Expired Pack of Kodak Polycontrast Paper, what to do with it?
At my school's darkroom, I was sorting through various boxes of donated items from last year and came across two full unopened boxes of Kodak Polycontrast B/W paper in I believe but cant remember of the top of my head to be 20x30cm? I thought it was 11x14 paper at first. ANYWAY I then noticed that it had expired in 1964 (Also in this find was several 35mm bulk film loaders, one still has a good size chunk of Panatomic-X in it still )
I opened up one of the packs (under OC safelights) and picked a negative with a wide range of tones to test it on. I grabbed a piece from the middle of the pack and test stripped with filters ranging from 2 - 5.
From my basic tests I figured that it is fogged to the point of no pure white, also I had a hell of a time trying to get true black out of it. I finally put a strip under full outdoor light to get pure black.
My question is, what do I do with this useless, for lack of a better word, paper (aside from selling it to the nostalgia crowd on ebay) ? I dont want to toss all of it.
I have heard of leaving it in the sun until it turns purple for a "sun print"
I just say keep trying it you might get some interesting results, You might find use for it down the road for strange effects. Do not throw it away!!
[ Insert meaningless camera listing here ]
you could give it to folks who do carbon printing, or pt/pd printing &C as a paper they could fix,
and then coat with their chemistry ..
expired pack of kodak polycontrast paper
Josh: If your school has a chemistry department, ask them to mix up a 10% solution of potassium bromide.Add it to the print developer 10 to 15 ml. at a time.It is an anti-foggant and will give you blacker blacks with outdated paper.I used it to salvage a box or two of Kodak Panalure RC and it gave me pretty good print quality, nothing really spectacular but usable prints nonetheless. Don't add too much or you'll suppress development.
Try lith printing with it. Other than that the Kodak Poly papers don't have a large amount of stability. I wish they were still around - but it is what it is.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
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Occasional I used opld paper for contact sheets. But thas was 15...20 year old paper, not ~ 50 year old.