View Full Version : Printing with very old papers

4-Jul-2015, 15:04
Kind of embarrassed to post this - I have done pretty much zero printing in the past few years. I got fed up with inkjet due to the failings of the printer heads and the cost of inks. I haven't done any darkroom work other than processing film. On the rare occasion that I have "needed" to print something, I uploaded it to Mpix. I have dabbled with cyanotype and have ordered materials and chems to start coating my own paper soon.
I have kept pretty much all my darkroom equipment and supplies...and even have some papers(Kodak Ektalure, Medalist, and Kodabromide) some that I bought in the late 1970's right after high school...so yesterday I decided I would just try some contact prints from an 8X10 neg to see if any of the paper was usable. I also discovered I still had some 16oz full bottles of stock Dektol I had mixed up, probably 12-14 years ago, since it has been at least that long since I have done any printing.
All the paper was graded and printed rather flat but the Kodak Elite S3 produced the nicest image. Is till have an unopened 100 sheet box of that. Even have an unopened 25 sheet pack of Medalist F3. I am hoping that fresh developer will help with the contrast.

Kodak Elite S3 paper - probably 20 years old, processed in Dektol 1:1 (stock mixed 14 years ago)

Paul Metcalf
4-Jul-2015, 15:21
Excellent. Don't stop printing! Use that old stuff.

bob carnie
5-Jul-2015, 06:31
Ginette -- post some of your stuff here - your work is amazing.. good thread btw.. I hope people post.

Jim C.
5-Jul-2015, 07:53
I'm quite surprised that your papers and especially 14 yr old Dektol is usable, I've been trying to print some color negs
on B&W paper and decided to try old Panalure paper, what I got was DOA, unless there's a special way of
handling Panalure ( I used it without safelight ) that I'm not aware of.
Keep going, I found being back in the darkroom after 30 + yrs fun, real easy to loose track of time !

5-Jul-2015, 08:16
Add benzotriazole to fresh developer to revive old paper. Toss the Dektol.

It looks like you might have some reticulation. It is critical when developing film to keep processing temps within 1/2 degree of each other.

5-Jul-2015, 08:36
Toyon, the reticulation appearance is from the texture of the paper - The Elite has a sheen to it and a texture. The 8X10 neg has no reticulation. By the way, I once tried to reticulate a roll of 35mm film, Panatomic X. I went from a soak in ice cold water to about 120 degree f and had mild success. From my experience, it takes a lot more than a 1/2 degree to even begin to get a response...from my experience.

Jim, that Dektol was not even a full bottle, had about 1/2" of air in it. I still have 3-4 full bottles with no air - but if they have a slight brown color, as the previous bottle had, I'll just dump them and use some fresh paper developer.

6-Jul-2015, 11:25
An ultra slow film like Panatomic is least likely to reticulate. Try a high speed film. It is ugly!