Kentmere Fineprint FB issues

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by digiconvert, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    I know the 'foibles' of this paper have been covered before but I would appreciate any comments on the following.

    I bought some of this paper in 7x5 to work at a smaller scale than the 8 x 10 I have used before (OK I admit it I've got a 7x5 print dryer/glazer off ebay and want to play :smile: ) and I am using my meograd head for VC instead of my old tungsten bulb/filters which I have used before to print on this paper.

    This time I just can't seem to get any 'bite' in the image Ive cranked the colour filters to 85M 5Y as suggested on the datasheet for G4 but still no luck. I've exposed far longer than I normally would (and got a darker print :rolleyes: ) but to no avail.

    I have tried toning in selenium but it went even muddier (could this be a reaction with the wash aid which I used - I rinsed really well after use) .

    Temeperature is controlled in a rotary processor so that can't be the problem . Could I have mixed dev incorrectly , not unknown, would that have given the problem ?

    I really liked this paper when last I used it so comments would be really welcome.

    Cheers ; CJB
     
  2. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I use Kentmere FP VC FB primarily and have never had any problems with low contrast. I use Zone VI developer 1:3.

    Could the culprit be your negatives? If you are like me, your negatives will vary much more than the paper.
     
  3. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    Ive used this neg before , contrast was ok on other papers.
     
  4. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Try a different neg that you are familiar with at G4 setting to eliminate the neg as the culprit. Sometimes the same neg prints very differently with a different paper. If you get a similar result, the paper could be fogged, or getting fogged as you print/develop, so check the enlarger for leaks that could be bouncing around during exposure. Next, you could develop an unexposed sheet to check. Set an object on it for a few minutes to check the safelight situation in your darkroom. If the object outline shows, you have a safelight or leak issue, if it doesn't and the paper is fogged, it's the paper. Good luck, I hope these suggestions help, if you haven't already tried them.
     
  5. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I think I would check for fogging as well. 7x5 is an odd size for FB paper, so it may be old stock. Worth doing the test as JB advocates.
     
  6. digiconvert

    digiconvert Member

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    As always thanks for the info. Never even considered fogging .

    Cheers CJB
     
  7. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I have found that in the community college darkroom I use that I have to lower the safelight or I get fogging problems with Kentmere Fineprint. I don't have this issue with other papers.
     
  8. patrickjames

    patrickjames Member

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    I have been using the two variations of this paper for quite some time now and you just can't get the contrast you can with other papers. Beautiful paper, but that is just the limitation with it. Also it is very sensitive as others have mentioned.

    Patrick
     
  9. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Yeah, you should try developing a sheet in total darkness, or a clip from a sheet, then one with your safelight on, and see if there is any difference in the unexposed white of the paper. Can your enlarger not go up over 85m in filtration? I would try cranking it up to 145 or more magenta.
     
  10. GeorgK

    GeorgK Member

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    Hi.
    The Kentmere FB is well known to need a strong developer; so, forget high dilutions and all that "eco"-stuff.

    Ethol LPD worked great for me, but so should other high capacity, long-life developers (preferably powder stuff). And do not develop too short, of course.

    Kentmere produces prints with as much bite (if not more) as any other quality paper. Just develop it right.

    Regards
    Georg
     
  11. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    I am a convert to Kentmere Fineprint VC fibre paper in particular the glossy finish. I use Dektol 1:2 and find I get a really nice image after a minute 15 seconds (it is a fast emulsion) and I have yet to get a bad print.
     
  12. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I use Agf Neutol at between 1+7 and 1+14 on this paper.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    This does sound like a possible safe-light problem. The following is from an old Agfa datasheet for their variable contrast paper:

    "Too bright darkroom lighting and/or too long exposure flatten contrast and fog the paper. If different safelight filters are used, the instructions for lamp power, distance between lamp and working surface, lighting angle (direct/indirect) and period of exposure must be followed.
    Sodium vapour lamps, e.g. Osram Duka 50 Universal, are also suitable. However the following test should be made to check whether they can be used.

    First briefly expose a sheet of photographic paper evenly over its complete surface, and develop it at once. A slight grey fog must be visible.
    Expose a second sheet for the same time, and then expose it to the darkroom light. Mask steps on the sheet with black paper for thirty seconds, taking at least three minutes for the complete sheet. Then process.
    The light is safe when sheet 1 and sheet 2 have identical grey values.
    If the stages of brightness differ on sheet 2, the denser grey level on sheet 1 indicates the maximum time the paper can be exposed to the safelight concerned.

    This test only establishes safety for fogging. Too long exposure to a safelight can however also shift the contrast to "soft" by invisible pre-exposure. For this reason two prints of a negative with medium contrast should also be exposed for the same time. One sheet is developed immediately, and the other after being exposed to the safelight concerned for the specified time. If both prints have the same gradation, the light is competely safe.
    If the second print is softer, remedy this by reducing the lighting power, increasing the distance from the working surface, indirect lighting or a safer filter."

    I can assure you this is a problem in small darkrooms as I had problems with Multigrade until I changed my safelight filter.

    Ian
     
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  15. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    I've just started using Kentmere Fineprint VC recently. My experience is that it has a very different response to contrast filters than the Ilford MGIV papers I have been using.

    In split-grade printing, the G5 exposure seems to very easily dull the highlights and so reduce the overall contrast range, whereas with the Ilford papers it has little or no noticeable effect - only serving to draw out the midtones and deepen the dark areas.

    I have made a couple of prints with the Kentmere paper which I really like, but also several dull, lifeless prints. It can be done, but it is going to be a learning experience to get the best from the paper.

    Ian
     
  16. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    This does sound remarkably like the safelight problem, its almost the same as pre-flashing paper to reduce contrast and is most noticeable when using VC papers at Gd's 4-5

    Ian
     
  17. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    Hmm, I wonder. The two safelights came with 25W bulbs, which I have been meaning to replace with 15W's but not got around to as it didn't cause a problem with Ilford MGIV and Fomatone MG papers. I'll unplug the light nearest the enlarger this evening and try to repeat one of the dull prints.

    Ian
     
  18. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    In a thread about Kentmere VC paper regarding contrast, I wrote:

    "In a recent PhotoTechniques Magazine article by Fred Newman that reported on comparasons of several FB variable contrast papers, Kentmere did not do well responding to filters beyond a #3. He wrote: " Their (Kentmere Fineprint VC and Arista II VC FB) contrast range was limited, going from about a soft grade 1 to a hard grade 3-the shortest range of any of these (tested) papers. I measured the IDmaxes at 1.84 for the Arista, and 1.88 for the Kentmere."

    Here's a link to the entire thread:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-25653.html
     
  19. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Better to do a safe light test as above or on the Ilford site. Les also describes such a test on his web site. It will give you a safe working time. In my case, with two 15w Ilford 902 fittings sited about 1.6m from my easel, this is about 15 mins with Kentmere paper.
     
  20. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Papers are like people - each is unique, with its own personality and quirks.

    In my experience, printing with both Kentmere and Ilford Multigrade in the same session, same chemicals and same safelights, Kentmere seems to be more contrasty requiring a lower grade of filter to produce an equivalent print. It is also a distinctly cooler paper, both in its "neutral" and "warmtone" versions, when compared with Ilford's equivalents.

    Based on my observations, I would tend to agree with those who suspect that CJB's problem is either that the package of paper has been fogged, or else he has a problem in his darkroom (safelight, reflections, etc) that is causing fogging.
     
  21. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    As Dave Miller says do some tests.

    My own experiences with Ilford Multigrade about 20 years ago were just as Jovo describes "In a recent PhotoTechniques Magazine article by Fred Newman that reported on comparasons of several FB variable contrast papers, Kentmere did not do well responding to filters beyond a #3. He wrote: " Their (Kentmere Fineprint VC and Arista II VC FB) contrast range was limited, going from about a soft grade 1 to a hard grade 3-the shortest range of any of these (tested) papers. I measured the IDmaxes at 1.84 for the Arista, and 1.88 for the Kentmere."

    Changing the safelight filter I got a full range of 0 - 5 Grades, it really was that simple.

    Ian
     
  22. bwakel

    bwakel Subscriber

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    I've only used Fineprint VC sparingly but I can imagine that it is badly affected by bright safelights. I printed the same image at grade 4.5 on Adox Polywarmtone, Fomatone MG Classic and Fineprint VC. The Adox required a 29 second exposure, the Fomatone 24 seconds and the Fineprint 2.25 seconds! That suggests to me that an overly bright safelight is going to cause all sorts of problems.

    Barry
     
  23. Trevor Crone

    Trevor Crone Member

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    Check not only safelights but the under lens swing filter on the enlarger. Mine is orange and will fog Bergger and Foma paper's if I use it to view the projected image for more then just a few seconds! Although my enlarger lamps are very bright.

    Regards,
    Trevor.
     
  24. Stan160

    Stan160 Member

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    I followed the Kodak safelight test instructions this evening. Same even light-grey tone over the entire exposed paper area - so my lights are good up to at least 8 minutes using Kentmere Fineprint VC. I use a Nova processor, so the paper is almost never exposed to more than 2 minutes of safelight between packet and entering the fixer slot.

    I ignored my notes from the previous session, and started again with one of the same negatives which produced a disappointing dull print last time. For comparison I also printed the same negative on Fomatone MG classic.

    The prints are still washing, so the final test will of course have to wait until they dry. Side by side in the wash tray both look miles better than the old print but the Kentmere has a touch more "zing" to it, both look to have very little detail in the extreme highlights, but dry-down should separate these out.

    Conclusion: Nothing wrong with the paper or darkroom setup - I just need to improve my printing technique ;-)

    Ian
     
  25. John Simmons

    John Simmons Member

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    Out of curiosity I just tried a pack of kentmere fineprint glossy. When compared to prints done on ilford and varycon paper the kentmere prints seemed very dull and flat.

    To get similar looking prints, I had to print the negatives at grade 2.5 on varycon and ilford papers and grade 5 on the kentmere paper. I used the grade 5 setting for an LPL enlarger listed in kentmere's technical datasheet. I do not have any safelight issues in my darkroom as the varycon paper I use is very sensitive to these issues.

    Others swear by this paper but in the end I could not get the results I wanted from it.

    Regards,
    John
     
  26. Jack Lusted

    Jack Lusted Member

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    With regard to Kentmere Fineprint, in almost every instant I have had muddy prints it has been due to the developer. It has to be fresh and up to strength where as other papers (ie MG WT) I have found are much more forgiving.

    It took me several frustrating hours and much ruined paper to find this out!

    Jack