Unpredictable Fun with a Couple of 10-Year Old Ilford Delta 400 Films

A friend of mine gave me two rolls of Ilford Delta 400 films expired in 2001. It’s so precious that I decided to use them with my Olympus PEN EE-2 half-frame camera. Here are the results shooting the 10 year old film with a half-frame camera.

Credits: uncle_jay

Read the Tipster section and you’ll find that fellow Lomographers have been advising others to set a lower film speed rating to give more light to expired films. However, when shooting fresh black and white films, Lomographers have also been advised to use a red or yellow filter to enhance the contrast in the photos.

As I don’t have a red or yellow 43.5mm filter for the Olympus PEN EE-2, I decided to shoot the expired Ilford Delta 400 films at box speed to get the contrast desired.

For my first roll, I bit the bullet and shot a performance by young musicians from China at its box speed of ISO 400. Fortunately for me, the photos came out better than I expected.

Hoping that my luck will hold out, I decided to stick to shooting at the box speed during one of my lomo walks. This is what I discovered. Even in a well-lit environment, the film is unpredictable. It can turn out overexposed.

Or it can turn out underexposed as well. The following photos are that of a traditional tin can maker’s shop. The entrance is well-lit, yet the photos came out underexposed.

When you’re shooting in the open on a sunny day, the photos will turn out usable. Not great, but good enough as a record shot.

Shooting the film indoors without the use of flash again produced some surprising results. They were comparatively well-exposed for a 10 year old film.

I don’t expect razor sharp photos when shooting with expired films. In fact, I expect golf ball sized grains, yet the photos weren’t that grainy at all. I’ve seen worse from fresh films. With only two rolls tried, I am convinced that I should go look for more of such film to experiment with. So if you do come across expired Ilford Delta 400 films, don’t think, just get some to try.

Ilford Delta 400 35mm is a film that offers superior depth and dimension, even in low-light conditions. Check it out with the rest of our black and white film selection.

written by uncle_jay on 2012-04-16 #gear #black-and-white #expired #review #street-photography #singapore #ilford-delta-400 #olympus-pen-ee-2

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