Paper: How old is too old?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by tbrown, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. tbrown

    tbrown Guest

    Hi all,
    I have 2 classes of older paper, some whose expiration date is less
    than a year old, and some that is old enough to vote. I recently tried
    the latter, some Ilford MG3X (deluxe) and some MG3R (rapid). The
    borders under the easel, and hence the highlights, look like an 18%
    grey card. OK for proofs, but if I'm going to go through the bother, I
    may as well try for proofs I want to look at. Helix sells something for
    older paper - is this worth trying?

    The other paper is Kodak PolyMax Fine Art, which I've not yet tried.
    What might I expect from this?

    Also, does anyone sell contrast filters that go before instead of after
    the lens? It seems to make sense to color the light only and spare the
    image from another pair of semi-reflective surfaces.

    Thanks,
     
    tbrown, Apr 25, 2005
    #1
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  2. Yes, sure: don't you know about the standard Ilford multigrade filters? They
    come in 6x6" sheets; pretty sure Kodak makes them as well. (I got mine from B&H.)


    --
    It's a good guess that one of two things is going to happen in the
    coming days and weeks: Either Bolton goes down—-or we start learning
    a lot of unpleasant things about Sen. George Voinovich.

    - _Slate_, 4/19/05 (http://slate.msn.com/id/2117028/)
     
    David Nebenzahl, Apr 25, 2005
    #2
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  3. Some papers age better than others but storage conditions are also
    important. Heat is the enemy and tends to accelerate fogging.
    One way to use fogged paper is to add Benzotriazole to the
    developer. Benzotriazole is available from suppliers of photographic
    chemicals and is widely ued in Phenidone developers where bromide is
    not very effective. Bromide will also suppress fog but Benzotriazole is
    more effective. I don't have my reference available at the moment (I am
    away from home) but Grant Haist has a chart of amounts of Benzotriazole
    to use for both paper and film. I will try to find it later.
    I have recently used some Ilford Multigrade IV Deluxe which is
    about ten years old. It shows no fog or reduction in contrast. I've
    found that old Agfa paper generally holds up well. Kodak paper does not
    seem to do so well.
    One reason paper ages faster now is that Cadmium compounds can no
    longer be added due to environmental concerns. Cadmium serves several
    purposes in emulsions but preserving the emulsion is one of them.
    Fog in old emulsions is most often due to the continuation of a
    process known as ripening. Ripening is a normal part of the emulsion
    making process during which the silver halide grains gain in
    sensitivity. However, it is supposed to stop once the emulsion is
    finished. Various substances are added to the emulsion during the
    finishing step to prevent ripening from continuing after the emulsion
    is coated. Sometimes it doesn't work. One reason cold storage preserves
    film and paper is that it very substantially slows down after coating
    ripening.
    All variable contrast filters are available in sets of 6x6 inch
    gelatin or plastic sheets. These are used above the negative. They can
    be cut down for smaller enlargers. Kodak, Ilford, and Agfa all make
    filter sets. Each is tailored for the particular paper although any set
    can be used with any paper with some adjustment in exposure and
    variation in contrast.
     
    Richard Knoppow, Apr 25, 2005
    #3
  4. I have found the best/cheapest way to handle BT is to
    buy 100g from B&H or Photographers' Formulary and dump
    it into 1 pint (~500ml) of 91% [or thereabouts] drugstore
    isopropyl alcohol. Total cost is $18, including the
    nifty storage bottle.

    This makes a 2% solution. I start at ~1.5ml/liter, but
    use Richard's numbers or experiment to find what works
    best for your paper and developer.

    Edwal's "Liquid Orthazite" costs about 30 times more than
    the do-it-yourself solution ($12.95/4oz of 0.2%).
    I will second this. But new Agfa paper doesn't, it is one
    of the worst, IMNSHO.
     
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Apr 25, 2005
    #4
  5. -- Correction --

    That should be 10g.
    Should read $6
    Should read "Orthazite is about 100 times more expensive..."
     
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Apr 25, 2005
    #5
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