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  1. #1

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    Kodabromide paper (exp. 1971) smells like rubber

    Wondering if anyone has an explanation for this:

    I've got a bunch of Kodabromide F-4 paper, expired in 1971, that was kept in a university deep freeze. It's lost contrast, but is actually still very nice for around grade 2-3 use. I've compared it to another box of 11x14 F-3, which was fogged a bit, and this stuff is fine.

    Anyways; when I put it in the developer (Neutol NE), it stinks something fierce. Very much like rubber, or old tires. Not at all like sulphur. Definetly rubbery. I'm wondering what is causing this smell? It seems to have tainted the developer, 'cause now I'm back to processing current Ilford Multigrade and the smell is still hanging around.

    Another thing I noticed was that when the paper was in the fix (ilford rapid), small bubbles were coming up from the edges of the paper. Like alka seltzer, only less active.

    I'm excited to put this paper to use on some beefy negs. Would love to know what the source of that funk is, though!

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    Neanderman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco Buonocore View Post
    Another thing I noticed was that when the paper was in the fix (ilford rapid), small bubbles were coming up from the edges of the paper. Like alka seltzer, only less active.
    I can't comment on the rubber smell, but I can tell you that the 'bubble' effect was a common occurance with papers of that vintage.

    PE might know what reaction is taking place that causes this.

    Ed
    "I only wanted Uncle Vern standing by his new car (a Hudson) on a clear day. I got him and the car. I also got a bit of Aunt Mary's laundry, and Beau Jack, the dog, peeing on a fence, and a row of potted tuberous begonias on the porch and 78 trees and a million pebbles in the driveway and more. It's a generous medium, photography." -- Lee Friedlander

  3. #3
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I don't know about the smell either, but I have had some strange 'aroma' spread in the darkroom when I process Agfa Portriga Rapid of 1980s vintage. Nowhere near what you're experiencing, though.
    Is your fixer acidic, by chance? I've had the bubble with certain papers in acidic stop baths. If I listen carefully with the exhaust fan off, I can even hear the bubbles. Since I started diluting my stop bath more than what's recommended by Kodak, the bubbling stopped. I guess that just makes me wonder if the phenomenon is pH related.

    - Thomas
    "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

  4. #4
    sun of sand's Avatar
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    I have old kodabromide E2 or E3 F1 from about 1973
    It stinks that same smell
    Seems to turn Dektol a bit quicker
    Mine isn't any good. I can almost lith it but as soon as density gets to where you want to take it out (as in the earliest snatch you can get and still have correct density) it fogs up. It's literally like an explosion of fog. Seconds matter. Clean as you lift out of the developer and by the time you see it in the stop it has blown up. Crazy. Maybe some benzotriazole would help but I doubt it given the bromide in lith


    Mine fizzles, too.

  5. #5
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    I can't tell what the smell is, although they might have used old rubberized black packages for the paper. It had a carbon black coating on paper. IDK though.

    As for the bubbles, they are carbon dioxide generated from the developer + acid fix. This is a demonstration to all that acid fix (or stop) and carbonate bubbles don't generate pinholes or blisters in properly hardened film and paper. If you did this with poorly hardened paper, you would see large blisters form as they do on sunburned skin.

    PE

  6. #6

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    Well, at least I now know why the bubbles are happening. Thanks for all your input.

    In lieu of a better answer for the source of the smell, I'll submit that it is probably the tortured spirit of a once beautiful photo-corp angered at being exhumed from its frozen grave in this awful New Age. A sad, stinky, yellow mummy.

    I will build a funeral pyre and send it out on a river of Dektol. Or maybe try some lith prints with it...



 

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