I received a bunch of paper from a former film photographer (he's given up film work). I tested much of it and I could find no rhyme or reason as to what was good and what was bad. I.E. testing different packages from the same era, some good and some bad. Based on packaging, sometimes newer paper was bad while older paper was good.
So, as others have said, test it.
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer
Thank you for all the replies. Later today if I can I'll post some pictures and list what I have. I figured it may come down to try it and see if it works, so that's what I'll be doing with most of it. It'll be a little bit yet before I can start printing, I have to setup the darkroom first. I also got his Omega Super Chromega D Dichroic II Enlarger. it has a 3 lens turret with Rodenstock lenses. Unfortunately the lenses have fungus not just on the outside but between the elements too. I think they are salvageable, but we will see. This enlarger make my Beseler 23C look small.
YES! I look for old paper at photo shows, etc. just for this reason. See the Lumen print section on my web site for the great results.
Originally Posted by kerrpanda
Ok so here it is, the list of what I got:
1. Oriental Seagull G4 16x20
2. Oriental Seagull G2 16x20
3. Kodak Polycontrast III RC 8x10, 16x20
4. Kodak Polycontrast Rapid II RC 8x10 (He has hand written "For Contact Sheets" on this box, not sure why)
5. Kodak Polycontrast Rapid II RC 8x10, 11x14
6. Ilford Multigrade IV FB Fiber 8x10
7. Kodak P-Max Art RC 8x10, 11x14 full box 50 sheets
8. Agfa Broveria Speed 8x10
9. Kodak Polyfiber 11x14
10. Kodak Ektalure 8x10
11. Agfa multicontrast Premium MPC 310 RC 8x10
12. Kodak PolyPrint RC 8x10 unopened 25 sheets
Most of the boxes/envelopes have been started, so I'm not sure of the condition or quantities in any of them, but seem to have been stored properly in light tight sleeves. Two of the packages are unopened. If any of this is good it'll keep me entertained for awhile. As far as dates, I didn't seen any printed on the packages but I did see a handwritten date on one of 1995, but I don't believe all of it is from that era, some seems newer. Fortunate for me, since he had this size paper I also got 4 Kodak 16x20 trays, 4 hard rubber 8x10 trays, 3 8x10 trays, and printing easels for all the sizes above. I'll have to read more about it but there's also Cibachrome Tubes and the motorized roller for Cibachrome Prints.
I didn't just get the paper........ I got the entire darkroom, including the stainless steel sink. Included in the deal: Omega Super Chromega D Dichroic II Enlarger with 3 lens turret, Rodenstock and Minolta Rokkor enlarger lenses, power supplies, enlarging easels with one having been new in an unopened box, timers, 15 developing tanks in different sizes, photo paper listed above, 20 rolls of professional film, safelight, film drying clips, thermometer new in box, film dryer, paper safe, grain focusing, lots of stainless steel developing reels in 35mm, 120, and 220. All for the princely sum of..............$100USD. I think I made out pretty good. I have a few items I may sell off and this whole lot will probably have cost me nothing in the end but my time.
WOW... happy for you!
The reason he put for contact sheets is i don't think that paper was considered top of the line, so it wouldn't make sense to put your best print on it so contact sheets of negatives was his use for it... Fiber is more along those lines....
As for the IV FB from Ilford, i know that paper is pretty robust, and so is probably still good. (considering it goes from about .50 -$1 per sheet 8x10, any amount of this is good)
The G2 is pretty ancient by paper standards, but this is when we find out how well stored it has been.
the rest i don't know of.
i think the recommendation is to get a piece of paper from all of these packs, and develop each one for the standard 2-3 minutes and see if it greys/fogs up... If it doesn't that means it's still plenty good, if it does, as was mentioned earlier, you can try and save the paper, but i wouldn't print my best prints on it. Also, even if it doesn't fog, you have to consider that it might not print as intended after so long of being in storage (contrast issues).
On another note, congrats again on your awesome find, i similarly received plenty of stuff as well as a blessing from a photographer gone all digital all for the sum price of 100 as well (sans paper). Also consider each pack of WORKING paper as a return from your $100 bucks as it's probably the most costly part of darkroom work.
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Lower contrast grades seem to last longer. I have some Oriental Seagull Grade 1 from the late 80's (the original Seagull, that Adams and Brett Weston used - the stuff in the silver package) that still prints beautifully. I also have some grade 4 of the same vintage which has lost a lot of its contrast punch.
Azo seems to last just about forever, although again the higher constrasts (3 and 4) lose a little bit of contrast over the years. Just a little. I've never kept any other paper for longer than 5 years or so.
If your Oriental paper is the original stuff from the 80s, cherish that paper. They really don't make 'em like that any more. It's really beautiful paper.
If you want to now if the paper is any good, just check it like this seller on Ebay did:
Hint: scroll down and check all the posted images of this auction ....
"Have fun and catch that light beam!"
Bert from Holland
my blog: http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
my Linkedin pinhole group: http://tinyurl.com/pinholegroup
"I enjoy vintage cameras as “users,” rather than imprisoning them in some display case
My favorite cameras: Mamiya C330f, Nikon S2, Hasselblad SWC, Fuji GSW690 II, Leica SL, Leica M7, Russian FKD 18x24, Bronica SQ-B and RF645, Rolleiflex T, Nikon F4s, Olympus Pen FT, Agfa Clack and my pinhole cameras.
"Kodak P-Max Art RC 8x10, 11x14 full box 50 sheets." I also have a box of the 11x14 and it produces very nice show quality prints
My German is a little rusty, but I hope he didn't open all the sealed packages to photograph them.
Originally Posted by TheToadMen