A Question about 35 mm film and canisters

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by grampsted, Nov 21, 2020 at 7:42 AM.

  1. grampsted

    grampsted TPF Noob!

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    Hello. I mentioned in my introductory that I had inherited some items from my mother's estate. I found several film canisters, a couple being gray metal and another metal that is Kodak branded if I remember correctly.

    My questions are, how do I know if this film has been used but not developed? I haven't opened the canisters in fear of ruining the film if it has been used. These canisters come from before 1970. Probably the mid 60's up to the first two months of 1969. Also, if they have not been developed, what are the chances of them still being good? They were kept in a dresser drawer in an air conditioned house.


     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Developed film would not be in the canister. If you turn the spool you should not feel like there is any film inside.
    If he film is still in the canister ... you cannot know if a roll of film has been exposed (shot in camera) even if you take it out in the dark.
    If there is no film leader hanging out, then it is probably used as it is typical to rewind all the film into the canister after shooting/exposing ... though it could have been accidentally wound in.
    They will probably still be something usable on the film if you get them developed.
     
  3. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    If you remove it in the light, it will, with 110% certainty, be exposed..... :bouncingsmileys:

    Using a leader retriever one might be able to look for a crease in the leader to help determine if it's been threaded into a camera.
     
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  4. grampsted

    grampsted TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for both of your replies. I think my safest route is to turn it over to a developer and let them check it out. Hard to find them in my area. I want a service that does not send anything off in order to be developed. This film, if it has been used, would not only be of great family importance, but it might possibly be valuable to the media. It came from Vietnam during the war.
     
  5. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Are they color or B&W? Many labs won't do B&W any more. But if they're B&W, a custom lab should know how to deal with them better than the corner drugstore.
     
  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    These canisters that you have mentioned; do they have a screw top? If so, then these are simply the storage canisters, and the film inside should be inside another canister, (the one that is inserted into the camera). If the tops unscrew, then it is safe to open these to see what is inside.

    If you are talking about the canister with a slot lined with black fibers, then that is the actual film canister, which probably contains film. If the plain gray canisters have shiny end caps, then they are probably reloadable film canisters, which may or may not contain film.

    If you have a couple of film canisters that contain reloaded film, then it's anybody's guess as to what kind of film is inside. If you talk to a regular camera shop that does film developing, they might agree to open the canisters in the dark to try to find out what kind of film and try to get them developed.

    Good luck!
     
  7. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    35mm Film cassette/cartridge stored within a metal container ... modern ones are plastic.
    upload_2020-11-21_14-1-51.png
     
  8. grampsted

    grampsted TPF Noob!

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    The leather case has something inside of it, probably a roll of film, but is softly squeezable so no metal. I didn't realize that the one metal canister was dented badly until now. I'm pretty sure he was shooting color. He brought some slides with him when he came home on emergency leave and they were color. My logic on a possible scenario is that developing wasn't readily available when they were out in the jungle. When they came back to the rear people had their film developed. These canisters came back from Vietnam in an unknown state because the person who they belonged to did not come back alive. Thanks to all for their replies, so far. EDIT; I thought I saw one that has Kodak on it, but it may be I was thinking of the Kodak Camera's that were in the same box of miscellaneous that the containers were in.
     

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  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    If those are what they're in, it's typically OK to open them. Then you're down to the canister that actually goes into the camera.
     
  10. grampsted

    grampsted TPF Noob!

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    Would they have been put back into the canister after being used? In other words, they could be film waiting for use or film that's already been shot? Should I open them in a low light area?

    Sorry if I am being redundant with my questions, but I just want to ensure that I don't mess anything up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020 at 4:13 PM
  11. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    The canister that goes into the camera itself is light-tight. The ones in your post are merely for physical protection.

    Yes, film is usually put in those after exposure. This is why any place that develops film will have buckets of the plastic ones they're happy to give away.
     
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  12. grampsted

    grampsted TPF Noob!

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    Okay, I just checked and these do have a roll of film in them. Thanks.
     

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