I remember always hearing the enlarger filters, other than dichroic glass ones in color heads, could fade in time. I was last active doing darkroom work in the late 1990s. Fast forward 10+ years and my interest is rekindled, my darkroom set up in a different state, and I'm doing darkroom work again.

But I'm wondering about my MG filters. My memory is of the higher contrast ones getting progressively more and more magenta. But that's not what I have now. The attached photo shows my six inch Ilford MG Filters from grade 3.5 (far left) through 5. They all look as I remember up through 3.5, and 5 might be right, but the 4 and 4.5 filters look faded. I checked my old 3.5" set, which I used in my old Bogen X-35 enlarger but which are useless for my current D2V, and they look exactly the same, but then again they are even older than the 6" set. Maybe the 4 and 4.5 and possibly 5 are just more fade prone - or maybe my memory is playing tricks on me.

I haven't needed anything harder than a 3.5 so far, but eventually I will. Bottom line is that, if these are faded, I'll buy another set, simple enough. But at $51.99 (Freestyle price - haven't priced anywhere else yet) they are expensive enough that I'd rather not buy an extra set I don't need.

Can someone else compare to their filters and let me know if I need new filters for grades 4-5 or not?

The photo was shot with my Nikon Coolpix 995 digisnapper and cleaned up just a tad in Photoshop to look as much like what I saw as possible. It's close enough to show why they look faded to me.