Why not to stock up too much photopaper

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Fotohuis, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    Due to the news of discontinued products from Agfa Photo we terminated our photopaper test, initiated in 1997 since we have gone professional.

    Tested papers (all three from one, the same package, Tetenal los variables), sealed and stored in the fridge -10 till -12 degrees C.
    Tetenal Vario test set: containing:
    TT vario comfort (Ilford MG IV, OEM product)
    TT vario Ultra (Agfa MCP, OEM product)
    TT baryt vario (Agfa MCC, baryt, OEM product)

    Our testresults after almost 8 years in the fridge:

    TT vario comfort: Perfect, no fog, measured with the densitometer 0,04 logD over white. Nice contrast, no difference with a new package MGIV paper.
    TT vario Ultra: fogged, densitometer 0,20 logD over white, Grey photo, no deep blacks anymore.
    TT baryt vario: heavily fogged, densitometer 0,45 logD over white, that means, you can throw the whole package away.

    All measurements are done with the Heiland TRD-Z densitometer and all exposures are done with the Heiland Split Grade, set on the appropriate paper setting and all negatives were measured with the probe with 0,01 logD accuracy from the same negative.

    Summurized: Good work Ilford.
    About the Agfa papers: storage is certainly a big problem. We will test a package MCC from 2000, (5 y.o. now, also in the fridge) and we will come back with these testresults.

    Have a nice Sunday!

    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  2. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That just about confirms my own experiences. The Baryt Vario I bought last year is trash, while the Ilford I bought 20 years ago is still good.
     
  3. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I've never stocked any photo supplies for longer than one year or so, but now I have to do that in order to keep using AGFA as much as I can. Does anyone know how to properly store its MC FB paper (glossy) to last for at least a few years? What temperature and humiditiy level should I keep for it?

    I live in Japan, where there are four seasons with hot and humid summer and pretty dry and cold winter.
     
  4. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    So much for the guy who slagged off Ilford MGIV for not having good keeping properties... I always understood that one of the reasons MGIV does not react hugely in selenium & gold toners is because the emulsion is designed to be consistent across batches and to have a long shelf life. Seems there might be some truth in that. Like all things I guess, there is always a trade-off.

    Firecracker: why bother? Get 6 months worth and spend the time finding another paper you like. That way you support those manufacturers still in the game and help to keep them alive by buying their product. Sooner or later you are going to have to change, so help out the existing manufacturers at the same time.

    OK, I don't use Agfa paper, but I do use Neutol and Rodinal. I have almost run out of Neutol WA and have an almost full bottle of Rodinal. I have no intention of stocking up on either. I'll give my money to companies that are still in business. When Ilford had problems I bought 6 months worth of film and developer and kept that level maintained until the situation improved. If things had not improved, I would have switched to another manufacturer.

    Worth considering.


    Cheers, Bob.
     
  5. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    It seems to be that O&A has bought the Agfa Photo chemical part in Vaihingen/Enz.

    Agfa Photo is already split of and sold in parts.........
    http://www.gfw.de/newsticker/detail.html?id=16076

    best regards,

    Robert

    PS. I do not think it is wise to stock a lot of Agfa MCC/MCP, because it is fogging quite soon.
    Foma has made a new Fomabrom variant paper (Baryt), which could be a very good replacement for MCC. We are waiting for the first production samples.
     
  6. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Thanks for the comment. But honestly I do that for two reasons. First, I've been working on a series of my photos for my portfolio, which I can't change the paper in the middle of doing this. Secondly if this is totally the end of AGFA, which I believe it is, I want to leave my work with the particluar kind of paper in this stage. I felt the same way the last time I heard about the financial trouble of Ilford, but the company has survived. And we've seen this over and over again in the last year or so, and I just have to make up my mind.

    Anyway it's not going to to much of "stocking-up" because I've already seen the leftovers of the AGFA products starting to disappear from the shelves in the stores week after week. I've been calling some places to get as many boxes of the paper I can, but there's been not much luck with it, which is understandable.

    Meanwhilem, for a replacement, I've been thinking of Fuji Rembrandt graded paper, which seems so different from what I've used before but I might like. I'm pretty sure this product will last for a while after seeing the big market still exisiting for it. It's pretty popular here and it is a domestic product, so the price stays as low as it could.

    At the same time, because of the trade restrictions and the market control, I'm a bit concerned about not getting other alternatives. I have a feeling even if there are some AGFA MC FB paper OEM products to waiting in line somewhere, I doubt they will come to Japan right away. So, I'm still doing a lot of guessing. But I wonder if there are other folks who are feeling the same as I do about the AGFA paper.
     
  7. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I will look forward to using it, too. But does/will FOMA make a replacement for the fiber-based paper by AGFA?
     
  8. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Interesting - had to use google to translate to English so not sure exactly what it says, but happily it looks like something will be rescued from the mess.

    Fingers crossed that the paper division survives too!

    Who are A&O? www.aogroup.de is not responding....

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  9. Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Member

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    I like MCC and find it to be a good paper but some of the stuff I have that is only recently past the expiration date is clearly fogged as well. Keeping properties and image stability of Agfa products is usually below that of the other major manufacturers as I understand it. I know that my fathers Agfachromes from the 70's have displayed much more substantial fading and color shifting compared to his Ektachrome and Kodachrome slides.
     
  10. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Fogged by its age? I've never had a problem like that, maybe I usually use it up before its exiration date.
     
  11. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    Yes, they will do. I will keep APUG updated:

    >> Fomabrom Var. is produced in the following sizes:
    12,7 x 17,8 cm/25, 100
    17,8 x 24 cm/10, 25
    24 x 30,5 cm/10, 25
    30,5 x 40,6 cm/10
    50,8 x 61 cm/10
    Rolle 108 cm/10m.
    In case you would like to order this goods...........
    and the production of it is finished in this days.
    I suppose dispatching by DHL next week. Thank you for your understanding.

    With regards
    Dana Hojn√°
    <<

    So far the comments from the Foma export dpt. (E-mail from Wednesday 26-10-2005)

    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  12. Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Member

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    Yes that is what I was referring to. I suppose this thread was started in reference to Agfa paper lovers who might stock up large quantities of Agfa paper now that the company is being dissolved. Unfortunately Agfa paper seems to be a poor candidate for long term storage due to poor keeping properties. The paper I had was only a few months past expiration and displayed some slight fogging. I remember seeing a study some time back that showed Agfa films and papers as being poor candidates for long term storage but can't seem to locate it. Fotohuis has apparently seem similar findings in his own personal study but it would be interesting if anyone had any in-depth research on the keeping properties of products by various manufacturers. Obviously its ideal to use film and paper as soon as possible and within the expiration date, but with products being pulled at an alarming rate this info may be of use to some.
     
  13. jvarsoke

    jvarsoke Member

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    Is there some secret code on paper (and film) boxes that tells you the expiration date (or born date)? I haven't been able to decypher one. And usually when I got "oh lookie, I've been looking for that paper forever" in a store, the dust on the cover is the only marker of age.

    Then again, a few years ago I bought a bottle of ECCO 121 that had packaging in a font that hasn't been used since the 60s.
     
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  15. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I recently finished up a box of Agfa MCC paper that I forgot I had. The expiration date was 2 years ago and it was kept in my spare bedroom. There was no fogging or anything.
     
  16. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    PLEASE POST MORE ON THE "FOG" ISSUE

    Thanks for your comment. Sorry about my taking a while to get back here. But yes, I read the beginning of this thread before I started to comment here thinking about the same thing as you do. But it didn't look like this thread was appealing to many AGFA users at this point.

    I had noticed one of the older threads a couple of weeks ago regarding this topic, but it was rather about the users moaning for the farewell than their inquiring for the near future, which would've been helpful at this stage. So, I didn't know where to comment or start asking for advice.

    In Japan, which is where I live, (I always have to say this because it's not really the same market as the U.S and European markets that you might think of) the news about AGFA seems not really that big of a deal even among its long-time users because there's been hardly anything that appears on a Google search. By the way, "FOMA" is known as a name of a cellular phone (or a celluar phone company) than more than anything else over here. And I have to confess that I had never heard of that name in the photography field until very recently because my choices were always either Ilford or AGFA.

    I don't want to give an impression of a "me-me-me" thing to anyone, but I'm hoping we can further inquire for the information that we all can share. So, let us have as many posts/comments on the "fog" issue with AGFA expired photo paper.
     
  17. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    It's on the bottom of the sticker on the box as far as I know. The expiration date on the more recent one I have is this coming December, but this product didn't seem to have sat in the store for more than six months. I got older ones (2 packages of 25-sheet envelopes) that have expiration dates on this past Semtember, but I haven't opened them yet, not because I was saving them but just didn't get to use them yet. So, if the fog issue is so serious and happens to almost of all paper by AGFA, I'll be screwed!

    But again, I have never had this problem before including this year.
     
  18. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    FWIW, Foma isn't a big name in the photographic field in the US, either. To the best of my knowledge, until recently it was only available in the US from a single supplier, J&C, although Paterson also sold at least one Foma emulsion under its own name -- but that wasn't the most widely distributed, either. Foma products are now a bit more common, if nothing else because Freestyle has begun distributing them under its new low-end house label, as well as under the Foma brand. Foma gets mentioned on APUG a lot because the people here are very knowledgeable about what's out there, and frequently shop at specialty outfits like J&C.
     
  19. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Could anyone post comments on the quality of FOMA? Is it substancially good in use(like in the same pool as ILFORD, AGFA, KODAK, etc)? Does any of FOMA's products have similar characteristics to the ones that are manufactured by other brands (other than the discontinued AGFA)?

    Because I have a feeling if I want to use it, I might have to get it shipped from another country. The handling (and the cost and time) on the air travel is what I'm mostly concerned about. So, if anyone could give me good analysis on the product(s), I could decide whether I want to hold it off or not in this stage and start looking for something else that is easlier to get.

    Thanks.
     
  20. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    I see. Thanks. Have you used it before? How is it like to you compared to others?
     
  21. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    For more information: http://www.foma.cz/foma/dokumenty/FotoDownload.asp

    Here is their catalogue available. (Click on English!)

    We have already 7 years experience with their photographic materials. Not always on the same level like e.g. Ilford but reasonable materials and their price-quality is certainly OK.


    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  22. david b

    david b Member

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    Ilford.
     
  23. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Yes, I saw the website, which I checked with your earlier post. Thanks a lot. But you're in Netherlands, so, I'm assuming Foma is available in the EU countries and perhaps it's becoming popular there. I saw another post by someone else, he said Foma is still small in the U.S market but many people know about it now. I'm sure the demand will increase because of what happened to AGFA. Okay I have to find a way to try the paper somehow. It's going to be a bit of a project because I'm in the Japanese market, and I don't know where the future is for the imported photo supplies.

    Thanks.
     
  24. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    They are so small in the US market that our Fotohuis and Fotoimpex Berlin have to buy Fomapan 400 films directly from the Czech market, because in Hradec Kralové (Cz) the factory is not able to produce the right quantities for the European market. Maybe it has someting to do with Agfa Photo or Freestyle in the US or B&H New York. I do not know.

    We have the same problem here with the Fuji products: Not everything from them is available in Europe, specially not the larger formats on Provia F, Acros 100 a.s.o.
    Fuji could be the only multinational in the analogue photobusiness who could be successfull in the future. They have a large factory here in Holland (Tilburg) but there they are only making the color emulsions.

    Freight sending over to Japan or VV. to Europe is very expensive. But maybe in the future we also have to work about this problem.........

    best regards, indeed, from the Netherlands,
    whish you a nice day.

    Robert
     
  25. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Yes, Robert, we will work it out in the future. And I hope we can get rid of the blockage for the beer business also (as a joke) because people are always craving for good stuff all round the world!

    Thanks for your many replies. You have a good day, too.

    Firecracker
     
  26. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Foma films are thinner than most (that is, physically thinner; I'm not talking about the image density), with poor or no anti-halation layers. This doesn't matter for most shots, but can make a difference in night photography or if you catch a highly reflective object in sunlight. You might or might not like the result. Most people say they're grainier than products of similar speed from Kodak or Ilford, but my own subjective experience is that they're about the same. (This is comparing them to conventional films, not T-grain emulsions.) There's something about the grain pattern of Foma films (especially Fomapan 400) that I like, but I can't really describe it. Whatever it is, it tends to enhance the moodiness of certain types of photos (abandoned buildings, that sort of thing).