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  1. #1

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    Can this paper be saved?

    A few months ago I picked up some Kodak Polycontrast III RC paper from Photo Warehouse. It's taken me a while to get around to using it, and I've run into a problem, illustrated here in a roughly 4x3-inch crop from an 8x10-inch print:



    The whites are good (whiter than they appear in the scan), the blacks are good, but the midtones (in the out-of-focus trees in this photo) produce an ugly streaky appearance, similar to an inkjet printer with a few clogged nozzles. Prints from the same negative on other papers look fine.

    I'm using DS-14 as my print developer, and I'm fixing in TF-4. I've tried extending my development time from my usual 1:30 to 2:00 with no change in the results. So: Can this paper be rescued? I'm planning on trying another developer -- probably D-72 -- but if that fails I'm out of ideas. Thanks for any further suggestions.

  2. #2

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    I don't know if it can be saved, but an alternative is to use it for contact sheets or work prints and then if you have an image you'd like to frame, etc., print it on newer paper.

  3. #3

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    Looks like age / poor storage. I've usually seen a mottled effect in the midtones on poorly stored paper though.
    Other than that two cents worth - What Jim Said.

    Bob H
    "Why is there always a better way?"

  4. #4

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    Looks like the effect I see on the Polymax II RC paper I have. Whites are clear and unfogged, blacks are decently deep, and there is good response to different contrast filters, but there is a noticeable mottling on the mid tones. Expiry date on the box is 12/2007, I've had it for about a year, no idea about its previous storage conditions.

    I've not come up with a solution, but the paper is in two 4" wide rolls which I cut off into 4" or 6" pieces to make proofs, so it doesn't bother me too much, besides the cost works out at about 1.5p per 4x6 sheet.

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    My own experiences with Kodak's VC papers is that they don't keep particularly well compared to Ilford papers of a similar vintage, stored under the same conditions. That goes for the Polymax & Polycontrast.

    Try it with a different developer, but if it's no better then as Jim says use it for contact prints.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    That's about what I've seen too. Kodak's Polymax and Polycontrast papers, while I really liked the look, didn't keep very well. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it. I'd contact the vendor and explain the situation.
    Frank Schifano

  7. #7
    Jeff Bannow's Avatar
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    Could this be used for some alt. process?
    - Jeff (& sometimes Eva, too) - http://www.jeffbannow.com

  8. #8
    bsdunek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbannow View Post
    Could this be used for some alt. process?
    That's what I would do. I have some Polycontrast III from 2001 that I'm using to expirement with Lumin prints. Works great!
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

  9. #9

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    You could also donate (and of course write it off) the remainder to a high school/college photo course. Kids love to make photograms!

  10. #10
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    I'm getting that too. Our school ordered some of the old kodak paper from ultrafine and my first print had that mottled garbage look to it. I think it's dead.

    Though come to think of it I don't think we got this with all the paper. Just some of it. I don't know I haven't been using the RC stuff recently...

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