Recently, I acquired some Fujichrome Velvia 50 expired film. It was discontinued way back in 2005, so that means it’s at least 10 years out of date – I’m not sure how out of date this particular roll was, though. I was really intrigued by what it would look like, but I wasn’t sure whether I’d get any usable shots at all! I really didn’t help my chances by convincing myself it was ISO 200 before using it, rather than keeping in mind that it’s ISO 50 so my camera ISO was set way too high to start with. A lot of my shots ended up really dark and unusable, as I used them in situations really not appropriate for an ISO as low as 50. Having said that, some ended up looking pretty arty like these from Kings College in Cambridge and from the American Cemetery in Cambridge.
Even the ones taken in full sunlight have a really distinctive effect. There’s some pretty heavy vignetting but I like the strange colours that it’s given me, they look kind of cool! Although you do expect film shots to be pretty grainy, I think these images have more grain than usual – I love the vintage look of them so it’s not particularly a problem. But, if the images really mattered to me, I’m not sure I’d reach for a roll of this again.
I had some real issues getting the film to advance properly too. It was really sticky when I tried to wind it on and I was worried that there was a problem with it. I have a fair few shots with these lines down them and in some cases I’m not sure if it’s the film or just struggles with advancing it. There were a few moments when I was a bit worried I’d damaged the film or my camera in an effort to advance the film properly.
Some have turned out pretty well and all-in-all I’m happy with my shots. They’re really different from my usual style and effect. For an experimental roll, I can’t complain at all. The downside is that they were on the pricy side to develop at £25 from Snappy Snaps, as they needed to be sent off and developed somewhere else and so on. They also took around three weeks to get back to me. Using expired film is a risk, and if I don’t care about having shots as memories, I’ll use it again, but not if I’m reliant on getting a good shot!