Ilford paper code

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by JBoontje, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. JBoontje

    JBoontje Member

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    This is my second thread, forgive me if I put this in the wrong forum :smile:

    I was wondering how old a certain (un opened) pack of ilford paper is. I found a code on the back cover: 42D7616. Now I read something about this, and it would be possible to determine the paper's age by examining the code on the back of it.

    Does anyone know how to do this? I am very curious about how old this paper is, but I'm almost sure that it's too old to make some serious prints with.

    Thanks in advance :smile:
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    At one time Ilford used a simple letter/number code on paper, film, chemicals etc. So my Phenidone was something like C62, the 62 meaning 1962. The code date of 35m mfilm manufacture was printed on the label on the cassettes.

    I'm not sure exactly when Ilford changed the system, I think I'd switched to Agfa films by then.

    Ian
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    J

    There are some former and current Ilford employees on APUG, who should be able to help. If I remember correctly, it's the first or last two digit who are a counter for the year. The counter was reset around the year 2000. Sorry, this doesn't help you at all, but maybe it gets the conversation going into the right direction.
     
  4. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    I might be able to do it,
    But what makes you think it is already old?
    Would you think it could be older than 8 years?
    The numbers may mean dif dates.
    Packaging/condition might be a clue.
    If you are lucky, it might be just shy of 18 months old...

    Otherwise- consider giving Harman some more of your money
    for a more recent pkg.

    But do compare the results and, more than anything...
    PRINT frequently.

    Ray

    ps There is a Harman rep guy here on APUG, who can help with these sorts of questons when others fail.

    Ian can tell you more if you need to know about him.

    :wink:
     
  5. JBoontje

    JBoontje Member

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    Thanks for the replies :smile:

    As for the package... it came with some other (opened) boxes of paper that looked quite horrible, this package actually seemed in pretty good condition.

    I do think its several years old, but it's the only package of this size so I'd rather not open it up until I know for sure how old it is.
    I will probably buy some Adox paper for the serious prints, if this paper turns out to be too old I could always use it to make test-strips.:D
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Show us a photo of the labelling :D

    Many Ilford papers keep very well, Ilford say 7 years roughly before there's an easily detectable change, but that depends on storage conditions. Unlikely to be an issue in Holland.

    My own experience is that Ilford papers keep very well, I would just test it and see.

    Ian
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I bought a box of Ilford Multigrade that had been stored in a lorry trailer at a farm. From the looks of the stuff with it, it had been there for some time.
    The paper was fine.
     
  8. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Simon R Galley is an active APUG member and a director of Ilford

    I have PM'd him several times to enquire about the age of Ilford papers I have bought - I have had replies in 2 or 3 days

    Simon is both a thoroughly nice bloke and very helpful too :D

    Martin
     
  9. JBoontje

    JBoontje Member

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    Just sent him a PM, lets see what happens :smile:
     
  10. JBoontje

    JBoontje Member

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    :D:D:D

    Reply from Simon:

    Its even newer than I thought :smile:
    This is great, I thought it would be at least 5 years old.
     
  11. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Looks like you were lucky.

    :smile:
     
  12. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    Simon is a real asset to APUG and he desrves more credit than I sometimes think he gets on the Forum

    Service like this helps us all enormously

    Martin
     
  13. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Did Simon by any chance tell you how to work out the age of the paper from the code? If there was a simple method and I suspect there is if you know the code then Simon could avoid the workload that of answering individual queries and/or the Ilford help desk that you can use on the website could concentrate on other matters where the answer can't be worked out by the inquirer

    pentaxuser
     
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  15. JBoontje

    JBoontje Member

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    I was thinking of the exact same thing, generators like that arent hard to make.
    I posted the received PM at the previous page, no additional info was given.
     
  16. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    If they wanted everyone to know
    that might be an idea...
    I suspect the reason dates are not placed on the pkgs themselves is to avoid discouraging the sale of out dated, but still fine paper.

    Making it too easy to check the mfg. date might have the same unwanted result.

    As it is now, help is on a case by case basis.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2009
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Ray I think you have got it in one. Pity, as the kind of photographers who process their own prints are likely to be knowledgeable enough to know that within quite a large time span the date is irrelevant. If I buy paper from a reputable stockist I assume that it has been properly stored and is within Ilford's parameters on date and even if I knew the code I don't think I'd check it and ask if the stockist had any "fresher stock".

    pentaxuser
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I gave you half the answer in my earlier post (#3), but nobody picked up on it. Thinking about it again, I was able to decode their system to the following:

    The first two numbers indicate the month of manufacture starting at 01 and going to 99. The number '00' is not used.

    Since he identified the code (42D7616) as March, 2008, I think you can do the rest. Of course, if I'm correct, '42' could also stay for Dec, 1999.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2009
  19. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Ralph, You have way too much time on your hands! :smile:

    Anyway, I think its best if we keep Simon busy and ask each time we need to know...
    With new acquisitions and other changes, there is always the possibilty of sudden unannounced changes...

    and, establishing and maintaining a direct link
    helps in troubleshooting / product replacement down the line,
    should that become necessary.

    Ray
     
  20. RJS

    RJS Member

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    If the paper is not fogged or otherwise damaged I don't see what difference age would make. Make a print or two and after they dry look. Ifthey look ok I would venture to say the paper is fine regardless of date of manufacture. My experience has been that paer if stored in a freezer is good practically forever, or whenever that is. If stored in heat, humidity etc. that is excessive, whatever that is, it will show in prints.
     
  21. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Good, practical advice.
     
  22. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    True, but film and chemicals are using the same system, and there, it is not so easy to just redo it.

    Paper will get softer and slower with time. This is no issue unless it is fogged, because we can compensate with filtration and exposure time. By the way, I'm a satisfied Ilford paper user. Their materials are probably the best quality you can get these days.
     
  23. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    By the way, Kodak used a very similar system for paper. The differences are:

    1. They used the last two digits, not the first.
    2. Their date was the month of expiration, not the month of manufacture.
    3. Their counter went from 1-96, not 1-99.

    The last time the Kodak counter was reset was Jan 2004.


    Having said all of that. Go out and buy some paper, otherwise, the few who still make it are out of business by the time the old crap is used up.
     
  24. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Ralph. Can you help me a little more here. I cannot follow your explanation as to how 42 equates to March 2008. I think you had said that the current system of coding begins from the year 2000 so my assumption was that 42 represents 42 months from January 2000 so 01 would be January 2000 but this would make the date represented by 42 to be June 2003 instead of March 2008.

    I must be misunderstanding your explanation. A further explanation would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

    pentaxuser
     
  25. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    If you use Simon's answer, you can see that the counter was reset Oct, 2004 and not as I originally thought.
     
  26. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Thanks Ralph. So if Oct 2004 is 01 then we should be good for deciphering dates until 99 months later which is still over 3 years from now. As long as Ilford don't change the coding system then we should be able to simply start again at 01 in 99 months from Oct 2004. Of course at that point there will be two "01s" but it is unlikely that retailers will still be selling Oct 2004 paper although some e-bay sellers might be! However a simple question such as: "Is this paper many years old?" will still determine which of two possible dates is the correct date.

    pentaxuser