The first thing is to create sure your darkroom is totally without any light. Before you use it, check your darkroom for lighting style issues.Turn off all mild style, such as the safe light, and sit in your darkroom for an occasion. It may take up to 10 minutes....and further so on...
My older color paper does lack clean whites, there is a slight amber touch, but overall behavior and contrast is OK.
Up to a certain degree you can compensate the aging/staining/fogging a bit through slightly decreased development time / decreased temp. in conjunction with slight overexposure. If this will not help enough I consider my paper as “gone”…
Maybe 2 more ways to explore,
You may add some benzoetriazole to the color developer, this is not very common in color chemistry and will force you to adapt filtration and exposure a bit. Overall Contrast may suffer too. But actually this is the way DIR couplers in color negative film are working; they are releasing benzoetriazole (or analoges) during development to decrease D.max selective in the higher densities.
Low doses of sulfite will reduce color coupling / contrast too
These variants are considering only slightly higher D.min /amber touch/staining in unexposed regions of color paper, which other wiles shows still good contrast and color reproduction. If fogged by light or mistreated by wrong storing temperature this will not help…
Attached is the test print with the paper I struggle with.
Enlarger: Saunders 4550
Schneider Componon-S F2.8 55mm stop at F11
Fuji PIII paper, probably 4 years old
RA-4 chemicals are good, tested with Fuji Super C paper
Filter setting: 57Y/22M.
Exposure time 25/20/15 seconds
Old Kodak film (gold or max?)
8x10 enlarging from 35mm
I'm not sure if the print quality is acceptable. To me, the contrast is still too low. Colors get much better. The exposure time is very long. With my Fuji Super C paper, the exposure time is 16 seconds at F16 stop.
Is this paper good? or the images say the paper is too old?
I'd open up a stop and try 13 seconds, you might have some motion blur and diffraction from using f11. Without seeing the real print, it's hard to tell if it has a problem or not, from the scan it looks halfway decent. I try to keep exposures around 8-12 sec, even replacing the 250w bulb wit an 80 w one for small prints.