Earlier this year, I sent in a roll of film we found in an old Kodak Vest Pocket Autographic camera to Film Rescue International for their cycle starting April 1, 2014. The camera was in my grandfather’s office and was presumably my great grand uncle Herb’s at some point. Herb probably took it off to war with him and after he passed away, my grandfather kept the camera since he was quite the shutterbug. As far as turn-around time goes, I had a link to the scans in my inbox on May 16th. It ended up costing $34 for 5 images which is steep, but I’m not sure I would’ve trusted film that was over 30 years old to just anyone. Even though Kodak Verichrome Pan is more stable than other films, it could have been anywhere between 30-50 years old, and the possibility of some lackey at a lab not familiar with developing old film screwing up what may have been priceless photos was just too much of a risk to take. As it turns out, there was nothing really precious on the roll, but it’s great to know for sure, rather than sit around wondering what the heck is on there. I am VERY happy with the level of communication and the extra care they take to manage expectations. Expired and old film is a real crapshoot and sometimes you win big, sometimes you lose big. I opted to download the free scans (at 532×864, 300 dpi), but if I wanted quality copies, I could’ve purchased the full resolution download for $.99 each with a 20% discount if I placed an order in the first two weeks. The images are available on their website for a full year. They mailed me the developed negatives in plastic sleeves along with the original spool and backing paper.
The images are below, and that first image is the one I shot out of the front door of grandpa’s old house when I realized there was still live film inside. Clearly, I’ve got some practicing to do if I want to use the camera again, but it appears to be light leak free which is a plus! The next three shots are of grandpa’s junkyard in the snow which helps me date them to somewhere in the 1970s probably and the last one is the view from great grandma Olga’s house. It’s a view that shows up over and over again in photos, so it’s one I’m very familiar with, even if the house no longer exists.