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  1. #1

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    Kentmere VC liquid emulsion

    I apologize in advance if this question has been asked before, I couldn't find it. In the past I have used the Kentmere (formerly Luminos) emulsion and found that there is no equal in pre-made emulsions. Is there an equal product by another manufacturer and if not, what is the expense and learning curve (on a scale of 1-10) for a complete noob. I appreciate any help in this matter because my Kentmere supply is gone and I'm in mourning.

  2. #2

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    As far as a learning curve goes, it's going to depend on your chemistry background. With help from people on APUG and a alt photo book I was able to make a liquid emulsion. I like to describe it as baking bread with dangerous chemicals in the dark. If you can find a class to take, that will be a huge benefit to reducing the learning curve.

    I'm just throwing in my 2 cents until PE or Denis chime come in here with helpful information.

  3. #3
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    Check out www.thelightfarm.com (Denise runs this eminent resource) and see what you think about the complexity yourself.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  4. #4
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Can't compare it with Kentmere VC liquid emulsion, but I have had some good results with Rollei/Maco Black Magic VC, which is the only LE I have tried, see picture. Emulsion is quite fragile though (probably an issue with all LEs), so watch the wet processing stage and don't over wash.

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/66152-...Contrast-300ml
    http://www.maco-photo.de/files/image...k_Magic_GB.pdf

    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  5. #5

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    I enjoy the process of working with LE. I like to coat cold press rough watercolor papers for the visible texture it gives me. I settled on the Kentmere because the Rockland products (liquid light, etc.) just don't yield the quality of image I would like. I might enjoy making my own emulsion if I can get quality results without breaking the bank. Here's an example of what I'm after:

    Kentmere on watercolor

    Sorry, shot behind glass but you get the idea.

  6. #6

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    Marco, I love your edges. What are you coating with? Oh, and thanks for the resources everyone.

  7. #7
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    Casey,

    I think you'll be very favorably impressed by the cost of DIY emulsions vs. the pre-fab stuff. DIY isn't much more effort, either.

    Jerevan, Thanks for the plug for TLF!

    d (Denise)

  8. #8

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    Thanks Denise. Great website, I plan to spend some time there. One quick question though. I think the thing I liked about the Kentmere vs Liquid light for instance is that it goes on opaque and has it's own bright white base which doesn't rely on a particular substrate for highlights. In other words, I could coat it on a chocolate brown paper and still have nice whites, then tone the emulsion to my liking. Is this possible with home brew emulsion?

  9. #9
    dwross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Kidwell View Post
    Is this possible with home brew emulsion?
    The short answer is 'no and yes'. All of the emulsion recipes I'm currently making dry to near transparency except for the exposed silver. In other words, the color of the paper shows through except in the darker mid-tones and shadows. Developer choice affects the color of an untoned print ('warm' to 'cool') and then, of course, the toning options are as broad or broader as with any commercial paper.

    But, the big thing to remember here is that 'home brew' isn't singular, it's plural -- in the extreme. The options for making your own custom emulsions, for your own purposes and taste, are almost infinite. Learning just a few basic facts and skills will put you well on your way to becoming a custom emulsion maker.

    Hope to hear more from you,
    d

  10. #10
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Kidwell View Post
    Marco, I love your edges. What are you coating with? Oh, and thanks for the resources everyone.
    I used a 5 cm wide synthetic brush with very soft hairs. To get an even coating can be difficult sometimes, you can still see some streaks, but I like it that way. I first thought you might have used a brush too, since the coating in your image also had some streaking defect, but considering your question, you used some kind of coating rod?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey Kidwell View Post
    I think the thing I liked about the Kentmere vs Liquid light for instance is that it goes on opaque and has it's own bright white base which doesn't rely on a particular substrate for highlights. In other words, I could coat it on a chocolate brown paper and still have nice whites, then tone the emulsion to my liking. Is this possible with home brew emulsion?
    I am quite amazed by this remark, but than again I am not an emulsion expert like Denise is who has probably more wise words to share on this, but isn't the "white" in normal commercial silver gelatine FB papers just the sum of the paper white and the whitish baryta layer beneath the emulsion?

    Having an "opaque white base" in the emulsion is completely new to me, almost suggesting the bariumsulphate, that is normally in the baryta layer beneath the emulsion, is somehow "mixed" with the emulsion??
    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

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