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I received a Mamiya ZE-2 from a family member who discovered it in a closet. Along with the camera were 3 rolls of film - 2 in white plastic holders and one inside the camera.

I have no idea what may be on the film, but they seem to have been used (not developed). Would it be worth it to go develop them, will they still have the photos on them?

The 2 rolls in casings are Fujifilm Superia 400.

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1  
It sounds like you found a classic camera of a family members. Those photos could be priceless. I would certainly try to get them developed, because the results could be excellent! –  dpollitt Sep 29 '11 at 2:41
    
Seems it will be worth it to have the film developed. Thanks for the advice. –  fluf Sep 29 '11 at 16:41
    
This is a duplicate of photo.stackexchange.com/q/6344/1356. –  whuber Sep 29 '11 at 18:50
    
It didn't show up when I was searching for possibly duplicates, probably because the question linked was asked specifically about disposables. –  fluf Sep 30 '11 at 4:58

5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This depends totally on the conditions it is kept. The date on the film tends to be a conservative figure and as long as it's been kept cool it tends to last a lot longer than this. If the film is years out of date you have to make a decision if you want to risk it because you may end up with nothing.

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Date is usually printed on box, which is typically not kept with exposed films. –  Imre Sep 28 '11 at 19:13
    
Last films I had also had the date printed on the film cartridge as well. Either way its all pretty much dependent on how its been stored. –  Paul Round Sep 28 '11 at 21:22
    
I checked but I couldn't find a date on the rolls of film –  fluf Sep 29 '11 at 16:35
    
With no date you are completely in the dark on this one, if it was me I would get them developed anyway because I'd be too curious to just chuck them out. Even if they have degraded you will still be able to see the images they will just be a bit hazy most probably. –  Paul Round Sep 29 '11 at 16:41

well, just this week i found two rolls of film. a 35mm kodacolor 24 exposure. had no idea when it was from. just got the negs and a cd back. turns out the pics are from summer of 1990. very grainy and very washed out colors. but, adobe photoshop "perked" up the pictures and i'm glad i got them developed. the other roll is even older. it's kodacolor 110 cassette film. i fairly remember using this camera around the time of the bicentennial and a few years afterwards; that puts it from 1976 to 1980is. The shop had to send this roll away. I can pick up late tomorrow.

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Do you know where they send the 110 film to processed? –  mattdm Jan 3 '13 at 21:49

As exposed film ages it fogs - the contrast decreases over the months/years. How quickly this happens depends on the temperature and the type of film. Unfortunately colour print film isn't great, but it's surely worth developing. Even faded pictures of loved ones or half-remembered occasions are worth having. Take it to a professional darkroom and explain the film is old and discuss with them whether they should perhaps process it for longer to try to enhance the contrast. Good luck (PS I did the same with a couple of rolls of B&W and one or two colour films - all were worth having, and the 18 year old B&W shots were amazingly clear)

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Be careful where you take the film to be developed. I took a 5 year old disposable camera to a drug store and when I returned for the prints they simply told me the film was too damaged and couldn't be developed.

I assume a proper shop would expend a little more effort, or at least return the film to be tried elsewhere.

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Consumer film was designed to last for a fairly long time. Folks would take photos at Christmas in the cold, and then at the beach in July.

Professional film has a very short life, and usually required refrigeration.

But as others have said, take it to a good shop and see, it might be priceless.

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