A friend recently gave me a small quantity of 8x10 Ektalure paper - approximately 40 sheets - part of a lot of paper he bought out of a retired pro's freezer. For whatever reason, he didn't want it for himself. I'm aware of the unique qualities of this paper, including how rare it is, and that makes me hesitant to even take it out of my freezer.
As for the paper itself, since I know it will be asked, it's about ten years expired; he says he's stored it at room temperature. The negatives I wish to experiment with are Tri-X 400 and APX 25, both 35mm. Both print very well on Ilford MGIV warmtone fiber at grade 2.5. (I use a LPL VC condenser.)
I have only logged a few dozen hours in the darkroom, so I am not an experienced printer. However, I do have good control of my process and my results are generally quite satisfactory. Do you have any recommendations or advice on working with this paper for the first time?
("Put it back in the freezer for 10 years" is welcome. I am serious about not wanting to waste one sheet.)
It is slow, you'll need more exposure than most papers need. It works best with warm tone developers. Kodak Selectol and Selectol-Soft were both warm developers that were GORGEOUS with Ektalure, but they're sadly long discontinued. Don't worry about wasting it, you'll simply have to waste some in order to learn its properties. It was a grade 3 paper, so for normal negs the lower contrast selectol-soft developer was best. As old as it is, it is likely no good anyway, I had some that old a long time ago and it was fogged so I tossed it. This was back when it was still made and someone had given it to me. I had a brand-new box on the shelf at the time so it wasn't a rare thing.
I actually bought some TD-31 a while ago after reading about Selectol Soft, I'll whip that up at some point.
Stop what you are doing immediatly. Place the paper in a well padded envelope inside a well padded box and ship it to me right now! Of course, if you aren't willing to do that, slice one of the sheets into test strips and run a couple of tests to see what it'll give you. You may need some benzotriazole to brighten it up a bit, due to age.
What is a master but a master student? And if that's true, then there's a responsibility on you to keep getting better and to explore avenues of your profession.
Great comments - let me add that untreated Ektalure tended to display a greenish tonality, but it responded very nicely to selenium toning to yield a beautify brownish-gray/black.
Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto
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Ilford has a warmtone print developer that should go well with Ektalure. What surface is yours?
I did precisely that this morning. When all was said and done I had 240 mL of 1% benzotriazole in about two liters of Dektol. Test strips went into the developer for three minutes. There is plenty of fog, no doubt about it. I compared strips developed using 30 mL and 240 mL under bright room light and saw no discernible difference. By comparison, 45 mL/L yields outstanding prints with no fog on old Polycontrast III.
Originally Posted by ralnphot
For reasons beyond my comprehension, it lightens somewhat with about a minute in an alkaline bath of plain hypo.
While I don't really feel like messing around with fogged paper, I do not plan to throw the stuff away. If you want to experiment with it, PM me and it's yours.
G, I believe.
Originally Posted by eddym
Ektalure also is slow to clear in the fixer. Give it a full 5 minutes and a good wash afterward. Temperature consistency between all chemical baths is a good idea, too. When I was in photo school, some of the kids would get pronounced "pepper grain" if their chemicals were too far apart in temperature. Good luck! It's great paper in warm tone developer and a little selenium as others have said.
I am a big fan of benzo for curing what ails you, and I might have some selectol soft around here somewhere if you want I should look- used to use a ton of the stuff, often mixing it in various proportions with dektol and h2o. Also got some old ektalure, the odd criss-cross patterned stuff.
I will fix new test strips for a full five minutes in fresh fixer tonight. In B&W paper processing my target temperature is normally 20 °C ± 1 °C.
Originally Posted by pgomena
Sure, I would appreciate that.
Originally Posted by tac