When I made my recent Friday-day-off trip up the Michigan Road to see the Sycamores, I also brought my Yashica-12 along, loaded with Kodak Vericolor III expired since July of 1986. I shot this ISO 160 film at at EI 80 to tame the ravages of time. Here’s the Carnegie library in Kirklin.

Kirklin Carnegie Library

This is the Mathews house, in southern Carroll County. It’s part of a farm that’s been in the same family for more than 100 years, which makes it a Hoosier Homestead.

Mathews house, Michigan Road

I should have moved in closer to this barn, as it’s the star of this show and who needs to see all of that flat blue sky? This is in Clinton County, I think.

Michigan Road farm

Here’s the abandoned school I wrote about a couple weeks ago. It’s in Middlefork in Clinton County.

Abandoned schoolhouse, Middlefork

Naturally, I made several photos of Sycamore Row with the Y-12.

Sycamore Row
Sycamore Row
Sycamore Row
Sycamore Row

Finally, not many people know that this grassy lane that heads west from the south end of Sycamore Row was once State Road 218. It hasn’t been that highway in a very long time. SR 218 still exists. It was moved decades ago about a quarter mile to the north, just past the north end of Sycamore Row, so it didn’t have to cross Deer Creek.

Old SR 218

The Vericolor III performed pretty well at EI 80 — much better than it did at EI 100 and 125, as I shot it last time. Still, some photos suffered from a little haze and grain that I couldn’t Photoshop away.

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


18 responses to “Kodak Vericolor III on the Michigan Road”

  1. Reinhold Graf Avatar

    It’s always a pleasure seeing you handling your TLRs :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks! I’ve given the 12 a lot of exercise in the last couple of years.

  2. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    That old film stock performed quite well. Do you know how it was stored all those years?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Frozen. But it doesn’t perform well at box speed, which is 160. I cut it to 80 for these rolls.

  3. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Vericolor was one of Kodak’s “portrait” films. For those not steeped in the history of portrait studios (I worked in one in high-school and college before I started in commercial studios), even in my era, most of those type of studios used big pan lights, or pan strobes, usually, but not always, with screens over the top, and maybe with “ground glass” tube covers for some diffusion. Hence, Kodak portrait films were meant to soften some pretty harsh light (with some minor “warm” tone bias as well)! This is way before photographers adopted large umbrellas, and before commercially made soft boxes were even available (in the 70’s, we used to make our own with hot glued foam core and diffusion material)!

    In date Vericolor film, usually performed pretty well outside in full sunlight, based on it’s ability to tame harsh light, but was not very good for most applications not in the portrait studio! Most commercial photographers never had a color negative material close to emulating transparency film until Ektar was introduced, altho many people I knew used Kodakcolor Gold as a close second before they’d ever use Vericolor (I remember buying Kodacolor Gold (VR-G 100) in 120 rolls for a while, but alas, no sheet film). The whole Kodacolor series, was actually advertised as Kodak’s most “color accurate” film from way back in the day, whereas Vericolor was advertised as a pleasing portrait film for professionals.

    Even tho outdated, the blue skies in these pics and the orange traffic barrier, really bring back those Vericolor color renderings!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I follow a photographer who likes to shoot expired films in his MF and LF cameras, in well out-of-the-way settings. He shoots a lot of Vericolor and I’ve always enjoyed his work with that film. So when I came into this Vericolor, I took it readily and immediately shot it outside. Now, that other fellow is all into the color shifts of expired film — I wanted to see if I could dial in more-or-less normal results. I got them here!

  4. Eugene Wilson Avatar
    Eugene Wilson

    I shoot a lot of Vericolor in MF and LF and have gotten great results with it although at times I’ve had to shoot it as low as 8 ISO. A few years ago you could get a box of 10 4×5 Vericolor sheets for $20 on Ebay but they’re going for more than twice that these days so I don’t know how much longer I’ll keep shooting it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Wow, ISO 8! I feel fortunate that I’m getting away with ISO 80!

      1. Eugene Wilson Avatar
        Eugene Wilson

        Yeah, the difference between “frozen” and “who knows”.

  5. Roger Meade Avatar
    Roger Meade

    I’m happy to see you using the TLR. I have a good working Yashica 635 that I need to use more.

    My daughter just got me a Yashicaflex AS-ll for Father’s Day which she found at a local garage sale. It has suffered some accidents that smashed it’s light meter and dented the viewing hood, but the shutter and focus still work, and the lens looks clear, so I will give it a try soon. It had a exposed roll of Kodacolor-X inside, so I will develop that as B&W in D-76 and see what it might hold. The film is on a metal spool, so it has to be pretty old!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Ooooo Kodacolor-X! I have a roll of that in 127 still in the box that I’ll shoot on the next 127 Day (July 12).

      I love my Y-12. It’s a pleasure to use.

      1. Andy Umbo Avatar
        Andy Umbo

        Kodacolor-X! You cats are really pushing the envelope! Last made sometime in the early 70’s, it was the “high speed” general color print film (last at asa 80, but mostly at asa 64), for crazies that couldn’t deal with “regular” Kodacolor at asa 25! C-22 Still able to be processed by Rocky Mountain, if they’re still open? No idea? Super soft grain, not sharp at all. I remember seeing 16 X 20 portrait blow-ups from C-22 120 back in 1970, and they were barely passable as “sellable”, for sharpness! Wild!

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Kodacolor II was a leap forward in every respect, to be sure.

  6. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    Those turned out very well indeed! I have shot some 15 years expired Portra, fridge stored, along with some Tmax which has been quite ok at box speed.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Even frozen, this stuff degraded — my first rolls of it at EI 125 weren’t great. 80 appears to be just right!

      1. Andy Umbo Avatar
        Andy Umbo

        Just to remind non-professionals; Kodak’s expiration dates for professional films are set with cold storage in mind, i.e. even if you have it in cold storage, the ‘dead’ date is the ‘dead’ date! They are shipped “on color and speed”, and expected to be cold stored to maintain that. Anything you get beyond that date, no matter how stored, is a gift and not guaranteed by Kodak, in any way, shape, or form. It’s why you don’t see professional color films at discount and big box stores. (I know you guys like using out dated for the color shifts and such).

        Amateur films are shipped “green” and expected to “season” while sitting on a dock some where, at the back of K-Mart or Target. Transparency films, like Ektachrome, may even be the same formula, but shipped before tested optimal! Hence usually given a different name, like Elite, and usually cheaper. If you buy a roll of “amateur” film from the local Walmart, and you love it, buy more and freeze it and it will stop changing at that point, at least until it “ages out”…

        1. Andy Umbo Avatar
          Andy Umbo

          And BTW, what degrades film long term is exposure to cosmic rays and muons, so not only should you deep freeze film you like, you should put it in lead bags (are they still available, like Film Shield?). They’ve been talking about this for years, but here’s a snippet that talks about Ilford being better about this that Kodak:


          Storing in a deep freeze, IN a lead lined bag, might actually work, but I bet you’d have a very limited time after thawing to use!

        2. Jim Grey Avatar

          Those damned muons!!!!!1!

Leave a Comment

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

%d bloggers like this: