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Showing posts from 2014

Ilford PFP Developer and Kodak Velox

When I purchased a lot of old photo paper I also received some packets of Ilford PFP developer. The website Photomemorabilia has reference to a catalog from 1953 and this seems to jive with other Ilford packaging of that age. The packet is shown below.
PFP is a developer based on Phenidone as a substitute for Metol. The enclosed instructions are reproduced below. The last page of the instructions has a 57 in  the corner. This might indicate 1957.

I decided to test the developer with some Velox as it was from a similar time.
It is small paper which fits a small Bakelite contact printer I got with the developer. I only used the contact printer to hold the paper and used the 6x6 red mask to frame it. I aimed my enlarger at the paper as I did not wish in separate the individual negatives to fit them in the printer. As individual negatives they are impossible to put back into sleeves. The prints are not as clear as a result.

I mixed the developer per the instructions. As I have found with …

Black and White Kodachrome Processing

This past week I read an article about a photographic exhibit called Memory City which explores Rochester New York (Kodak's headquarters). In the article it was mentioned that some photos were taken with Kodachrome and processed as Black and White. I remembered I had an old roll from around 2009 that though exposed never made it to Dwayne's in time before the last rolls were developed.

I researched on-line how to process it. Most examples I saw used D-76 developer and recommended at least 1-2 stops overexposure. The exposed film I had was shot as box rated and I do not have any D-76 and did not want to purchase any. I failed to find anyone who used LC29 (Ilford) on Kodachrome. I noticed the development times were generally extra long compared to black and white so I too a recipe for TMAX and LC29 and extended the development time. In this case I used 7:30 minutes as 22 degrees C. The developer came out dark gray presumably from the remjet backing coating. After stop and fix th…


I probably first became aware of Cibachrome in the late 1980s. My brother managed a color lab (Jackson's in Flagstaff AZ) and he raved over the quality of color particularly when printed from a Kodachrome transparency. I hadn't really thought about it much until sometime after I myself got into film photography in 2009.

Readers of my blog will know that I have been trying old B&W photographic papers along with contemporary versions; as I improve my skills I am also interested in some of the history and past experiences in the subject. I suppose this 'retro' angle is something I have always enjoyed. I spent many years building furniture and would build it only with traditional joinery. I enjoyed that connection with the past even as I often used power tools to save time and effort. Never-the-less I often took on parts of or whole projects using only hand tools. In photography alternative processes hold a similar interest for me but I have not taken them up yet.


Fresh Developer: New Paper and a Lesson Learned

I had been planning for some time to move on to 12x16 fiber printing. All my fiber-based prints to this point were 8x10 and my larger 12x16 prints were RC. So this was the next step. I ordered some of the new Ilford MG FB Classic and while I was at it I also ordered Fomabrom Varient VC FB 123 based on some comments on forums. The Ilford I hope will be similar to the Cooltone I have used in the past which exposes and develops very closely to MGIV Deluxe RC paper.

I bought the Fomabrom in part because of the positive comments and also the semi-matte/velvet might make it good for hand coloring. So today I set out to try out this new paper. I have learned not to assume that papers will be the same. For instance Ilford Warmtone emulsion has a much slower low constrast emulsion than the cooltone version. So I cut down the 12x16 into 2x 8x10s and turned the remaining strip into test strips.

The print I started with is one of my brother's which he took in Santa Fe New Mexico during the Fi…

Failed Efforts:Orwo Lith and the Story of the Hot Pool Print

I recently bought some cheap unopened Orwo photo paper. Readers (I know not many) of this blog will note a number entries dedicated to attempting to use old paper. I am sure many find this a waste of time and money which it probably is but I learned a bit of history of photography along the way and maybe something of techniques. Some results have been quite good while others a complete failure. Sometimes I can rescue papers using different developers. Orwo was an East German brand of paper which was part of a break up of the original company after WWII. The paper is graded double weight Fiber with a smooth (not gloss) surface and 'normal' contrast.  I ran an initial test strip and it didn't look favourable.

This allowed me to run a full size print at 8 seconds. This confirmed my suspicions. The paper had extremely limited contrast. This was probably less than the original normal contrast and most likely due to the age of the paper.

Next I tried using Lith developer to in…