Old papers by Kodak/Zunow and Agfa. Anyone knows about these?
I happened to receive a great quantity of old paper, mainly by kodak but also some agfa and zunow. I have no idea how the paper was stored and for how long, most packs are open, but some are still sealed. Before testing the paper for fog (that will have to wait till I finish my darkroom) I was trying to collect information on these papers, not always successfully, so I thought to post here to see if some of you know.
These are the papers I got:
KODAK VERIBROM (N1,F1,F2,F3)
KODAK KODABROME II RC F2
KODAK POLYCONTRAST RAPID II RC F
KODAK POLYCONTRAST II RC (F,N)
KODAK ROYAL BROMESKO (WSL.1D,WSL.2D)
KODAK BROMESKO (WSG.1S,2S,3S)
AGFA RECORD RAPID RRN 119 4
AGFA PORTRIGA RAPID PRW 118 2
ZUNOW BROMURO (BN199,BH1,BN111,BS111)
This what I got till now:
I guess that apart the three kodak RC all the others are chlorobromide fiber based papers.
For the kodak N and F refer to semi-matt or glossy surface, except for the bromesko where G and L stand for glossy or lustre. The last letter in the bromesko is the weight: single (S) or double (D), while the other kodak papers (veribrom, kodabrome and polyconstrast) are all medium-weight. In the veribrom and bromesko packages the number refers to the contrast grade: soft (1), normal (2) and hard (3). This is in contrast with the technical papers from kodak where contrast goes from high (1) to very low (4).
I could get technical sheet from kodak polyconstrast and kodabrome which are probably the most recent.
In the article by Harvey Yurow I found that bromesko is supposed to be the english version of the kodabromide for which technical paper is available I don't know if this is the case. It is indeed a white/smooth/glossy paper with single/double weight, like the kodabromide, but there is the problem with the contrast grades. I could find official info about this.
On the AGFA I could get some, both double weight , the RECORD is extra-white, lustre, normal contrast while the PORTRIGA is white,semi-matt,filigran(?),soft contrast (so the labels say).
I couldn't understand if they have cadmium (I think it depends on the year).
About the ZUNOW, the second letter in the code should be the grade (H-Hard,N-Normal,S-Special(?)), 199 and 111 is double-weight and 1 is single-weight (isn't it similar to agfa nomenclature?). Apart from this no information at all.
Is someone of you familiar with these papers? I need to understand which chemicals,time and process are more suitable.
Especially for the VERIBROM, BROMESKO and ZUNOW papers there is a lack of information.
Please share your precious experience!
Dektol 1:2 will get you started in testing these older papers.
I use a step wedge, contact printed onto little 1"x5" strips to figure out the sensitivity and current contrast range when old papers get gifted to me.
I use a half stop wedge. If I get first non white at 26 and first all black on 6 I would have 20 hlf stops;i.e. 10 stops of an ISO density range of 100
The fixed grade papers will all soften with time; any VC papers will not get as hard as they once could. VC's I test with a dichroic head; VC filters work as well, Start with the softest filter, then test at the hardest and see what the difference in contrast range is.
The papers may show fog. The first sheet may be more fogged than sheets that are not emusion side facing the storage pouch inside of the bag/foil/box.
The papers may respond well to warmer developers. Adding 1-3g/l of pottasuim bromide to working stregth dektol or ilford multigrade 1+9 will 'warm them up'.
It will also slow down their effective speed (KBr is a restrainer), but may show that some of the papers produce a warmer image tone in this type of developer.
KBr is also a way to combat light amounts of fog. Benzotrizole is another restrainer, that will suppress fog, but not warm the image.
Good luck in you printing efforts.
If you don't like the way the old, perhaps too fogged for your tastes, papers respond to conventional printing techniques, consider Lith printing.
Do this when you have a lot of time to fiddle with the process; lith printing techniques are slow to print with, but can give very appealing results.
They can work well with fogged papers.
my real name, imagine that.
Describe or post a pix of the Portriga labels and I'll tell pretty much what years the paper was manufactured.
Last edited by Steve Sherman; 08-12-2011 at 05:54 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Thanks Mike for all the suggestions, I will surely try this. And I'll look also into Lith printing.
Just one question: where do I find the KBr?
The label is very similar to the top one of this: static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00Q/00QJx9-60283584.jpg, the only difference is that mine is PRW (soft) instead of PRK (vigorous). And where this PRW code is then it is similar to the bottom image of the link, there is thus the agfa logo with the blue diamon, the code and then the number (2) in a blue square. The RECORD label is similar. The difference between the two, apart from the code, is that the PORTRIGA label has two small vertical green-water stripes at the sides (in the image on the link the stripes are blue like the heading) while the RECORD has no stripes. Both have a sort of s/n under the code, 53362332-02u (PORTRIGA) and 55384352+06H (RECORD).
Hope this is enough to tell.
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Sorry I could not put the link properly, now that I have 5 posts I can :P
Potassium Bromide is an inorganic chemical. Once bought it does not deteriorate. Some of my stash is over 40 eyars old , and still works fine.
It comes as white granules, that over time, under exposure to atmospheric moisture, tends to form rock hard lumps.
For precise measurement, and resonable mixing times, I keep a small stone mortar and pestle to break up the lumps.
I have seen it sold by chemical supply houses (but at a higher purity grade than we really need for photo use).
Currently I buy it mail order from Photographers Formulary. There must be other sources, but the Formulary have such a great selection of the stuff, there is always the ability to add other things to the order there.
I would suggest you consider buying and thoroughly reading The Darkroom Cookbook by Anschell and Troop. It will give you good insight into the different ingredients that go into a developer, as well as other photo related baths like fixers, tonere, etc.
Jacobsen's 'Developing' is also good, but the formulas, packed into tables, are not as easy to read.
my real name, imagine that.