Can this paper be saved?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by srs5694, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    A few months ago I picked up some Kodak Polycontrast III RC paper from Photo Warehouse. It's taken me a while to get around to using it, and I've run into a problem, illustrated here in a roughly 4x3-inch crop from an 8x10-inch print:

    [​IMG]

    The whites are good (whiter than they appear in the scan), the blacks are good, but the midtones (in the out-of-focus trees in this photo) produce an ugly streaky appearance, similar to an inkjet printer with a few clogged nozzles. Prints from the same negative on other papers look fine.

    I'm using DS-14 as my print developer, and I'm fixing in TF-4. I've tried extending my development time from my usual 1:30 to 2:00 with no change in the results. So: Can this paper be rescued? I'm planning on trying another developer -- probably D-72 -- but if that fails I'm out of ideas. Thanks for any further suggestions.
     
  2. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    I don't know if it can be saved, but an alternative is to use it for contact sheets or work prints and then if you have an image you'd like to frame, etc., print it on newer paper.
     
  3. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Looks like age / poor storage. I've usually seen a mottled effect in the midtones on poorly stored paper though.
    Other than that two cents worth - What Jim Said.

    Bob H
     
  4. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    Looks like the effect I see on the Polymax II RC paper I have. Whites are clear and unfogged, blacks are decently deep, and there is good response to different contrast filters, but there is a noticeable mottling on the mid tones. Expiry date on the box is 12/2007, I've had it for about a year, no idea about its previous storage conditions.

    I've not come up with a solution, but the paper is in two 4" wide rolls which I cut off into 4" or 6" pieces to make proofs, so it doesn't bother me too much, besides the cost works out at about 1.5p per 4x6 sheet.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My own experiences with Kodak's VC papers is that they don't keep particularly well compared to Ilford papers of a similar vintage, stored under the same conditions. That goes for the Polymax & Polycontrast.

    Try it with a different developer, but if it's no better then as Jim says use it for contact prints.

    Ian
     
  6. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    That's about what I've seen too. Kodak's Polymax and Polycontrast papers, while I really liked the look, didn't keep very well. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it. I'd contact the vendor and explain the situation.
     
  7. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Could this be used for some alt. process?
     
  8. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    That's what I would do. I have some Polycontrast III from 2001 that I'm using to expirement with Lumin prints. Works great!
     
  9. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    You could also donate (and of course write it off) the remainder to a high school/college photo course. Kids love to make photograms!
     
  10. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I'm getting that too. Our school ordered some of the old kodak paper from ultrafine and my first print had that mottled garbage look to it. I think it's dead.

    Though come to think of it I don't think we got this with all the paper. Just some of it. I don't know I haven't been using the RC stuff recently...
     
  11. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    How true, my boxes of Polymax are foggy beyond repair, worse that some of the 40 yr old papers I have
    Mark