So I found a roll of film in a thrift store camera…

My darling, adorable wife was looking at jewelry and I peered over her shoulder and spotted a tiny Nikon case. I assumed it was a digicam of some sort, so imagine my surprise when I opened it and found a Nikon Lite Touch Zoom, complete with a roll of film inside!

I’ll have a proper review of the camera at a later point, this is just to share some pictures from the roll.

I was sincerely hoping for some vacation snaps from 2006 or maybe a birthday party for some stranger that maybe I could try and track down, reunite with their long lost images. I had a thought to rewind the film and develop it, but when I stuck a battery in the camera, it wound on and so I decided to shoot through the roll. After all, waste not, want not, am I right?

Well, I shot and shot and shot, and before I knew it, I was at frame 27 and the camera started rewinding. I was afraid that I’d double exposed some or all of everything on the roll, but that was not the case.

On developing, it looks like the previous owner maybe took 3 pictures (at most) before the battery died, and then let it sit for who knows how long before dumping it in the Goodwill dropbox. Then, once at the Goodwill, some number of people (possibly only one, given the amount and pattern of the exposed film) opened the film back, noticed film inside and closed it again.

On the film… it was an old roll of CVS-branded film, probably Fuji 400N. More recent CVS canisters—I bought a 4 roll pack 2 or 3 years ago, and they were almost a year expired then—have a different design, so I’m guessing the one in the Lite Touch was probably at least 10 years old. And given the condition of the negatives (horribly underexposed, and very very fogged), it’s probably more.

I had a rough time scanning them, but managed to get something. The first many frames have a wavy line across them. It’s in different places on different frames, and I have no idea what it is or how it got there. There is also maybe some water damage, some swirling in a few frames.

I’ve seen things like this before, but only when I made some errors in processing, and I developed another roll at the same time (and on the top) and it had no issues at all, so I’m really at a loss. There’s age fog and loss of sensitivity for sure, and the front lens element was filthy for most of the roll, as was the rear element (which I only found out later). Hopefully cleaning those eliminates the flare, though I’ll find that out when I put another (fresh) roll of film through the Lite Touch.

All in all, it was some good times with expired film!

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  1. There’s some really cool photos there! Favouriting the Taco and the walled garden. The expired effects gives them some mysterious distance from reality. Nice, looking forward to my next thrift store find..