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Inspired Expired

Posted by Caz on Thursday, 16th July 2015

I’ve been enjoying using my vintage camera collection for my Retro 365 project this year. They have all taken fresh black and white film of one format or another, but recently I have been wanting to try some expired colour film to experiment with. I’ve had quite a few rolls of colour print and slide film kicking around in my fridge for over a decade! I also wanted to try some Sprocket Hole Photography – where the whole of the width of the 35mm film frame is exposed, including the sprocket holes at each side.

Wilkes Street - The Avenger

Wilkes Street – The Avenger

I found an excellent step-by-step guide on Flickr from Hans Marvell, which detailed a non-permanent method of converting a Yashica 44 to take a standard 35mm cassette to expose all the sprockets. So I thought I would give it a try. The conversion itself wasn’t too difficult (careful not to lose those tiny screws!) and I got the film loaded in time to take the Yashica to London with me for a wander around Brick Lane for a couple of hours before meeting up with friends for dinner. There is loads of colourful graffiti around the streets there, perfect for sprocket-type images:

Expired film can be tricky to use, it loses sensitivity (film speed) after passing its sell-by date. But my Royal Gold had been stored in the fridge, which arrests this process a little, so I decided to shoot at box speed to see what happened. Once I’d finished it I took it to my local Snappy Snaps for conventional 1-hour C41 development. The negs didn’t look too bad when I got them back. I digitised them by photographing each frame with my Canon EOS 5DMkIII with the Canon 100mm EF f/2.8 L IS USM macro lens, mounted on a copystand and illuminated the negatives from underneath with my Yongnuo YN 560 Speedlite (I don’t have a scanner at the moment). A bit of fiddling with Photoshop got the positive image out of the orange-cast negs, and I am generally very pleased with the results. I’ll be using more of that old film very soon!