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Exposed Film - How Long Will It Be Good?  
User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Posted (12 years 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6365 times:

Just one more question all. I have 8 rolls of film I have shot from about 2 weeks ago that still haven't been processed- is this okay or will the results be worse then if I got them processed as soon as they were exposed? Whats the optimum life of exposed film before processing until it starts to decline?

Fortunately I dropped off the 4 rolls of K64 this morning and should hopefully be in a machine in Fairlawn in a few days- I still have 4 rolls of Kodak Gold 100 print film I have to get processed by a pro lab (very important shots).


10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 809 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 6331 times:

Depends on the film and storage conditions. The rule is of course to process ASAP after exposure, but most consumer films are good for weeks or months - remember, there are huge numbers of people who buy one film and make it last all year  Smile

Pro films (eg. Provia) are less stable and will deteriorate more rapidly, but no absolute figure can be provided as the environment is a huge factor.

I once came across 3 rolls of Ektachrome in the back of an old cupboard which I had shot 5 years earlier and somehow "lost". Since the films were shot in Berlin on the day of re-unification, I decided to get them processed just for souvenir value. The resulting slides all looked a little over-exposed and faded, but the colours hadn't noticeably shifted much and a little work in Photoshop after scanning produced some useable images.



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 day ago) and read 6303 times:

Prints can last a while. Pro-Prints will last for a few weeks before you get some serious noticable effects (say fade/grain)

Pro Slide films like what Colin says won't last as long. But if you must save money. Store those films in a fridge NOT a freezer!! (I wonder if anyone has ever done that)
Fridge life should make even Provia last for a few months. Prints will do excellent under cooler conditions as well.

I once used a roll of CO-Op film that my dad had in his camera bad which has been sitting since 1985 or so..
Little did I realize that once processed all my pictures would come out faded and PINK!! Pink galore!!

Follow @kimbo_snaps on Instagram or bokimon- on Flickr to see more pics of me and my travels.
User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (12 years 21 hours ago) and read 6282 times:

Thanks guys, hopefully I'm okay on both films - I'm more concerned about the prints that still haven't been processed since they're inflight shots of a B-17... I should be somewhere in a few days where I can get them developed at a pro lab (theres no pro lab for a few hours drive from me so thats why I couldn't get them done). As for the K64, it takes 6-7 days to get it back and I thought I would be out of town for a while- shoulda just did it anyway...

I'll be crossing my fingers,

User currently offlineMikephotos From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 2923 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (12 years 16 hours ago) and read 6264 times:

I once found a roll (exposed) of K64 taken a year before and put it in for processing. The slides actually looked slightly better than ones I developed a few days after shooting. It was 4 rolls of the C97G at Floyd Bennett, I developed 3 of them but somehow 1 roll fell toward the back of my storage draw and I didn't notice it for a year. The room it's stored in bascially has 24 hours a day air conditioning (my bedroom), except a few days during the winter when even I didn't need to cool the room down. (I love a cold room)

I'm sure results would have been different had I stored it a hot room.


User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (11 years 12 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6204 times:

Hi Mike,

Never would have thought K64 even does well in sense of lasting a while even before its developed  Smile/happy/getting dizzy Good to hear.

I can't wait to get my K64 back this afternoon, according to the online tracking page for my shitty photo finisher they will be shipped to the store today.

Still have the exposed print film unfortunately, however its now in the fridge  Smokin cool


User currently offlineLindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 12 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6196 times:

If you are talking about film storage for very long time then I am the expert  Big grin
My biggest film queue had over 70 rolls  Smile Yeap. No money to develop them. Right now its down to around 30 rolls. Some of them were taken well over 2 years ago, when Sabena was still flying to IAD  Smile
I'm trying to take them to photo store 2 rolls per week. I can tell you that I don't see any difference in pictures that were taken 2 years ago and developed yesterday with pictures taken last week and developed also yesterday.
I'm uising Fuji ISO 100 and Kodak Gold ISO 100.


User currently offlineMmcdow From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 43 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6180 times:

Just to add to the discussion...

I had a roll of K64 from 1983 that I never developed until earlier this year. The result was a nearly clear film with a very faint image just barely visible upon close examination. The developer never charged me and I at least got to see what I shot was not anything worth keeping anyway.

Until then I also wondered how exposed undevelped film would turn out.

Matt McDowell

User currently offlineBO__einG From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2771 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (11 years 12 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 6176 times:


I too had a roll of Koda64 which came out the exact same like yours. Clear with faint hint of pictures. For my case the pictures were in black outline and when I put my finger on the film, this black residue smears.

Thing is that for my case, the film was not from 1983, but from June 2003.
Unfortunetly, the Idiot at a photolab somewhere in the city (diepatch lab) tried to develop this film through an E-6 machine and fried everything.
Till this day, I am still pissed about this. Only ramp access shooting of the year, GONE!

Follow @kimbo_snaps on Instagram or bokimon- on Flickr to see more pics of me and my travels.
User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (11 years 12 months 13 hours ago) and read 6120 times:

Glad to hear about the longetivity of Kodak Gold 100 Rafal  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Anyway, heres a slide I scanned:


Definitely doesn't look as good as it does in real life- wish I could get Vuescan to work with my scanner. It looks better in black and white IMO:



User currently offlineSerge From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1989 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6055 times:

Well - I still haven't had a chance to get my 4 rolls developed in a nearby town before school starts next week so I'm going to look into those A&I mailers.. seems like a pretty good deal especially for E-6 slides in the future.

If anyone lives in a rural area and doesn't have a professional lab around you definitely want to check this out:


Wish I knew about it sooner...


*Forgot to mention - I recommend buying them on bhphotovideo.com if you have to get other stuff since they're a little bit cheaper*

[Edited 2003-08-20 14:54:16]

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