Expired collodion? Vintage collodion!

I had to come in to the lab today for some other reasons and decided to make the most of it by testing out some old collodion I found stashed away. Collodion generally gets better with age – to a point. I haven’t done a whole lot of reading on the subject, but it seemed like folks I know don’t use it after around six months at the longest.

The collodion for this tin was mixed on 30-Sep-13, so it's about nine months old.

The collodion for this tin was mixed on 30-Sep-13, so it’s about nine months old.

I decided to open up a bottle of my September 2013 vintage first to see how it has fared. Not too bad – six seconds at f/8 and it still worked.

The collodion for this tin was mixed on 30-Sep-13, so it's about nine months old.

The collodion for this tin was mixed on 30-Sep-13, so it’s about nine months old.

Next I popped open a bottle of some mid-November 2012 collodion – 19 months old, pretty sure it was past it’s functional use-by date.

The collodion for this tin was mixed on 17-Nov-12, so it's about 19 months old.

The collodion for this tin was mixed on 17-Nov-12, so it’s about 19 months old.

Much to my surprise, it still worked. There are some funky things to it – spots and stuff – but I want to try it in a normal camera, instead of a Holga, so that I can remove those particular variables.

Update: When I got around to varnishing these tins, the one with the oldest collodion just dissolved away right in front of my eyes.  :-(

One Response to Expired collodion? Vintage collodion!

  1. Dad says:

    Old is only a figure in the great book of life. Dad

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