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  1. #41

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    Matrix film possibilities?

    The Fotokemika run of my matrix film emulsion sold out a few years ago, but it is still working well and isn't showing signs of age such as fogging or long wash-off times. Currently, there is no commercial supply of matrix film, but it is possible that this may become available in the future. Until then, making the film yourself is the only option. The main problem there is that the Dupont Melinex 582/3 isn't available as a stock item, so you have to do a factory run of 12 master rolls, costing about $ 150,000. There is the possibility of using corona discharge techniques so you don't need the special subbing layer, but I haven't tried it. If worse comes to worse, and I can't get a commercially made supply of the matrix film, I will build a 50" coater with a corona discharge unit, and coat my own film - probably 100 to 200 feet at a time, as that would be the limit of my space for drying the film. Its small scale, but more efficient than my simple flat-bed travelling slot coater, which is great for coating small amounts of film as cut sheets. You need to coat fairly large amounts of film to be useful, since you need at least 3 sheets of film at the final size of the print - there is no enlargement.

    Regards - Jim


    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Jim;

    I was hoping you would add to this discussion.

    I would like to add that someday, as I mentioned in another post here, matrix film may be unobtainable except by making and coating using methods you have published. This is a real possibility as the market for everything decreases.

    Jim's flat bed coater makes excellent 30x40 sheets of film and may be one of the few routes to large sheets of film or paper that is coated in small shops. He has published the plans on his web site.

    In fact, I would like to mention that Jim's Matrix emulsion formula will be in my book with Jim's kind permission and for which I thank him here in advance. Thanks Jim!

    PE

  2. #42

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    Hi PE,
    Sorry about that post - poor choice of words when I said "corporate greed". What I meant was the bean-counters making all the decisions. I do realize that a company has to make money to survive - I own my own small business, and boy do I know that the hard way!

    What I was trying to get at, was this:
    Do you think we have reached a point where demand about equals the supply of analog products out there? Or, is the supply still too great (or is demand dropping so fast) that if you put all the analog products together, as if they were made by Company X...would that company be making money or losing it?

    If it would be losing money, then we will see products cut and the hemorrhaging continue. If it would make money, then we can be assured of analog products for the foreseeable future.

    Where this comes into play for this thread in my mind, is:
    If the only way to perpetuate the knowledge / manufacturing of analog products is to make them, then we need some artists to pass down the info in books/classes to those of us who care. Obviously you had a hard time finding enough to justify a class...but there are those, like myself, who may not ever have the time to make emulsions ourselves, but would like to see the art continued. We would be willing to pony up $50 - $120 for a nice book, or access to the information, etc, just to have the knowledge and to help offset the costs of teaching those who can. This way the cost burden is distributed amongst those who care about it (kind of like forming a research society), and the art is passed down to those who have the time to do it.
    Hope that makes sense,
    Jedidiah

  3. #43
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    Jedidiah;

    Antonio Perez used exactly that word "hemorrhaging" when speaking directly to me about the cancellation of B&W paper products, and some products are being returned unsold when they pass their expiration date.

    So, what are they to do? IDK and I think that in this case the bean counters are the only ones who do or can at least give guidance as they see the whole (or at least the bigger) picture. I certainly don't nor does anyone here.

    PE

  4. #44

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    Attached is a screenshot from a video available at:
    http://www.archive.org/details/corona_overview

    The scene starts at 6:00 minutes

    It shows some "kettles" used for emulsion making. The scene is VERY brief. I don't think it is worth downloading the video...just view the screenshots.

    Emulsion
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screenshot3.jpg   Screenshot1.jpg  

  5. #45
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    This was a hodgpodge of images from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s actually, and the screen shots do show a melt being prepared, probably for a color emulsion coating. The emulsion is not yet added as they are in the light and the mixture is already white as if it were carrying a color dispersion. Very nice overview of the project.

    The estar used was 2 mil (0.002") thick and was used for John Glenn's launch as well as on the moon. It was developed for NASA and the USAF in the late 50s for space use. A Kodak engineer from the project was shown in one of the quick cuts.

    Thanks for the information.

    PE

  6. #46

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    Thanks Emulsion, that was interesting.

    PE, this is the frst time I have seen those black buckets in use... have you seen these before?
    Were they plastic?

    I still remember being pulled out of bed REALLY early one morning (it was still dark outside!) to meet John Glenn. I guess he was just doing my dad a favor. Nice memory!

  7. #47
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    Ray;

    I have never seen black buckets like that before, no. We had square black and also blue containers called bakelites and knee high stainless steel cans in film manufacturing. Paper mfg used more plastic containers, but I never saw round ones there. The square ones were used due to ease of stacking and storing.

    But, I never saw every nook and cranny at KP let alone other plants.

    PE

  8. #48

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    shame there apparently was little response to the suggestion. I for one would not hesitate to pay for a publication like this

  9. #49
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    It is good that this came up again.

    I have been looking at those buckets and kettles again. They are not for emulsion making. They have the wrong type of mixer. And the buckets are for addition of chemicals that are being mixed. The emulsion kettles look quite different as does the support equipment.

    PE

  10. #50

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    Ron,

    The video relates to the Corona Project, which as far as I know used only B&W film.

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