View Full Version : Kodak Bromide WFL.1D - useful?

Patrik Roseen
1-Jul-2006, 14:15
Hello, I recently picked up a bunch of packages of Kodak Bromide WFL.1D (soft) paper on a fleebay (for free) and also a few WSG.1S. I expect it to be fogged if it is very old, but I thought I might use it for some 'older looking prints-like stuff'.

1) Is there anyway to see how old they are?
2) Can I use 'modern' chemicals such as AcuPrint and Acufix for this paper
3) If I use the same chemicals for modern paper after I put the bromide paper in it...is it contaminated?
4) How did this paper stand the competition in the 'old days'?

Anything else I need to know about this paper?

Donald Qualls
2-Jul-2006, 15:42
There may be an encoded manufacture date, if there isn't an expiration marked on the box or envelope -- many Kodak materials from the 1940s and 1950s have a simple 4 digits, 2 groups date of manufacture. At a minimum, though, it dates to the 1960s (in the early 1970s, a similar product was called "Kodabromide" and had a simpler designator than those), and might be older than that. As I recall, W means "white", the F vs S part of the designation signifies glossy (for F -- from Ferrotype) vs. satin (for S); I don't recall what L vs. G designates; grade 1, of course, with D at the end meaning double weight, S single.

It's actually very likely to still be usable, at least if you add a little potassium bromide or benzotriazole to your developer. It'll be a lot slower than modern papers, but should still be enlarging speed -- expect 2-3 stops slower exposure than a modern multigrade. Papers made before the 1970s didn't incorporate developing agents in the emulsion, and as a result even with only so-so storage can last decades in good condition. I have some Agfa Brovira that dates from the early 1950s that's still marginally usable (a little fog reducer in the Dektol and it should be fine) and some Kodak Velox from the same era that, while significantly fogged, might still be recoverable by post-process bleaching (unfortunately, both are 2x3 size, just right for contact prints from 6x9 cm negatives).

It'll work just fine with ordinary chemicals, and won't contaminate them -- almost all modern papers are bromide, chlorobromide, or bromochloride emulsion.

What it was like in the old days, I can't say -- it predates my involvement with photography, much less my awareness that there were many different papers. Generally, I've had the impression that, aside from loss of a pet product (which varies wildly from one old-timer to the next) most agree that the materials we get now are, for general use, better than at any time since Talbot's day -- but the materials available in the mid-20th century were still quite good; photography was pretty mature even in 1930.

Patrik Roseen
3-Jul-2006, 10:12
Donald Qualls, Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with me.

As for the dates the different boxes have numbers stamped on them that looks like

95781M 1V02 and on the other side : M-V
92109K 10X81 and on the other side : K-X
95441M 2H04 and on the other side : M-H

??What is the normal procedure to find out if the paper is fogged or not?

Thanks, Patrik

Donald Qualls
3-Jul-2006, 10:17
Okay, can't help with those date codes, but if you don't get any help here, someone at APUG is likely to be able to read them or point to a translation chart.

To test paper for fog, cut a sheet in half (preferably in total darkness, to remove safelight fogging from consideration for this test), fix one immediately, develop the other (lacking other information, I'd give 2 minutes in Dektol 1+1), then stop and fix normally. If the paper is fogged at all, you'll see the one that got developed is darker than the one that got fixed out without development.

12-Sep-2006, 10:33

I don't know if you're still pursuing information about this paper, but I wanted to share the details of the surface designation, which are actually very simple, but a little bit different than those posted earlier. WSG stands for White, Smooth, Glossy. WFL stands for White, Fine, Lustre. The contrast grade 1 is soft. D represents double weight, and S would represent single weight. This information is probably printed on your package label, but I just wanted to clarify. "Kodabrome" was first used commercially in 1975 and was trademarked in 1976.

Patrik Roseen
12-Sep-2006, 16:45
Annika, Welcome to this forum! (BTW your name sounds swedish...)
Thanks for the information and for reminding me. The paper I have is called Kodak Bromide which I think is an earlier paper than Kodabrome.
I have seen adds for it in books from the 1950's...

Donald, I used your method today to see if there was any fogging and to my surprise there was hardly anything at all. The developed paper was only noticable darker than the one that went straight to the fix.

It's 1:30 in the morning now Swedish time and I have just spent a few hours in my darkroom (bathroom actually) playing with the Kodak Bromide WFL.1D (White, Fine grain, Lustre - Soft, Double Weight) and it's wonderful! It is a very slow paper which needs almost 5 minutes to develop fully (Acuprint 1:9) and lots of exposure, and it is so easy to work with wrt dodging and burning). And the result looks soooo nice in my eyes.
I will probably post an image tomorrow when the paper is dry and ready for scanning.
(Got to tidy up now or there will be total chaos in the morning.)

Patrik Roseen
16-Sep-2006, 00:25
To follow-up on my previous post. Here is an example using the Kodak Bromide WFL.1D. There was no fogging at all visible in the papers I used and they all came out of an already opened box.

Stockholm Archipelago (http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=4944090&size=lg)

Donald Qualls
16-Sep-2006, 14:21
That looks pretty okay for having been free... ;)