Last year I found a bulk loader in my darkroom that was full of film that turned out to be Tri-X from about 1983, stored in a freezer until about 2005, and in my relatively cool basement ever since. Earlier this year I built two 35mm Populists and of course had to run some film through them. A roll of the the free vintage film would be good enough to verify the cameras worked and were light safe. I exposed half the roll in one, and then, in total darkness of course, switched the film to the other camera.
I use Caffenol all the time with 100 speed films and love it. In discussions of Caffenol there is often a caution that it might increase base fogging in higher speed films, and of course, extremely outdated film is always at a risk of base fogging. The recipes call for 1 g/l Potassium Bromide to control this, or 10X that amount of regular table salt, which is the normal formula I use.
Since this was just trying to verify these two cameras were OK, it seemed like a good chance to see just what the Caffenol would do to the ancient film. As usual, it was semistand developed. It was quite a surprise how dark the background turned out.
Accidental exposures of film in a bulk loader are usually pretty streaky since the film is tightly rolled together. This looked pretty uniform across the whole roll. In order to make sure I hadn't somehow exposed the film, I loaded another roll and developed it the same way I had when I first tried this film - semistand developed in Rodinal 1:100. As with the first experiment, the background was a little dense but within acceptable limits.
The negatives developed in Caffenol are on top, the Rodinal bunch in the middle, and a normal strip of HP-5 at the bottom.
A slightly different view of the sunbeams in the living room
I loaded Neville for the control roll. The Rodinal developed negatives didn't turn out so bad. The Sun Room is always dependable for interesting light.