3/22/2014

More German Paper

I bought some more German photo paper. This time Agfa Lupex and Argenta. They both appear to be made around WWII. There is some debate about the age of paper watermarked Agfa Lupex with some stating the two words indicate wartime or pre-war. However the watermark has a double-line over the logo and some contend this means it is post-war. Much less is available on Argenta, but one war time watermark looks much different than the ones on mine. Lets start with the Agfa Lupex

Agfa Lupex

This paper is 7.4x10.5 cm in size and is described as soft, cream, and glossy. It comes in this familiar looking packaging. It was in an unopened box.

Agfa-Lupex Box

Here is the watermark on the back of the paper.

It appears to be a Chloride emulsion from some research on the web. The paper is cream colored so it will be somewhat warm. First I cut some test strips and exposed and developed one. 
Test strip 8" to 64" at f5.6

 I then ran another one as the paper was quite slow. This time starting at 30 seconds and I opened it up to f4.5. The result is below.
I then printed twice at 64 seconds and 90 seconds which is half a stop more that 64 seconds. These long exposures are due to the Chloride emulsion which is notoriously slow and is usually called a contact paper. Slow emulsions are useful in contact prints as the light used was often ambient which is brighter than an enlarger. It also gives more room for error in getting the timing right. 

F4.5 at 64"

F4.5 at 90 seconds
90 seconds looks about right. The scans are not too clear as the paper curls after drying. It takes a while to get used to the cream color of the paper. At first I thought it had yellowed until I remembered what it said on the label. There are Lupex photos on the web that confirm the look. 

Next is Argenta a less well known paper company from Munich. They seemed to have gone out of business in the 1950s. They have a great logo however as shown on the box cover below. 

Argenta box
Argenta Watermark

So this is smaller paper 6.5x9.5 cm probably intended to contact print 6x9 medium format. It is extra hard contrast and is an unknown emulsion. This box appeared to show signs it had been opened as the tape that seals it was missing; though inside I found the paper wrapping seemed to not have been refolded.
With this in mind I cut up my test strips and developed one normally without exposure to reveal any fogging.

Unexposed test strip developed normally.
This showed a uniform gray color which I took to be fogging from age or developing and not a light leak. Next I ran a test strip in my usual intervals.
Test strip at f8
Once again not very fast paper. So I adjusted the aperture to f5.6 and exposed at 64" as I judged from the test strip the correct exposure was at least on stop more than the 64"  on the test strip.
F5.6 at 64" paper from the top of the pack and with the safelight on.
This is about right however the gray cast had me concerned it was systematic in what I was doing. To eliminate 2 variable I selected a sheet from the center of the pack and performed all operations in complete darkness in case the film was somehow sensitive to my safelight or had been exposed to light. I then exposed and developed as before.
F5.6 at 64" paper from the middle of the pack and with the safelight off.
Clearly the same results so this is a property of the paper as it is today.

All paper developed as follows...

2 minute Ilford Universal PQ (1+9)20 seconds stop2 minute Ilford Rapid Fix (1+9)10 minute wash

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