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  1. #1
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    2nd Grade of Kentmere Kentona - Simon?

    I have found Kentmere Kentona to be among the most beautiful papers I have seen, similar in many ways to Azo and superior in color. It is a delicate paper but has been well worth any extra care in handling. The only problem I have with the paper is that is comes in only one grade. While pulling the paper seems to work well with an active developer and a water bath I've had little luck adding contrast.

    If a second, higher grade were also available I would use nothing else... Now that Ilford is going to be running the show I wonder if there is a chance a second grade would be produced? I also thought this would be a good opportunity to see what kind of interest there is here at APUG.

    All the best. Shawn

  2. #2
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    Perhaps a poll, similar to the Art Classic thread would be appropriate...
    ____________________________________________
    Searching my way to perplexion

  3. #3

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    With the demise of Azo, I too use Kentona almost exclusively. I think this paper has some really special qualities and would love to see Ilford offer it in more grades. However, my bigger fear is that they will drop it from the line all-together. With all of the market consolidation that has happened in recent years, it seems like we're mostly left with graded and VC papers that are more alike than different. Although I'll probably get flamed for saying this, most of Kentmere's products seem pretty similar to stuff that Ilford already makes - Kentona and the POP papers being the major exceptions. Since most commercial users of B&W paper have moved on to digital it really leaves the fine-art / specialty market which is the very market who would appreciate these kinds of unique papers. Now that legendary papers like Azo are gone from the market, I really hope that Ilford will compliment the already excellent products they make with a few specialty papers like Kentona & POP as opposed to further consolidating the product assortment.

    Just my two cents.
    Scott Killian
    www.scottkillian.com

  4. #4
    juan's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of Kentona, too. I've modified MAS amidol a bit and get plenty of variation between water baths and extended development. A higher grade would make some prints easier, though.
    juan

  5. #5
    JLP
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    Kentona is also one of my favorite papers. Another contrast grade would be great. The current a little softer and then another grade 3
    Would not mind if it was a little more glossy to, It loose a little of the magic when it dry up.

    jan

  6. #6
    Richard Boutwell's Avatar
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    I would use Kentona more it didn't have the slightly dull surface. Maybe Ilford can make something with a little more gloss to it. Another grade would be nice too, maybe something a little softer?
    ". . . photographing as a two-way act of respect. Respect for the medium and letting it do what it does best- describe. And respect for the subject in describing it as it is. A photograph must be responsible to both."-- Garry Winogrand

    "Art is just a Series of Natural Gestures."-- John Marin

    My Platinum Printing Blog

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  7. #7
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLP View Post
    Kentona is also one of my favorite papers. Another contrast grade would be great. The current a little softer and then another grade 3
    jan
    With the current option of one grade I prefer it as is, if two were offered your suggestion would be ideal.

    As far as the surface I'm fine with the way it is now but wouldn't mind a bit if it were glossier as you and Richard suggest.

  8. #8

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    hmmm, I found the kentmere bromide 'closer' to azo, with the kentona being a tad warmer in tone...all in amidol....maybe it's the kbr that changes things?
    Oh well, I am still hopeful that M&P will come up with an AZO replacement...

  9. #9

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    I'm not sure about increasing glossiness of Kentona. I'm using it as my warm-tone paper; and for cool-tones with a glossy appearance I use Kentmere Bromide. It seems to give me better resolution than Forte Fortezo, and am trying to get a similiar warmth. So don't mess with a good thing. Now a higher contrast grade would be another matter ;-)

  10. #10
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Kentona

    I haven't use the paper yet but based on some of the comments by those here who I respect I will be trying it soon.

    Just a little trick that I'm quite sure will cure your so-so gloss concerns.

    For years I used Agfa Portriga Rapid, a chloro-bromide emulsion enlarging paper (the finest ever made BTW) Portriga suffered from the same lack of gloss when left to air dry.

    Next time follow this suggestion, final wash the print and hang to drip dry, as shiny water sheets off the surface (about 10 minutes) the print is still quite moist. Have your wife's oven set at 175-190 degrees on bake and place print in oven for about 2 minutes. Right before your eyes the print will come to a gloss like you only dream about. Print should be removed from oven while it still has a slight bit of moisture on the back side of the print. Let air dry and I'm sure you'll be both surprised and pleased.

    Lastly, if you leave the print in the oven too long edges of the print will curl enough so that when you mount the print in a dry mount press the edge of the paper will crack and you'll loose valuable image because of it.

    Gloss will be achieved long before the entire paper is bone dry, remove while back is a bit moist.

    Also, even if the fiber paper you are currently using air dries to a full gloss this trick will increase gloss slightly.

    Cheers! Steve
    Real Photographs are Born Wet !
    http://www.steve-sherman.com

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