How long can film sit around in a camera?

I have this terrible habit of buying those disposable cameras, taking about half a roll of pictures, and then after the party, graduation, wedding, whatever, forget about the camera.

While cleaning the other night, I found about fifteen (yes, really, 15!) of these cameras, I know some of them are a few months old, others are YEARS old.

Is there any chance at all that if I took these in to be processed, there might still be some pictures? They’ve been in a dark, dry place (the back of the junk drawer), if that makes any difference.

I went to the US for the first time in '87. Coming back, I had 10 hours between leaving the plane in London and taking the bus for Spain.

For years and years and years I wondered what the heck I’d done with my pictures from London.

One day, Dad grabbed the three cameras in the house (instead of only one) for a family outing.

And when we revealed the roll in the Russian camera, tadaaaaa! My pictures from eight years before!

Those disposable cameras are supposed to have a shelf life of five years, but I imagine they’ll keep ok so long as they haven’t been in a place that gets real hot.

Take a chance. The exposed film will make prints. Quality/color balance may be off a little.
Unexposed film keeps better that exposed film and storage conditions can be critical.
Modern films have better shelf life than older types.

I recently found a 110 film cartridge that was from when I was a kid (I’m 42 now) and I had it developed. Like PinGear said, there was some color balance problems, but the pictures came out in pretty good shape. I’d estimate the film was 25 to 30 years old.

Go for it! Even if the colour balance is off, in this day and age you can scan the pictures (or the negatives) and tweak the colours/contrast on your computer.

I can virtually guarantee that your pictures will come out fine.

I had one roll of 110 film I got developed a couple of years ago. It must have been around 10-12 years old at the time and when I got it back it was mostly purple. At least it didn’t cost me much.

Hey, this was very heartening, thanks for the replies! I’m going to live on the edge, as it were, and bring my collection of sad, dusty cameras to the processing place and see what happens.

I’m pretty sure the oldest one is in the neighborhood of 10 years. It will be interesting to see how my friends and family have aged from camera to camera.

I recently uncovered one cameras that were 8012 years old. Other than the fact that I suck as a photographer, the pictures came out okay.

That should read “8-12” years.

Day-um! How did those pictures of Moses and the gang turn out? :wink:

Most store will not charge you for prints you do not want, but you lose all rights to it.

Huh? What do you mean by “lose all rights”? They certainly don’t have the rights to do whatever they want with your dicarded photos. They sure as hell can’t publish it, sell it, or anything like that.

Oh, under what theory can they not?

Gee, my local photo lab at the Walgreen’s doesn’t make you sign any kind of release relenquishing your publishing or ownership rights if you don’t want a particular picture. Nor do they confiscate the negatives of the offending pictures. You just don’t pay for them.

Is this a woosh? Or just the silliest thing posted on SDMB in the past five years?

Umm…perhaps US Copyright law? Read up on it a little bit before you post such nonsense to the SDMB.

We had Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law’s family. He recently replastered and repainted his house, and he discovered some 20-year old undeveloped film. He had it processed, and the pix came out, uh, pretty good. They were a little dark, and some colors were off, but we could see who the long-dead relatives were. I don’t think my BIL will ever be proficient with Photoshop, though.