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Showing posts from October, 2016

Saving Old Paper

The problem with using old photographic paper is it fogs with age. Fogging means that an unexposed paper when developed will not be white, instead it will be some shade of gray. This reduces contrast and makes for muddy indistinct prints. The degree of fogging depends on age and the paper. In this blog I have reported on a range of old papers I have tried. As a word of warning old papers are in general a false economy except perhaps as a first time learning tool. The results are almost always disappointing.

The exception for me was some obscure Spanish a paper I found last year. I was interested in making large prints 16x20" but new paper is expensive. I took a chance on one box and got pretty good results. There is some light gray fogging in the white borders however. In another post I experimented using Potassium Ferrocyanide bleach to rescue some old and very fogged Agfa paper. This was met with some success but it was a simple experiment.

Now that I have The Beast I have been…

The Beast...

Recently my wife's workplace was getting rid of some old darkroom equipment and offered it up to anyone who would cart it away. I told her I was interested but someone beat us to it. However for some reason they declined to take it in the end. I suspect it was due to the size of it. I call it 'The Beast'.

For the last year I have been in possession of some of my grandfather's (he was called Cushy short for Cushman) 4x5 negatives. He was an avid photographer and made a living from cameras and photography. I remember his interest while I was growing up and still have his Nikon F. He is part of the reason I took an interest in film photography back in 2009.As a result of this I wanted to print some of his negatives but I lacked a 4x5 enlarger. This is where The Beast comes in.

So since last summer I have been perusing ebay looking for a 4x5 enlarger. They are not common, often expensive and very big. So finding one cheap less than £50 and close enough to pickup (shipping …