I bought some Kodak Polymax II RC paper, 100 sheets 20.5cm by 30 centimetres. In glossy format all inside a big yellow Kodak box. It’s probably from the 2000’s. The carton was sealed and appeared in pristine condition. Normally I’m buying job lots but this time around, I couldn’t resist the offer of Polymax.
Mainly because I’ve had wonderful success with it, using the Lith processing. Albeit the box of paper I had in question for Lith was light damaged to the point of unusable. Certainly for standard darkroom traditional black and white printing. However, now I’ve a new box of perfect paper, that maybe about 20 year old.
Testing the Paper
It was time to test this paper and see what the results came from it. The paper was smooth, deliciously glossy and flat, it fitted just right into my easel. The enlarger and timer were set to 80s. I used the yellow carton as a mask to make a strip test to see where the exposure fall. The exposure at f/11 turn out to be at 65 seconds in the end after development with Adox paper developer.
According to the data-sheet this paper responses to contrast filters, Kodak filters +5 and -1. I’m not sure what the equivalent is for using Ilford filters or the built in filters in my Meopta Magnifax. However searching the intraweb, the answer recieved as follows, “The set comprises 12 filters (from -1 to +5) with #2 being the neutral grade. The numbers correspond closely to the Ilford Multigrade II scheme; the only noteworthy difference is that the lowest contrast filter is called “-1” in the Kodak set while it’s known as “00” in Ilford kits. “. So it seems not to be a problem to do all the contrast filtering and split filtering I like with this paper. I’m set!
I made an exposure of 65 seconds times three, 195 seconds (that’s +1½ stops) and drop it into my darkroom envelope for the next Lith session. I’ve started doing this recently to separate the dry and wet session in the darkroom.
As expected it most certain a great candidate for Lith’ing. The paper response rather quickly within 4-7 mins and produces a nice warm yellow tone. Below is an example from the weekend of a test negative I’ve used before and know quite well.
I’ve got a winner on my hands, useable papers for both traditional printing and Lith process (I hope) too. So I ordered another box from the same source on eBay. These days it’s hard to find large size papers in quantity with good quality that can be used in the darkroom without paying exorbitant prices.