Adventures in Film, Volume 35

When I bought my Mamiya 7II, the guy that sold it to me threw in a bunch of rolls of expired film as well. I shot some of the expired Tri-X early in my “Adventures in Film” journey, but I switched to shooting unexpired film exclusively pretty early on. It felt like the process of developing and scanning was too expensive and the images were too precious to risk on a roll of film that could be ruined. Besides, when you’re learning how film works the last thing you want to do is complicate the learning curve by adding another variable – especially one as uncontrollable as expired film.

For whatever reason, though, after shooting that last roll of Portra 800 I decided to pop in a roll of expired Fuji Reala 100 and see what happened. It was while I was living in Omaha, so it’s entirely possible I was just running out of ideas for photography and wanted to simply mix things up.

Per the recommendations of the film folk on the Internet, I gave this roll an extra stop of exposure (roughly speaking, it’s advised to add another stop of exposure for each decade past the film’s expiration date) and crossed my fingers. And I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised by the results!

The colors of this film are just beautiful. They’re definitely subtle, and despite their accuracy there’s something compelling about them. The blues and greens in particular are gorgeous, and that worked perfectly for the spring scenes I was shooting. In fact, the fourth, fifth, and sixth frames in this roll are some of my favorite “cityscape” images I made in Omaha. If Fuji still made this film I’d seriously consider adding it to my regular shooting rotation.

Near the end of the roll things get a little dicey. The last three images have some pretty serious defections that were presumably caused by the film deteriorating or being damaged during the decade+ of storage. Fortunately, these were just typical street shots and the imperfections added a little character to remind all the Instagram folk that I shoot film! 😛

All photos were taken with my Mamiya 7II and the 80mm lens on expired Fuji Reala 100 shot at ISO 50 and pushed one stop in development. They were developed and scanned by The FIND Lab, and I adjusted contrast, the tonal curve, and clarity to most of the images in Lightroom.

  1. Love your photos. During my early years in photography I dreamed of owning the Mamiya 7II but couldn’t afford it. I did eventually get a Mamiya 645 that I loved. There is something about those crisp medium format Velvia images that I miss.


    1. Hi Celal! Sorry for the delay in responding — after my last post I took some time off of social media/sharing to do some reflecting. When I shoot digital (all on Fuji cameras these days), I really struggle with the color in camera. Fuji has some great options, but unless I’m shooting landscape I find that the palettes in their film simulations aren’t quite what I’m looking for. I tend to start with pro neg hi or classic chrome as a template and then do some color editing in post production. I use Capture One Pro for the most part these days, and I love their color grading tools to add color contrast (generally some flavor of warming the highlights and mid tones and then cooling the shadows). I also tend to add some magenta and steer clear of teal (outside of isolated scenarios, I’ve found I can’t stand teal). Color is really hard for me, though, and I think most of it is just playing around until you find your style/what clicks for you. I’m happy to chat more about it/offer more tailored thoughts if you have any specific questions!


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