Kentmere VC liquid emulsion

Discussion in 'Silver Gelatin Based Emulsion Making & Coating' started by Casey Kidwell, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before, I couldn't find it. In the past I have used the Kentmere (formerly Luminos) emulsion and found that there is no equal in pre-made emulsions. Is there an equal product by another manufacturer and if not, what is the expense and learning curve (on a scale of 1-10) for a complete noob. I appreciate any help in this matter because my Kentmere supply is gone and I'm in mourning.
     
  2. alexhill

    alexhill Member

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    As far as a learning curve goes, it's going to depend on your chemistry background. With help from people on APUG and a alt photo book I was able to make a liquid emulsion. I like to describe it as baking bread with dangerous chemicals in the dark. If you can find a class to take, that will be a huge benefit to reducing the learning curve.

    I'm just throwing in my 2 cents until PE or Denis chime come in here with helpful information.
     
  3. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Check out www.thelightfarm.com (Denise runs this eminent resource) and see what you think about the complexity yourself.
     
  4. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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  5. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    I enjoy the process of working with LE. I like to coat cold press rough watercolor papers for the visible texture it gives me. I settled on the Kentmere because the Rockland products (liquid light, etc.) just don't yield the quality of image I would like. I might enjoy making my own emulsion if I can get quality results without breaking the bank. Here's an example of what I'm after:

    Kentmere on watercolor

    Sorry, shot behind glass but you get the idea.
     
  6. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    Marco, I love your edges. What are you coating with? Oh, and thanks for the resources everyone.
     
  7. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Casey,

    I think you'll be very favorably impressed by the cost of DIY emulsions vs. the pre-fab stuff. DIY isn't much more effort, either.

    Jerevan, Thanks for the plug for TLF!

    d (Denise)
     
  8. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    Thanks Denise. Great website, I plan to spend some time there. One quick question though. I think the thing I liked about the Kentmere vs Liquid light for instance is that it goes on opaque and has it's own bright white base which doesn't rely on a particular substrate for highlights. In other words, I could coat it on a chocolate brown paper and still have nice whites, then tone the emulsion to my liking. Is this possible with home brew emulsion?
     
  9. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    The short answer is 'no and yes'. All of the emulsion recipes I'm currently making dry to near transparency except for the exposed silver. In other words, the color of the paper shows through except in the darker mid-tones and shadows. Developer choice affects the color of an untoned print ('warm' to 'cool') and then, of course, the toning options are as broad or broader as with any commercial paper.

    But, the big thing to remember here is that 'home brew' isn't singular, it's plural -- in the extreme. The options for making your own custom emulsions, for your own purposes and taste, are almost infinite. Learning just a few basic facts and skills will put you well on your way to becoming a custom emulsion maker.

    Hope to hear more from you,
    d
     
  10. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    I used a 5 cm wide synthetic brush with very soft hairs. To get an even coating can be difficult sometimes, you can still see some streaks, but I like it that way. I first thought you might have used a brush too, since the coating in your image also had some streaking defect, but considering your question, you used some kind of coating rod?

    I am quite amazed by this remark, but than again I am not an emulsion expert like Denise is :wink: who has probably more wise words to share on this, but isn't the "white" in normal commercial silver gelatine FB papers just the sum of the paper white and the whitish baryta layer beneath the emulsion?

    Having an "opaque white base" in the emulsion is completely new to me, almost suggesting the bariumsulphate, that is normally in the baryta layer beneath the emulsion, is somehow "mixed" with the emulsion?? :confused:
     
  11. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    I used a china brush and masked edges. I try to leave streaks close to the edges. I have some trouble "letting go". I like that you let your brushwork show. Yeah, the Kentmere just had a whole lot better tonal range for when you don't want an image so "soft". It was really like thick cream. No idea of the difference between it and other emulsions as far as contents. Nor what made it a "VC" emulsion.
     
  12. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    You mean it didn't work well for changing contrast using contrast filters?

    Black Magic VC does work like a variable contrast emulsion. I think the documentation says it is something like inbetween grade 1-4 that you can vary contrast, so quite useful in most cases, and I definitely did make use of the VC properties of the Black Magic in printing some images.
     
  13. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    No, it was a great VC emulsion. I just don't know how this is accomplished from a technical standpoint. Either with liquid emulsions or traditional papers.
     
  14. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    I have said it before, but I'll tell again:

    I used to use the Kemtmere SE emulsion - great product.
    Then I stumbled over the FOMA emulsion, and I have never looked back since!

    It is not a ario contrast emulsion, but it is highly sensitive to different developers, so in fact you can get any contrast you need.

    Another good point for me was, that it is much, much cheaper!

    Cheaper, and better?

    for my images, yes.

    By the way: the learning curve is steep...

    SO easy to use!
    You need two layers of emulsion on the paper - this helps a lot, if you want an evenly coated emulsion.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2010