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I shot a roll of expired Fuji Superia 200 at 100 ISO. Effectively overexposing it by one stop. Should I ask the lab to pull it or just leave it overexposed? Why I'm asking, is because I understand that overexposing color negatives isn't that bad and might even give better results. What are the points here that would help me decide.

  • This seems opinion-based and I think all the possible options you can chose would offer interesting results. – MicroMachine Jun 23 '16 at 14:07
  • I can actually see how this could be too much of a question of taste. I'd still be interested in what could I expect from either of my options. – Hendrik Jun 23 '16 at 15:19
  • I understand! Maybe you can find some great examples online though (like the 5000+ photos in this flickr gallery) – MicroMachine Jun 23 '16 at 16:42
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I regularly over expose my film by 1/3 to 2/3 or 1 full stop depending on the conditions and the film and with the knowledge of how that film behaves and develops in the developers i use. Generally speaking overexposing film is better (to a point) than underexposing as you can not get details in the shadows in post processing if you did not record those details with enough exposure. This is the reason for the axiom "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights"

I would say it is probably fine to develop as per the films 200 asa, unless it was shot in high contrasty conditions and you want to reduce contrast. One reason to pull is to reduce contrast. If it is very important and you can not re-shoot then You could do a clip test, (the lab clips off two or three frames off the front of the roll and develops per your instructions) if you do not mind possibly sacrificing a few frames. One frame will be cut through.

  • I bought the film before the spring/summer came a long. By the time a started shooting it everything was already so bright that 200 was just too much. Now I'm wondering what is meant by high contrast? Most of the pictures were taken outdoors on bright days or before sunsets. Right now I'm leaning towards just developing it as 200 and see what happens. – Hendrik Jun 25 '16 at 9:49
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From my experience (25+ years in the photo industry), Fuji film tends to handle overexposure by one stop without the need to pull-process. However, as Alaska Man stated, if you shot mainly in high-contrast or bright lighting, having the roll pulled a half-stop or full stop should help -- not fix 100%, just help.

Overexposing actually decreases contrast, not increase like MirekE suggests. The shadows, being exposed at a brighter level, come closer to the highlights, which have much less room to go brighter at the high end of the film's slope. Underexposing and push-processing increases contrast, not overexposing and pull-processing.

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What are the points here that would help me decide.

  1. expired films may have lower than nominal speed, so consider how old the film is. Perhaps you are not overexposing it after all
  2. overexposure will increase contrast and color, this may be wanted or unwanted depending on your subject
  3. type of light the film was shot with. If it was shot with incandescent light, the overexposure will be less significant because this type of light tends to underexpose blue sensitive layer
  4. your general experience with this type of film and your camera metering system accuracy. Does your camera more likely underexpose or overexpose?
  5. experience of the lab with pull processing. If they don't do it routinely, don't bother

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