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Scott Peters
04-20-2007, 01:26 PM
I am confused...as you told us to imagine it being commercially produced? how easy will this be to achieve? Is it coating formulas, or prepackaged coating? Or is it actual paper with the coating? Thanks.

Photo Engineer
04-20-2007, 01:39 PM
Scott;

For the purposes of seeing if this concept has any use at all, I cannot judge it based on rejection because it is not commercially produced or producable. I want an answer as to the utility of the concept. I never said I would produce it, I said I would like to take production out of the equation by imagining it is commercially feasible. Then you can get past the making and coating by hand problem and just judge the idea on its merits.

That is a concept often used in R&D to test new theoretical products. If we were to find a huge huge market for such a product, I'll bet M&P would perk their ears up, but if no one is interested, then they nor would anyone show interest. Therefore we test things by imagining or hypothesizing scenarios.

I'm not going to even develop a hand coating method if no one is interested in the concept at all. You see?

You have to daydream sometimes to come up with novel things. There were about 2000 researchers in KRL. Not all of them were 'inventors'. Many were great doers or thinkers. One of the foremost inventors was Grant Haist. Others include Howard James, C E K Mees, Bunny Hanson, Paul Vittum and Paul Gilman to name a few. So, stretch your imagination. Imagine this idea is a product (it is not nor are plans to make it there). Then ask yourself "could I use it?" and then give an answer based on imagination.

In a sense, I'm sharing an Idea Memorandum with all on APUG. (see my post on patents). If it falls flat it is done but if there is interest, it will go on to become an "Invention Report". Even then, it may only be something I teach to my students, and not something ever ever manufactured.

PE

Scott Peters
04-20-2007, 08:54 PM
Ok, assuming it is a gelatin I use to coat, yes, I would use it. Thanks.

zone6
04-25-2007, 08:46 AM
me too

maxbloom
10-24-2007, 05:41 PM
One one hand, I'd kill for something like a grade 1-4 VC Azo. Proper split-filter printing would be nearly limitless...it would be orgasmic, really.

On the other hand, the light sources are a terrible pain in the ass.

Photo Engineer
10-24-2007, 06:40 PM
Well, the light source problems for Azo was one of my concerns but it seems you are the only one to bring it up.

Azo is mostly UV sensitive, and many people use UV printing. I would use blue/green filtration which would require tungsten light printing.

I have produced a green sensitive Azo paper, BTW. So, it is feasible.

PE

richard ide
10-24-2007, 07:34 PM
A product like that would make me very happy. Azo made some damn nice enargements also. (6000W light source)

reggie
10-24-2007, 10:44 PM
Ron, taking your hypotherical aproach, there would be very few people who would say 'no'. So I think it would be safe to say that your thought experiment would return a positive result.

I can also imagine a world in which Lodima would buy this hypothetical paper, re-brand it and call their venture a succcess.

But then, I'm crazy like that.

-R

Photo Engineer
10-25-2007, 08:56 AM
Reggie;

The raw emulsion I'm making now keeps 1 year in a refrigerator, and the emulsion is repeatable with 4 batches now on hand with the same sensitometric results. I can make 4 grades and the coated paper keeps at least 1 year. I can make it in batches of about 1/2 kg and I have about 2 kg on hand in the fridge right now.

I had not run any of these tests originally, but now I feel confident that it can be produced commercially. I was when I started, but I had no proof!

This has taken over 2 years and lots of work. To make a variable contrast paper will require much the same doing hand coatings. To date, I have yet to see anyone willing to buy the stuff and Kodak was going broke manufacturing it in a high-tech facility.

What do you think are the chances of making this at a reasonable price with a profit?

I think it can be done, but it will take time. I am only one person. I don't expect to begin serious work on this for some time.

Right now, I can sell hand made sheets but you would not want to pay the price it costs me to make it. In some sort of good facility the price would go down rapidly. I have given out two samples of the graded paper. Alex has posted his results here on APUG.

PE

reggie
10-25-2007, 12:20 PM
Now you are moving from hypothetical to the real world in just a few posts! Now that we're talking reality, I don't think there is ANY market for a hand-coated AZO VC paper and if I were you I would not spend another dime trying to make it for anyone except a few friends. I think there would be a market if it were commercially produced and it was a good product (coating is consistent, no huge batch-to-batch fluctuations, etc.).
I personally think AZO printers like graded paper the most, that is what they are used to. They won't want to buy a new light source just to print on VC which they don't want anyway. There will always be the 10% that do want it, but I would not be one of them.

Maybe Lodima would be interested in buying the formula or cutting you in or making you a partner if the emulsion is that good? That would be the fastest way to turn it into a commercial product. They could make their graded paper and you could get them to produce and label the VC version. You should figure out how to make LED light heads, too, in order to stimulate paper sales.

Just my .02.

-R

JBrunner
10-25-2007, 12:31 PM
I would rather see a couple of grades, than a VC paper. I think we would all wish for 1-4, but I bet grades 2-3 alone would be a seller. If it had to be VC, blue/UV, I bet that would be a seller too, it would boil down to being able to produce effeciently on a small enough scale. Small scale production, difficult as it may be, is the only way for allot of our products to be viable.

Photo Engineer
10-25-2007, 03:20 PM
Reggie;

The graded paper is a reality and quite a few people want to either make it or have someone make it economically and sell it. Whether that will work out or not is the question. So, that much is not hypothetical. I can make grades of 1 - 4.

As for the VC version, that is totally hypothetical. It would use either UV/Blue or Blue/Green exposures to get the contrast grades. I have not even tried to do this except to make a green sensitive version of Azo. It is actually UV/Blue/Green sensitive. And, working out the method of exposure or using UV filters will be difficult. I guess I won't be doing much on it soon.

PE

Jim Noel
10-25-2007, 03:24 PM
I for one am very interested in a commercially produced paper whether one, two or more grades or VC. My personal preference is a Grade 2 paper.

bwphoto
11-05-2007, 06:11 PM
Ron,
Kudos to you for getting into this. I love AZO w/Amidol, for me forget a VC variety because of the light source issue and grade 2 is what I use almost 100%. How about people utilizing the zone system or 'curves' whatever and having a neg. that will correspond to a paper you can produce on a consistant production basis keeping costs down?
Count me 'in' on a graded commercially produced AZO (type) paper, Ron.
Bob M.

Photo Engineer
11-05-2007, 06:19 PM
Ron,
Kudos to you for getting into this. I love AZO w/Amidol, for me forget a VC variety because of the light source issue and grade 2 is what I use almost 100%. How about people utilizing the zone system or 'curves' whatever and having a neg. that will correspond to a paper you can produce on a consistant production basis keeping costs down?
Count me 'in' on a graded commercially produced AZO (type) paper, Ron.
Bob M.

Bob;

Michael and Paula are already working on their version. I have heard nothing about their most recent efforts and I don't consider myself to be in competition with them.

I have achieved all that I want. If someone wishes to commercialize it, so be it. If there is a market for it, I'll be happy.

At the present time, I have about 1 KG of the emulsion in the fridge and it is good for 6 months as is. That is enough to coat about 200 8x10 sheets of grade 2 paper. I have promised another run of about 20 sheets to Alex Hawley for his review. Beyond that, if I supply it to anyone I will have to sell it as it becomes too expensive to give away due to the cost of paper and silver.

I sent samples to another APUG member and never heard from him. So, I've given up on the idea of 'tests'. Alex has supplied me with an invaluable checkpoint and I owe him.

So, lets see what 'develops' (pun alert)

PE

PHOTOTONE
11-05-2007, 07:00 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, Ron, but Kodak quit making Azo, because they shut down the plant (plants) that were making b/w paper?....and it was not thought cost effective to transfer the technology to a remaining plant?

So.....with your formula a photographic coating facility with emulsion lab could work out the nits and picks and take your formula and actually "make" new Azo? I would guess they couldn't call it Azo (copyright).

Is there any reason a person with financial backing couldn't have a "run" made by a facility such as Foma, or Harman Technology, or Efke (for that matter), or Slavich? Most of these places seem to indicate they are receptive to custom projects.

I know the (pan masking?) film used for dye-transfer was recently made, funded by subscription sales, by someone who went to and contracted one of the extant coating facilities.

Photo Engineer
11-05-2007, 07:09 PM
Each of the places you mention have access to such a formula of their own including old Agfa Azo type papers called Lupex (IIRC). They could do it if they want and if the market warranted it.

The fact is, that with a formula in hand it appears that the factory that M&P approached has not yet scaled the formula up to a workable production run. If they have as of now, it has taken them about 2 years and many dollars.......

So, yes, what you say is possible in theory. I'm not the person to do that though as I am not competing with them. I may get involved in small runs, but nothing such as you describe.

The market for Azo was very tiny and so the entire world supply could probably be made on a test coater if it was not for the need for wide coatings to supply large print size markets. Kodak had 4" and 10" machines that could have made 4x5, 8x10 and 10x20. The market was probably too small for even that.

And, remember that single weight is not easy to coat. If I were to do it, it would have to be double weight.

PE

Michael Kadillak
11-05-2007, 07:47 PM
Each of the places you mention have access to such a formula of their own including old Agfa Azo type papers called Lupex (IIRC). They could do it if they want and if the market warranted it.

The fact is, that with a formula in hand it appears that the factory that M&P approached has not yet scaled the formula up to a workable production run. If they have as of now, it has taken them about 2 years and many dollars.......

So, yes, what you say is possible in theory. I'm not the person to do that though as I am not competing with them. I may get involved in small runs, but nothing such as you describe.

The market for Azo was very tiny and so the entire world supply could probably be made on a test coater if it was not for the need for wide coatings to supply large print size markets. Kodak had 4" and 10" machines that could have made 4x5, 8x10 and 10x20. The market was probably too small for even that.

And, remember that single weight is not easy to coat. If I were to do it, it would have to be double weight.

PE

Over the last year I have given considerable thought to what degree of financial commitment and/or a dedication of my time I would be willing to allocate to a silver chloride paper - post Azo.

Right out of the box I have decided that I am not interested in any iteration of coating an Azo like paper for myself. Like many others I want to purchase this product finished and am willing to be extremely patient while M&P do their thing. They are the only ones willing to pursue this project for commercially produced paper and I will drop a load of money in their direction if it comes to fruition.

If for some reason it is not in the cards I will explore POP or the alt processes. I have many years of old Azo tucked away so I can be patient as I want. Bottom line is this:

I do not in any way shape or form find the problem we are facing at this juncture is with making fine quality prints. We can always find a process that will work. I feel that the Achilles Heel for the LF and ULF photographer is quality sheet film and in this arena we are continuing to make excellent strides in turning this down trend of consumption up after stabilizing it. That is where the buck stops for me.

At the end of the day I want products that I can put my hands on to make images. Each of us is capable of finding ourselves in this market.

Onward!

Neanderman
11-05-2007, 09:36 PM
And, remember that single weight is not easy to coat. If I were to do it, it would have to be double weight.

I realize I'm perhaps in the minority here, but double weight is the only way I'd use it. I fail to get the allure of single weight papers. Unless you're willing to dry mount -- which I'm not -- double weight is the only way to go, IMHO.

Ed

jnanian
11-06-2007, 07:27 AM
great stuff ron :)

best of luck with your continued experiments!
if / when you sell "the bottles of liquid azo-like-stuff"
let me know, i will buy a bunch of it ;)


john