Iron fence

Checking for a suspected shutter fault in my Nikon F3 I put two rolls of film through it late last year: one Kodak High-Definition 400 (see some of those photos here) and the other Kodak Max 400, photos from which I’m sharing here. Both rolls expired in 2007. I’m not a fan of expired film’s unpredictable results. So to me, the stuff is best used for a job like this.

Old house

The F3 went along on our day-after-Christmas road trip up the Michigan Road. All of these photographs are from the road, in and near Rochester. As I shared in this post, Rochester has a long row of lovely old houses on the road as you approach downtown from the south.


Even though it was midafternoon, given the time of year the sun rode fairly low in the sky and delivered some delicious light. The film’s colors all shifted a little, which is a hazard of being expired. But the Auto Tone tool in Photoshop fixed that right up in a second.

Catholic Church in Rochester

At full scan size you’ll see considerable grain in all of these photos. But at blog size the grain is managed well enough. I’m pleased that I was able to get a little blurred background at EI 400 with the 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor lens I was shooting.


On Rochester’s square, apparently Santa comes to visit in this little house. On the day after Christmas it had not yet been removed.

Santa's house

I also aimed the F3 at the abandoned bridge abutment north of Rochester, which I wrote about more extensively here.

Old bridge abutment

This is the Tippecanoe River, placidly flowing past the bridge on which I stood.

Tippecanoe River

That bridge, a simple modern steel stringer, features this plaque commemorating its 1982 completion. I love the typeface they used for the plaque.

New bridge marker

Standing by that plaque I focused on the memorials on the old approach, enjoying the ever-fading afternoon light.

On the old bridge abutment

The F3 performed flawlessly, by the way. My worries about the shutter were unfounded.

Get more of my photography in your inbox or reader! Click here to subscribe.


12 responses to “Expired Kodak Max 400 in the Nikon F3”

  1. Christopher Smith Avatar
    Christopher Smith

    Well it seems like the photographer, camera and film performed flawlessly, nice photos Jim.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks very much Christopher!

  2. Dan James Avatar

    One of the appeals of shooting expired film for me was the colour shifts, and sometimes higher saturation and grain. It made the results more unpredictable and interesting.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m not a fan of the unpredictability. I like to know exactly what I’m getting! However, when I’m just testing a camera for a fault, expired film is perfect — and I truly relax, because if the shots don’t turn out, I haven’t lost much.

      1. Dan James Avatar

        Funny how film photography means different things to different people.

        I always associate it with unpredictability because there are so many unknowns and variables between when you release the shutter and when you see the final image. Or rather, one version of the final image, depending on how it’s developed, scanned, printed etc.

        Digital is very WYSIWYG – What You See (on the screen) Is What You Get.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Except that 30% of the time what I think I see on my digital camera’s screen is sharper, or better white balanced, than what I see when I move the file to my computer.

          1. Dan James Avatar

            That’s strange that it’s only 30% of the time. You could understand that due to a difference between the screen sizes why any “flaws” would show up more on the computer screen, but wouldn’t that be for every image? What makes some images sharp enough when on the computer but others not? Missed focus? Camera shake? (Are you talking about the Powershot, or the K10D, or both?)

        2. Jim Grey Avatar

          I’m guessing at that 30% but it’s enough of a percentage that I notice it. It’s on every digital camera I’ve owned (4).

  3. Mike Connealy Avatar

    Great combination of color and perspective from that outfit. Hard to beat the versatility of a 35mm lens for that kind of outing.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I love 35mm lenses for road-trip work. They’re wide enough I don’t have to back up out into the road (when I’m parked by the roadside) to frame my subjects, but I can still do decent enough close work when I need to.

  4. Photography Journal Blog Avatar

    I really like these images.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! They’re not bad for stuff I tossed off quickly.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: