Kentmere Finegrain revisited
I realise that this paper has long since ceased manufacture, but I have come into possession of an unopened (still in cellophane) box of 100 sheets in 6.5"x8.5".
Well - it was unopened.
I printed a few sheets last night and thought how lovely it is to handle and for the tone and surface.
I'm interested to find out two things.
First, what is likely to be the closest equivalent in currently manufactured papers? (as a side comment, the dimensions are excellent for 645 or 35mm negatives; why is so much paper still manufactured in sizes suitable for normal LF aspect?)
Second, how old is my box of paper? It has a Kendal address on so I presume it must be prior to the Harman acquisition, so perhaps at least 5 years?
Attached are shots of the box markings in case that's helpful should Mr. Galley be watching ...
A testament to the original Kentmere paper's longevity. Congrats. I have asked the same question myself both here and to Ilford directly on a tour about paper sizes. For instance most 5x7 sheets are used for 135 negs so 5 x7.5 is much better but I fear pigs will fly before such a size is produced.
Of course Ilford and other manufacturers will argue that with 4x5, 645,67 and 68, producing a better size may only be better for one size neg and there is logic in this. However I think there may be a case for 5x7.5 given the amount of prints this size and how much 35mm cameras are used in comparison to any other size.
No suggestions for a close alternative from anybody yet?
I also recently acquired some old paper from kentmere, though somewhat indirectly as it was sold by luminos which rebranded and sold the kentmere paper. It was Charcoal R warmtone on a wonderful watercolor paper base. I checked for base fog by tossing a piece of it directly into fixer, and another into developer and processed normally. Luckily no fog at all on the surface, though the very cut edge of the paper did show a little darkening. It was really slow though but made a nice print. Unfortunately lots of cool and odd ball papers with the huge variety of surfaces seem to be gone for good, and wont be made again short of coating it yourself with liquid emulsion which is quite sad.
Fomabrome 123 is supposed to have a similar surface, accordingo the Ag website... Never used it myself.
Personally I miss the huge range of sizes that Kentmere made. I liked their square paper, since I have a lot of 6 x 6 cameras. I still have boxes of 10 x 10" Bromide.
Alas.... No longer available.
But I suppose this is the price we pay for a healthier Harman? At least some of the Kentmere range is still with us.
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