How long does undeveloped film last?

  • 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.

    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!

    Seems it will be worth it to have the film developed. Thanks for the advice.

    It didn't show up when I was searching for possibly duplicates, probably because the question linked was asked specifically about disposables.

  • Paul Round

    Paul Round Correct answer

    10 years ago

    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 If the film is years out of date you have to make a decision if you want to risk it because you may end up with nothing.

    Date is usually printed on box, which is typically not kept with exposed films.

    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.

    I checked but I couldn't find a date on the rolls of film

    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.

    We got our first digital camera in 2006, and basically stopped using film. Then, my wife discovered some exposed but undeveloped film last year. We took it in to our local photo place and had them develop it and digitize everything to a CD. We had no issues with 9-year-old film, found some great pictures of our kids when they were younger, and realized just how ancient looking film makes a picture look!

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