5 Frames… in Iceland with 16-year expired Fujifilm FUJICHROME Velvia RVP (EI 50 / 120 format / Yashica-635) – by Or Sachs

Last summer my girlfriend and I went on a 14-day trip to Iceland. I Packed four Cameras, a Yashica-635, Leica P, Olympus MJU, and Sony A7R II, along with three types of films: Kodak Portra 400, Fujifilm Velvia (RVP), and Kodak T-MAX 400 but the real JAM was my original Fujifilm FUJICHROME Velvia (RVP). a 50 ISO slide film, which had expired around 2003.

I bought it from a photography store that promised me it had been kept in the fridge. I loaded my Slow TLR Yashica 635 (6×6) and for the next four days, I shot 12 frames with it. I had a lot of second thoughts about lugging around four cameras on a vacation but Iceland is a one of a kind place.

I took the Yashica on the famous Laugavegur trail. It wasn’t the easy way to go but I am very happy I did. Most shots were handheld and around 1/60 second and f/4 or f/5.6. The Yashica-635’s lens has swirly bokeh and it shows. I Tried giving it an extra stop of light wherever I could.

The Velvia really shined with dark skies and flat light, brining deep colors and amazing light. When I got back home, I framed three photos: two of them were from this roll.

When I gave it to the lab, they were very sceptical that such an old slide film would work. When the scans came, they called me and were excited to tell me that the roll was fantastic. I was relieved that all of this effort played out well!

I feel that from all of my ‘smart’ cameras, the Yashica-635 from way back in 1958 and that 16 years expired Velvia 50 really showed my Sony A7R II who’s the boss around light and colors.

I advise you to take the risk on your next vacation. It was worth it for me!

~ Or

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Or Sachs
Or Sachs
A Student of light. Or Sachs is a photography teacher in a high school in Israel. He does private projects on his spare time and loves the feeling of getting developed film in the mail.

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  1. Those are such beautiful photographs. Yes, a great camera and well ‘matured’ film but the prize goes to you for seeing the possibilities and making them work. What a pleasure. Thanks.

  2. I am stoked that this worked well for you, but let me add a few words of caution: Expired reversal film carries with it some risks. I am sure that you saw some color shifting that could be corrected with scanning and adjustment digitally. You are also likely to see increased fog-decreased blacks. Refrigeration helps reducing fogging due to heat, but doesn’t shield film from background radiation and cosmic rays. Also, reversal films are susceptible to a spotty breakdown in the color couplers in the cyan layers, causing annoying red spots in your image that you have to retouch out. It might be fun to shoot expired film for fun, but I wouldn’t take it on vacation with me.

    Happy shooting,


    Former Kodak, Konica, and Fujifilm sensitized products representative.

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