Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A job lot of films and plates

Although I haven't written about my glass plate project recently, other than advertising the talk I am giving next week, I've shot a few plates over the past few weeks, and I have been continuing to look out for boxes of unexposed plates to use. One successful online bid for a collection of plates and paper was remarkable enough for me to write a post last year about it. From that particular box, I've used most of the HP3 plates, in adaptors, notably the 6x10.8cm plates, and some of the Kodak ones, although the Kodak plates were far more deteriorated with age. Since then I've found a few boxes, but yesterday I picked up a job lot of mostly sheet film from the 1960s-70s, with a couple of boxes of plates too. It was an online auction that went for its starting price of £4.99, probably in part to being 'collection only'. Even factoring in the cost of the trip to the coast to pick the lot up, I probably would have paid that just for the two 5x4 inch plateholders on their own. The three unopened boxes of FP4 (150 sheets in total) are promising; although I won't know the condition of the film until tested, I have used several rolls of Ilford FP4 from the 1970s for a couple of the 127 Days with good results.

The contents in full:
  • 3 boxes of Ilford FP4 sheet film, one 4x5 inch, two quarterplate size (3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch), all unopened, all with the handwritten date "16/11/78".
  • 1 box of Ilford HP4 sheet film, 4x5 inch, previously opened, a handwritten number on the box could read either "4170" or "4/70". Box label has "K66".
  • 1 box of of Ilford Ilfoline IN.5 sheet film, 4x5 inch, previously opened, box printing has "H70".
  • 1 box of Kodak Panchro-Royal 4x5 inch sheet film, unopened, no information on dates
  • 1 box of Kodak Ektachrome Type B 9x12cm colour reversal film, unopened, process before Jan 1969, handwritten date "22/10/68".
  • 2 boxes of Ilford N5.31 Fine Grain Ordinary film, quarterplate size (3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch), both previously opened, one with the handwritten date "-/10/67", the other "11/3/70"
  • 1 box of R.10 Ilford Soft Gradation Panchromatic plates (3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch), previously opened, label style of late 1940s-1950.
  • I box of Kodak Kodalith Ortho Type 3 Photomechanical sheet film (3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch), previously opened, develop before date Apr 1970.
  • 1 boxes of H.P.3 plates, previously opened, label style of late 1940s-1950.
  • 2 MPP 5x4 plateholders.
  • 5 quarterplate holders, four by Klito, one AP, two containing film sheathes or septums.


  1. I know you can process the others, but what will you do with the Ektachrome? It is E2 or E3 process isn't it? I would love to see results from old colour film like this!

    1. It may take me some time before I get around to the Ektachrome. It is an E3 process; I may just try developing it as black and white.

  2. You can get some 'old colour film' results when you cross process films. Labs hate doing the earlier E processes in E6 as some of them leave sludgy deposits. I have had processed some VNF 16mm movie film in E6 chemistry and the film works fine but has a slightly faded 'old film' look. A suggestion is to get in touch with South West Colour Labs in Paignton, Devon. They might be able to advise - and are very reasonable too. Good luck with it. I just processed some 1968 Agfa Isopan IF in Rodinal, cooler at 18deg C to combat fog, and the results are like a new film, although the base is a warm tea colour.