Overexposing Film

A week ago, Bill messaged me one morning on WhatsApp, asking me if I’m interested in eight rolls of Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 800 colour film for $40 (including postage), some guy in the Australia Film Photography Facebook group was selling it. My first thought of it was, “What am I going to shoot with the ASA 800 film?” I have been consistently shooting with the ASA 400 films since I started, and in some situation, I have to stop down my aperture to compensate for the fastest shutter speed (which is 1/1000th-seconds) on my camera in bright sunny condition. Then I look at the figures again, eight rolls, $40, that’s $5 for each roll of films! I wonder why anyone would sell it for that cheap.

Without any second thought or what I’m going to do with it, I replied to Bill, “Why not? I’ll get it!” So today, Bill sent me another message to tell me the films have arrived. The thoughts of how I’m going to use it surfaced again. With the fast speed film, I probably can shoot during the late evening, which is the time I usually avoid during my photo walk. ISO 400 film isn’t ideal for that time of the day on the street. I’m trying to avoid shooting at any speed slower than 1/60th-seconds which could cause motion blur in the images. 

Then the thought of pulling the film came to my mind. I have shot expired films with -1/3 and -1/2 stops, and they turn out fine. What if I shoot the ASA 800 films with -1 stop at ISO 400? So I started Googling and found out several online articles explaining pulling and pushing the colour negative films. As C-41 processing is quite straight forward, I will leave pushing the film out of the discussion. There are a lot of debates on why you shouldn’t push the colour film, so I’m not going to go into that as I’m not going to try anything out of my reach. I just want to find out if I can shoot high-speed film at a slower speed that’s all.

Then I found this article which probably explained the concept much better than the rest. It stated that “There are two times in the practice of film photography that pushing/pulling film comes into play: 1) during shooting, and 2) during development.” and “overexposing” is the common term for pulling film in-camera. I’m not going to explain much here since you can click on the link to read more. The result of doing that (pulling film in-camera) will just be having less contrast images, as of the grainy part, we will find out when I shot the first roll.

By the way, the six rolls of Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 (36 exposures) I ordered from eBay had arrived in my letter box from the Land of Smile (Thailand). Everything is good except I won’t know if the film is in good condition until I shot and processed it. The expiry date is October 2018, and the seller has good reviews on eBay, so I’m going to tell myself everything is going to be okay.

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