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  1. #1
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I am overwhelmed with old paper donations - how to cope?

    I grew up under a mom and dad who were children who lived thorough the thirties, so I was tought not to waste things.

    Now this once hobby of photgraphy has morphed into a middle age obsession at times. I use it to unwind with , balancing the responsibilities I have at work and with my family, and largely it works well.

    A few years ago I was gifted a large quantity of paper and film; enough 4x5 that I have not shot though all of it in the past 3 years. It all lives in a vertical freezer (like a fridge, but all freezer, that lives in the garage). It is basically full of film and paper, with a bit of frozen summer fruit tucked in here and there.

    Then a year ago, to work with the 4x5 negs that were accruing and being contact printed to date, I went looking for a 4x5 enlarger, which I bought for $500, along with lenses, timer, a few nice 10x20 muslin back drops, etc. A fair prce I thought. The lab operator then gave me gratis a denistometer, two roller processors, a wing lynch slide film processor, with a bunch of extra chemistry for e-6, and an auto sldie mounter.

    I made it through that bit of gear indigestion (just). So far I have been able to bring myself to throw out the 19" kreonite , since I would never turn the tanks over before the chems were off.

    A month ago a fellow camera club member gave me all of his fridge of film; odds and ends of expired film of one sort or another to play with, along with a 16x20 dry mount press; I compensated by givig my 11x14 dry mount press to another local apug'er who is likely to make good use of it.

    Then two weeks ago I realized that by getting a cheap enlarger, I would have the full makings of a third complete devlop and enlarge rig. (I have assembled surplus to my needs 'rigs' to get interested parties set up to do thier own developing and printing with it all coming to them in one lot for a reasonable price (sub $100) a few times in the past.)

    The bonus with this 'Bay lot was that it was local pickup only, and came with some outdated paper of the sort I started printing with 25 years ago. I do collect empty paper packets. Well there was more paper than in the picture on the auction, and an easel, a timer, etc. oh well. About 10 different packets, of paper no larger than 8x10 that I have mostly used in the past, perhaps 20-50 sheets per envelope or box. Good for goofing off projects was how I look at these packets.

    Then two days ago he asks me to swing by again; he has found more paper to give me for free.

    So last night I come home with mostly full 250 sheets boxes of Ilford Pearl MGIV in 5x7 and 8x10, and the best of all, two 500 sheet 5x7 boxes of GAF Indiatone sheen surface (b) DW FB paper.

    One Indiatone box is still sealed; the other has had maybe 50 sheets used of it.

    Indiatone was a new one to me, so I tested it as soon as it came home. A tiny bit of fog, but after 35 or 40 years stored who knows how, it seems to be in most reasonable shape. The processing in dektol 1:2 on its own showed fog, but with some KBr tossed in, things came into line, the paper slowed down, and the fog died back, and the image warmed, and oh, baby, it is beautifully warm toned chlorobromide paper. I have read for years of how image tone could once be manipulated by developer ingredients, time and dilution, and with this paper it is all true.

    I could bearly sleep last night thinking of how I wanted to interpret old images on this 'new to me' paper.

    Do things like this ever happen to you? Is this my inner artist screaming to get out of this professional engineer by work day's body? I am interested to hear your approach to this situation.

    Am I nuts, or does this paper landing on me a warrantable sub set of GAS of the consumable supplies variety?

    I am pondering putting out packets of 50 sheets of this stuff to interested parties for the cost of packing and postage. Do you think that this would be a good way of dilluting the guilt of my good luck?
    my real name, imagine that.

  2. #2

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    Mike,
    My parents were also both born in the six months that followed the 1929 stock market crash. To say that I was raised by frugal parents would perhaps be a little kind. I have a similar situation and feel your pain.
    Dave

  3. #3
    richard ide's Avatar
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    Mike,
    If I were you; I would tend to hoard papers which are no longer available unless you do not like them. Anyone getting a set up as you are providing woulld be better off with newer papers which can be purchased now. better yet, I will look after them for you :<). I really miss many photographic materials which are no longer made.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

  4. #4

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    As someone who's grandparents lived through the depression and was brought up during the farm collapses of the 1980s, I completely understand. I am currently working with two giant boxes of Kodak Polycontrast that I was recently given. On the other hand, if you do decide to parcel out some of the stuff, let me know because I will take some off your hands.

  5. #5
    brian d's Avatar
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    There's always the free stuff threads here on APUG or perhaps you know someone who is just starting out, and like photomem I could use some paper/film
    Real men use Speed Graphics and flashbulbs.

  6. #6
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Oh - I don't give paper away to learners that cannot be understood as the way the manufacturer describes it. new learners have enough to take in without dealing with out of spec material or ading in bits of KBr until things look good.

    I get out a step wedge and print one (or a series if MG) test print as the first thing I do with any paper not bought new and in date. A small post it gets taped to the envelope/box that documents the effective contrast range and paper speed to program into the analyser.

    If the paper is MG I usually work though a bit of math from the testing and figure out what neutral density to dial in to match a light grey point across all density ranges from 00 to 3.5, and then close a stop for 4 plus, much like graded ilford MG filters. I learned this from Anschell' Varaible Contrast Printing Manual. Oh, that was a well spent $35. Now there is no need to go back to the analyser once the first work print comes off and there is a desire to change a grade. Of course this presimes that I don't see/feel the need to split grade print it and dodge and burn each series separately.
    my real name, imagine that.

  7. #7
    Rlibersky's Avatar
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    Having worked with old paper Indiatone is one of my favorite. If you grow tired of it let me know. (I don't expect a call soon). I am always interested in taking away the guilt feelings. let me know what kind of penance you are willing to make

    Randy

  8. #8
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I decided to just cool it for the moment.

    I have been straightening out the darkroom in prep for this shooting session. The session is a two day affair, with a sleep over of her kids, hanging with my kids to keep the collective youngsters mostly self occupied. I think that her kids might like to see how a print is made though, so I though I better clear off some surfaces to sit them down where they can see the sink.

    I ended up with a photo copy paper box full worth of gifted papers thaty have arrived in the last 2 weeks, with the packing done pretty effectively. I will work though them over Christmas, and see which ones are still performing close to specification, (like within half a grade off) with an eye to perhaps including some of them if RC product into the pending surplus to me darkroom rig.

    For the mean time I just stuck them out in my near to freezing garage, adjacent to the already full upright freezer.

    I will give more consideration to parcelling out the Indiatone, but it will have to wait; i have too much to get done in the next two and a half weeks.
    my real name, imagine that.

  9. #9
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Man, Indiatone B. Talk about a real cult status non-contact paper for salon-type exhibition prints! Use a bit of pot bromide for the fog; or if it warms it even more than you like, try benzotriazole, or a combo of the two.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  10. #10
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Well my mania has faded. Burned out from work, so I did not try to be too creative. 2 nights ago I got out the 6x6cm step wedge, and projected it to do small prints - like 2.5" square, that are easy to file in my bound printing notebook, once dried. I used a dichroic head rather than acetate filters, since with time the colours needed to trigger different grades of VC behaviour I have found can shift.

    For the presumed to be VC papers, based on the box the paper came in, I would test first with a print of all magenta, all yellow, and no filtration to verify if the paper was actually VC.

    I actually tested the fixed grade papers as well after I found a MGIII label on a bag inside a box that purported to be for a fixed grade paper. In this process I actually discovered that fixed grade Ilfospeed paper is not very sensitive to all yellow, and that all magenta in the test case gave denisty range equaly to grade 1.5, while white was grade 2. The paper started as grade 4.

    If the paper was not fogged, and showed a change in the number of steps between first not all black, and first non white, then I would fill in the series with prints made at steps from all yellow, down in 30unit steps thru zero, and back up to all magenta, and count the steps on the dried prints between all balck and all white to figure out the effective contrast at the different filter settings. After this first 30uunit step pass, I would sometimes need to go back and print a few more patches to fill in holes in density range between steps in a sensitive part of the range.

    For example, I found that the New Seagull box of 5x7 that I tested is actually VC, but that it takes mostly just yellow to go from 0-3.5, and 15M to get grade 4. With this paper it goes from grade 2 to grade 3 behaviour by changing from 45Y to 55Y.

    I found that the hard fixed grade papers are now slower and softer than new, but still are viable.

    Ilford Multigrade FB that I have is still good, and mostly full range. The 5x7 I calibrated has different filter performance than what I got with the old 8x10 of the same make that I have from a separate old paper purchase.

    Ilford MGII RC stocks I have is substantially fogged.
    Ilford RC MGIII rapid, which is developer incorporated, is fogged.

    Ilford MGIII is still viable

    So now a bunch of paper to work with, and there are post it tables taped to their boxes that gives the calibration information on how to get different contrast grades when they are VC, or what the paper speed is to feed the anlayser ito start working with it if it is a fixed contrast paper.

    I have not gotten back to the Indiatone to see how the fog may be supressed with Benzotriazole. Perhaps over the holidays there will be a moment to play with that gem.
    my real name, imagine that.

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