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Old Paper: Ilford Ilfobrom IB4.24P

Another box of old paper. This time the remnants of a 30" x 10m roll of Ilfobrom in an old moldy box. Very risky but the seller said it was at least in its original bag. My interest was to gain experience in making very large prints. Rolls of photo paper 30" wide are expensive however and my experiments may result in me not liking making large prints. Plus where to put them!

My interest in large prints goes back to a business my grandfather Cushman Morse had in Phoenix Arizona. It was called Photables. It involved large black and white prints used to make coffee tables. He had a local carpenter make the tables and he took the photos, usually custom, that he then placed under a sheet of glass for the table top. He started with a 4x5 negative and printed it in his own darkroom. My father recalls he developed it using sponges as the trays would have been huge. He had one tray however for fixing which he had custom made out of stainless steel. I recall growing up and visiting my grandparents in Carefree Arizona where they retired. Central in the living room was always one of his coffee tables about 3x4 foot I would guess with an edge to edge black and white photograph of the a local Sonoran desert landscape. My grandmother adored the Sonoran desert and I learned that passionate aesthetic from her. Today I still love deserts despite living climatically as far as one could imagine here in England.

So I ran a test print based on a recent negative from a previous post. After a couple of test strips I got a pretty good 8x10 print as seen here.



It is a #4 single weight paper and with a very contrasty negative so it has probably lost a lot of contrast over the years. Not too bad though. The next surprise was to look at the back of the paper. I adjusted the scan to emphasize the mold visible on the back of the paper.



It is also somewhat visible in the borders of the print itself. So the paper is not very good for normal use but should suit my purpose of gaining experience at printing and developing larger paper at very little expense.


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