gelatin-silver paper shelf life

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Jose A Martinez, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    About six months ago the Ilford importer in Mexico stops business with the English manufacturer. They put the whole stock left on sale, and I bought what I could of the paper I like more, Ilford Multigrade IV FB and Galerie. Something alike happens when Seagull went out of business, and also bought a lot of it.

    Does anybody can tell me what is the shelf life for this kind of paper?, I want to know if it's a wise thing to have a large stock of fiber based gelatin-silver papers, I have the felling that is an "endangered specie"
    Send them a private message
     
  2. John Cook

    John Cook Member

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    There are variables. Like how old the paper was when you bought it, and how it was stored, and how (temperature & humidity) you store it.

    The problem with old paper is that it begins to fog, so a clean white is no longer possible.

    My experience has been that paper properly stored is definitely good for about one year. After that, I would test each box for fog before using it. At some point the fog will become noticeable and begin to get objectionable.

    Freezing and low humidity storage will help. But (according to Kodak) cosmic rays will continue to produce fog regardless of storage conditions. For this reason, they do not suggest storing film longer than five years.
     
  3. Jose A Martinez

    Jose A Martinez Member

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    Thanks John, so it's about you be care of preserve in good conditions, and, as everything in b&w gelatin-silver related photography, test first.
     
  4. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    My box of 1977 Kodabrome II RC 11x14 in a 250sht. box has fogged whites. A bit of benzotriazole in the paper developer fixes this. This paper was stored in a hot, humid warehouse.

    A 2 year old box of Forte FB paper is fine, a 6 year old box of Kodak Kodabrome F5 RC is fine.. I've a 500ft roll of Kodak Polymax II that expired three years ago and it's great stuff.

    I believe it depends on storage conditions, personally. I've had good luck with older papers just as long as I keep them cool, dark and dry. Beware of freezing paper in your food fridge. Defrost cycles will freeze and thaw while condensation will pretty much ruin whatever is in the paper box UNLESS you place the box of paper in a huge ziplock or similar. I use the fridge and a naturally cool and dry drawer in a filing cabinet down in the basement..

    Modern Ilford papers lack the incorporated developer (or so i've read) which is good for long term storage. My last box of Ilford MGIV RC lasted two and a half years with no noticable (to me) degredation.

    -phil
     
  5. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    3 years on Ilford's MG-F papers (per IlfoPro rep)... you can call Ilford with the numbers on the box and they will give you the mfgr date

    1 year on Kodak fiber papers (per Kodak)... Kodak has a document on their web pages that will help you indentify their mfgr dates...

    Evidentially it is not complicated enough to put an actual date on the paper boxes...
     
  6. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I have some 2 year old Agfa MCC - as good as new.
     
  7. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    Paper Life

    I have some 15 year old Oriental Graded paper in the freezer that works just fine. Just took home 3 boxes of Kodabromide totaling 700 sheets in unopened boxes. I expect with a little Pott. Bromide or Benzotiazole it will work just fine. I'll post back
    Regards, Peter
     
  8. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning,

    I'm using some Kodabrome RC in 8.5 x 11 size. There's no date on the box, but I suspect that it's at least five and possibly ten years old. Whites are no longer clean, but it's fine for contact sheets. I standardized on Kodabrome RC thirty years ago for contact sheets, so I'll continue to use it if I can find it.

    Konical
     
  9. photobackpacker

    photobackpacker Advertiser Advertiser

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    As another piece of information, I buy multiple boxes at a time and insist they all be from the same emulsion lot number. I store the unopened boxes outside the Darkroom and keep the working box in a light-tight drawer. I find that unless I reseal the plastic bag of the working batch, its characteristics will eventually depart from the ones in storage, requiring a new test strip and fine tuning.

    My guess is that this is owing to absorbed humidity - even though it is in a dry, humidity controlled basement. If I were going to store paper for a long time, I would definately freeze it.

    This is a bit better than a "WAG" but is still a "SWAG" (Scientific Wild Ass Guess.)