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  1. #1
    gbenaim's Avatar
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    Kentmere Br & AZO Grades & Neg Contrast

    Hi All,

    I'm in the process of getting gear to strat contact printing 8x10. I've read several posts of people using Kentmere Bromide as a substitute for AZO for the time being, until LODIMA comes out. I'm guessing Kentmere grade 2 has more contrast than AZO 2 or even 3 or 4 (correct me as I go, as I have no experience w either paper.) Assuming this is true, how are people developing new negs for Kentmere which in the future they may want to print using a silver chloride paper (or Platinum, for that matter)? I guess intensifying the negs once such a paper comes out is an option, but was curious what others have thought about this. Thanks,

    GB

  2. #2

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    Kentmere Grade 2 is definitely not THAT contrasty. I find it to be a tad contrastier than VC papers at that "grade". Gr3 is really really nice IMO, and you will probably end up using this paper the most. As for contrast control, that depends on what developer you are using. With Ansco 130, I can get pretty decent water bath contrast reduction- not quite as good as Amidol however. Two bath development will be your best bet for noticeable contrast control with a graded paper. You will love contact printing 8x10, it is simply amazing!

  3. #3
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    I use and enjoy Kentmere Bromide. It is NOT a replacement for AZO. It is a very different paper. It is a cool tone, high contrast enlarging paper. If you are planning on printing alt process you will need a negative that is denser than pirnts well on Kent. Bro. I've found my negatives that printed well on grade 3 Azo print well on Kentmere. My negs that printed well on Azo Grade 2 are a challenge to bring down, even on Kent. Bro. Grade 2.

    I've changed my film development with Pyrocat from 2:2:100 to 1:1:100 for good printing on Kent. Bro. I would also consider Kentmere Bromide Grades to be closer to the following. Grade 2 = Grade 2.5, Grade 3 = Grade 3.5 and Grade 4 = Grade 4. This has been my experience over the last two years. Feel free to pm me if you have any more specific questions. Best. Shawn

  4. #4
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty View Post
    I would also consider Kentmere Bromide Grades to be closer to the following. Grade 2 = Grade 2.5, Grade 3 = Grade 3.5 and Grade 4 = Grade 4. This has been my experience over the last two years. Feel free to pm me if you have any more specific questions. Best. Shawn
    I agree with Shawn's assessment of the Kentmere grades. Bromide's tone is a little too cold for me so I have come to prefer Kentmere Kentona but it only comes in one grade.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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  5. #5

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    Since Lodima paper will, like AZO, be a single-weight paper, you might consider trying the single-weight version of Slavich Unibrom. I've tried grades 2 & 3 and do like the results. Having only used AZO in newer grade 2 version, can't really speak to Slavich compatibility; however it is a very nice paper and priced right for learning contact printing.

  6. #6

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    Like Shawn said, it is a different paper! It is also my favorite graded paper I have tried (out of 6). I actually love the high contrast, even if others who view my prints don't =)

  7. #7
    gbenaim's Avatar
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    Hey Shawn,

    I actually wrote to ask you about that and other 8x10 stuff earlier this week, check your pm's.

  8. #8

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    It will come down to taste and perhaps the image itself. The Kentmere bromide was 'closer' to azo than many I have tried as it is colder (I have also had good results with emaks). The Kentmere Kentona was warmer in tone. Not close to the AZO as the Kentmere is warmer/brownish in tone.

    All developed in amidol. The Kentmere Bromide I am speaking of is grade 3.

    The new lodima paper should be availble soon, hopefully and we can stock up and 'settle' in to a new paper.

  9. #9

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    Until a person actually measures the scale of a paper, it is difficult to describe how one paper compares to another...this is especially difficult when the paper is not available yet.

    The only way to know for sure is to print a step wedge on a given paper and then measure the scale based upon the paper's characteristics.

    For instance, Azo when it was still available, varied in contrast during a couple of runs that I recall. At that time a Grade three Azo negative would print closest to a grade one and half to two enlarging paper. Of course it is anybody's guess what will happen in the future.

    If I were betting, and I am not, I would tailor my negatives to have a density range of about 1.65- 1.75...that way if the paper is not to your liking, you can at least print on Pt-pd...or maybe a grade one enlarging paper.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

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  10. #10
    Richard Boutwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller View Post
    The only way to know for sure is to print a step wedge on a given paper and then measure the scale based upon the paper's characteristics.
    Donald, I could not disagree more. The only way to know for sure if any paper is good is to print a real pictoral negative to your best ability on different papers and then compare the results.

    A step wedge will not tell you how sharp one paper is compared to another, how the mid-tone separation is affected by burning and dodging, or how they react to different developers, if there is any dry-down, how they respond to toning, ect.

    Bruce Barlow tried to do it right in his "ultimate paper and developer shoot-out" but he only printed one negative. And instead of trying to make the best print he could,he printed everything for maximum black-- something which, I think, makes all his tests pointless.
    ". . . 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

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