Aging Paper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by AnselAdamsX, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. AnselAdamsX

    AnselAdamsX Subscriber

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    What happens to variable grade papers as they age? Does contrast decrease? Does the maximum black become lighter? Or does it just get slower? This is my first time doing a wet print and I am using some old Ilford multigrade FB IV that was given to me (box yellowing). I have a color head and used just white light so according to Ilford that should be about a grade 2 unless the age has affected it.
     
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Contrast decreases. Fog levels increase. Color might change.

    My advice to anyone who starts printing is: Use fresh paper, or the experience will be confusing as hell.
     
  3. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I think this is really solid advice. Incredible prints can be made on some seriously old paper, I have seen many. But learning on old paper is bad news. You've got more than enough variables already.

    Good luck!

    Shawn
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Can add to this that speed also decreases.

    Good advice as newbies need as few variables as possible.
     
  5. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Along with already what has been said, the brightness of the base may also be affected. I do frequently print on old ilford multigrade iv and the majority has held up nicely. I have a box of 200 or so sheets of 8x10 fiber that has yellowed a bit. Maybe good for toning lol such as sepia or coffee/tea. Also very expired papers can be used for lith processes with lith devs.

    Glad to hear you set up the darkroom! NYC meetup again soon!
     
  6. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Hi, AnselAdamsX,

    I agree with the good folk above; learning on degraded materials is a bad idea. IMO, buy some new paper and use the old stuff for test prints and practice work - once you know what you should expect from new materials. You can compare and contrast the materials too. Have fun! :smile:

    Cheers,
    kevs