Kodabromide paper (exp. 1971) smells like rubber

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Marco Buonocore, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. Marco Buonocore

    Marco Buonocore Member

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    Wondering if anyone has an explanation for this:

    I've got a bunch of Kodabromide F-4 paper, expired in 1971, that was kept in a university deep freeze. It's lost contrast, but is actually still very nice for around grade 2-3 use. I've compared it to another box of 11x14 F-3, which was fogged a bit, and this stuff is fine.

    Anyways; when I put it in the developer (Neutol NE), it stinks something fierce. Very much like rubber, or old tires. Not at all like sulphur. Definetly rubbery. I'm wondering what is causing this smell? It seems to have tainted the developer, 'cause now I'm back to processing current Ilford Multigrade and the smell is still hanging around.

    Another thing I noticed was that when the paper was in the fix (ilford rapid), small bubbles were coming up from the edges of the paper. Like alka seltzer, only less active.

    I'm excited to put this paper to use on some beefy negs. Would love to know what the source of that funk is, though!

    Thanks,
     
  2. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    I can't comment on the rubber smell, but I can tell you that the 'bubble' effect was a common occurance with papers of that vintage.

    PE might know what reaction is taking place that causes this.

    Ed
     
  3. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I don't know about the smell either, but I have had some strange 'aroma' spread in the darkroom when I process Agfa Portriga Rapid of 1980s vintage. Nowhere near what you're experiencing, though.
    Is your fixer acidic, by chance? I've had the bubble with certain papers in acidic stop baths. If I listen carefully with the exhaust fan off, I can even hear the bubbles. Since I started diluting my stop bath more than what's recommended by Kodak, the bubbling stopped. I guess that just makes me wonder if the phenomenon is pH related.

    - Thomas
     
  4. sun of sand

    sun of sand Member

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    I have old kodabromide E2 or E3 F1 from about 1973
    It stinks that same smell
    Seems to turn Dektol a bit quicker
    Mine isn't any good. I can almost lith it but as soon as density gets to where you want to take it out (as in the earliest snatch you can get and still have correct density) it fogs up. It's literally like an explosion of fog. Seconds matter. Clean as you lift out of the developer and by the time you see it in the stop it has blown up. Crazy. Maybe some benzotriazole would help but I doubt it given the bromide in lith


    Mine fizzles, too.
     
  5. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I can't tell what the smell is, although they might have used old rubberized black packages for the paper. It had a carbon black coating on paper. IDK though.

    As for the bubbles, they are carbon dioxide generated from the developer + acid fix. This is a demonstration to all that acid fix (or stop) and carbonate bubbles don't generate pinholes or blisters in properly hardened film and paper. If you did this with poorly hardened paper, you would see large blisters form as they do on sunburned skin.

    PE
     
  6. Marco Buonocore

    Marco Buonocore Member

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    Well, at least I now know why the bubbles are happening. Thanks for all your input.

    In lieu of a better answer for the source of the smell, I'll submit that it is probably the tortured spirit of a once beautiful photo-corp angered at being exhumed from its frozen grave in this awful New Age. A sad, stinky, yellow mummy.

    I will build a funeral pyre and send it out on a river of Dektol. Or maybe try some lith prints with it...