I have found most papers to be useful withthe right chemicals. I've had good luck with Glycin, and Chlorohydroquinone the amount of antifoggant I need to add is miminal with these developers. Have fun. If you can't get them to work I'll pay to have them shipped to me. Just a idea if you decide to toss them.
I have formulas if you'd like to know any.
Doesn't really matter as long as the max black or paper white don't occur at either of the end steps. And that's only because if, for example the maximum black looks like it shows at Step 1 - you don't know if a further step or more would be even blacker. To compare papers, though, you need to expose the step tablet in exactly the same way each time - enlarger height, aperture, exposure time etc. As long as the same 'quantity' of light passes through the step wedge you can then compare the speed of the paper. Absent the same exposure you can still compare the characteristics - contrast etc.
"Why is there always a better way?"
Thanks -- lots of good advice here.
Steve, I did find that article and found it very useful, although it doesn't mention my old French papers I have. (does anybody have any experience or knowledge of them?)
Mike, wow -- thanks. I never heard of step wedge before, I think I need to do a little more research about how to use one effectively. I'll ask tonight at the darkroom if we happen to have one. Also, you mentioned that if there are 8 steps it's about #2 contrast. How many steps are required for other contrasts? I can't seem to find this kind of info. It's a bit confusing right now 'cause it's new and all theoretical, I'm assuming once I start doing tests things will become a bit clearer.
Can I add KBr or BZT to any developer? (The darkroom and I tend to use PQ Universal). Does it affect the development time? I'm not sure that I can get these here in France, but I may be able to mail order them from the UK. Are there other developers that would be better to use (with anti-fog agent added?).
Also, if anyone knows the English-French translations of some of these chemicals, that would be really helpful (I want to make sure I'm getting the right stuff).
Well, time to get off the computer and into the darkroom.
If you are allowed to use this old stock of paper don't think too much about it - "Just Do It" - as the saying goes.
I agree with the fog test - tear off a 1 inch strip (25mm) strip from any of the papers - so you might end up with a one inch strip that is say 8 inches long - then tear that so you have 2 x 4 inch long strips.
Write what paper they are on the back (I use Biro)
Then put one straight in the developer for aprox 3 mins, then stop & fix in the normal way. The other goes straight tin the fix. Wash & compare them in normal light. If the developed paper isn't too different from the fixed only paper then the paper isn't badly fogged.
Then, just take a favourite neg that you can print without needing to dodge & burn and have fun printing the best print you can with what ever papers are available.
You will be amazed at how different papers both look and "feel".
For a one paper girl - this is a golden opportunity - it is similar to being let loose in the sweet shop (candy store?).
However, be warned - there may be a price to pay (isn't there always) - you may find a paper in there that you love but is no longer available. It is a sad and depressing time when you find your favourite paper has been changed or discontinued.
But look on the bright side - this is a great find and a fabulous opportunity - so don't waste time sitting in front of the monitor - go forth and print, print, print and try to avoid dissolving your finger nails in PQ Developer (they all do that by the way - not just PQ)
sorry for the chemical short hand
>Mike, wow -- thanks. I never heard of step wedge before, I think I need to do a little more research about how to use one effectively. I'll ask tonight at the darkroom if we happen to have one.
As others have mentioned, the print it for 60 seconds giude works as well, but is hungrier for paper. In my printing notebook, where I record any information I want to find later, I regualrly tape the half inch wide dry test strips of the different paper samples, along with the exposure and development characteristics.
>Also, you mentioned that if there are 8 steps it's about #2 contrast. How many steps are required for other contrasts?
I can't seem to find this kind of info in the ilford web site. It is packed in with the paper when you buy it though. I will attampt to attach the data sheet for a Kodak paer that shows the ISO paper speed and contrast ranges using Kodak filters.
>Can I add KBr or BZT to any developer? (The darkroom and I tend to use PQ Universal).
> Does it affect the development time?
Yes, sort of. These agents are restrianers - they discourage development to keep fog - development with no associated light exposure -from happening. So to get a light grey in the print with a restrainer enhanced developer, you ned to expose the print longer. Don't try to develop longer, as the longer you develop, the more chance there is for fog to form.
> I'm not sure that I can get these here in France, but I may be able to mail order them from the UK.
KBr - Potassium Bromide ( look for a mortice and pastle - this chem loves to torn itself int a rock. Once I grind it, I usually weigh it and store it as a 10% weight per litre of distilled water, so that it is handy to splash in when the mood strikes me.
Benzotriazole is like bromide on steriods. Powerfull stuff. Usually you make up a 1% stock solution, and add a dash - say 15mL/ L to start.
Build up gradually until light fogging is under conrtol- too much restrianer will leave the whole print muddy by suppressing all development.
>Are there other developers that would be better to use (with anti-fog agent added)?.
Adding these will also warm the image tone. So if you start with a warm tone developer, you may need less restrainer, since the warm tone is almost always becase there is more bromide in the original warm tone developer
>Also, if anyone knows the English-French translations of some of these chemicals, that would be really helpful (I want to make sure I'm getting the right stuff).
The english and french should be literally the same. Potassium Bromide is an inorganic chemical; BZT is an organic. You might find BZT sold commercially as Edwal Liquid Orthazite.
>Well, time to get off the computer and into the darkroom.
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spec sheet attachment this time.
oops - forgotten from the last post