Old papers in the cupboard

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mooseontheloose, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I was snooping around my community darkroom today and noticed a large drawer of old papers that I think are free for any of us to use (but I need to confirm that):smile:

    Anyway, I've done a bit of research and have found some info about them, but I'd like to know more about them and which ones are worth trying (and with which processes) and which I shouldn't bother with. I know that I need to experiment and I'm aware that there may be issues with fogging and loss of contrast (although I'm not sure how I would measure the latter) but I'd like to have some sort of basic idea so as to know what to expect. I've always been a 'one paper, one developer' kind of gal (you know I listen -- f/8 and be there!) and I'm about to start experimenting (finally) with other papers and processes, but I've never worked with old papers so I'm not really sure where to start.

    So here's the list:

    Ilford:
    Ilfomar A117 (2), white rayon, double weight, warmtone
    Ilfobrom B113 (2n), white matt, high speed enlarging paper
    Ilfobrom B112 (3h), white semi-matt
    Ilfobrom 2.26K, 3.26K, velvet stipple (love the sound of that)
    Ilfospeed 2.24M, 3.24M, 4.24M, all semi-matt
    Ilfospeed 2.35 M (2), 4.1M (4)
    Ilfospeed 2.35M silk
    Ilfospeed IS 2.24M, 3.24M, RC Deluxe

    Lumiere (Ilford?)
    Lumitra T34 (1) soft (doux), chamois semi-matt, warmtone, (RC?)
    Lumitra T34 (2) normal, cream (chamois) semi-matt warmtone (RC?)
    Lumitra T32 (3) hard (dur), white semi-matt, warmtone, (RC?)

    Guilleminot
    Guilbrom Paper 4, Extra Hard, Glossy
    Etoile Dur Paper 3, Hard

    Kodak
    Kodabrom II RC, F1, F2,F4, F5, glossy
    Kodabrom G3, G4, G5, Glossy, extra-contrast
    Kodaline D, industrial paper, non-ortho

    Agfa
    Brovia Speed BN 310 PE (3), Glossy
    Brovia Speed BW 310 S (1)
    Record Rapid RRW118 (2)
    Gevaert Brovia BH113 (5), hard, extra-white, smooth matt

    I'm really quite interested in discovering more about the French papers which I have never heard of or found much info about.
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I dont think any of these papers have been in production for quite some time, many are on paper surfaces that are no longer avialable at all. Bring back memories. You may want to cut a small test strip from each type of paper and develop it without exposure to see how much fog is present. Some may have held up very well.
     
  3. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    I've just spent a couple of days testing about 35 packs and boxes of old paper. Still in the middle of it in fact. Paul's absolutely right about developing an unexposed test strip - this enabled me to sideline the fogged ones. But the process is worth doing - you find papers that might be right for certain images; learn a lot about different textures and surfaces. And it's keeping me outta the bar!! :D
     
  4. nze

    nze Member

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    bonjour

    I use old ilfomar with great succes . it seems that this paper resist a lot to fog and to paper yellowing. Brovira and RR agfa should work ? The main problem will be fogging. It may be solve with some potassium bromide or benzotriazol.

    but give a try to ilfomar it is really a great paper.
     
  5. Cor

    Cor Member

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    ..it's also a good idea to take a small piece of paper and fix it right away, so you can compare it with ease with a developed and fixed piece

    Best,

    Cor
     
  6. snallan

    snallan Member

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  7. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Your best tool will be a step wedge

    get a 21 step step wedge. a 1/2" x 5" will work fine.

    I put mine in the enlarger in a cardborad mount, and stick an 80mm lens in the optical path. This lets me print the 14 or so steps that I am interested in. Each step is half a stop apart. The range of the softest enlarging papers in my experience is about 7 stops.

    The next step is to look at a modern Ilford paper data sheet. Somewhere in the tables is an ISO speed and contrast range data set.

    The speed tells you how fast, or sensitive to light the paper is. Set an enlarger at a fixed height, fixed lens, focussed on a negative, then expose the modern paper to the step wedge. Contact prionting is ok if you do not want to project the step wedge.

    Print, develop, fix, wash and dry the modern paper, in the standard paper developer at the dilution and temperature you usually use, for a fixed time, say 2 minutes.

    Look and see where the lightest grey before full white occurs. Make sure it is not at one end of the sample or the other. Then count how many steps from first grey to blacks that can no longer be separated. Each step is .15 density. So if there are 7 steps from first grey to fullest black, I add one (for the white we did not count) 8x.15=1.2. ISO contrast ranges are 100x larger than the numbers you will get. If you have a paper that has 8 steps, then I recall this would be close to a #2 contrast. Don't be surprised if testing old paper and it was labelled extra hard and it now tests as #2.

    If the paper is lightly fogged, then see if some fixed known amount of KBr, or mL of % solution of BZT, per litre of developer can yiled an effective white. If it can, then trst the same way, becuase the effective speed of the paper, and likely contrast too, will be affected by the amount of restrainer that has been added to keep fog under control.

    When you test on old samples, note where the first grey occurs. Compare it to the time and aperture where it occured on the modern sample. (dont move the enlarger height or change the lens). If the modern test gave first grey on say step 6, and the old one on step 9, then you know that in three steps there are 1.5 stops. So a print on modern paper looks good; I want to try this image on the old paper; I know from the step wedge test that I will need to either expose 1.5 stops longer, or open up the lens 1.5 stops, or a mixture of both to get the correct adjusted exposure.

    I typically print to matte 7x10 from 8x10 paper, so there is always a bit of paper to steal off for a step wedge test. I also print 5x7's cut from a sheet of 11x14; this yields 1" test strips as well.

    Hope this helps. Once you have a step wedge it is a very powerful tool.
     
  8. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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  9. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Stouffer produces the step tablets in 35mm, 6x6 and 4x5 for projection. They're also very reasonably priced. I use these because the projection better represents my real life printing conditions.
     
  10. PVia

    PVia Member

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    OK...dumb newbie printer question here...

    How long to expose the step wedge?
     
  11. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Subscriber

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    I have found most papers to be useful withthe right chemicals. I've had good luck with Glycin, and Chlorohydroquinone the amount of antifoggant I need to add is miminal with these developers. Have fun. If you can't get them to work I'll pay to have them shipped to me. Just a idea if you decide to toss them.

    I have formulas if you'd like to know any.
     
  12. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    Doesn't really matter as long as the max black or paper white don't occur at either of the end steps. And that's only because if, for example the maximum black looks like it shows at Step 1 - you don't know if a further step or more would be even blacker. To compare papers, though, you need to expose the step tablet in exactly the same way each time - enlarger height, aperture, exposure time etc. As long as the same 'quantity' of light passes through the step wedge you can then compare the speed of the paper. Absent the same exposure you can still compare the characteristics - contrast etc.

    Bob
     
  13. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Thanks -- lots of good advice here.

    Steve, I did find that article and found it very useful, although it doesn't mention my old French papers I have. (does anybody have any experience or knowledge of them?)

    Mike, wow -- thanks. I never heard of step wedge before, I think I need to do a little more research about how to use one effectively. I'll ask tonight at the darkroom if we happen to have one. Also, you mentioned that if there are 8 steps it's about #2 contrast. How many steps are required for other contrasts? I can't seem to find this kind of info. It's a bit confusing right now 'cause it's new and all theoretical, I'm assuming once I start doing tests things will become a bit clearer.

    Can I add KBr or BZT to any developer? (The darkroom and I tend to use PQ Universal). Does it affect the development time? I'm not sure that I can get these here in France, but I may be able to mail order them from the UK. Are there other developers that would be better to use (with anti-fog agent added?).
    Also, if anyone knows the English-French translations of some of these chemicals, that would be really helpful (I want to make sure I'm getting the right stuff).

    Well, time to get off the computer and into the darkroom.
     
  14. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    If you are allowed to use this old stock of paper don't think too much about it - "Just Do It" - as the saying goes.
    I agree with the fog test - tear off a 1 inch strip (25mm) strip from any of the papers - so you might end up with a one inch strip that is say 8 inches long - then tear that so you have 2 x 4 inch long strips.
    Write what paper they are on the back (I use Biro)
    Then put one straight in the developer for aprox 3 mins, then stop & fix in the normal way. The other goes straight tin the fix. Wash & compare them in normal light. If the developed paper isn't too different from the fixed only paper then the paper isn't badly fogged.
    Then, just take a favourite neg that you can print without needing to dodge & burn and have fun printing the best print you can with what ever papers are available.
    You will be amazed at how different papers both look and "feel".
    For a one paper girl - this is a golden opportunity - it is similar to being let loose in the sweet shop (candy store?).
    However, be warned - there may be a price to pay (isn't there always) - you may find a paper in there that you love but is no longer available. It is a sad and depressing time when you find your favourite paper has been changed or discontinued.
    But look on the bright side - this is a great find and a fabulous opportunity - so don't waste time sitting in front of the monitor - go forth and print, print, print and try to avoid dissolving your finger nails in PQ Developer (they all do that by the way - not just PQ)
    Have fun!
    Martin
     
  15. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    sorry for the chemical short hand

    >Mike, wow -- thanks. I never heard of step wedge before, I think I need to do a little more research about how to use one effectively. I'll ask tonight at the darkroom if we happen to have one.

    As others have mentioned, the print it for 60 seconds giude works as well, but is hungrier for paper. In my printing notebook, where I record any information I want to find later, I regualrly tape the half inch wide dry test strips of the different paper samples, along with the exposure and development characteristics.

    >Also, you mentioned that if there are 8 steps it's about #2 contrast. How many steps are required for other contrasts?

    I can't seem to find this kind of info in the ilford web site. It is packed in with the paper when you buy it though. I will attampt to attach the data sheet for a Kodak paer that shows the ISO paper speed and contrast ranges using Kodak filters.


    >Can I add KBr or BZT to any developer? (The darkroom and I tend to use PQ Universal).

    Yes

    > Does it affect the development time?
    Yes, sort of. These agents are restrianers - they discourage development to keep fog - development with no associated light exposure -from happening. So to get a light grey in the print with a restrainer enhanced developer, you ned to expose the print longer. Don't try to develop longer, as the longer you develop, the more chance there is for fog to form.

    > I'm not sure that I can get these here in France, but I may be able to mail order them from the UK.

    KBr - Potassium Bromide ( look for a mortice and pastle - this chem loves to torn itself int a rock. Once I grind it, I usually weigh it and store it as a 10% weight per litre of distilled water, so that it is handy to splash in when the mood strikes me.

    Benzotriazole is like bromide on steriods. Powerfull stuff. Usually you make up a 1% stock solution, and add a dash - say 15mL/ L to start.

    Build up gradually until light fogging is under conrtol- too much restrianer will leave the whole print muddy by suppressing all development.

    >Are there other developers that would be better to use (with anti-fog agent added)?.

    Adding these will also warm the image tone. So if you start with a warm tone developer, you may need less restrainer, since the warm tone is almost always becase there is more bromide in the original warm tone developer

    >Also, if anyone knows the English-French translations of some of these chemicals, that would be really helpful (I want to make sure I'm getting the right stuff).

    The english and french should be literally the same. Potassium Bromide is an inorganic chemical; BZT is an organic. You might find BZT sold commercially as Edwal Liquid Orthazite.

    >Well, time to get off the computer and into the darkroom.
     
  16. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    spec sheet attachment this time.

    oops - forgotten from the last post
     

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