Out-of-Date Paper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by KevinR, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    I was wondering how old is too old for B&W paper? I saw some Kodak Polymax fine art single weight on clearance at my local photo store. The date is process before 08/04. What do you think?
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I would think the paper would be O.K. , depending on how soon you plan on using it. That is only 7 months past date. I would not expect to pay full retail though.
     
  3. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Your paper should be ok, and as Donald says, don't pay full price. The general rule on outdated film/paper is 1/2 price.
     
  4. BarrieB

    BarrieB Member

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    I agree; However It must be remembered that once you buy paper and start to use itDO YOU finish it all up 'Before The USED -By Date?' Good storage temperature is the key. Cheers Barrie
     
  5. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    But is there a rule of thumb for how old the paper can be and still be usable? Months, years?

    They had it for about 60% off retail.
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    That will vary with storage conditions and even paper between differing manufacturers. If you notice any base fog with outdated paper, you may want to consider using Benzatriazole as an additive in your paper developer.
     
  7. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    No. I have some Oriental Seagull graded paper that I bought in 1992 that still makes gorgeous prints.
     
  8. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    It depends. Some papers have developer incorporated into the emulsion which speeds up the developing process considerably. They don't generally hold up as well as non developer incorporated papers. Storage conditions make a big difference as well. Cold stored paper will be in considerably better condition than something that's been subject to heat. Room temperature storage should be ok. Kodak Polymax Fine Art SW is a FB paper and if I recall correctly has no developer incorporated, so it's probably still good if the storage conditions have been ok. Kodak still lists this paper as being in production on their web site. I keep some of it on hand and like it a lot.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2005
  9. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    It is generally stored in room temp. It isn't near any windows, so there isn't an issue with direct sunlight heating things up.

    The store has some marked to $10 for a 25 pack. Normally $22. I know their cost on it is $14, so they're taking a loss on it anyway.
     
  10. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I can't remember ever having B&W paper visibly going out of date. I have a few boxes in odd sizes that I don't use much that I have had for many years and it still works fine.

    David
     
  11. Greg Rust

    Greg Rust Member

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    Kevin,

    At the risk of being contrary, I will share my experience with Polymax Fine Art paper.
    Polymax F.A. surface C is my favorite paper. But it is now discontinued. I would have stocked up but from my experience with it, the contrast is gone at the very month of the printed expiration date. This holds for surface C. I do not know how the other surfaces last.

    I have other papers that are great even though they are years outdated. So if its just a 25 sheet pack it might be worth the risk.

    Good Luck
    Greg
     
  12. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    I figured if I don't like it, it still would work good for contact sheets.
     
  13. Carol

    Carol Member

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    I've just had a bad experience with out of date paper. I couldn't understand why my first two contact sheets and two prints were really dark and grainy. Awful. Then I changed to a different box of paper and they came out fine. When I looked at the first box the exp. was '03 and it's a box of 100. It was a bad buy in the first place. I went in for a pack of 25 glossy and came out with 100 matte because "that's all they had at the moment". I never really liked the matte so I used it for contact sheets and tests. Being a beginner I didn't know paper went off, but boy does it. Oh well another lesson learned.

    I guess 25 would be okay, but I'd advise you to use it up first.
     
  14. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    We don't get too much Polymax in the UK, the last pack I had was some outdated variable-contrast RC paper and the low-contrast emulsion had died, i.e. it would only make maximum-contrast prints, any filters just absorbed light but did not change the contrast. I have never experienced this with Ilford VC paper (fiber-based or RC).
    At the other extreme, in 1969 I was given a box of Kodak 16x20" white smooth glossy double-weight paper which had lain in a cupboard (not especially favorable storage conditions) since 1941. This had shifted from a nominal grade 4 to about grade 2 3/4 and was a little slower than fresh paper, but made some great prints!
     
  15. argentic

    argentic Member

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    It depends on storage conditions (cold is better). But there are huge differences between paperbrands too. I once had Agfa MCC go bad even before the its expiration date. Kodak Polymax FineArt doesn't keep for years after its expiration date. But I recently discovered Bergger, Oriental, Ilford Galerie, or Kentmere to be good still, ten years after that.

    In short : TRY IT. When there is a big difference in paperbase white between a non-exposed but fixed print and a non-exposed developed and fixed print, you could add benzotriazole or potassium bromide to your developer. If that doesn't work anymore, get rid of the paper.
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I had a darkroom clearout before Xmas, and being miserly tested all the old paper before getting rid of it.

    1968'ish and later Ilford & Kodak bromide papers still printed fine, just lost a bit of contrast, about a grade, they are probably slower too. Early 1990's Sterling had built up a fogging, quite strange and useless. Some Kodak Polyfibre 30"x 40" which I expected to be duff was actually fine.

    Now I have some early 60's Kentmere yet to try in larger sizes.

    I should ad that I've inherited a lot of paper from various sources and of the old stuff all I ever bought was the Polyfibre which never took of in the UK so was remaindered.

    Kodak never seemed to break Ilfords dominance of the UK's B&W market despite excellent materials.

    To answer the original question, if I saw paper with a 1994 date on it I'd happily buy it. I've been using Ilford and Agfa papers at least 10 years old alongside newer materials and you cant tell the differance in the final prints.