Making the choice to process your movie film into B&W or color

With old color movie film (all but Kodachrome type film) you can choose to have us process it the safest way possible i.e. into a B&W negative – or into color. About 15 to 20 percent of long-expired films processed into color will actually have decent color quality.  Most of the others will turn out as recognizable when processed in color, though will likely have little color fidelity remaining.  Some will be blank in color when we could have salvaged an image if we’d processed into B&W negative.

If salvaging an image from these films is the most important factor and you want to play it safe, then choose the B&W negative option. If color is important to you and you’re ok with taking some risks, choose the color option. 

Film stored in a cool place is much more likely to come out well in color than film stored in a hot or warm place. If you know your film was stored in a hot attic, garage or storage facility, then definitely opt for B&W negative processing. If the film was stored in a cool basement then you’re fairly safe to opt for color, though the color may still be poor.  The older the film, the more risk you take processing in color.