What developer for old or unknown paper?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Laurens, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. Laurens

    Laurens Member

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    Recently, i got some darkroom stuff from a friend. I got an enlarger, some contrast filters, trays, tweezers, film clips and a box of paper.
    The box contains:
    Kenthene wt. 2/3 - Medium strong/mittelstark.
    Zunow Hi-Q Bromide BN119 normal and BH112 hard
    Dalvito DV111n Warm tone normal
    and two packs of paper wrapped in black paper or plastic, without any brand on it.
    The paper could be between 30 and 10 years old. I think it's in total 150 sheets of various sizes, mostly small sizes.

    What developer could i use best, or which one is the most predictable/usable when using various types of old paper?

    (I couldn't help but use some D76 to make my first print, and the kenthene paper seems to do it's job just fine, though contrast wasn't very good (i was printing from a colour negative and probably overexposing).
    I think i found (another) new hobby, it's magical to see the image appearing on the paper... )
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2011
  2. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Hi Laurens,

    You should be fine with any good print developer. I always liked Ilford Multigrade but your D76 should work well.

    Printing from colour negs brings its own problems with colour sensitivity and contrast. Use a monochrome neg for best results.

    Good luck,
    kevs.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Congratulations on printing. D-76 is not a good print developer, you will need some Dektol or Bromaphen or similar developer expressley for paper developing. Paper should remain in developer for a full two minutes with constant agitation, followed by a 10-30 second dip in stop bath and then into the fixer. Fix time is determined by the brand and dilution of the chemie, it is usually printed on the container it comes in.
    Printing B&W from color is dificult at best, requires long exposure times and very hard grade paper, like #4 or #5.

    I am happy for you on getting started, keep printing and keep shooting!
     
  4. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I would also try to find some restrainer like benzotriazole or potassium bromide for the papers that seem to be fogging in the developer. At the very least the slightly fogged paper can be used for paper negatives in a LF or pinhole camera.
     
  5. kevs

    kevs Member

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    Laurens, Oops, my mistake - D-76 is, of course, a film developer. Rick A is correct, use a dev specially designed for printmaking and develop to finality.

    Cheers,
    kevs.
     
  6. Laurens

    Laurens Member

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    I bought Dektol, and it works fine. The old paper doesn't seem to be fogged, though i still have to try some of the other sorts of paper.
     
  7. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    That's great! Many of the old style emulsions seem to be pretty resistant to the ravages of time, you must have found one.