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  1. #1
    david b's Avatar
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    Last Thursday night, I ordered two boxes of Agfa Classic MCC111 paper from B&H. They arrived today. The expiration date on both is 9/2004. Is a six month window typical of all paper expiration dates ? I've never really noticed the dates before.

  2. #2

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    I'm sure that you hoped for fresher paper, but don't despair. Unless you only burn a few sheets a month, your paper won't truly be "old." If it came from the Agfa supplier and goes into your darkroom paper drawer, it will be good for 5 years anyway. I just threw out some 15 year old Ilford paper. I have a whole library of papers, some of them well past the theoretical expiration date.
    I think you will have good success with this paper regardless of the age printed on the outside of the package.

  3. #3

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    ya db.. dont worry too much, just keep it in the optimal conditions. if u dont intened to use it at the moment and it is hot (like in israel ..lol) u can put it in the freezer, and then a day or two before u planning to use it put it in the normal cool place, and then before actually using it half a day will be good enough to bring the paper into perfect working condition.
    like decklet says, u can keep paper much longer than on the box, if they are freezed, and if they are swimming in the rays of sun, u can gave up on them even if they are fresh from the manufacurer.
    i belive that b&h knows how to keep paper in good conditions.
    victor

  4. #4

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    This expiration date on paper must be something new. I had purchased a couple boxes of Portriga Rapid a couple of years ago which was developing black, not just fogged. It must have been stored improperly. I contacted B&H and they wouldn't take it back but refered me to Agfa.

    When I asked Agfa about expiration dates on paper they told me paper really doesn't expire as long as it develops and base fog is low. The paper's emulsion may get slower or more contrasty with time. Agfa told me they can trace the expiration dates by batch numbers coded on the label which will give them an idea when it was made.

    My paper turned out to be 5 years old and was also discontinued 2 years prior without anouncing it to the public. Agfa is such a great company they took all the paper I had, pre paid FED-X pickup and replaced it with brand new, fresh paper of MY choice. They recomended their Record Rapid as a comparable replacement since the emulsion was similar if not the same.

  5. #5
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    My experience with Agfa MCC is that it significantly fogs as it ages, more so than any of the other main paper manufacturers. Several years ago Agfa UK sponsored me to do workshops using MCC, a paper that I loved at that time. They gave me 3000 sheets in packs of 25 to take with me when I did workshops, in less than two years it had lost contrast and fogged to a mid grey after about 1 minute in the developer.

    I recently got a new batch of Ilford Warmtone from Ilfford UK and compared it to the last of the same paper that I had in my darkroom and that was just over two years old, it was at least 1.5 grades lower in contrast and the paper base fogged slightly as I developed it. I would certainly not recommend keeping paper for more than two years. Having said that, I still have a supply of the old Agfa Record Rapid and Broivra that is at least 15 years ols and occasionaly make a print on them. The white paper base fogs and the contrast is greatly reduced but with a little chemical help I can get what I want from it. In my experience the Agfa Record Rapid from pre 1985 is still the best paper that I have ever used, followed by Kodak Ektalure now gone, but I still have a supply of 16 x 20 in the freezer.

  6. #6

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    I still have some 25 year old Brovira and noticed the difference in smell. It has a wonderful chemical smell where the newer papers don't have it anymore. When I recently (10years ago) rekindled my photo hobby, first thing I noticed is the smell is gone. I love the smell of a fresh box of paper.

    I also noticed how paper if left out in the light turn weird colors today where papers of yesteryear (I don't mean old out dated) didn't change much except maybe got slightly darker greenish yellow. That sheet you kept in the easel for focusing. Todays paper turns dark brown or in VC papers they turn a vivid blue, depending on manufacturer. Also the smell of paper today is different.

  7. #7

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    I have also recently found that I have a 3/4 box of Agfa MCC 11x14 that has fogged badly. It has been stored in my basement which is kept cool and fairly dry so it was a bit of a surprise. I ended up using some older Ilford paper with good results. The Agfa paper is about a year old but I don't know how long it was in the store.
    Brian McDowell

  8. #8
    clogz's Avatar
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    Agfa RC paper. Stored at room temperature and 8 years old. Still fine. Could all this be a fibre paper issue?
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

  9. #9

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    Yes clogz, I think it is.
    Brian McDowell

  10. #10

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    Agfa seems to have just added this date to MCC. My last box is also 9/2004. The Calumet store date is 1/21/04. So seems like a short time compared to film dates. I've never had a problem with MCC but I do seem to go through it pretty fast. You may want to freeze the paper and only take out what you need. The date may be a CYA but I think it's still a good thing to have. Also a nice thing about Calumet is that they have that store label on the package with a date. That helps with undated brands of paper.



 

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