Film Resilience and the Benefits of Correct Exposure

In preparation for last night’s shoot I was loading two film backs for the Bronica before leaving home and came upon an interesting surprise. In amongst the unused film were two rolls of used film, which was strange, because I usually shoot and process within a day, and I could not for the life of me remember where these two rolls of film came from. This morning, while preparing things to develop the film shot last night I thought, ‘Well, I have these two rolls of film that I don’t really care about and as I haven’t done any serious film developing in a couple of years, so I’ll practice with these two rolls.’


And we have pictures, due primarily to good exposures at the time of shooting.


As far as I can date them, one roll was shot about four years ago and the roll with today’s picture about seven years ago. Because there are images on half the roll I vaguely remember it being part of sum sort of backup shots for when everything else goes wrong. Then, later when the film was still in the camera I’d possibly forgotten why it was still loaded, and consequently shot the remaining frames blank and put the roll away for processing. Then, sometime later, not needed, it had slipped between the cracks and was lost.


The film is on it’s last legs and the emulsion is breaking up making the picture very coarse, but then, the coarseness could also be the way I butchered the film during developing.

Either way, I would still be able to print from the negative, which after being left undeveloped for so long is a credit to the people at Kodak and the stoic resilience old technology.


The camera was a Bronica SQA, with what looks like the 50mm wide-angle lens. Film developed in the Rodinal clone Adonal 1/50 dilution.


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