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.
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!