Published 25/04/13

ILFORD ''Orion'' Paper - Seventy Years Old and Still Going Strong!

Always a hunter for a bargain, an ''interesting'' ad on Ebay for ''Ilford Orion'' bromide paper caught the attention of Australian photographer Leon Bren.

It was for a never-opened tin containing 6 sheets of 19x24 bromide paper. The deal was sealed with a bid of $A15 UK £10. Although the tin was very oxidised and quite battered, it did look as though it had not been opened. There was a roll of bromide paper sheets very well wrapped in black paper and wax paper and a rather strong but not unpleasant smell. There were instructions in it too. The paper is described as extra hard but seemed to have softened a bit. Using an exposure similar to that with a modern MULTIGRADE paper a very nice print with little evidence of fogging emerged. The paper has a rather creamy texture and tone.

Leon commented, ''Scanning Maurice Fisher's excellent website http//www.photomemorabilia.co.uk on the history of Ilford I could find no reference to this material. He was unaware of this brand of Ilford paper but did provide some clues to dating using the paddle-steamer logo, which was closest to the 1930-1945 one. Anyway, I think having an entirely useable paper after 70 years of indifferent storage is a tribute to the quality of the product, so well done, guys.

The exact birth of this star performer is unknown but is thought to be around the period of 1941-43.

To read the full story from Leon Bren visit http//www.ilfordphoto.com/photocommunity/featurearticle.aspn40

Leon works as a research scientist in forest hydrology. He used to enjoy darkroom work as a kid taking over the family laundry and is now, almost half a century later, getting back to it. He views his work as ''developing printing experience towards making the perfect print'' and is working towards taking the perfect photograph to match this perfect print.''

If anyone can spread further light about this intriguing paper please get in touch.

Contact http://www.ilfordphoto.com/photocommunity/featurearticle.asp?n=40

1st Published 25 April 2013 12:47 Posted by Ben Jones
last update 11/10/2018 11:31:12

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