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  1. #11

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    I have some ILFORD MGWT RC Gloss which is about 10 years old and shows significant base fog, to the point of only being usable for contact sheets etc.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Kershaw; 10-17-2013 at 11:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #12

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    My method for testing paper uses a Stouffer projection test wedge. I compare my results to new Ilford Multigrade IV - my standard paper.

    So, let's say brand new IMGIV has 14 steps between black and white at grade 2 on a step wedge. If I test some old Kodak Elite and it has 17 steps between black and white, I can conclusively say that it is less contrasty than IMGIV grade 2. I will then pick my negatives accordingly.

    I do this test for both grade 2 and grade 5, if it's a variable contrast paper. I find that what suffers most with old paper is the contrast. So while an old box of Agfa MCC111 may have 14 steps at grade 2, it may only have 12 steps at grade 5. So it's useable, absolutely, but not for certain negs. It wouldn't be useful for split grade printing, as there is no real "high end" to it.

    I find this manner of testing much more useful than just testing to see if there's base fog. I see a lot of people struggling with old, albeit unfogged, paper. They struggle to get any contrast out of it, because it simply isn't there. If you're aware of the constrast of a paper, you can successfully match a negative to a paper and get great results.

    I attach the step wedge prints to each box of paper (i've got mountains of old paper!) and think of them as a fingerprint, or DNA. I use them for toning tests, etc... The projection step wedge is one of the most useful things I have in the darkroom.

    Some other tips I might suggest are:

    - note whether the paper is graded or variable contrast, and whether the paper has a white or cream base.
    - don't over develop the paper; keep development times to an absolute minimum.
    - don't compare paper base to Ilford Mutligrade; it's such a bright paper base that everything seems muddy next to it. I liken in to Hollywood whitened teeth.
    - if all else fails, save the paper for lith printing.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Marco Buonocore; 10-17-2013 at 11:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw View Post
    A have some ILFORD MGWT RC Gloss which is about 10 years old and shows significant base fog, to the point of only being usable for contact sheets etc.

    Tom
    Warm tone papers don't keep as well, not since the cadmium was removed which was before Ilford introduced their current Warm tone range.

    Ian

  4. #14

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    I don't get this cadmium business. I paint with colours containing cadmium all the time.

  5. #15
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    It doesn't necessarily answer your question regarding testing, but I have a fair bit of outdated paper in my darkroom that I'm slowly using up.

    My method is to give the print just a hair more exposure, and after the print is developed, fixed, and washed, I use a pot ferri bleach and bleach back the fog until it is near paper white. I use a fairly dilute bleach, so that things don't happen too quickly.
    It makes for a pretty nice print, and good enough where the difference compared to a print on fresh paper is pretty minimal.
    The slightly lower contrast of the paper has to be accounted for.

    Afterward I wash, fix again, wash, and then either dry the print or commence with toning in normal order.

    I can't stand seeing paper go to waste.

    Hope this helps a little.
    "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

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    It doesn't necessarily answer your question regarding testing, but I have a fair bit of outdated paper in my darkroom that I'm slowly using up.

    My method is to give the print just a hair more exposure, and after the print is developed, fixed, and washed, I use a pot ferri bleach and bleach back the fog until it is near paper white. I use a fairly dilute bleach, so that things don't happen too quickly.
    It makes for a pretty nice print, and good enough where the difference compared to a print on fresh paper is pretty minimal.
    The slightly lower contrast of the paper has to be accounted for.

    Afterward I wash, fix again, wash, and then either dry the print or commence with toning in normal order.

    I can't stand seeing paper go to waste.

    Hope this helps a little.
    This is totally the wrong way to go about it. People should not use out-dated fiber paper, nor try any fancy tricks to make it 'usable'. Instead they should ship it all to me (on their dime), so that I can fix it out and use it for final support paper for my carbon prints!!!!

    PS...do what you want with the old RC!!
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    This is totally the wrong way to go about it. People should not use out-dated fiber paper, nor try any fancy tricks to make it 'usable'. Instead they should ship it all to me (on their dime), so that I can fix it out and use it for final support paper for my carbon prints!!!!

    PS...do what you want with the old RC!!
    Obviously!

    How silly of me.
    "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

  8. #18
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I don't get this cadmium business. I paint with colours containing cadmium all the time.
    The Cadmium salts used in emulsions were banned from use in the EU many years ago and later from batteries as well. Kodak was the last big company to use Cadmium in a B&W paper in Ektalure.

    The more soluble a Cadmium salt is the more toxic through ingestion, inhalation, contact with skin, those used in paints are insoluble so not as toxic, the ones in papers are soluble.

    Ian

  9. #19
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    This is totally the wrong way to go about it. People should not use out-dated fiber paper, nor try any fancy tricks to make it 'usable'. Instead they should ship it all to me (on their dime), so that I can fix it out and use it for final support paper for my carbon prints!!!!

    PS...do what you want with the old RC!!

    I had a lot of old Agfa paper that I sent for recycling (Ag recovery) 6 weeks ago, something in the emulsion caused the base paper to turn quite a strong salmon pink, I tried fixing it out to no avail. Had it worked I would have passed it on for the cost of the postage.

    Ian

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    The Cadmium salts used in emulsions were banned from use in the EU many years ago and later from batteries as well. Kodak was the last big company to use Cadmium in a B&W paper in Ektalure.

    The more soluble a Cadmium salt is the more toxic through ingestion, inhalation, contact with skin, those used in paints are insoluble so not as toxic, the ones in papers are soluble.

    Ian
    At the time, I remember hearing that the cadmium removal from photopaper was more for the factory workers' benefit rather than the end-user. I still have a stash of Portriga Rapid 111 paper I occasionally print on. Definitely a little on the green-toned side...nicely corrected by a little KRST.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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