My Expired Film Day was rather a success, with only a few hiccups. How was yours?
I drove up to Longmont to pick up my Leica from Dave Feely at Key Camera. He informed me that some of the internals didn’t appear to be quite original, but that the shutter is in very good shape. So it’s not a “numbers-matching” camera, but that’s alright with me.
I also asked him to backstop me on loading, which I still seemed to be having issues with. I was a bit relieved when Dave had trouble, too, and discovered something out of whack with the pressure plate. After he tweaked it, film dropped right in like nothing. I put a roll of Kodak Plus-X (expired 2003) through it along with everything else I did.
The Six-16 Brownie Junior and the Super-XX film were a bit finicky. Lots of noise when I was advancing, and a little difficulty a few times. I wasn’t sure what was going wrong, but I decided to move ahead as if everything was working correctly. Just to be safe, I decided not to open the camera until I got home and put it in my changing tent.
It turned out I probably didn’t need to. The film was wound up just like it should be. Unfortunately, the tape that holds the film to the backing paper was laying in the bottom of the box. We’ll see if that messed anything up too badly. Maybe I’ll have some misaligned or overlapping frames or something.
The Agfa Isopan FF worked beautifully. The Agfa B2 Speedex I put it in, not so much. The camera worked just fine, overall, but the film advance was really difficult and made a lot of grinding noises. As with the 616 camera, I decided to press ahead and hope for the best — and I got it. It turns out that the problem is with the camera: the advance grinds and sticks even without film in it.
I’m upset with myself for not thinking to test it sooner, but I struggled with it and managed to finish the roll. I chose the Speedex over my Voigtlander Bessa I and other 6×9 folders because it makes 6×6 format images, and I wanted 12 chances to get a decent photo on this ancient film, rather than just 8. I also have a 6×6 Agfa Isolette I haven’t tried yet, but its bellows is in rougher shape. I wonder if the bellows from the Speedex would fit on the Isolette…
The Agfa Silette camera I used for another roll of 35mm Plus-X had a lot of advancing problems. Grinding noises, not advancing until I wiggled the shutter. I’m on the fence about whether to try it again.
Everything else was pretty much what I expected — and I had a lot of fun driving and walking around Longmont and Lyons, Colo., and the spaces in between.
I hope your Expired Film Day was a smashing success, and encourage you to tag @ExpiredFilmDay on Twitter if you share your tales. And don’t forget to submit up to three photos by April 15 for a chance to win really great prizes!