1950’s, a Good Decade for Ilford Film

After exposing and processing a roll of Ilford 127 film that expired in 1958 my hopes were higher than normal for the other roll of Ilford film I’d bought on ‘The Bay’. Ilford FP3, 64ASA.


I’D loaded this roll in the FED 3 a good few months ago and was the main reason I’ve now invested in black and white developing at home.

I’d read a post on APUG (and previously blogged about it) recommending ID11 as a decent developer that wouldn’t be too harsh for such an old roll of film.


The post also recommended using as little chemicals as possible as not to disturb the emulsion too much. So no stop bath, photo-flow etc. (which I don’t have anyway)

The negative, similar to the last really old film I developed, was much like thin paper in the hand. I actually struggled to get it onto the spindle unlike modern 35mm films.



I developed for 7 minutes 30 seconds in stock ID11 followed by a wash for a few minutes swapping out the water about 3 times and then used a rapid fixer at a 1+4 dilution for 5 minutes followed by another series of washes. All at 20º.


I’ve never seen a roll of film as curly as this. it was a complete pain-in-the-arse to load into the Epson 35mm holder for scanning.



Another strange thing was ghosting. A lot of these images appeared to be double exposures which is impossible with a FED 3. I can’t remember how I did that though I remember I did occasionally have a problem winding on the film.




The film finally got stuck and I simply couldn’t wind it on or rewind the film. When I came home I rewound the film out of the camera in a dark bag. I think this is when I had those problems (below).


[Click the image for a stupidly larger version]

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4 thoughts on “1950’s, a Good Decade for Ilford Film

  1. I dunno, these look good to me. Sure you got a little fogging here and there and some odd artifacts, but given the film’s age that you got good images at all cancels out the problems in my mind!

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  2. Awesome, man. I admire your willingness to work with expired (long-expired at that) films, and old cameras – even with the drawbacks, like the fragility of the emulsion and all that. The result is photographs with added character.

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    1. Hi James,

      Thank you for your kind words. I really like the sort of ‘life-weathered’ look of old film. I used to paint and draw a lot but now this is as close to it as I get, using the fragility of the emulsions to create happy accidents or photographic roulette.

      Saying that though … C22 film is a no-no!

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