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Thread: Fotokemika ...

  1. #181
    Curt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Richard;

    It will most likely come down to making your own handcrafted films and papers. You would think that there would be some groundswell in reaction with people inquiring about methods and etc, but things are as usual on this front. Minimal interest. That is about 100 people out of the 50,000 APUG membership.

    PE
    Ron, at my age, 60, I can't become a lab monkey. I have a BS and have a couple years of chemistry and many other sciences. By the time I learned the technical process and set up a lab I'd be even older. There's no way I can make a film like Kodak in a couple months. I'd recommend younger people get into it though. It's plenty of work for me to make carbon prints.

    I don't really know what would motivate a person to make film. As long as there is film there won't be a flood of people eager to make their own. Human nature I suppose.

    Curt
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  2. #182
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Roger, Fotokemika makes/made two types of papers. Emaks is their graded paper, and Varycon is their variable contrast one. Both have a similar glossy surface, and paper color. Very beautiful stuff. Emaks gets deeper and richer blacks than Varycon (in my experience), but both are truly superb products. Efke films - well I've had mixed luck with them. A bit inconsistent from box to box, but really nice tonality.
    I understand that, and was aware of Varycon and Emaks. I was replying to a poster who listed Oriental as a no longer available paper. The graded yes, the VC, no - or at least I've heard nothing about it and dealers still list it.

    My experience with the Arista Silver Artist, widely thought (and all but confirmed by Freestyle when they told me this would impact their being able to supply it) to be Varycon emulsion coated on to that cotton rag fine art paper, was that it is a very nice emulsion. Not, however, anything all that different from other emulsions for conventional printing. I realize that it is said to lith print very well and I've received one or two (not sure now) lith prints through the FADU print exchange, so that's something I was thinking about experimenting with. Sigh. OTOH, one thing I did not like about the Arista Silver Artist is that it resists toning, at least with the single solution brown toner I'm so fond of with MGWTFB. I haven't yet tried it in selenium or bleach/redevelop sepia. Not much point in really working out what works best with it now. That would eat my remaining small supply of this paper, perhaps 10 sheets of 8x10 and an unopened 10 sheet pack of 11x14, when I could just use it to make regular prints I know will work untoned.

    Again, sigh.

    But still - we do have a very good selection of excellent analog black and white materials available, both film and paper.

  3. #183
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Ron, at my age, 60, I can't become a lab monkey. I have a BS and have a couple years of chemistry and many other sciences. By the time I learned the technical process and set up a lab I'd be even older. There's no way I can make a film like Kodak in a couple months. I'd recommend younger people get into it though. It's plenty of work for me to make carbon prints.

    I don't really know what would motivate a person to make film. As long as there is film there won't be a flood of people eager to make their own. Human nature I suppose.

    Curt
    My point is related. If I were retired, if I had ample time, I'd love to learn emulsion making. Or wet plate photography. Or both and more. But I'm not and I don't. Severe lack of time is the biggest constraint on my photography now (or, more correctly, uninterrupted blocks of sufficient time when I am also well rested and up to taking advantage of it.) I have film I shot last year that I still haven't developed, many negatives to print, slides piled up in boxes to be sorted - I just don't have time to also coat my own. Hopefully commercial materials will last until I retire and that changes, at least.

  4. #184

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    Quote Originally Posted by Photo Engineer View Post
    Richard;

    It will most likely come down to making your own handcrafted films and papers. You would think that there would be some groundswell in reaction with people inquiring about methods and etc, but things are as usual on this front. Minimal interest. That is about 100 people out of the 50,000 APUG membership.

    PE
    Well as I've said before, this is not a viable solution unless one is happy to use vastly inferior materials.

    The average person can learn all the theory he wants about emulsion making, coating etc, and it is interesting and fun, and that's cool. It is entirely another matter to make a film like TMax or FP4, or Delta in your basement. It doesn't matter how much I might learn about the scientific principles underlying these emulsions, there simply is no way for someone like me to actually make a film like this. No way. Some beakers and a nice coating rod ain't gonna cut it.

    We've discussed this before. What about controlled crystal growth? What about the several extremely thin layers in a complex emulsion? Dye sensitization? Hardening? Supercoats? Anti-halation? On and on. Even if one could figure it all out, you need a clean room, tightly controlled temperature and humidity conditions, and highly specialized equipment for coating, testing etc if you hope to achieve any semblance of uniformity and quality.

    Don't get me wrong I'd love to learn more about making films and papers and intend to buy your book/dvd. I wish I could take the class at GEH too. But that's all for fun. Without Ilford and Kodak, it's all over.

  5. #185
    Photo Engineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Ron, at my age, 60, I can't become a lab monkey. I have a BS and have a couple years of chemistry and many other sciences. By the time I learned the technical process and set up a lab I'd be even older. There's no way I can make a film like Kodak in a couple months. I'd recommend younger people get into it though. It's plenty of work for me to make carbon prints.

    I don't really know what would motivate a person to make film. As long as there is film there won't be a flood of people eager to make their own. Human nature I suppose.

    Curt
    Curt;

    Although I had a long background in photography, all aspects, I did not start this emulsion making work until I had been retired for several years. I was determined to make it simple for the very reasons you comment on.

    The process is mainly time consuming, as it just about doubles the time from snapping the shutter until seeing the image! This is not harder, just longer!

    Several students of mine are now out there making film and paper for their own images.

    PE

  6. #186

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    Usually only people who haven't tried *something* are the ones who insist its not possible.
    More people will start making film and paper, even the kids know that.
    The number is growing.

  7. #187

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    There's a quite a difference between it being possible to make something, and being able to make something of high quality to exacting standards.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who would rather not go backwards with film technology. We want the best we can get. If I'm used to the current generation of Ilford and Kodak films, I'll be pretty unhappy having to switch to somebody's home brewed version of 1950s Tri-X. No thanks.

  8. #188
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    I may have to go down the emulsion making path someday, but for now it isn't a question of saying it's not possible, I'm sure I could do it (eventually). For me it's just a question of time. Between supporting a family and staying current in my profession I have very little time to give to my own work, if I had to become both photographer and factory very little would get done. It's not for lack of interest. Sad to see these companies pass, I feel badly for the workers.

  9. #189

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    There's a quite a difference between it being possible to make something, and being able to make something of high quality to exacting standards.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who would rather not go backwards with film technology. We want the best we can get. If I'm used to the current generation of Ilford and Kodak films, I'll be pretty unhappy having to switch to somebody's home brewed version of 1950s Tri-X. No thanks.
    When "We want the best we can get" is difficult, only people who have a strong stake will participate.
    If You want the best, then You might need to learn how to get it
    The 1950s Tri-X was not bad, not bad at all.

  10. #190

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    Not bad, but not exactly TMX/TMY2 either.



 

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