Kentmere Bromide users?

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Mike A, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    I'm ready to begin my first ULF contact prints and was weighing my options concerning paper. My format size is not very AZO freindly and I was considering Kentmeres bromide paper. Does anyone have any experience with this product for contact printing?
    Thanks,
    mike allen
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Nope, no experience, but I'm interested, too.
     
  3. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    It's my favorite cool tone paper for enlarging, but hadn't thought of it for contact printing. Would also be interested in others' results. The paper seems about 1 stop faster than comparable chloro-bromide papers, which might affect its use as an AZO substitute.
     
  4. AllenR

    AllenR Member

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    Mike,

    In preparing to print for an upcoming exhibition, I recently tested Gallerie, Orential, and Kentmere Bromide graded papers. To make a long story short, the Kentmere was the hands down winner. It resonds exteremely well to split development, has decent internal contrast in the shadows, and tones very well in selenium. As Doug mentioned, it is a bit faster than other papers and I've found it to be just a bit more contrasty when compared to other papers of the same grade. While most of my use has been for enlarging, I have done some contact printing with it and it works very well. It is not exactly the same as the old Orential Seagull, if you remember that paper, but it exhibits many of the characteristics that made old Seagull the paper of choice for many photograhers.

    Hope this helps.

    Allen
     
  5. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    What format are you shooting that is preventing you from printing on AZO? Larger then 20x24? You can purchase AZO in 20x24, and cut it down to the size that you need. The smaller pieces left over can be used for smaller negatives (8x10, 5x7 ect) or can be used as test strips for the larger prints!

    I take it that because you are shooting ultra larger format, you want the finest print quality possible. So why are you stopping when you get to making the fine print? I take it that you have used AZO before, so you know the print quality difference when compairing a AZO print to a print on enlarger paper.

    If you are wanting to make the finest prints you can get from your negatives, you should be using the right materials to print on. In this case, that would be AZO.

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I have not used this paper but it sounds really intriquing and the price seems quite reasonable.

    According to the PDF info, it appears that the material has a capability of printing a dmax of 2.20 which is certainly no slouch ...in fact my test of Azo indicated a dmax of 2.07...so I would hazard a guess that this paper should rival and possibly exceed Azo's blacks (based upon the mfg representations).

    I was not able to find any curves on the paper. I would really like to find that information. If anyone uses this paper and has plotted the curves, please share them with us, if you don't mind.

    The comment that someone made that this was contrastier then equivalent grades in other papers makes me think that this would probably have greater internal (local) contrast then Azo. Probably not as long scale as Azo but if one has a negative that matches the paper, who cares.

    Something more to evaluate this winter. Thanks for sharing, everyone.
     
  7. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I haven't used the paper either (yet) but I have seen some of Doug's prints made on it. They remind me most of the prints I made on Zone VI Brilliant - the second edition made when Fred still owned the company. That was a bromide paper, too. The Kentmere seems to have the same contrast and print color - that's to my eye, no measurements.

    Doug and I are giving a mini-seminar on contact printing next week, so maybe I can talk him out of a little of his paper. I may even mix up some of my dwindling supply of Amidol.
    juan
     
  8. Alan Davenport

    Alan Davenport Member

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    This is very interesting. I need to start searching for a replacement for my Zone VI Brilliant 11x14 when my freezer stock runs out.

    Alan
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    John, While this is off topic and I apologize for that, did you see my post about the sales of Amidol on Ebay? While it is pricey, it may be enough to get you out of a bind (24 gm). Good luck.
     
  10. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    Kentmere is marvelous for enlarging, the best VC fibre base paper I know of. But...I still shoot 8X10 and have never been able to afford an 8X10 enlarger. So guess what? I still contact print.
    Try Adox, available from JandC Photography. According to their site, it's the only paper produced on a vertical coating machine, which is supposed to get more silver into the paper. I don't know how true that it, but I do know from using it that the paper has a marvelous tonal range, which I think is comparable to Azo. And it's VC and double weight, so much easier to use than Azo, or at least I think so. I get deep blacks and nice, pearly highlights in Ethol LPD mixed 1:2.
    I started a thread on this topic a while ago. Someone there compared Adox to the old DuPont Verilux, a paper I'd heard of when I started photography lo those many years ago but never got a chance to try. Dean
     
  11. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    One of my favorite things about the old Zone VI paper was the paper surface and texture. The Kentmere glossy has a less textured surface to the paper. It also tends to curl much more than the Brilliant did, even though it is DW - and I mean it is curled when it comes out of the box, too. The packaging of the Kentmere is cheap - the boxes are are of thin cardboard and rip easily.

    The paper does have a DR of about 1.3 according to my tests, which is very good, and is capable of a deep black. I have printed on it some, but I have not been that happy so far, but that is probably just from lack of experience with the paper. So, far, I don't find that it is a substitute for Brilliant.

    I don't see why contact printing with this paper would require special treatment. It is going to be a lot faster than AZO, that's for sure.

    -Mike
     
  12. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    That DR is for Grade two, I assume.
     
  13. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    Thanks for pointing that out, yes it is for Gr 2. I used a Kodak calibrated step wedge to check it and viewed the steps in normal room light. Looking at direct light from a strong light source, more steps were visible, but I think 1.3 is a reasonable DR for normal print viewing. I did not plot a curve for the paper.

    -Mike
     
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  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    AZO paper is virtually a pure chloride emulsion with little sensitivity outside the short blue region of the spectrum.

    Under most lighting conditions, AZO paper will be over 6 stops slower than most typical enlarging papers unless the light source has a considerable amount of blue or ultraviolet in it. If your light source is devoid of UV, AZO will show the biggest speed loss of all, but with UV you might even have a condition where AZO can match the speed of an enlarging paper. It depends on light source.

    AZO must have some unusual characteristics regarding contrast reciprocity as well. I find that those that get the best prints with the longest scale, report using the longest exposure times. This would be a dim bulb or one lacking lots of UV. When I use a short exposure time and compare AZO with other papers, it has a 'normal' curve just as reported on the EK web site.

    The bottom line is that you might find a condition with just about any good enlarging paper that can be made to match AZO, but then again maybe not. AZO certainly looks beautiful in the hands of those expert in pushing it to its limits. Why take chances when you know you can get what you want from AZO.

    PE
     
  16. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    That would be pretty near that of grade three Azo...I got a 1.35 on that paper.
     
  17. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

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    Do you recall what you for for Gr 2 AZO? I can't recall what I got when I tried it. Plus, I have about 4 emulsions\vintages of Gr 2 AZO at home and I haven't tried them all yet.

    -Mike
     
  18. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The last time I tested Grade two Azo I got a 1.65. That may have been the next to last emulsion. The new emulsion will hold 1.65-1.70
     
  19. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    Hi Ryan,
    I'm shooting 11x14, yes I am aware that AZO is available in 20x24, this size dos not equate well for my format. I have considerd using the left over smaller pieces as a work print/test strips for each individual negative I start a printing.

    No I have not used AZO before nor have I contact printed any format above 4x5, so this is pretty new for me.

    The kentmere is going for $65.00 for 11x14 50sh and the AZO is running $230.00 20x24 50sh. So lets call the 20x24 AZO 100 sheets when cut down, the Azo is nearly twice as much.

    I'll just have to test angd try it myself to see if the price justifies it. Thanks for all the input everyone.
    Mike A
     
  20. Gustavo_Castilla

    Gustavo_Castilla Member

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    What developer do you use with the Kentmere Bromide paper?
     
  21. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    A person could use any of the conventional paper developers. I have heard that Amidol works well with Bromide papers. I'll probably give that combination a try this winter.
     
  22. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    I've used Photo Formulary's B&W-65 and Agfa Neutol Plus both with good results on Kentmere Bromide. Azo & bromide papers are opposites as to grain structure (fine & coarse), so the bromide papers should yield a higher local contrast appearance.
     
  23. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    Printing on AZO WOULD be more expensive, yes...but I suggest you give it a try and see how you like it. I know its a costly thing to try, but purchase one box of 20x24, the chemicals needed to mix Amidol developer (should be in stock with Artcraft Chemicals or Photographers Formulary by the time you get around to it) and give this wonderful combonation a try.

    In fact, a good experiment would be too print the same negative on the bromide paper, then print it again on the silver chloride paper. Not only will you have less burning/dodging to do, but you will notice a HUGE gain in sharpness and detail in the AZO print. The AZO print will have a richness and depth that you cannot achive in the bromide paper.

    So, just give it a try and print a few negatives. If you do not like it...I will purchase the paper and developer from you for the price you paid, minus what you used.

    Ryan McIntosh

     
  24. vet173

    vet173 Member

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    Now that's a deal that can't be beat. But I am inclined to think you won't sell it. There is a reason there is a cult following. Now down to the darkroom to attend the services.
     
  25. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    Ok Ryan,

    I like your conviction to the process, I don't think there will be any need to purchase it back from me.

    I'm in on the Greg Davis Amidol order, evryone's been waiting on. In the mean time it seems most suppliers are out of Amidol.

    So as soon as I get my hands on the Amidol plus the other chemicals I'll place my order with Michael for the paper GR2 and 3.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  26. User Removed

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    Mike,
    What type of film/developer are you using, and how do you process your negtatives?

    I was using JandC200 w/ HC-110, and would get decent looking prints on G-3, althought they were abit flat sometimes, because the tonal scale is so long on AZO.

    I then changed my film/developer to Efke 100 using 2/2/100 Pyrocat HD in a rotating drum to get more contrast. With this process, it gives me a very dense and contrasty negative, and I am getting the perfect contrast on G-3. Sometimes I may need to bring down the contrast BARLY, so I use a waterbath developer to bring it down too a G-2 about.

    Now, I would like to hear what other AZO uses find themself using more, but I find that I ONLY use G-3, and hardly ever need less contrast. G-2 is way too soft for me and its difficult to get a good black because the tonal scale on the paper is sooooo long!

    What im trying to say is that chances are, you will use mostly the G-3 and hardly any of the NEW G-2. Since the paper is costly, you might want to just purchase the G-3, since you CAN bring the contrast down on that paper if needed. You could get a few 8x10 sheets of the new G-2 from somebody, just to try it out and see which look you like more. Maybe you are going for the soft look in your print, or maybe not!

    I think the only thing G-2 is good for, is if you shoot a VERY contrasty landscape scene in full sun and shade, and over expose and over develop it like crazy.

    Best of luck to you!

    Ryan McIntosh