Liquid emulsion on paper - please share experience and pics
Old 01-19-2020   #1
retinax
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Liquid emulsion on paper - please share experience and pics

Hello,
Those of you who have worked with liquid emulsion from Foma or "Rollei" (Maco) or others, or made their own - can we discuss this stuff? Maybe see some examples?
One thing I want to know and can't see from scanned examples is what the surfaces looks like when it is coated on watercolor paper. Am I correct to assume that without baryta/resin/extra layers of gelatin underneath, it doesn't form a layer on top of the paper? Is there a sheen to it or does it look like the bare paper surface? That's what I'd love to get, something with a paper surface just like salt prints or pt/pd, but under the enlarger; if you have other ideas on how to do that, I'd like to know.
Is it hard to get a reasonably even coat with a brush?
Is it hard to get decent Dmax, how does Dmax compare to ready made silver gelatin paper?
Does the variable contrast stuff really work well?
Can one use a bleach to work on the contrast or is it too fragile to be subjected to additional chemical baths?
I know, I'd better head to Photrio, but somehow I dread having to make another account and going down the rabbit hole. Maybe some members here have also done stuff like that.
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Old 01-19-2020   #2
ajtruhan
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I don’t think I’ve used it but another is liquid light.
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Old 01-19-2020   #3
Freakscene
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I have used heaps of liquid emulsion. I used almost every brand and made some myself. I liked the Fotospeed brand best, I think it was sold in the US as Luminos. Without the baryta coating the emulsion soaks into the paper surface and the final image looks like the paper surface. Even with enough hardened gelatin to seal the paper, which also decreases how much emulsion you need, the image retains the look of the paper surface.

The porosity of the paper and the chemical inaccessibility of the soaked in emulsion mean you need to be careful to fix and wash thoroughly, or the image degrades, sometimes very quickly.

I don’t have any scans now, but I’ll try to find some.

Marty
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Old 01-20-2020   #4
retinax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
I have used heaps of liquid emulsion. I used almost every brand and made some myself. I liked the Fotospeed brand best, I think it was sold in the US as Luminos. Without the baryta coating the emulsion soaks into the paper surface and the final image looks like the paper surface. Even with enough hardened gelatin to seal the paper, which also decreases how much emulsion you need, the image retains the look of the paper surface.

The porosity of the paper and the chemical inaccessibility of the soaked in emulsion mean you need to be careful to fix and wash thoroughly, or the image degrades, sometimes very quickly.

I donít have any scans now, but Iíll try to find some.

Marty

All great to know, thanks! I think I will order some at some point and cost makes Foma the first choice, unless there are objections.
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Old 01-20-2020   #5
Freakscene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
All great to know, thanks! I think I will order some at some point and cost makes Foma the first choice, unless there are objections.
The Foma emulsion is good. It used to be available in a 1kg package and I used to buy several at a go. People loved portraits on watercolour paper with LE.

The Foma emulsion comes with a hardener you don't absolutely need, but which helps. It is formalin - a formaldehyde solution, so be careful with it - it is fairly nasty stuff.

Marty
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Old 01-20-2020   #6
retinax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakscene View Post
The Foma emulsion comes with a hardener you don't absolutely need, but which helps. It if formalin - a formaldehyde solution, so becauseful with it - it is fairly nasty stuff.

Marty
Oh wow I certainly won't use that, badly ventilated darkroom and prints will be stored in my bedroom.
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Old 01-20-2020   #7
Freakscene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Oh wow I certainly won't use that, badly ventilated darkroom and prints will be stored in my bedroom.
You might find you need the hardener. If you don't use it but the emulsion washes off during processing, you know you need to add it. The formalin won't outgas after it is mixed with the emulsion, and it will be long gone by the time the prints are dry. Just take care with the liquid before you add it to the liquid emulsion.

Marty
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Old 01-19-2020   #8
filmtwit
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I have a few bottles of liquid light that were passed onto me, but I have yet to do anything with them.
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Old 01-21-2020   #9
retinax
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Ok obviously I need to read up on this, thanks!
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Old 01-21-2020   #10
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I found some scans. Bad ones. But scans. One thing about textured paper is it doesn't scan well. But I also knew nothing about scanning in 1999-2000 when I scanned these.

Sacha
Nikon F100, Nikkor 85/1.4, Tri-X in Xtol. Fotospeed liquid emulsion, Arches Aquarelle.


Kim
Nikon F100, Nikkor 85/1.4, APX 100 in FX39. Fotospeed liquid emulsion, Blue Lake paper.


Laurence C
Hasselblad, Zeiss 110/2, Tri-X in Xtol 1+3. Self made liquid emulsion, Blue Lake paper.


Shelly L
Contax Aria, Zeiss 100/2, Fomapan 400 in Fomadon Excel. Foma liquid emulsion, Unlabelled watercolour paper found in art store in Kracow.


I can provide a lot of tips if you need them. I'll emphasise again that these look a lot better on paper than the scans look.

Marty
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Old 01-21-2020   #11
retinax
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I can imagine these look lovely in person. How black are the blacks?
I'm sure I will need more advice, but it'll be a while until I actually try this.
Regarding the hardener, can alum not be applied earlier than as usual in the fix?
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Old 01-21-2020   #12
Freakscene
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
I can imagine these look lovely in person. How black are the blacks?
They look as black as any very matte silver B&W paper, but not as black as Pt/Pd prints. The middle two negs suit the paper contrast better, and I used a home made developer with a lot of kick. I can send the formula for that too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
I'm sure I will need more advice, but it'll be a while until I actually try this.
Regarding the hardener, can alum not be applied earlier than as usual in the fix?
You don't put alum in the fix. You add alum solution to the melted emulsion just before you coat the paper. It helps with adhesion, but not as much as formalin hardener. My notes indicate that with paper you don't need much hardener, and that better density and predictability came from coating the paper with unsensitised gelatine first (this is called 'subbing' the paper) thoroughly drying it then coating it in the darkroom. You also need to make sure that the paper is really dry after you coat with the liquid emulsion.

I also coated canvas, glass, rocks including slices of marble, eggshells and other surfaces. These impermeable surfaces really need hardened emulsion. Without both subbing the surface and using a hardened emulsion, the image just breaks up and floats off hard substrates.

Marty
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