Kentmere Tonality (Is it Just Me)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Richard Jepsen, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. Richard Jepsen

    Richard Jepsen Member

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    I am exploring paper choices and recently tried Kentmere Fineprint fiber. My baseline paper is Forte Polywarmtone Plus. For neutral tones I use Ilford's MGIV fiber. Last night I printed the same image with Fineprint and Ilford's Warmtone FB Glossy using LPD as a developer. I used a Ilford 3 1/2 filter with a dichro head for both images. Ilford's WT had more tonal separation in low tones and showed improved tonal separation in zone 5 mid-high tones such a light stained concrete.

    Basically, I'm not getting desired tonal separation. I don't run density step tests but is this a characteristic of the paper or do I need to increase contrast in my negatives?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2007
  2. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I can't give you the ultimate answer to this, but the general consensus of those who love and use this paper is that it takes a lot of practice to get to know the Kentmere paper. It seems to work and respond differently than other papers, but once you learn its quirks you'll have a very good paper. Tonal separation is not an issue I've heard of before with this paper.

    There has been some debate as to how it responds to contrast filters, and I don't know if this is a continuation of that debate, but you may want to experiment with the paper some more.

    - Thom
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    If anything, most people find it prints about a half to a whole grade higher than expected. Meaning, if you have a negative that prints at grade 2 on most papers, to get a grade 2 tonality, you'd need to set filtration somewhere between grade 1 to 1 1/2.
     
  4. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    I have not used Fineprint VC but regularly use Kentona and Kentmere Bromide.

    In VC papers IMHO Ilford MG Warmtone is hard to beat unless you want the whiter base or lith colors of Polywarmtone. MGWT responds beautifully to toners and changes of developer.

    Mark
     
  5. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    kentmere VC papers don't respond as much to filtration. This is both good and bad, if your negative will fit on the paper you can be more precise, but it is hard to rescue a bad negative on this paper. That is what ilford is for.
     
  6. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    RJ,

    Since you are exploring, try the paper with Ilford multigrade developer, Ilford filters, and keep the paper in the developer for three minutes rather than the 90 seconds recommended. I use a cold light head and most of my T Max 400 8x10 negatives developed in Rollo Pyro print well at about a 2.5 filter. I am complimented or criticized, depending on the viewer, for tending to print light. Both groups seem to compliment the range of tones and silvery texture. I have been using the paper for about 2.5 years, mostly 16x20, but 20x24 in the last four months. You might also consider how your negatives are developed, since Pyro has a very good reputation for separation.

    Ultimately we are talking very subjective judgments without comparing prints side by side. Only you will make the decision and the fact that you are exploring in my opinion is the best way to get where you want to go.

    I am retired from a large system sales background. We would review large software systems prospects at monthly meetings. Every now and then my boss would ask a novice to map out his strategy for closing a large deal that was in question. If the novice had no plan the boss would say, great because if you don’t know where you are going all roads lead there. Pretty soon we had a new novice in that territory.

    John Powers
     
  7. keffs

    keffs Member

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    I tried some once, and it was as dull as dishwater - just a grey mess. I printed at grade 4, and yuk. I used Ilford FB MG for the same print, also at grade 4, and there was just no comparison.

    Steve
     
  8. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Having printed on most makes and finishes of VC paper, obviously including the Ilford range together with quite a few graded papers, Kentmere Fineprint VC gloss remains my favourite. It's toning characteristics equal, or surpass others. As with most things in this game it does pay to experiment and trial papers and compounds to get satisfying results.
     
  9. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Richard,

    While I am a big fan of Kentmere papers, the comparison you performed isn't necessarily a fair one. Because different papers react differently to the same filtration, it would be better to try and make the best straight print you can with each paper, allowing the filtration settings to fall where they may.

    Neal Wydra
     
  10. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    Yes, it is your negatives. If you negatives do not reach proper density you prints will lack. I just tried some Kentmere with the recent demise of Forte and I have to say I am impressed with the overall tonal range of the paper. Have you ever read the densities of the actual negs you are using? If not, I would start there to make sure you negs are properly exposed.
     
  11. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I found Kentmere FP VC fiber paper as a replacement for Polymax. I develop in Zone VI developer 1:3 from stock for 3 minutes.

    I think the paper is great. For some reason, I have a better feel for this paper than Ilford but that is subjective. For negatives, I use TMAX 100 developed in TMAX RS. The Kentmere is very responsive to selenium toner ranging from slight increase in DMax to slight purple black, to eggplant, to red-black in 2 - 5 minutes at a 1:15 dilution.
     
  12. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    This might explain the different reaction Steve-Keffs and I have to the paper. Steve-Keffs gets dishwater prints using a 4 filter. My negatives are quite dense plus I add staining Pyro. I use a 2.5 filter and love the paper. I can’t remember using more than a 3 filter except when trying split grade printing to bring out detail in a water fall or a snow setting.

    John Powers
     
  13. KenM

    KenM Member

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    I'm interested in how this paper reacts to bleaching - Forte bleaches very easily, whereas Ilford VC paper does not (or you have to use a very big hammer, making bleaching very difficult to control).

    Anyone?
     
  14. Ben 4

    Ben 4 Member

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    Try This

    I have found the Kentmere to have much contrast than Ilford, particularly the Ilford warmtone. From my experience with both papers, I would suggest that you try the Kentmere at Grade 1.5 or 2, as suggested earlier, then make your comparison.

    With the disappearance of Kodak's Polymax FA, I too have made Kentmere Fineprint my standard paper. Its principal weakness for my use is that it runs out of contrast at the high end. If I need more than 3.5 (and I will admit to having some negatives that benefit from a real grade 4), I have to look elsewhere.

    --Ben
     
  15. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    The gloss FB Fineprint is wonderful for bleach-back and selenium toning, there are some examples on my site. For straight toning it is also good. The warmtone version is not very good for the bleach-back technique, but tones quite well.
     
  16. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Apart from selenium -- where there's virtually no change in colour at all, which is unusual for a warmtone paper.

    I like Kentmere Fineprint VC very much and it's my standard fibre paper.

    It does require a bit of effort and experimentation to get the best out of it and I tend to switch to Ilford MGIV if I need to print at grade 4 or above. But at grades 0 -- 3 1/2 it's excellent.

    Mike
     
  17. KenM

    KenM Member

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    That's good to know - I'm going to purchase a few boxes of different papers, and this is one thing I'm going to evaluate. I use bleach quite often, and I'd probably be lost without it :D