Almost immediately along with getting into analog photography about three years ago I developed an interest in expired film. The excitement of getting pictures out of film that’s well past its expiring date was and still is one of the main reasons for this. So, it was no surprise that some funky images from a basically ancient roll of Agfa color negative film in a magazine got me into a quest to find the longest expired color negative film possible. What I got was a bunch of Kodacolor II rolls that expired in 1983. According to the seller they were stored dry in a basement but not in a freezer.
Kodacolor II was released in 1973 and got discontinued in the early 80s. It was the first film to use the C41 development process, which is still the standard procedure for color negative film today.
For my first test I put one of the rolls into my trusty Spotmatic SP1000 paired with my Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 55mm f1.8 and took them out for a stroll to Mühltal (mill valley) north of Starnberg in Upper Bavaria. Mühltal is a hamlet at the river Würm that includes a former mill, a turbine house, a pub/ restaurant and a former hermitage a bit upwards on a hiking path. There’s also an old train station that got closed almost twenty years ago. The station building is now a private residence.
For the most part I took three photos of each motive: One at box speed (ISO 100) just for the fun of it, one at ISO 25 and one at around ISO 12. The latter unsurprisingly produced the only kind of usable pictures. Also, a tripod was used since I mostly set the aperture at f8. I scanned the negatives with my Plustek Opticfilm 8200i and SilverFast software.
This trailer near the main parking lot has obviously been abandoned here a long time ago.
This is my favorite frame of the roll and the one with the “mildest” amount of color shifts. The oldest part of the house in this picture (the round tower) is from 1736 and was originally a hermitage. The rest of the building was added in 1850 and once was home to a royal chief hunter. In 2023 the house had been sitting abandoned for already about a decade, but it recently got sold to an investor whose plans are unknown to the public as of now.
The turbine-house was finished in 1892 and supplied Pasing (since 1938 a district of Munich) with water. Its turbines ran without interruption from 1895 to 2002 when they were decommissioned.
The coffee-truck of a local roasting company from Starnberg. It is usually open all year round on Sundays with good weather and serves great coffee along with a small but fine selection of cakes. The perfect stop for a relaxed Sunday walk.
This is how the photos look like that were taken at box speed (ISO100).
Most frames had massive color shifts that gave them a strong magenta and/ or yellow cast and especially the ones taken at box speed were obviously severely underexposed. After a bit of fiddling around in GIMP the ones that were shot at ISO 12 didn’t look too bad though, so I am all in all satisfied with my attempt to get pictures out of this roll. However, I most likely wouldn’t use the remaining rolls for more “serious” projects.
Thank you very much for reading my first article! If you want to see more of my photos including pictures from a variety of expired films feel free to visit my page on flickr.
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