MGFB, how to determine age?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by MMfoto, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. MMfoto

    MMfoto Member

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    I was just given a box of Ilford Multigrade Warmtone. I've never used this stuff before, and I'm just curious how old it is. Anyway to tell off the box(it's not dated...)? It's a dark burgundy box with what may(?) be a batch code: 64D601C21. I'll find out if it's any good soon enough, but I figured knowing in advance that it was 5, 10, 15(!) years old would give me some insight in the darkroom. Thanks!
     
  2. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    I'm bumping this thread to see if anyone has any information but perhaps missed this thread first time round. I've just been defrosting the darkroom fridge and contemplating the future of the Ilford FB Warmtone paper I had in there. I don't mind losing the 5x7, but I'd sure hate to lose the 11x14 if there is a chance it remains OK. It is several years old now and has been in the fridge since bought. It remains sealed in its original packaging (packs of 10 sheets), but I haven't done any printing for maybe 4 or 5 years, whereas the Ilford information sheet on their website suggests a remarkably short 2 year shelf life when properly stored. I'll obviously get round to trying it, but would value others thoughts/experiences meantime.

    Thanks, Peter
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Should be a code a letter followed by a 2 digit number, somewhere on the label, this number is the year.

    Ian
     
  4. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    Thanks Ian. The 5x7 looks like it could fit into that as it is 11B601C94 (although I would have bought it sometime after that), but the 11x14 code is 15E601C17 and it is perfectly clear, so no chance of it being a 9 instead of a 1. The 601 certainly looks to be the product code for FB Warmtone as I have some 8x10 RC Warmtone coded 27E803C89. This would suggest 89 as the year of production, but I didn't set up my darkroom here until 94 at the earliest, so maybe that was old stock I bought at the time.:confused:
     
  5. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    My understanding is that Ilford's codes aren't legible by the average person. I wish they were.

    Perhaps if you send Simon Galley (a user here) the codes, he can look up the dates of manufacture for you.

    You could simply test the paper as well. Ilford paper has quite good longevity if it is reasonably stored.
     
  6. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    For what it's worth, a trick I've used to see if old paper is worth the trouble is to take one full sheet, unexposed, and develop it. If there is a tonality to the emulsion side - toss it. Next, with clear, (unexposed but developed) film in the enlarger, expose a test strip for min. exposure / max. black but before you develop it cover approx 1/3 lengthwise and turn on your room lights briefly to make sure its well and truly fogged - then process as usual. If none of the enlarger exposures give you the max black of the heavily fogged portion then forget it for any images with strong shadow detail. If you can attain max black under the enlarger with film base then the paper's usable. To use the paper you'll need to do the max. black test anyway. I keep finding or getting given paper and this is what I've found useful. Until you prove otherwise though I wouldn't use it for your next exhibit.
    Hope it helps.
     
  7. Paul.

    Paul. Member

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    Am just starting to print some I was given and find it a full stop slower than RC and a grade softer when using a colour head. It is worth persevering with as when you crack it the results are wonderful.


    Regards Paul.
     
  8. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    watch out for the first piece though

    The top piece of paper in the package, with the emulsion against the inner cardboard or plastic bag often ages differently than the rest of the package. Pull from the middle of the pack to test the pack. The first piece, if only it was judged, could test bad, and then you could chuck an otherwise usable older pack.
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Or, as I have just found out, you can print using the Defender D-58 developer (mix it yourself) and print on almost any paper. I have seen some stunning prints on paper that expired almost sixty years ago using that formula. There was no Ilford paper in the bunch though, mostly Agfa and Kodak.

    Or, if you decide to chuck it anyway, I'll give you my address... :smile: I'll pay the shipping.

    - Thomas

     
  10. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    Many thanks for the replies guys.

    Thomas, I'm not familiar with this developer and Google seems to be in the same boat. Can you give more details please?

    Thanks, Peter
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Peter, I only just found out about this formula myself. I'll post a recipe here as soon as I can find it.

    - Thomas
     
  12. Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Member

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    Here's a case where I wish Ilford would take a page out of Kodak's manual and print dates on the box. Would make things alot easier. Luckily though, Ilford warmtone is one of the best papers out there IMO so I always used it up well before it got to that point!
     
  13. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    Sorry for crashing this thread, but who knows how to find the use by date of Ektalure. I've got some 16x20 boxes which I think are from the last run and the serial number is 42401-001DQR 66, though can't see a seperate date on the box. I'm sure when I was using a lot of Ektalure in the early 90s the label always had a date. May well put them up for sale but better find out how old they are. (Probably 8 or 9 years.)
    Many thanks
    Mike
     
  14. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    I will check the dates and come back to you

    Simon ILFORD photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  15. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    That would be much appreciated Simon. Thanks, Peter
     
  16. Canuck

    Canuck Member

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    Dupont D-55 warmtone developer

    The only Defender developer I found so far is this. Hope this helps.

    Dupont Defender D-55
    Gives good warm tones on Ilford Multigrade Warm Tone and Forte Polywarmtone papers. Use this diluted 1:2 with water. This is a very economical developer.

    Water 750 ml
    Metol 2.5 grams
    Sodium Sulfite 37.5 grams
    Hydroquinone 10.0 grams
    Sodium Carbonate 37.5 grams
    Potassium Bromide 13.0 grams
    Water to 1000 ml
     
  17. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear All,

    Batch 64 D October 2001
    11 B May 1997
    15 E September 1997
    27 E September 1998

    Since people are discussing older product, I guess these are the manufacturing dates but
    apart from 64D we have used those codes again

    11 B August 05
    15 E December 05
    27 E December 06

    Regarding the longevity of paper product, I have referred to this before, its all about storage : kept cool in a dry dark storage area without large temperature variations it can be usable for many years, I have used paper well over 10 years old before, the stability of modern emulsions are excellent from all the major manufacturers. As always its base fog levels that increase and a simple test should establish if the paper remains usable.

    Regards

    Simon.
     
  18. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    Simon

    That's very useful information for me and it certainly looks as though the paper will be worth trying out. I'll come back in a couple of weeks and let folks know how I got on.

    Canuck

    I've never tried mixing my own chemicals, but it is something I've thought about in the past and maybe I'll have a go at this dev.

    Many thanks again, Peter

    Edit: I've also just found the formula for Defender D-56 on here at http://www.apug.org/forums/forum222/33255-dupont-defender-56-d.html
     
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