I recently bought my first box of Ilford Fiber B&W 8x10 paper. Even though the box is straight and undamaged, the entire ream of paper is curved. This seems like it will make it hard to ensure even focus and development. Is this normal? If it is, how do folks deal with this while printing?

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  • Perhaps you can contact Illford and inquire if this batch has had others finding the same issue. – Alaska Man Jul 14 '18 at 20:55

A freshly opened box of photo paper should not curve upward. Likely the paper has stored under adverse conditions. The only way to use this paper will be to slip it in an easel that shields the borders i.e. makes prints with white borders. Such easel are the mainstay of any darkroom photo lab. If you don't have one, get one.

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  • thanks for your response. Do you know what condition caused this? Heat? It may be that I can't mail order this type of paper during the summer if so. – steel Jul 14 '18 at 17:10
  • Photo papers consist of several coats on the paper base. Each has a different shrink / expand rate. The coats absorb moisture from the air, this changes the amount each layer expands or contracts. Likely the package was not properly sealed so it absorbed or lost moisture. The layers then microscopically slide opposed to each other, at different rates. Maybe if the box is stored in the crisper of your refrigerator, maybe this will help. – Alan Marcus Jul 14 '18 at 17:42

Agree with what's been said so far. Just as long as you use an easel, you won't have any issues because the easel will keep the FB paper flat during the exposure. Once exposed, the curvature is irrelevant during the development.

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