Found film

This is another batch of film I’ve developed after finding it in a vintage camera I bought from eBay. Although this was a colour film, I developed it with a black & white developer (Rodinal at 1:100 dilution) using stand development, because I knew that the back of the camera had been opened and the film subject to light.

I’d received the camera and checked as I always do that there was no film in it by winding the rewind crank and checking if I could feel tension. In this case I couldn’t and opened the back, only to find that there was a film but it had broken off the reel and was fully wound round the film advance drum. I quickly shut the back of the camera and then transferred the film to another canister in a changing bag.

Because I wasn’t sure if there would be any images on the film, and didn’t want to waste colour chemicals, I did a black & white development to see what would come out. It turns out most of the film was fine, although I had some real problems with drying marks. I think the trouble is the negatives are very thin so any slight mark shows up very strongly.

For anyone who is interested in the process, I mixed 350ml of cold water straight from the tap with 3.5ml of Rodinal. I put the film in the developing tank in the usual way and then after a 3 minute wash in cold water I added the developer, gave the tank 10 inversions to make sure it was properly mixed and then just left it to stand for 60 minutes. After that I threw the developer away and added a 1:5 concentrate of Ilford rapid fixer for 10 minutes, washed the film for 10 minutes and then hung it up to dry.

I always find found films interesting – it always makes me wonder about the age of the film and how long it’s been in the camera. In this case it’s relatively easy to tell that it’s within about 10 years since there is a car with a recognizable number plate which was registered in 2005/06. I’m not sure where the location is though – the man made harbour could be Portland possibly. If anyone recognizes anywhere please add a comment below.

8 Replies to “Found film”

  1. Strange that these photos look much older than the camera you found them in Simon. Then I saw the Ford with a 55 number plate and realised they couldn’t be anything like that old. Oh and don’t you have a separate website for found film?

    1. Hi Dan – you are right they do look much older than they actually are. I think it’s probably that they were taken on colour film and developed in rodinal, and of course the film was in the camera for several years before it was developed. I do have a site for found film which was started after this post

  2. My brother in law gave me a Pentax Super Program (Tamron 35-135mm 3.5 & a SMC Pentax A 50mm 1.7) that he and my sister bought in Austria in 1993. I have no idea what to do with it given we are in the digital age, but it appears in pristine condition.

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