Just found a 9+ year old disposable camera, will the pictures develop?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by todd2000, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2005
    Danville, VA
    I just found an old Fuji Film disposable camera that has been used up. It has an "expiration date" on it of Feb, 2002. What are the odds that the pictures will come out if I get it developed? Im really curious whats on it.
  2. macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    As long as it was kept in a dry, room temperature place they should turn out fine.
  3. adk
    macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    If it is color film, at the very least the colors will have become desaturated and contrast will have been reduced. Film DOES go bad. You may get some cool results out of it, but you may also get a bunch of garbage.
  4. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Nov 14, 2005
    Danville, VA
    Im not really sure where it was kept for the last 9 years, but I guess I'll try anyway. It's cheap enough to get developed.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2009
    The Evildrome Boozerama
    Six months ago I developed a disposable full of shots I took in Yosemite in 2003. Out of approximately thirty-six shots, only three came out, and the colors were a little skewed. Mind you, I did not have this camera stored in a "room-temperate" (e.g. 65-70F on average) location; this poor thing got cooked and cooled over the years.

    Still, what have you got to lose?
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Ive got you all beat.

    I found some film from what I believe is 1990, my first cross country trip across the U.S.

    There were about 16 rolls, and for at least the past three years had been sitting in the glove compartment of a truck, through freezing PA winters, and sweltering PA summers.

    ALL of the photos developed, but they look "old". Destaturated colors, low contrast, etc.., but I think some can be fixed up in photoshop.
  7. macrumors 68020


    May 30, 2010
    What a find! Hope you can get them developed fine.
  8. macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    Do us a favor and post a couple. Get a CD with your developing.
  9. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    FWIW, Costco near me will develop and scan to CD without any prints for ~$2-$3. If you see any prints you'd actually like, get a reprint. or tweak the photo in Phostoshop before you print. (I do this all the time when I hand my 9 year old a disposable camera for a field trip or such.)

  10. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2009
    That was true for those things if you'd developed the photos the day you got home from your trip. Such garbage cameras, thank goodness for the advent of waterproof digitals.
  11. macrumors 65816

    May 10, 2009
    Most disposable cameras and film rolls have an expiration date, the chemicals lose potency and developing old film is difficult because of this. But if it is a disposable and has the circuit for a flash all is not lost you could make a really awesome low voltage stun gun out of it and take a pic with your digital (I find it almost unbelievable that some people still use disposables when you can find digital cameras used everywhere cheap):D

    This little guy builds up 300 volts in the Capacitor off of a regular 1.5 volt AA and gives one hell of a shock for the first 2 seconds--rig it up right and that is one serious joy buzzer:[​IMG]
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2007
    I remember being very surprised and I think maybe even crying a little when, as a younger kid, I took apart a disposable camera for whatever reason, and discovered just what 300 volts built up on a AA battery feels like on your finger tips :)
  13. macrumors 604

    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    You'll get the basic image, but the colour will either be distorted or gone black and white I bet. Interesting to see how this turns out...
  14. macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2013
    Disposable cameras from 2000-2009

    Ok, so I am putting together a movie of pics and music for my daughter's Sweet 16 party and was looking for photos and found 8 disposable cameras from 2000-2009, I am taking them in to see what happens... Wish me luck!
  15. macrumors 68000


    Jul 14, 2003
    Omicron Persei 8
    Well, what happened?
  16. macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2008
    Here's what came out (these are all unmodified from the photo CD) when I developed two disposable cameras with expiration dates in 2002 and 2004 at my local Walgreens in September 2015:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Some mostly bright, outdoor photos came out well, some turned out ok, some surprisingly decent (yes, that is John Edwards circa January 2003), and others provoke a WTF is that?!?!

    These cameras were kept in a shoebox under a bed in a climate controlled room for most of the past 13 or so years.
  17. macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2014
    Proper storage is the key.

    A while back, I bought a big stash of Kodak EliteChrome 100(consumer Ekatachrome) with a 2001 expiration date.

    The person before me kept it in the freezer from new, and that's where I've kept it since buying it. It's lost a little bit of saturation and a little bit of sensitivity over the years, but is mostly fine. The base fog has also increased a bit(unavoidable due to background radiation). I can actually quantify this, as I have a densitometer and can measure the DMAX of unexposed areas(slide film loses DMAX as base fog increases). BTW, Kodak stores master rolls(rolls that have been coated but not cut/perforated and packaged) in a salt mine where they have a virtually indefinite life.

    Granted, when I'm talking about using old film, I generally process it promptly(within a few weeks at the most). The latent image is somewhat more susceptible to degradation than the film itself.

    One last thing-disposables were crummy from day. I have photos from the early 2000s taken with them that were processed promptly and many of them don't look a lot different from the ones posted above. The usual methodology with those is to load 400 ASA film and use a fixed shutter speed of about 1/500 and an aperture of f16. This gives a decent daylight exposure(sunny 16) and also helps prevent motion blur. They typically have a single plastic lens focused to infinity or a little bit shorter, and the f16 aperture gives both decent depth of field and reduced spherical aberration from the poor quality lens. The lens, however, does introduce a lot of reflection and other issues that reduce saturation. The exposure also means that you basically can't get any get anything indoors unless you're right in front of the flash.

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