View Full Version : Cost of emulsion

kevin klein
03-19-2007, 08:58 PM
I have calculated the cost of making your own emulsion and it comes out to be less than $3.00 for 8oz.

Photo Engineer
03-19-2007, 09:11 PM

If you make 1000 grams of emulsion, with 5 grams of silver / 100 grams of emulsion, that is 50 grams of silver nitrate or about $50. Translate that down to 250 grams or about 8 oz and it is 50/4 = $12.50. Add in gelatin, halide, and other ingredients and I can't see how you come up with $3.00 / 8 oz or 250 grams.

Of course this also leaves out utilities and labor but that is beside the point. The significant factor is silver consumption per unit of emulsion.

My figures are closer to about $100 / kg or $25 / 250 g (8 oz).


kevin klein
03-20-2007, 01:37 PM
OOPS, You are right, ich bin stupid!
I must have hit the wrong button on the calculator. I re did it and the amount of silver came out to be $3.524. unless My calculation was wrong again.

Price of 1lb=454 grams.silver ...$160

160 divided by 454 = .3524 x10(gm) = 3.524 .

How much are you paying for your silver?

Photo Engineer
03-20-2007, 01:53 PM
I pay more than that. Mine is analytical grade. However, I used the current list price for a 50 gram bottle in a catalog. I pay less than $1 / gram but more than you pay. In any event, those prices you quote are still pretty low. Add in salts, gelatin and other chemistry and I find that it comes close to what Liquid Light sells for.

Here is a list:

Core ingredients

Silver Nitrate
Halide salt (NaBr, NaCl, KI and etc.. depending on emulsion type)

Other items - some are required and some optional




Metal salts (Rh, Ir, Os and etc)
Chemical sensitizers (Hypo, thiocyanate and etc)
Spectral Sensitizers (Erythrosine and others)
Ripeners (Ammonia and etc)

If I were to add in all of this and labor and utilities, it would be more than the figure you quote.

At least for me.