Old Ilford Paper - Info For Simon Galley

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by outwest, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    While rooting around in the darkroom I came across 2 long buried unopened packages of 16x20 Ilford paper. One was Multigrade III RC Glossy from France apparently circa 1991 and the other was UK Ilfospeed RC Pearl apparently circa 1989. Don't ask - larger things have gotten lost in there for longer periods! I thought what the heck, I'll try it. The bottom line was both produced a nice image. The contrast seems to have held up just fine but the Ilfospeed was 3 stops slower than the MG III. The interesting thing was the unexposed parts of the MG III were fogged to a light gray, but on the Ilfospeed they were snow white. I also found a package of Oriental Seagull RC of similar vintage but it was fogged to a medium gray. So Simon, how did you keep the Ilfospeed from fogging?
     
  2. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Good news for anyone considering buying old Ilfospeed on e-bay. There always seems to be batches of it available either from sellers who like yourself discover old stuff in their darkroom or who buy up old stock bankrupt stock.

    pentaxuser
     
  3. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    Today I've been experimenting with using some Ilford Ilfospeed 2.24M as paper negative, the guy I got it from told me it was from the early 1970's. Have to do a bit more testing to find the correct exposure and development, but it seems to be somewhere around iso 2. I'm quite surprised that the paper would work at all.
     
  4. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    I have been using MG III from the mid 1990s with great success. It looks as good as any current paper I've got.
     
  5. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear Outwest :

    I would now like to give you the benefit of 25 years with ILFORD Photo and my in depth study of photo emulsions.....are you ready !

    I have not got a clue......

    Not really....but my instinct tells me that variable contrast emulsions ( in relation to fogging ) should have 'poorer' keeping qualities than graded emulsions..but I have seen vice versa stories so often I cannot prove it, I have always known so much depends on the actual storage conditions, especially the range of temperatures and durations, some emulsions seem indistructable and others not, what I do know is that the consistency of the manufacture of the emulsions being so exact itcould not possibly account for this example and hundreds of others.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  6. Chris Livsey

    Chris Livsey Member

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    Could it be as simple as the storage conditions ? Was the Ilfospeed the "box in the middle" insulated from above and below by layers of the other papers which would minimise temperature fluctuations ?
    Now the OP will tell me they were in different locations altogether :smile:
     
  7. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    Actually, they were both in the middle of the stack. It is in a basement and the temp probably stays in the 60s. Of course, it may be also that I have the dates all wrong since Ilford doesn't really put a date on them:whistling:
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Simon:

    Bet you are not going to use this as an APUG signature line :D.

    (Even if it is now one of my favourite APUG posts)
     
  9. Chris Livsey

    Chris Livsey Member

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    Then... I have not got a clue :smile:
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Actually they do have a date code, a letter and two mumbers, the number's the year. I've found the same with Ilfospeed and also much older Ilfobrom (FB) as well as Kodak Bromide papers from the early 60's, they all keep remarkably well, don't seem to have a base fog with aging, they do slow down and lose a bit of contrast though.

    Kodak VC papers do show fogging with age as well as losing more contrast than fixed grade papers, not sure about Ilford Mutigrade as I always used it up quite quickly but I do have a 12 year old wide roll I must test.

    Warm tone papers are the poorest keepers since the removal of cadmium from them in the late 1980's in Europe due to environmental legislation, Kodak continued making a paper with Cadmium, Ektalure, for much longer.

    Ian
     
  11. Grainy

    Grainy Member

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    Ian: One of my old packages of Ilfospeed has written "02 D 20 04", any clue what that means?
     
  12. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    Is it MG III RC Deluxe or MG III RC Rapid? Ilford had two "Multigrade III RC" papers. I used both of them extensively back in the day. Apart from slight differences in characteristic curve, MG III Rapid was marketed as having developer incorporated and therefore as being appropriate for use in rapid access or activation processors.

    So if your paper is Rapid, the fogging may be a result of incorporated developer. If it's Deluxe, I don't know why it would behave differently from Ilfospeed.
     
  13. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

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    Cadmium was added to photographic papers until the late 80's - it did an excellent job of keeping the paper from fogging. Chances are the older Ilfospeed still had cadmium in the emulsion formula. When Kodak first removed the cadmium their paper suddenly had horrid keeping properties.
     
  14. john_s

    john_s Member

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    I'm using MG III that's ok except that high contrast is not possible regardless of filtration. I use it for the negs I made in my younger years following the manufacturers' instructions, i.e. too contrasty. Before I started exposing more and developing less.
     
  15. haryanto

    haryanto Member

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    I'm using ilforbrom galeri grade 2 dont know what manufactured years but quite old about 5-8 years old, but it had light gray tend to brownish, I think it's not fog, because cant get rid of it with potasium bleach, is that because of the optical brightening agent degraded on old paper?
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Ilford changed their coding at some stage so I can't help with that one without looking at the box, Ralph Lambrecht has posted on the newer system somewhere on APUG.

    Not all emulsions contained Cadmium, it's not needed in Bromide papers and was used in Chloro-bromide papers to help maintain good contrast when these papers were processed with warm tone developers particulary when pushed to extremes. A side effect was it helped with the keeping properties.

    So for instance the old Agfa Record Rapid with Cadmium could be processewd to give very rich red-brown tones by using a dilute developer and increasing the exposure, once the Cadmium was removed that flexibility was lost.

    Something that's never commented on is that current Warmtone papers become colder toned as they age.

    Ian
     
  17. outwest

    outwest Subscriber

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    No, the MG III RC was Deluxe. My friend and I just turned the last of it into photo backdrops using his method of exposing it with the lights on and dipping and rolling the developer around on it. Kind of fun.
     
  18. haryanto

    haryanto Member

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    the bleach is potasium ferrycianide bleach.
     
  19. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    If we're guessing how old various papers are, any ideas on this one?:
    [​IMG]
    The batch number is L2706
    I printed to it a couple of days ago and it looks perfect to me. Cute little 2.5 x 3.5 inch prints that remind me of my grandparents' photo albums.
    I also printed some Ilford Multigrade III RC Deluxe Glossy last night with no problems. The previous owner hadn't opened it but was kind enough to write on it that they'd purchased it in May of 1994... Seventeen and a half years later and it's still going strong!
     

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