Got some 35mm Film - Is it still good?

kygardenkygarden NoneUSARegistered Users Posts: 1,060 Major grins

Not sure where else to post this but hopefully one of you knows the answer. :-)

I have 14 rolls of film (mix of black and white and color) that I got along with a camera bag at a yard sale. All the film is in the little plastic canisters and the end of the film is sticking out of each of them and from my memories of the film days, that means it's not used yet and ready to load in the camera? Please confirm I'm thinking correctly.

Also, how do you ship film these days? Can you just pack it in a cardboard box and it'll make it there safely (not damage by x-rays or whatever)?

Finally, since all the film appears to be in like new condition (the plastic canisters and the roll of film inside) and since it was stored inside a closed camera bag, I assume the film is still good/ok to use?

I'd like to sell it because I won't be using it but I want to be as sure as I can that the film is still good before I sell it to someone.


  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,193 moderator
    edited August 24, 2019

    To be honest, old film outside of the box and with no hint of how it was stored, has no value.

    My last move, in 2014, I had some old film which was properly stored in a deep-freezer @ -15F, and I threw it away because it was sufficiently out-of-date. There is a reason why film has an expiration date on the box; so you know when the film cannot be trusted for serious work.

    Consumer grade films had a longer expiration date than professional films, because it was assumed the professionals were more selective about image quality, so you could sometimes reliably use pro films a year or so beyond the expiration for personal, less critical stuff. This was especially true for properly frozen film. Without knowing the expiration date it's trash.

    As an aside and besides the physical degradation of film, film becomes fogged over time due to cosmic rays and with exposure to Radon gas, in the case of film stored in a basement with Radon present. This process of fogging varies by altitude, in the case of cosmic rays (Denver gets more exposure than a sea level city, for instance) and by the concentration of Radon gas present.

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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