How long can b&w film be left in camera after exposure?

Grandpa Ron

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I have never given much thought to this in the past, but I read where film should be developed within 72 hours of exposure.

My film sits in the camera or film holder for several weeks waiting for the right scene or before I get enough to set up and process them in batches. I am working with Arista EDU 100 or 200 ISO in 120, 127 (hand cut) and 4x5 sheet film.

So, is there any difference between a b&w picture taken 2 days before development and one taken at the start of the roll a month earlier?
 

webestang64

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Film works on a curve. The month the film "expires" is the month it should be shot and developed for optimal results. But no.......I have left rolls of film in a camera for months taking a shot or two every week or so and they developed fine.

Just remember the longer film sits after the "date" if will start to fog. Film that has sat around for years and years, shot or not shot will have a heavy fog. In that case I use Kodak X-Tol at 1:1 which seems to lessen the base fog a bit.
 

JBPhotog

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I once knew a school mate who's parents used one roll of film during his childhood to young adulthood. So that was many years after exposure and it was just fine, maybe not as good as if were processed earlier. Kinda funny to have one roll of film with all the photos of him growing up though, easy to archive those negs. LOL
 

Derrel

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I was working in a camera store in 1989. A guy came in with a roll of film that he had found in his closet. It was an old roll of black and white. He dropped it off for developing. . Our lab developed it the role was of the famous Columbus Day storm from 1962. The pictures came out Okay. I myself developed a roll of Kodak Technical Pan film 33 years after it was exposed. I have a short video of that film on my Youtube upload site, Derrelator.
 

webestang64

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I will also state that BW will last longer than color print film (color dyes don't hold up very well). Back in the 90's I developed a roll a guy found in his foot locker from WWII. I developed it and did a contact sheet. Came out OK but I did make the guy cry like a baby cause most of his buddy's in the shots died weeks after they were taken.
 

vintagesnaps

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Years, decades... found B&W film in an old family camera, it turned out fine.

The Derrelator! Cameras, fishing, and sausage and eggs, I'll subscribe!
 

Derrel

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Screenshot_20200208-153332_Chrome.jpg
 
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Grandpa Ron

Grandpa Ron

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Well everybody seemed to have the same film memories that is have. Back in the late 1960's and well into the 1970's, I had never heard of a short time limit for exposed film .

The reason I asked the question was I am reading Ansel Adam's trilogy on, The Camera, The Negative and The Print. In The Negative volume, he states among the other film storage issues,"Kodak recommends that exposed black-and-white films be processed within 72 hours, or sooner if the temperature is above 75 degrees F or humidity is above 50 percent".

I thought he was perhaps referring to older films, but the book was revised in 1981.

Never hurts to asked the board and take advantage of the collective wisdom.
 

vintagesnaps

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I think Ansel Adams was describing best practice. It's probably better to get film developed sooner than later, but if it stays in a camera in the cool & dark it seems like it can last indefinitely. B&W that is, color negatives/prints can shift particularly if stored for years in less than ideal conditions (especially a hot attic, that's a no-no). Film likes the dark.
 

TWX

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If you're bored, go look up "Internet K-Hole". It's a blog that posts found photos. Be advised, some images contain nudity and are not suitable for the workplace or general viewing.

I find that old images can be interesting if they're of a subject that is itself interesting to me. Historical stuff from my area, or inadvertently historical stuff, interests me in particular, especially when the buildings or scenes depicted no longer exist. Such photography could also help to ground one in reality. If you go to vintage car shows, you'd think everyone was driving around in Barracudas or Mustangs or Camaros, when in reality most people were driving four-door Furys or Galaxies or Biscaynes, or more likely four-door Valiants, Falcons, or Novas, and the older photos show that. We have a photo of my wife as a small child, standing next to her mother in front of their base-trim Ford Maverick.
 
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Grandpa Ron

Grandpa Ron

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Buying old film rolls to see what is on them. That is definitely news to be. But hey we all have our vices, or as we call them hobbies, so I will be the last judge. :) :)
 

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