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Photo Engineer
03-31-2008, 09:01 PM
Taking the advice of a friend, I have maded a modified SRAD (Single Run Ammonia Digest) emulsion. I then UF washed it using the method I've been developing.

In my first tests without sulfur sensitization, this emulsion raw, is as fast or faster than the ISO 40 emulsion I've made before, so when I chemically sensitize it with sulfur or sulfur+gold, this beast should be at least ISO 100, or maybe higher.

As George Eastman said.... "pray for the emulsion".

I'll be testing it against a raw version of the previous emulsion. We shall see. I may have goofed but I may have a new emulsion.

I am preparing a post on my hybrid Kodabromide / Brovira emulsion if anyone is interested.


03-31-2008, 09:14 PM
Hello Ron,

I'm excited.


Ray Heath
03-31-2008, 10:04 PM
g'day Ron

this seems to be extremely complicated and specialised work for which you are to be commended

however, for the rest of us who care about analogue/traditional/alternative photography may it not be better to learn about and hone our skills using the non-silver processes?

wouldn't non-silver be more do-able, cheaper and rewarding for non-chemist/engineer types?


Photo Engineer
03-31-2008, 10:22 PM

You have an exellent point. But OTOH, you have to remember that silver halide in gelatin is the only medium that can get you above about ISO 1, give you spectral sensitivity, and allow a very large ability to control contrast. So, other than that, you are right.

Also, if Kodak, Fuji and Ilford go out of business or falter in any way and we emulsion makers are all gone (there are about 200 WW and we are rather oldish now) how will you make anything that is silver-gelatin unless it is passed on.

So, I can quit doing this. After all, all it does is cost time and money, or I can go on. I apologize if this is patronizing but it cannot be said otherwise regarless of intent. So, what do you want Ray?


David Grenet
03-31-2008, 10:37 PM
wouldn't non-silver be more do-able, cheaper and rewarding for non-chemist/engineer types?


Possibly, but there's plenty of information on non-silver processes in the public domain already, and relatively little about silver.

Besides, I suspect Ron isn't doing this work just for us - he enjoys it. Personally I'd prefer he post his results than keep them a secret!

And what about the chemist/engineer types here? :)

Keep up the good work Ron.

p.s. fingers crossed for the emulsion

03-31-2008, 10:51 PM
however, for the rest of us who care about analogue/traditional/alternative photography may it not be better to learn about and hone our skills using the non-silver processes?

wouldn't non-silver be more do-able, cheaper and rewarding for non-chemist/engineer types?

The only non-silver process which gives a sensitivity comparable to silver/gelatin emulsion is based on silicon. Being what it is, that's off limits for this forum.

There are many people who know a lot about non-silver printing processes, and most of those processes are simple enough that anyone can do it given the right chemicals and a simple "cookbook recipe". But since these all have relatively low sensitivity, they are not really usable for in-camera use.

There is a very good reason why non-silver processes have been "alternative" almost since the beginning: They are very limited in terms of speed, spectral sensitivity, and contrast control.

Some few people put a tremendous effort into preserving and expanding our knowledge of silver halide/gelatin emulsion making. One effect of this is that there is now some reason for optimism: If all commercial film production stopped tomorrow, there would still be some people who could set up small-scale emulsion "kitchens" and eventually produce film and papers.

03-31-2008, 10:58 PM
i just want to know when the book full of all of these fantastic chemistry we hear about will be published. and well I will also need the secret decoder ring, and about a masters in chemistry. Although i hear you can order one of those on the internet :D

Photo Engineer
03-31-2008, 11:03 PM
Tommy, I have about 1/2 of the book done and about 3/4ths of the experiments and data ready. I have Disk I of the DVD ready. I am now working on things that people have pointed to and said "you left that out" and etc. These include emulsions faster than 40, double run emulsions and UF washing. These are all things mentioned recently.

You will not need a secret decoder ring, but you will need to know two things. One is the chemical names of what you are using, and two is what they do when mixed together. I'll probably think of a few more, but basically Ag is silver, AgX is any silver halide, AgI is silver iodide, and etc. Not hard, is it?

Let me know what you think.


03-31-2008, 11:04 PM
this is great news ron!

i can't wait to hear and see the fruits of your labor :)

keep up the great work!


03-31-2008, 11:25 PM
I look forward to the day of enlightenment.


03-31-2008, 11:29 PM
it doesn't sound that bad. i'll let you know after i try a few times. After your book comes out of course.

Photo Engineer
03-31-2008, 11:34 PM

The Azo type emulsion takes less than 1 hour from start to finish, the Kodabromide/Brovira takes about 2 hours, and this emulsion will probably take about 3 hours. Now, that is not dependant on amount, you can make 100 grams or 1 kg in the same 1 hour when you are working on the Azo type emulsion.

This is not rocket science the way I do it, but I will include a chapter on the high end stuff.


03-31-2008, 11:40 PM
So, I can quit doing this...or I can go on.

For the sake of all things holy, please!!! Keep going!!!!

I'm praying like crazy for the emulsion...


Kirk Keyes
04-01-2008, 12:39 AM
Looking forward to all of the new info!

Ray Heath
04-01-2008, 05:50 AM
g'day Ron

please "go on", but just what are you going on to?

please explain to those of us who have not been closely following your posts, what are you hoping to achieve?


04-01-2008, 07:12 AM
You've been ominously quiet for a while now Ron ;) - I thought something interesting must be coming up soon!
ISO 40 raw sounds very promising - 100 when sensitised even more so.
I'll await developments with considerable interest...

David A. Goldfarb
04-01-2008, 08:18 AM
Sounds promising, Ron.

For those who haven't been following Ron's posts, he's been working on developing emulsions that people can make at home without exotic equipment or industrial machinery. I've seen results on his Azo-like silver chloride paper, and it's very impressive. There are reasons to choose it over real Azo. An ISO 40 or 100 emulsion could be coated on film base or glass plates and used in cameras. Maybe we're not facing that necessity right now, but it would be good to have people who can coat their own silver gelatin dry plates, if it does become a necessity, and some might have creative reasons for doing it right now, or one might want to coat plates just out of intellectual curiosity.

04-01-2008, 10:02 AM
it doesn't sound that bad. i'll let you know after i try a few times. After your book comes out of course.

All of us, emulsion makers and aspiring emulsion makers, are eagerly awaiting Ron's efforts. They are sure to make a significant contribution to the field. But, if you really want to make your own silver gelatin emulsion - either plate, negative, or paper - you don't have to wait.

The website dedicated to silver gelatin emulsion making , http://www.thelightfarm.com/, has enough information to get anyone going. In addition, there is the excellent book, Silver Gelatin, by Martin Reed and Sarah Jones, along with the classic primary sources, Baker and Wall. The Light Farm literature list gives them, and others, by title and author.

I encourage you (to put it mildly) to give things a try. Ron's efforts will undoubtedly contribute to the speed of the emulsions, and maybe an increased diversity of types of emulsions, but everything you need to get started is already in the public domain. Have fun!!

Denise Ross

Photo Engineer
04-01-2008, 12:50 PM
Denise has said it all and said it well.

I am trying to make a range of emulsions for papers and films that can be made by the low end and mid end enthusiast and also describe in the book the high end of things. Some things will be easy and some things will be hard. Some will be very hard and also expensive.

I want to prevent the sciences involved here from dying out.


Bruce Osgood
04-01-2008, 02:16 PM
I have not been enthusiastic about doing my own coating or emulsion making.... until Sunday.

Sunday was mini meeting of NY APUGers and a shoot. David brought along the Traveling Portfolio in which Alex Hawley had a print made on Rons' AZO emulsion. I was blown away.

This is a visual testament to making your own and is really seed for the imagination. I will be 'open' to this in the future.