I’m not sure how I ended up with two rolls of Fuji Super G. Maybe one came from a Oli’s Choice or similar mystery expired box from the FPP, or maybe a lot of expired film from the ‘bay; I think the other came from an Emulsive Santa event, maybe the 2019 version, but I’m not sure. What I do know is that I had both for more than two years, and one for longer than that, and I kept them in the refrigerator.
Sadly, whoever owned one of them before me wasn’t quite so kind…
I shot both rolls more or less simultaneously, one at EI 80 in the Olympus XA, the other at 50 in the LC-A. Both rolls came to me without their original packaging. I made a note that one expired in 1997, but had no information about the other. Given that Super G was the predecessor to the Superia line, the last rolls off the production line in late 1997 or so, so the very last use-by date was probably in the early 00s. With me loading it in 2021, I took a bit of a gamble even going 1 stop over, much less only 1/3 stop. And here’s where storage must have come into play.
Given that the roll in the LC-A (on the left) received half a stop more light than the roll in the XA, I’m guessing that roll was particularly abused.
Come to think of it, that roll may have come from a bag of cameras I bought from my dad last year… Of the 4 cameras in the bag (an Olympus Infinity Zoom 210, a Minolta Freedom Vista (Riva Panorama), the Panaview, and the Wardflex), three had film in them. I harvested the film from the Minolta and the Panaview, and suspect the roll of Super G came out of one of them, and suspect it suffered the same fate as the roll of Ultra Max that was in the Olympus, and that I’ve never shared much of. That is, it was loaded about the time my dad picked up the camera, then shoved in a box or a cabinet in his garage for n years, summer to winter to summer to winter in North Texas, which would account for the degradation. If so, then that would account for how poorly the emulsion aged.
As for the roll in the XA, well, it seems it was mostly stored competently.
I got some strange streaking in a couple of frames, especially noticeable in dark clouds, and it had a few slight, but easily corrected color sifts, but was otherwise mostly unaffected by the extreme age.
And, so, film friends… be kind to your film and keep it cold: refrigerate, and for long term storage, freeze. I have some fancy stuff in the freezer for a rainy day (or retirement, whichever comes first)…
In short, if you want your photos to look crazy and be very difficult to print (or just convert to digital, like I do…), store them in your hot/cold garage or maybe on the dashboard of your car for a few years. If not, well, the refrigerator is your friend.