It was time to exercise the Fed 3b Russian rangefinder. I have several rolls of expired film in my freezer that have come my way over the years, so these are good candidates for experimentation. Most rolls were in the bottom of boxes of cameras I buy at estate sales. They’ve probably been in an attic or garage for 20 or 30 years. There is usually little hope for slide film if it’s old. Black-and-white is pretty salvageable, if you shoot and develop it carefully (read my previous post about tackling expired Tri-X). Color negative film is somewhere in between. I shot this roll as ASA 50, 100 and 200, bracketing most shots. There was little difference, as all were pretty faded. My scanner had to really dig deep to get images out of these. Problems I faced were enhanced scratches and blemishes on the film which are usually buried in highlights. I had to run “despeckle” and noise reduction of the reds to make them work. I didn’t want to lose the grain and low contrast however.
I could have probably worked really hard and made decent images out of these, but that would miss the point. I love the unpredictability of expired film. It’s a bit liberating to shoot from the hip occasionally, throw caution to the wind. It makes up for the heavy concentration used when doing landscapes.
These turned out pretty nice, especially the first two pictures. The last two of the sunset, had a weird light leak. I thought I got rid of it on my Fed, but maybe it’s time to check the shutter curtain for leaks again. These shoddily-built cameras a trip.