5 Frames… Of expired FotoStop Colour Print Film 200 (EI 200 / 35mm format / Olympus OM-1) – by Ed Worthington
Hello again everyone. As I’ve said before, the pinch on new film prices has had me going through the rolls of long expired mystery film that I’ve had stored away for who knows how long and shooting them without a care of what the results really look like.
So join me as I delve back into the freezer, rummaging past the vegan burgers that have been hidden away since I discovered the gluten in them makes me feel terrible, as this time around I’ll be having a look at some “FotoStop Colour Print Film”.
As is usual with most of what I shoot these were all taken with my trusty set up of Olympus OM-1 with either the 50mm F.Zuiko f/1.8 or 28mm Auto-W F.Zuiko f/2.8, pictured below.
And also once again, I do not remember where I got this film from. It is probably a film swap or an EMULSIVE Secret Santa gift, so if it is you that sent it to me; Thank you.
This appears to be one of those films that would be sent as a freebie when you used FotoStop’s postage/printing development services, I have some vague memories of this company as a kid. Although it could be one of the dozens of similar companies that existed at the time that I’m thinking of. From the looks of it, FotoStop themselves have been bust for quite some time, the Limited company for UK distribution was liquidated in 2006
The packaging says “Made in Japan” but the negatives lack any obvious “Fuji” branding that would indicate it to have been manufactured by them. From the little information I can find online and using a bit of presumption and bad detective work (see here), I’m inclined to believe the suggestions that the emulsion was made by Konica, specifically Konica VX 200. Like I said though, that’s an assumption, not a certitude.
Anyway, onto even more wild assumptions, that being the age of this particular roll of 35mm. The truth is, I have no idea. As mentioned earlier the UK distributor for the film went out of business in 2006 which leads me to believe that this is going to be somewhere in the region of 15 years out of date, possibly more. This didn’t come in its original cardboard box so I don’t have an expiry date to work with, therefore I did the old add a stop per decade trick and just shot it at ISO 100 and hoped for the best.
Narrator’s voice; It was not for the best.
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The first thing that’s pretty obvious is that instead of spending a lovely day in the sunshine in Weston Super Mare, I appear to have travelled to Mars. I mean, those are some pretty extreme-looking colours right? I quite like the purple tinge to the sky and the whole Mad Max desert apocalypse look that we can pretend is an artistic statement on the slow death of Britain’s Victorian seaside towns. But the biggest problem for me is how much the colours are leaning towards redscale.
Yes it’s not an actual redscale film but I just don’t like that aesthetic, and I’m being prejudiced against the results because of what it’s making me think of.
Secondly, it’s got a bit of a muddy look to it, doesn’t it? I’m not too thrilled with how these came out in all honesty. Granted I should’ve expected there to be some issues, as I have no idea how this was stored for years and I have no idea how old it is etc etc. But, well, It looks a bit “bleurgh” doesn’t it?
In all, as an experiment, this was fine. But if I’d actually been looking to make some serious pictures I wanted to do something with? Not so much.
Hopefully, the next experiment pays off a little better.
Narrator’s Voice: It doesn’t.
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