Kentmere Kentona Grade 2, any good?
The sort-of-local dealer has a pack of Kentmere Kentona Grade 2 (Glossy) still lying around. He showed me a sample from one of those fold-out booklets (full of discontinued papers ) and frankly in comparison to the Kentmere papers that I know (Fineprint Glossy and Semi-matte) the Kentona looks nicely different: quite warm and creamy, and glossy in an attractive way.
I know that this is a fixed-grade paper and also that it's no longer in production. An internet search reveals a couple of people having problems with later batches of Kentona, supposedly something to do with the elimination of Cadmium. Apparently unless you use distilled or demineralised water for your developer the paper will come out a blotchy yellowish. Is anybody familiar with this problem?
Assuming no yellow-problems, is this a nice paper, or better to go with something like EMAKS/Adox Nuance? How does Kentona's grade relate to variable contrast papers used at grade two?
This is not meant to be a fixed-grade vs. variable contrast thread; rather a bit more about Kentona specifically.
It was a very nice paper, slightly warmtoned but not like Agfa MCC or Forte Polywarmtone, the disadvantage was Kentmere dropped Gd 3 so there was just Gd 2 left for some time.
I used it a bit and never had any problems but it may be a bit old now so don't pay too much as it may be past it. Warmtone papers age the fastest.
KENTONA with cadmium has not been made for two decades +
Any KENTONA left in the market has been coated by HARMAN technology Limited, stocks exist in the market, including some stock at the factory. It should be absolutely fine.
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology LImited :
Thanks Simon, I stand corrected - the OP seemed to be indicating it was old stock "still lying around".
Initially (3 yrs ago) had developer fogging problems with it; but recently pulled it out of freezer and it worked fine. I used Separol Soft for dev. and citric acid stop bath and the highlights are bright. Its a beautiful paper with hint of warmth.
van Huyck Photo
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I just started using a pack of Kentona I got several years ago, and I did have trouble with the yellow blotching. The first sheet was very yellow, the second sheet was slightly yellow around the edges, and the third sheet was fine. I thought maybe it was caused by the plastic bag, since it seemed to depend on how close the sheet was to the outside of the pack (plasticizers leaching, or offgassing, or something). This was in Formulary 130.
Thanks for all your replies- very helpful.
It may seem a bit odd to discuss potential issues with a paper that I've never even used, but still, I don't feel entirely comfortable about the possible yellow blotches. It's not that I don't trust the information and expertise of Harman/Kentmere; rather that I would feel such an idiot buying the last Kentona box in the store only to find it not up to the usual high Harman standard.
How is the grading? Is it a 'real' grade 2, in that it is comparable to a grade 2 shared by most variable contrast papers?
Does it respond well to toning?
I'd love to hear some more user reviews; there seems to be not much around on the internet.
I think it is a great paper, but I had some frilling on the very edge of my first sheets (and I did not wash it overly long, 30-60 minutes). After that incident, I put on the shelf and forgot about until I started doing lith printing, which to me was the right way to use the paper, slight warm tones, a little pepper and very reminiscent of pencil drawing to my eyes. And I have not had the frilling with the lith prints so I guess it was a one off.
As far as could see it is a grade 2 paper, compared to my other papers like Ilford and Foma.
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Very beautiful paper, never had problems with the yellow blotches. I felt the prints sharper than MGIV or Fineprint, as if there is more information each square cm. I used Dektol. A pity that it has gone, but I'm very glad with MCC which is also very "intense". Maarten
I have just a few sheets left, and pulled some out using a cold-tone amidol dev last Sat, but was doing most
of my printing on Fineprint. I've gotten OK results with it, but really, the Fineprint is a much more gutsy paper to
me, and obviously more versatile using split exposure or other kinds of filter control. I also used up the last of my
neo-Seagull G (not as much snap as either the old shool Graded G or well-toned Fineprint, which is now my cold
tone paper of choice).