View Full Version : How long will photopaper keep

06-23-2008, 11:03 AM
I have just got a lot of paper Kodak, Ilford and Agfa. Most expire 2006. It has been stored at constant temperature, but not frozen. How long will it be good for ?

These are the types of paper:
Ilford MG IV RC De Luxe
Kodak Proffessional Polymax II RC Lustre and Glossy and semimat
Agfa Multicontrast Premium MCP 310 RC Glossy

06-23-2008, 11:11 AM
I think you will find that if the paper does develop some fog, it can be treated in benzotriazole.

Ian Grant
06-23-2008, 11:37 AM
Many years in a cool dry place, it just gets a little slower4 and less contrasty. I've never found I've needed to use Benzotriazole.

My oldest paper is about 40 - 50 years old and fine.


06-23-2008, 12:37 PM
In my experience (note, I said MY) the fiber based papers go first...

06-23-2008, 10:24 PM
That's weird... in my experience RC papers go first... I have bought very old fiber paper and never had a problem. Many RC papers are developer-incorporated and don't last long, in MY experience.

06-24-2008, 03:33 AM
Some keeps for decades, some dies in months. In my experience AGFA gets slowly foggy, Kodak dies completely, and Ilford is almost good as new - these are papers from the 1980's that I'm still using (or trying to use, in the case of the AGFA).

Photo Engineer
06-24-2008, 12:22 PM
It depends on the formula of the emulsion and the paper type. In general, FB papers go first but there are exceptions. In general, papers with incorporated developers go first. I have given a test here for ID papers that is simple to run. The ones that test strongly positive go more rapidly than those that test weakly (black vs gray).

Simon Galley insists that Ilford papers do not contain a developing agent, but they do test positive. Something in the paper allows development to take place when treated with 4% Sodium Hydroxide.


06-24-2008, 04:30 PM
I just printed 10 - 11'X14" Ilford MG Fiber prints from a box that was given to me by an Ilford sales rep some 15 years agofor a special project I was doing. A fellow by the name of Phil Nielsen who used to be an Ilford rep in Western Canada (B.C.).
It worked great! I didn't need any Benzitriazole. I didn't get any fogging and the contrast was amazing. The tones were beautifully creamy and the separation between tones incredible. I was so impressed. I didn't have any new paper and I was desparate to print some images for an upcoming juried show.

06-01-2009, 08:51 PM
I have some old Kodak paper, need to look up what it is actually, but it has not even been opened once. I am going to try a sheet or two to see if it even works any more. I don't know how it was stored, heat and humidity wise, but it will be interesting to see if anything actually comes up on the print.


06-02-2009, 12:17 AM
Paper Neg time!

06-02-2009, 02:15 AM
I recently used some old Aghfa paper from the late 60s early 70s - was fantastic! No fog at all. Round 15 Postcard recipients had their pictures printed on this.

However, I also used some early 80s Agfa paper and it was quite bad. I would agree that storage would play a big part in it's "keeping" abilities.

I just bought some Benzitriazole to ward off some slight paper fog on 20year old Ilford paper which is only just showing on some boxes and not on others.

If I could just get my hands on some more of the 70s Agfa stuff, I'd be in APUG heaven!!

- Nanette

06-02-2009, 05:47 AM
see also (Gevaert Gevaluxe from the the fifties):


06-02-2009, 06:27 AM
Oh yeah! I saw that in B&W UK magazine - wonderful story; and longevity!!!!

06-02-2009, 10:44 AM
In my experience AGFA gets slowly foggy, Kodak dies completely, and Ilford is almost good as new - these are papers from the 1980's that I'm still using (or trying to use, in the case of the AGFA).

In my experience (note, I said MY) the fiber based papers go first...
This is my experience too; I have some Agfa FB paper that is fogged beyond usability, but old Illford RC paper that is usable except for random light spots all over it (I cut it up for 5x7s) and some ancient Mitsubishi (I think) RC paper that is perfect.

06-02-2009, 12:31 PM
expired papers develop a basefog that is perfect for taming contrast
if making paper negatives.

Andrew Moxom
06-03-2009, 09:35 AM
Out of all of the paper you have, the Agfa MCP310 RC paper will fog the quickest. It did not have the best keeping properties like the fiber based versions did. Try it, but I found anything over 3 years for that paper is questionable. Like I said, fiber versions have much more longevity.

Robert Hall
06-03-2009, 02:53 PM
I just opened some boxes of Kodak paper I was given for testing film several years back. I just tossed 750 sheets of 8x10 that developed out black as black, but the several hundred sheets of 16x20 is perfect. Both stored the same, both about the same age.

I thought about fixing out the paper and using it as a base for platinum prints.

Robert Hall
06-03-2009, 02:56 PM
Oh, and I have finished some Azo that expired on my birthday (almost 48 years ago) and still prints with no fog.