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Greg
11-Oct-2016, 16:39
Have acquired several boxes of very expired enlarging paper. Dates on boxes 1980s and 1990s. Storage conditions unknown. Want to use them, so I figured I'd start with exposing a sheet from each box with a step wedge and process for a normal development time. The gray scale showed me the D-max and D-min of he paper. Surprisingly most sheets from most boxes are possibly useable (gray scales a start) but with some sheets (boxes) there is a little bit of "fog" density in the highlights. Way back in the 1970s vaguely remember adding some chemical to the developer to have the whites come out pure white, but can't remember what I added to the developer. Other option I've used in the way past was to ever so slightly bleach prints in a very weak solution of potassium ferrocyanide after the fix. Don't remember how I stopped the bleaching action, possibly returning the paper to the fixer - I believe W. Eugene Smith did this when he was selectively bleaching parts of his prints.

All my notes as to using expired paper long last lost or thrown away.

Does anyone out there have any advice?

Leigh
11-Oct-2016, 16:49
anti-fog is Benzotriazole

- Leigh

Doremus Scudder
12-Oct-2016, 02:18
Greg,

Do a search here on antifoggants/restrainers. There's a lot of info on them.

Most commonly, people use potassium bromide (KBr) or benzotriazole (BTA) to combat paper fog. BTA is about 10x more active than KBr, so it's fairly common to use a 10% solution of KBr and/or a 1% solution of BTA. BTA will cool the image tone a bit and help contrast slightly; KBr warms the tone.

Start with 2-5 ml per liter of 1% BTA or 10% KBr to combat fog (or an equivalent combination of the two). Increase this in similar increments until you reach the point of no fog or have added 20-50 ml/liter of your solutions. After that, you are likely not going to get rid of the fog with a restrainer/antifoggant. The idea is to use the minimum amount needed. You'll have to compensate with added exposure since the restrainer/antifoggant slows down the paper speed.

If the restrainer/antifoggant won't do the job completely, you can clear the whites in a weak bleach solution. I like a rehalogenating bleach of potassium ferricyanide and KBr. I start with a 1% solution (1g pot. ferri and 1g KBr /liter) and strengthen/weaken from there. The goal is to get the whites clear in a workable time without overbleaching. Make sure the print is free of fixer by washing in running water for at least five minutes. Immerse in the bleach and watch carefully. Having a comparison print or fixed but undeveloped paper white strip handy to compare to helps a lot. Pull the print just before bleaching is complete and transfer to a running water bath. You may find you have to print a bit heavier to compensate for the bleaching action in the mids and shadows. After bleaching, refix the print and wash as usual. Refixing is necessary since silver in the print is rehalogenated into silver bromide and needs to be fixed and washed out.

Hope this helps,

Doremus

LabRat
12-Oct-2016, 03:25
A big issue that comes up when using old baryta based papers is that while developing, different patterns of staining (usually blue) comes up through the paper base, particularly where the paper bends, or tongs make pressure on the borders... I've always surmised that it possibly has something to do with with the base having some kind of "soak-through" where the bending or pressure allows moisture to completely penetrate at those points... Sometimes the paper base starts at total white, but as the process goes on, the staining increases, and by the time in the wash, too much staining... It might be that the base gets too dried out, and bending while wetting causing cracking that allows the "soak through" in those areas...

To minimize this effect, it is best to keep dry to dry times to a minimum, keep paper from bending during process, use wide borders that can be cut away with the tong marks areas, and try not get too mad when this keeps happening during printing, because it's the nature of the beast...

Steve K

koraks
12-Oct-2016, 09:51
I start with a 1% solution (1g pot. ferri and 1g KBr /liter)
1 gram per liter (1000 cc) is 0.1%, right?

bob carnie
12-Oct-2016, 10:11
You may want to try Lith printing or experiment with Lumen prints, both beautiful silver processes that like old fogged paper.

tgtaylor
12-Oct-2016, 10:54
1 gram per liter (1000 cc) is 0.1%, right?

Right! Why? Because (10/1000)*100 = 1.0%.

Thomas

jnantz
12-Oct-2016, 11:14
You may want to try Lith printing or experiment with Lumen prints, both beautiful silver processes that like old fogged paper.

+1 !

tgtaylor
12-Oct-2016, 11:21
Right! Why? Because (10/1000)*100 = 1.0%.

Thomas

If you know a little elementary algebra you can solve future similar problems like this:

(X/1000)*100 = 1
100X = 1000
X = 1000/100
X = 1

Thomas

Randy Moe
12-Oct-2016, 12:40
If you know a little elementary algebra you can solve future similar problems like this:

(X/1000)*100 = 1
100X = 1000
X = 1000/100
X = 1

Thomas

Really?

Leigh
12-Oct-2016, 14:23
X = 1000/100
X = 1
Is that the "new" math?

- Leigh

Eric Woodbury
12-Oct-2016, 15:05
Really depends on what you expect to get from this experiment. I'd pull a sample sheet from each batch and develop it as is. See how much fog is there. Maybe it's good and maybe not. I was printing the other day with what I thought was relatively fresh paper, but it was so badly fogged after only a few years in my darkroom (and it doesn't get hot in there and no radioactive waste nearby). I'm going to make black paper out of it as any other use is not worth my time.

Good luck. YMMV

stawastawa
12-Oct-2016, 15:10
IT sounds like the OP has done some testing already. Sounds like maybe using the fog restrainer will be helpful.

I'd recommend printing some images you have printed before and seeing how well you can match. Of course vision can change with time so you may find a better rendition of an old print too!

And if you dont like it, try and lith! or lumen! or chemigram! or make geometric abstractions / photograms.


Really depends on what you expect to get from this experiment. I'd pull a sample sheet from each batch and develop it as is. See how much fog is there. Maybe it's good and maybe not. I was printing the other day with what I thought was relatively fresh paper, but it was so badly fogged after only a few years in my darkroom (and it doesn't get hot in there and no radioactive waste nearby). I'm going to make black paper out of it as any other use is not worth my time.

Good luck. YMMV

What will you use black paper for?

Greg
12-Oct-2016, 15:55
Thanks all. Now I know what the container of Benzotriazole was doing in my darkroom.

Greg

domaz
12-Oct-2016, 16:03
Here's another possible flow chart for expired paper:

Step 1: Fix out the paper and wash it
Step 2: Use it to make Carbon transfer prints.

Doremus Scudder
13-Oct-2016, 01:29
1 gram per liter (1000 cc) is 0.1%, right?

Yes indeed! I think this is the second time in a couple of weeks I've made this error! Hope it doesn't confuse anyone.

0.1% is the dilution I was going for, not 1%. Thanks for pointing this out, Koran.

Doremus

tgtaylor
13-Oct-2016, 08:33
Problem: How many mL is 1.375% of 25mL?

Solution:

(X/25mL)*100% = 1.375%
(X*100%/25mL)= 1.375%
X*100% = (25mL*1.375%) = 34.375%mL
X = (34.375%mL/100%)
X = 0.344mL
X = 0.34mL

Thomas

Randy Moe
13-Oct-2016, 09:22
Since Slide Rule days, I always figure my decimal point first.

But I forgot how to use a slide rule, got one right here...

Now, how about significant digits...:)

koraks
13-Oct-2016, 10:30
Yes indeed! I think this is the second time in a couple of weeks I've made this error! Hope it doesn't confuse anyone.

0.1% is the dilution I was going for, not 1%. Thanks for pointing this out, Koran.

Doremus

Thanks for taking it the right way and my apologies for my pedantry ;)
The reason I pointed it out was because I've frequently run into posts (not just here) on alt processes and they would involve formulae that I couldn't figure out if they were correct or not. Case in point was the mention of someone developing Van Dyke brown prints in a 'very weak' solution of rodinal, namely 1%. Well, that's just 1+100 basically and I can assure you this will turn Amy van dyke print pitch black regardless if it had received any exposure ;) It's very well possible the author in fact meant 0.1%, which is indeed in the range where something interesting happens.
Again my apologies, this time for the off topic remarks.