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Thread: Aging Paper

  1. #1
    AnselAdamsX's Avatar
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    Aging Paper

    What happens to variable grade papers as they age? Does contrast decrease? Does the maximum black become lighter? Or does it just get slower? This is my first time doing a wet print and I am using some old Ilford multigrade FB IV that was given to me (box yellowing). I have a color head and used just white light so according to Ilford that should be about a grade 2 unless the age has affected it.

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    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Contrast decreases. Fog levels increase. Color might change.

    My advice to anyone who starts printing is: Use fresh paper, or the experience will be confusing as hell.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    My advice to anyone who starts printing is: Use fresh paper, or the experience will be confusing as hell.
    I think this is really solid advice. Incredible prints can be made on some seriously old paper, I have seen many. But learning on old paper is bad news. You've got more than enough variables already.

    Good luck!

    Shawn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Contrast decreases. Fog levels increase. Color might change.

    My advice to anyone who starts printing is: Use fresh paper, or the experience will be confusing as hell.
    Can add to this that speed also decreases.

    Good advice as newbies need as few variables as possible.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Along with already what has been said, the brightness of the base may also be affected. I do frequently print on old ilford multigrade iv and the majority has held up nicely. I have a box of 200 or so sheets of 8x10 fiber that has yellowed a bit. Maybe good for toning lol such as sepia or coffee/tea. Also very expired papers can be used for lith processes with lith devs.

    Glad to hear you set up the darkroom! NYC meetup again soon!

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    Hi, AnselAdamsX,

    I agree with the good folk above; learning on degraded materials is a bad idea. IMO, buy some new paper and use the old stuff for test prints and practice work - once you know what you should expect from new materials. You can compare and contrast the materials too. Have fun! :-)

    Cheers,
    kevs
    testing...



 

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