The paper arrived from Lithuania in an un-opened package. The seller was kind enough to translate a little for me.
I presumed this to mean a Silver Bromide emulsion with a fairly high contrast assuming a numbering system similar to what we are used to in the West.Photo-paper, unibromespecially glossy
made in 1959
|Photo paper packet.|
20 seconds stop
5 minute Ilford Rapid Fix (1+9)
30 minute wash
with the following result.
|f8 at 8 seconds|
|f8 at 16 seconds|
|Back of photo paper (ignore hair!)|
|Zoom showing paper pattern and perhaps thin emulsion areas.|
The next test was an apples and apples comparison between the Agfa paper and the Soviet paper. Here I chose a denser negative with higher contrast and used the same enlarger setup and developing for the comparison only varying the exposure time.
Here is the scanned negative adjusted in Photoshop.
First the test strips...
|Agfa Test Strip (exposure in seconds)|
|USSR Test Strip (exposure in seconds)|
|Agfa Paper f8 32 seconds|
|Soviet Paper f8 at 32 seconds|
I bought a second pack (unopened) of paper from the USSR. This was made in 1989 and I tried printing from it. Like all the above paper is is curled on the edges in the package. This paper was 5x7 in size.
|USSR photo paper|
I made a test strip.
|Same photo as show on other papers.|
|f8 at 32 seconds|
Curious about the Soviet paper I did some reading about photography in the Soviet Union. It went through some rather dramatic changes over the years since the revolution. The highlights I gleaned were...
1920s New Economic Program-Brought in small free enterprise that saw imports of photography materials and equipment. A brief flourishing of amateur photographic activity. Photo Circles (or clubs) were formed primarily out of trade unions. Photography was seen as a tool of education and enlightenment and part of the necessary technical expansion of the nation.
1930s Stalin Terror-Further restrictions on photography as an amateur pursuit. Close control of its uses and proper application and themes.
1940 WWII- A period of shortage saw further shrinkage of photography as an individual activity to probably a standstill.
1950's Stalin Thaw- Resurgence in photography and a broader expansion of amateur as well as professional activities. This corresponds to the period this paper represents.