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  1. #1
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Paper Question: Kodak Polymax Fibre paper

    I was given a full box of Kodak Polymax double weight glossy fibre paper, tried using some last night and botched two prints (they went dark, really dark) before switching back to Zone VI's version.

    Now for the details, I am using Ilford's multigrade paper developer at 1+14 dilution with the recommended 3 minute dip before going into the stop bath.

    The paper is less than ten years old.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  2. #2
    blaze-on's Avatar
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    If I recall, Polymax FB has/had an incorporated developer in it.
    Over a year old and I think you'll have problems.
    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin

  3. #3

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    In spite of the warnings, I've printed years old expired Kodak Polymax Fine Art with little or no problems. A couple questions; What type of filtration system are you using - color head or filter packs? and Did you run a test print first to check for exposure time? I use a color head and have found that given the same contrast level, exposure times for Polymax are very different (sometimes much less) than those of other papers. It sounds like you may have simply overexposed the print.

  4. #4

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    A couple years ago, I picked up a 500 sheet box of Polymax on the Bay from Wolf Camera. It was old paper. I was going to just put it on the shelf, but I received a tip from Geary Lyons to check the paper for fogging. When the paper arrived, I tore a sheet in half and placed 1 piece in Dektol for two minutes then stop and fix and the other piece straight to the fix. The unexposed, but developed sheet was a zone vi shade of gray. I sent an e-mail to Wolf Camera and they promptly refunded my purchase price + shipping. I just threw out the paper. Now I wish I'd kept it....someday we might be coating our own and it would have been nice to have that nice double weight fiber base to coat some of PE's emulsions on. Of course, the paper would have had to be fixed prior to coating with a new emulsion.

  5. #5
    jp80874's Avatar
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    If it helps any to gauge things, I am using up a box of Polymax 16x20 for contact proof prints (7x17). It was purchased two months before Kodak stopped selling it. I have lost track, but that may be 2-3 years old now. I am using "Ilford's multigrade paper developer at (1+9) dilution with the recommended 3 minute dip before going into the stop bath." My soup is a little stronger than yours, but I would think that would either develop faster or darker, not sure. I am doing test strips with the scraps before I print a whole contact sheet. No problems and exposure times similar to Kentmere VC FB which I chose to replace Polymax.

    John Powers

  6. #6
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    To answer a couple of questions I am using Kodak Polymax filters which seem to work with just about every multigrade paper (fibre or RC) I have used to date.

    The box was a freebie but I don't want it to go to waste. Sounds like I am going to have to experiment.

    I did have a look at the Kodak PDF file on it and the times for Dektol are shorter by about a minute than with Ilford's Multigrade.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  7. #7
    Zathras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp80874 View Post
    If it helps any to gauge things, I am using up a box of Polymax 16x20 for contact proof prints (7x17). It was purchased two months before Kodak stopped selling it. I have lost track, but that may be 2-3 years old now. I am using "Ilford's multigrade paper developer at (1+9) dilution with the recommended 3 minute dip before going into the stop bath." My soup is a little stronger than yours, but I would think that would either develop faster or darker, not sure. I am doing test strips with the scraps before I print a whole contact sheet. No problems and exposure times similar to Kentmere VC FB which I chose to replace Polymax.

    John Powers
    John,

    Have you noticed any degradation of the whites or lighter tones with the Polymax?

    Thanks,

    Mike Sullivan
    When the chips are down,

    The buffalo is empty!!!



  8. #8
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Mike,

    No. I haven't noticed "any degradation of the whites or lighter tones with the Polymax." I am doing a series of close up, abstract deterioration, of the 1800s canal locks, of the Ohio Erie barge canal, in Cuyahoga National park, south of Cleveland. The subject that got me interested in the series is a hardened white ooz, possibly lime, that has come out between the cracks in the dark sandstone. It has built up as it slid down the sides of the lock. It is very much like shooting snow in between dark rocks. The ooz has hardened to a rough surface. I’ve been shooting in bright sun light to create shadows and detail in the hardened ooz. It looks just as I hoped it would on this paper, white with detailed shadows. That is a novice’s version of previsualization. If I had several boxes Polymax 16x20 I would print the series on it. Since I don’t I am finishing my last box, using it for proof printing. The final printing will be on the Kentmere VC FB.

    Hope that helps,

    John Powers

  9. #9
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Sorry all for the posting problems. Don't know what went wrong but a reboot helped.

    John

  10. #10
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bill View Post

    The box was a freebie but I don't want it to go to waste. Sounds like I am going to have to experiment.

    Bill
    Bill,

    You don't mention if you tried test strips? I develop and stain with Rollo Pyro. Of 14 negatives I had one under exposed negative that printed in 13 seconds. The negatives that looked good printed around 50-65 sec. One over exposed, over stained (dense) negative at 120 sec. This was all using a cold light at F11 to do contact prints on the enlarger (Durst 138S) table. I would have been lost without test strips. You could do the same with a densitometer once you had established a relationship.

    John Powers

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