know slides are much harder to manage. Thank you for you comment.
Thank you for this lovely photo essay of the Paris Carnival. Your images certainly capture loads of joie de vivre!
While I do enjoy using my share of expired films, such films have been kept in my freezer, so I’d have expected some ghastly results from (especially color) film that old and stored in an attic. No doubt, you used good judgment in shooting at the lower ISO to compensate for age and other unknowns, and I can only imagine from your description of the negatives, you brought great skill and care to these images in the scanning process. But the bottom line is the infectious quality of your images, as well as the sharpness of that very nice lens on your Yashica Electro 35 GSN and, certainly, your photographer’s eye!
Shooting expired film can certainly be an adventure and stories about such adventures can sometimes produce a “Why did you even bother?” reaction. Not so, here! Between the trusty Yashica’s optics and metering, your eye, and no doubt lots of TLC in the scanning process. you have much reason to be proud of these photos.
Bravo et merci!
Thank you very much for so kind a comment! But I must consider I’ve had luck too!
As someone who’s picked up a copy of that exact camera recently, where did you get that lens hood?
I found one, but it covered the rangefinder patch.
I still need to replace the light seals before I can get shooting with this gorgeous piece of gear, and seeing your photos has made me all the more excited to try
I found the hood on Ebay from a UK reseller, but I can’t remember who.
I’ve changed the light seals of my Yashica. To do that,I’ve used the little pieces of cloth one can find on the canisters of 35mm films.
Home that Will help.
Thank you for your comment.
As a temporary repair, you can tape electrical tape over the seams around the back after you load film. That way, you can shoot before you have the time to replace the light seals. I have done that with old Nikkormats and other cameras.
These are very impressive. Especially considering the two-ish decades. I love the energy of the photos. What a great experiment!
Thank you very much