AZO Expired in 1920 - Still usable

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by L Gebhardt, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I bought a pack of 4x6 AZO that expired in 1920 on ebay a while ago. I actually just wanted the box, but I thought I should try the paper out.

    I developed for 1 minute in Ansco 130. The first sheets came out with pretty heavy fog. I added some benzotriazole and it didn't help much. I then tried overexposing it and giving it a much shorter developement time 20 sec + 5 sec drain and a water rinse. The image mainly forms in the rinse and the fog is almost not there.

    The images look quite good actually. Good enough that I may make some 4x6 negatives to print on it.

    Any ideas on how this might work in Amidol (I didn't want to mix some up for this test)? Does benzotriazole work well in Amidol? Has anyone found any older Azo that still works? I missed out on a few packs that I think were from 1917?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I had a similar experience with my Haloid Industro from around 1954. I develop for about 30 sec. in Michael Smith's amidol formula for enlarging paper, which has more benzotriazole and KBr than the Azo formula.
     
  3. Brook

    Brook Member

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    I have a box of G5 2x3 Azo that expired in 1939 that prints thin 120 negs very nicly in Michael Smiths amidol formula. I have several boxes of azo from around WWI that are all quite fogged and or grainy or simply dont make an image at all. I would guess that if stored in good conditions many older silver chloride papers could be useable. None of the older Velox (1950 or earlier) has worked very well for me. Any contact papers from the 60's on that I have tried have worked well, perhaps loosing a bit of contrast compared to what I expected.
     
  4. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    I have had a different experience. Funny how that is. I have quite a bit of contact paper from the 40's and 50's and it all prints well. Sometime needing a antifog agent, if there is some in the formula already. Short development times work the best. I've had some paper as old as 1914, Velox and Azo, and have gotten prints that I like. It usually softer contrast then stated on package though.