Well recently I bought a job lot of old papers on ebay with the thought of using them for Lumen printing. Several of them comprised packets and a box of double weight Bromesco, which must date back 30 years +. I developed an unexposed sheet and to my amazement it was extremely white.
I have found RC paper to not last. VC fiber paper will lose contrast which isn't a big deal depending on how you print. Benzo can save papers as mentioned above. I read a long time ago that the papers that predated the removal of Cadmium last longer. That seems to be the case sometimes. Older graded papers seem to fare the best for longevity. I have used papers from as far back as the 40's that worked.
If you find that some of the paper is no longer usable for silver printing itstill is of use. As mentioned above, some may be desirable for lith printers. Some Carbon transfer printers (I am one) fix it out and use it for single transfer final support. Cliveh says it may be good for lumen prints. There are most likely other alt-photo process printers who would be glad to take it off your hands should you find you have no use for it.
First - you have to be careful here on APUG referring to 1996 as "old" :whistling:
Second - any Ektalure in the batch :cool:?
Third - the answer will vary tremendously depending on a number of factors, including the papers themselves.
Depends on the kind. I have had two boxes of Brovira (rest in peace) that were perfect at about 20 years past expiration. I just recently sold some Grade 4 Record Rapid that was near perfect. So I wouldn't say all Agfa papers were terrible.
Originally Posted by polyglot
@ Matt King - are you fishing for some Ektalure? I have a whole bunch of it here, but I'm not sharing... :)
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
Just trying to re-visit my youth :whistling:
It really depends on the kind of paper. FB papers can last for years, even decades, while RC papers will not last that long usually. I´ve also made the experience that variable graded papers do suffer more easily than fixed graded RC papers when stored for longer periods. Dry, cool and dark conditions provided, of course.
Another vote for lith printing: I've got some part used boxes of Agfa Record Rapid, some blue label, some white (later, no cadmium IIRC). No idea how old, but it dates back to a time when 25 sheets of 8x10 cost £6.29 and was available in a high street photography shop!
Completely useless for conventional printing - even with no exposure it goes very dark grey after 30 seconds in the developer. On the other hand, with generous exposure, it develops a beautifully smooth sepia image in lith developer, albeit very slowly, and no fogging of the highlights.
A few threads on this topic already.
As you are doing, you need to test each box to ensure they are unaffacted by base fog.....it 100% depends on their age and how they have been stored, plenty of good advice in the thread, I would have to challenge the opinion that RC paper does not last as long as FB, in the early days of RC papers 70's early 80's or when 'developer incorporated' that was the case, but certainly since the
90's I would expect all our RC products to be as stable ( unexposed ) and fog resistant as the FB products.
Longevity of unexposed papers is really down to storage, yes you can freeze the product and that undoubtedly is the way to ensure they last the longest, but probably impracticle for most users, but normal storage, in a cool, dark and dry environment ( less than 20c ) should ensure many years of life, minimum 5 years and many examples on APUG of 10+ years.
As per the thread contibutors say, ageing papers exhibit lower top end contrast ( and D.Max ) and increased level of base fog.
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
I've had a lot of experience with older papers, bromide papers keep remarkably well in general, as Simon says contrast & speed drops with age but in my case 1960's Kodak Bromide Paper and Ilfobrom there was no increse in base fog.
Warmtone papers age very much faster, there's a detectable shift in image colour after a year, but that's only when trying to coax maximum warmth from a paper.
Some warm tone papers keep very poorly, Sterling (made in India) was the worst, one of the old Oriental WT papers wasn't much better. I'm talking less than 5 years.
Variable contrast papers differ quite markedly, in general Ilford keep better than Kodak.