Old papers in the cupboard
I was snooping around my community darkroom today and noticed a large drawer of old papers that I think are free for any of us to use (but I need to confirm that)
Anyway, I've done a bit of research and have found some info about them, but I'd like to know more about them and which ones are worth trying (and with which processes) and which I shouldn't bother with. I know that I need to experiment and I'm aware that there may be issues with fogging and loss of contrast (although I'm not sure how I would measure the latter) but I'd like to have some sort of basic idea so as to know what to expect. I've always been a 'one paper, one developer' kind of gal (you know I listen -- f/8 and be there!) and I'm about to start experimenting (finally) with other papers and processes, but I've never worked with old papers so I'm not really sure where to start.
So here's the list:
Ilfomar A117 (2), white rayon, double weight, warmtone
Ilfobrom B113 (2n), white matt, high speed enlarging paper
Ilfobrom B112 (3h), white semi-matt
Ilfobrom 2.26K, 3.26K, velvet stipple (love the sound of that)
Ilfospeed 2.24M, 3.24M, 4.24M, all semi-matt
Ilfospeed 2.35 M (2), 4.1M (4)
Ilfospeed 2.35M silk
Ilfospeed IS 2.24M, 3.24M, RC Deluxe
Lumitra T34 (1) soft (doux), chamois semi-matt, warmtone, (RC?)
Lumitra T34 (2) normal, cream (chamois) semi-matt warmtone (RC?)
Lumitra T32 (3) hard (dur), white semi-matt, warmtone, (RC?)
Guilbrom Paper 4, Extra Hard, Glossy
Etoile Dur Paper 3, Hard
Kodabrom II RC, F1, F2,F4, F5, glossy
Kodabrom G3, G4, G5, Glossy, extra-contrast
Kodaline D, industrial paper, non-ortho
Brovia Speed BN 310 PE (3), Glossy
Brovia Speed BW 310 S (1)
Record Rapid RRW118 (2)
Gevaert Brovia BH113 (5), hard, extra-white, smooth matt
I'm really quite interested in discovering more about the French papers which I have never heard of or found much info about.
Originally Posted by mooseontheloose
I dont think any of these papers have been in production for quite some time, many are on paper surfaces that are no longer avialable at all. Bring back memories. You may want to cut a small test strip from each type of paper and develop it without exposure to see how much fog is present. Some may have held up very well.
I've just spent a couple of days testing about 35 packs and boxes of old paper. Still in the middle of it in fact. Paul's absolutely right about developing an unexposed test strip - this enabled me to sideline the fogged ones. But the process is worth doing - you find papers that might be right for certain images; learn a lot about different textures and surfaces. And it's keeping me outta the bar!!
"Why is there always a better way?"
I use old ilfomar with great succes . it seems that this paper resist a lot to fog and to paper yellowing. Brovira and RR agfa should work ? The main problem will be fogging. It may be solve with some potassium bromide or benzotriazol.
but give a try to ilfomar it is really a great paper.
Originally Posted by BobNewYork
..it's also a good idea to take a small piece of paper and fix it right away, so you can compare it with ease with a developed and fixed piece
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There is an interesting article on Unblinking Eye about collecting and processing vintage papers.
"You don't need eyes to see, you need vision" - Maxi Jazz
Your best tool will be a step wedge
get a 21 step step wedge. a 1/2" x 5" will work fine.
I put mine in the enlarger in a cardborad mount, and stick an 80mm lens in the optical path. This lets me print the 14 or so steps that I am interested in. Each step is half a stop apart. The range of the softest enlarging papers in my experience is about 7 stops.
The next step is to look at a modern Ilford paper data sheet. Somewhere in the tables is an ISO speed and contrast range data set.
The speed tells you how fast, or sensitive to light the paper is. Set an enlarger at a fixed height, fixed lens, focussed on a negative, then expose the modern paper to the step wedge. Contact prionting is ok if you do not want to project the step wedge.
Print, develop, fix, wash and dry the modern paper, in the standard paper developer at the dilution and temperature you usually use, for a fixed time, say 2 minutes.
Look and see where the lightest grey before full white occurs. Make sure it is not at one end of the sample or the other. Then count how many steps from first grey to blacks that can no longer be separated. Each step is .15 density. So if there are 7 steps from first grey to fullest black, I add one (for the white we did not count) 8x.15=1.2. ISO contrast ranges are 100x larger than the numbers you will get. If you have a paper that has 8 steps, then I recall this would be close to a #2 contrast. Don't be surprised if testing old paper and it was labelled extra hard and it now tests as #2.
If the paper is lightly fogged, then see if some fixed known amount of KBr, or mL of % solution of BZT, per litre of developer can yiled an effective white. If it can, then trst the same way, becuase the effective speed of the paper, and likely contrast too, will be affected by the amount of restrainer that has been added to keep fog under control.
When you test on old samples, note where the first grey occurs. Compare it to the time and aperture where it occured on the modern sample. (dont move the enlarger height or change the lens). If the modern test gave first grey on say step 6, and the old one on step 9, then you know that in three steps there are 1.5 stops. So a print on modern paper looks good; I want to try this image on the old paper; I know from the step wedge test that I will need to either expose 1.5 stops longer, or open up the lens 1.5 stops, or a mixture of both to get the correct adjusted exposure.
I typically print to matte 7x10 from 8x10 paper, so there is always a bit of paper to steal off for a step wedge test. I also print 5x7's cut from a sheet of 11x14; this yields 1" test strips as well.
Hope this helps. Once you have a step wedge it is a very powerful tool.
[QUOTE=Mike Wilde;581544]get a 21 step step wedge. a 1/2" x 5" will work fine.
If you cant find a step wedge an old Kodak projection scale will work, 10 rather than 21 steps, you may find one in the community darkroom.
Stouffer produces the step tablets in 35mm, 6x6 and 4x5 for projection. They're also very reasonably priced. I use these because the projection better represents my real life printing conditions.
"Why is there always a better way?"
OK...dumb newbie printer question here...
How long to expose the step wedge?