I recently bought a Mamiya RB67 with a Mamiya Sekor C 50mm f/4.5 and a 90mm f/3.8. After a month’s CLA, I got it back and as luck would have it, a few expired rolls were waiting for it. I was eager to shoot a lot of rolls with the camera, since I’m used to shooting a lot of full and half-frame 35mm film. However, I was also looking forward for the quality and rhythm of medium format film. The Mamiya RB67 excites me a lot because of its fully mechanical spirit, which I like a lot in film cameras.

Taking advantage that I home-develop everything but E-6, and that I like to get different expired, and fresh emulsions, I bought a couple of expired 120 lots on eBay. It was a big mix. Among the lot of 16 rolls — of which more articles are coming — there were two that were not protected by the plastic bag. They were only wrapped. I decided to shoot those first just to get used to the camera and just begin with medium format. One roll was slide film color Kodak Ektachrome 160T expired I-don’t-know-when but I guess that late 1990s also.

The first roll I shot was a Kodak PPF Pro 400 (expired in 1999). I decided to try this one first because it was the oldest and was in the worst condition. That way — I thought — I could have an idea about the batch and the emulsion, of which I have two other completely sealed rolls. I decided to expose it at EI 50 and home-developed it in C-41 chemistry. I usually trust a couple or even three-stops of overexposue for the expired films I get. I just decide if I will overexpose two or three stops by the look and feel of it.

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In most of the shots, I used the 90mm f/3.8 because it had a little scratch in the front element that I wanted to examine. I think it doesn’t affect the image. However, I liked the 50mm much more. The short distance to which you can focus is impressive. My next article has more with this lens.

You can see the 50mm lens in the ceramic dog and the woman with cat photos and the 90mm in the guy, girl and cat portraits.

~ Pablo

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About the author

Avatar - Pablo Cruz Villalba

Pablo Cruz Villalba

I'm a film director, cinematographer, and photographer. I work a lot in 16mm, super 8 and 35mm, and medium format photography. I develop my own film, regardless of the format. I'm based in Mexico City.

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  1. It would be helpful if you posted the negatives. I fear that +3 stops would yield very dense negatives. At high density the highlights would have color mismatches. I would expect PPF to age very well. Exposure compensation shouldn’t be needed, PPF’s should have sufficient contrast to still look good after a few years. The foil wrap will protect the film. The unwrapped film will be subjected to the environmental humidity.