OT:(so shoot me) 150 Rolls of Verichrome Circa 1965- Now what.

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Some Dude, Jul 17, 2003.

  1. Some Dude

    Some Dude Guest

    Ok before I get flamed, I know this should probably go to r.p.f+l, but
    we all know the most answers will come from here :) (and its more
    chemically oriented anyway; I think).

    I bought 150 rolls of Verichrome 120 for about $5 at a flea last week
    with an expiration date of ~November, 1965.

    I did this for two reasons- First, thats damn cheap film no matter how
    old it is. Second, I want to play with this stuff and see what
    happens. I play.

    Ok, so- the big question is- Assuming that the film is still
    moderately functional after being expired for 35+ years, should I
    expect to see the output characteristics of the film from what it
    would have looked like developed in say, 1964? Does that make any

    Perhaps an example is motion picture film- From what I understand,
    there are companies that store stock film such as really, really old
    Technicolor film to be used, today, for that "old" effect for movies,
    etc. I am wondering if the same thing would be true if I used the
    same recommended developer combination on the box, sans the fact that
    it hasn't been in a freezer for 35 years.


    Some Dude, Jul 17, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. Some Dude

    Sean Elkins Guest

    [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see
    the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]]

    Given that you have 150 rolls of the stuff, why not shoot and process
    one as thought it were fresh stock? That should give you some baseline
    data to operate with.

    The good news is that Verichrome has a reputation of holding up very
    well. The bad news is that it's 40 years old and was probably stored in
    a basement filled with radon!

    As a general rule old films tend to lose speed and pick up background
    fog from stray radiation. My guess is that you might find yourself
    increasing development times to build up your highlights enough to get
    a decent contrast range.


    Sean Elkins, Jul 17, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. Throw it away. It's unlikely to be any good at all.
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 17, 2003
  4. Some Dude

    Mark A Guest

    Other than a similar ASA speed, Verichrome Pan and Plus-X have little in
    common. Verichrome Pan was a thick emulsion film, and Plus-X is a newer
    thin-emulsion design.
    Mark A, Jul 17, 2003
  5. Note that it's Verichrome PAN (sensative to all colors) and not
    Verichrome, an orthocrhomatic (no red sensitivity) film discontinued in
    the 50's. I started developing film around that time (closer to 67 or
    68) and having read everybook in the library, developed my first roll of
    Verichrome in trays using a red safelight.

    Well, it was Verichrome Pan, and I had a perfect black strip of plastic. :-(

    Popular developers around that time were D-76, Edwal FG-7 and Rodinal.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jul 17, 2003
  6. Some Dude

    Mark A Guest

    Throw it away. It's unlikely to be any good at all.

    Most photographs that we take has an "opportunity cost." If the image is not
    good because the materials are bad, that exact image (including the time and
    materials it takes to make it) is usually lost forever.

    If one is a photographer, then it should be tossed. If he wants to just play
    with cameras and films, then he should do whatever he wants. I am not really
    sure why someone with 150 rolls of the stuff is asking advice, since the
    only way to know for sure is to experiment with the actual film.
    Mark A, Jul 17, 2003
  7. (Michael Scarpitti) wrote:

    }> Ok before I get flamed, I know this should probably go to r.p.f+l,
    }> we all know the most answers will come from here :) (and its more
    }> chemically oriented anyway; I think).
    }> I bought 150 rolls of Verichrome 120 for about $5 at a flea last
    }> with an expiration date of ~November, 1965.
    }Throw it away. It's unlikely to be any good at all.

    Not so.

    There are users of obsolete film formats who buy film even older than
    1965 and use it ... The results, of course, vary a lot.

    Mind you, I haven't done this yet myself, but I do have a half-exposed
    roll of Tri-X 120 from about 1973 that I may finish off soon and have
    processed, see what happens. I just stopped using that camera, and
    forgot about the film in it!

    I know I read reports on more than one website from users of greatly
    outdated B&W film, but can't find the references right now.

    (Color is another story. There are two companies I know of that
    specialize in processing ancient film, mainly film that was exposed
    decades ago rather than old film recently exposed. They recommend that
    color film be processed as B&W if it's older than a certain age. These
    services are not cheap, BTW.)

    Back on topic, I'd run a few rolls through a camera, since you have so
    many, and see what you get. Personally, I'd try using a lower ASA,
    excuse me, ISO, rating, to try and overcome the fog that will have
    undoubtedly accumulated over the years. Experiment with developing -
    if you can, I'd develop by inspection, an almost arcane skill these
    days, I'll bet. Need a certain dark green safelight for the process.
    Look in older photography books for the procedure and details. Last
    time I did this was in 1962, so I really don't remember.

    Good luck!
    Bill Phillips, Jul 17, 2003
  8. Funny you should mention. I developed my first roll, at the age of 8,
    using the instructions in "Boys' First Book of Photography." A
    Tri-Chem pack, 3 glass mixing bowls (a good idea - won't scratch the
    film when it is see-sawed), and a red Christmas tree light. Devastation -
    the film turned black before my eyes -- what was I going to tell all
    the people I had photographed with my trusty Empire Baby?
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Jul 17, 2003
  9. Some Dude

    Mark A Guest

    Maybe, and maybe I will win the lottery this week.
    Mark A, Jul 17, 2003

  10. You asked for advice, I gave it. Throw the stuff away.
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 17, 2003
  11. Some Dude

    Lyle Gordon Guest

    I shot some kodak verichrome pan in a kodak VPK I bought specifiacally after
    finding the film (which was 127) which was in my parents stuff, It expired
    in 1968 the negs were a little thin and flat but that was when I wasnt
    processing film at home myself so I dont have anyidea how theywere
    processed. If you would like scans I would be happy to provide them.

    -Lyle Gordon
    Lyle Gordon, Jul 17, 2003
  12. Don't throw it a way. Shoot some test rolls. I'd cut the EI in half, and
    develop a little longer, say 25%, than normal. When you see what kind of
    results you get, and if you like it, find appropriate subject matter. I had
    a box of Polaroid 4x5 color film that got mistakenly left in a garage all
    summer. After I found the film, I gave it a try. Hm. The orange mottled
    look. After doing a little pondering, I took close up pictures of
    jack-o-lanterns. One of them turned out very well. Whenever I show it
    people are very intrigued. Well, first they're scared as the carving is of
    a screaming face, then their intrigued.

    -Peter De Smidt
    Peter De Smidt, Jul 17, 2003

  13. Masochists..
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 18, 2003
  14. Some Dude

    Some Dude Guest

    That'd be cool to see one or two scans if you have access to a good
    multi-pass scanner so I can enlarge high. Otherwise, no biggy- I'll
    just scan them when I get around to buying a $500 MF adapter for my


    Some Dude, Jul 18, 2003
  15. Some Dude

    Lyle Gordon Guest

    Sorry the scans are just from my flatbed epson 1200. not great but you can
    see the image clearly.

    Lyle Gordon, Jul 18, 2003
  16. Make up a developer based on the combination of Glycin and some kind
    of Para-Phenylene-Diaminen agent. I found that giving a full stop
    more of exposure and a relatively concentrated developer of the sort I
    mentioned will give some full range, low fog images. I did this with
    the loads of Ansco Super Hypan that I had , still have some, and it
    worked well. The Ansco film was interesting in that it had a duoble
    layer construction, so that to get a tonally useful negative, both
    layers had to be developed properly. With seriously outdated film
    this can become impossible.

    I also used a Sease type developer for seriously outdated color
    reversal film. I?t worked as a BW first developer by increasing the
    Sulfite content and addding some accellerator. The main benefit of
    the Sease type developer for me was the suppression of fog.
    Robert Vervoordt, Jul 18, 2003
  17. Actually, he saved the guy the trouble of hauling the lot to the dumpster
    and tipped him five bucks to boot...
    Dennis O'Connor, Jul 19, 2003
  18. Some Dude

    Lyle Gordon Guest

    There 120 so he cant really reload the spools, well atleast not very easily.

    Lyle Gordon, Jul 19, 2003
  19. Some Dude

    Nick Zentena Guest

    Or he bought 150 film canisters for reloading for 3 cents a piece. Sounds
    like a steal.

    Nick Zentena, Jul 19, 2003
  20. Add some benzotriazole to the developer. It's the same as Kodak Antifog #1.
    It's recomended to stopt fog bilding up during development of film that is
    very old.

    Please send me information after your test to .


    Victor Falkteg
    Victor E. Falkteg, Jul 20, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.