Inexpensive liquid emulsion

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jsmoove

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Hey there, im sure this has probably been asked before...but I'm in need of some sort of liquid emulsion, but in a larger quantity, like a big paint bucket of it, you know.
Obviously this would be super expensive to do, so are there any formulas out there to make a good amount of liquid emulsion without breaking the bank?
Basically I want to build a good size camera obscura/pinhole and drape a fabric like polyester or cotton covered in emulsion, and expose an image.
If none of this is possible, itd be great if someone could direct me to the proper dilutions for using these types of fabric with any kind of emulsion that I can either paint, spray or soak into.
Cool,

Cheers
 

AgX

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You can inquire at for instance Fotoimpex what the price of let's say 40 of their bottles would be.
If you expect them to fill up a bucket for you at their next run, keep in mind that they first have to get an appropriate container and then pack it lightight and shipping-safe, which likely would undermine any bulk-rebate you would expect.
 

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hi jsmoove
if you don't mind making it yourself ... and if you don't mind super slow speed emulsion
http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/DryPlate/Patton/DryPlatePart.htm
super ez only a couple of ingredients ( salt water gelatin and silver nitrate )

otherwise you can buy a jug of liquid light they sell ( or used to? ) it in gallon sizes
( you might have to go directly to the rockland colloid website and buy it directly from them )
... i'd get the original formula it won't be as expensive or high tech...
( its not variable contrast ) ... you can also go to freestyle photo they sell 2Kg sizes of foma liquid emulsion
sometimes its on clearance so it will be a little less expensive ...

goodluck !

john
 

J 3

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Does it have to be a silver emulsion? There are a lot of projects out there that use large amounts of cyanotype media. I think Van Dyke brown media as well which is a silver media. The development is easier too. Mixing diazo media (silk screen media) with pigment like those in the EU are experimenting with (The dichromates were banned in the EU) is another option.
 

J 3

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Oops... I should have read a little closer. In camera cyanotype is possible, and can be made to bond to fabric quite well but it's unlikely to work in a pinhole camera with any reasonable exposure. That does beg the question though - what kind of exposure times with what kind of lens are you hoping for? Also is ending up with a negative OK? The fabric is a problem because of how much media it would take to absorb into the fibers. You'd probably want to gesso the fabric in some kind of chemistry compatible way to keep all your media from being soaked up. If it's a silver halide emulsion it's doubly important because you'd have to fix out all absorbed media to keep it from darkening and destroying the image.
 

Rudeofus

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As others have noted, if you want to go pin hole, you'll need a sensitive emulsion. The one book you should definitely take a very close look at is Rowland Mowrey's (known as PhotoEngineer here on photrio) book "Photographic Emulsion Making, Coating and Testing". It covers in detail how to make several photographic emulsions, including an othochromatic B&W emulsion with ISO 40-80 speed.
 
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jsmoove

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Thanks everyone! A bit off topic to my original post, is there a panchromatic liquid emulsion out there?
 

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Thanks everyone! A bit off topic to my original post, is there a panchromatic liquid emulsion out there?
not that i know of, unless you buy denise ross or ron mowrey's books i think they might have recipes ... so so you can make your own .. :smile:
 

Lachlan Young

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Thanks everyone! A bit off topic to my original post, is there a panchromatic liquid emulsion out there?

Unless you make your own, no. Denise's 'Light Farm' website mentioned above does have a section on panchromatic sensitisation. Foma or similar might make you a panchromatic emulsion, but you'd need to buy many, many litres to make it worth their while. A yellow filter on an orthochromatic emulsion will 'correct' it to something close to 'normal' perception.
 
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jsmoove

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Thanks for the tips. What about a single layer panchromatic liquid emulsion? Not possible?
 

AgX

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Panchromatic emulsions are basically one leyer emulsions. The might be split for other reasons, but not for their spectral sensitivity.
 
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jsmoove

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@AgX Oh I misunderstood, well that's good news! So panchromatic liquid light is a possible feat then...I just would need to make it myself I guess as others have stated above?
How about panchromatic dye? Is that a thing?
 

Rudeofus

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@AgX Oh I misunderstood, well that's good news! So panchromatic liquid light is a possible feat then...I just would need to make it myself I guess as others have stated above?
How about panchromatic dye? Is that a thing?
There is no such thing as a panchromatic dye as far as I know. If you take silver halide, that's sensitive to violett and sometimes blue light. If you want to make it sensitive to longer wavelengths, you need to add special dyes, which attach to silver halide crystal and forward photon energy to that crystal. These dyes are somewhat easy to get for green light, therefore Ron's book present orthochromatic emulsions. Dye suitable for making silver halide sensitive to red light are already quite complex, and infrared light is even more difficult. The big advantage of orthochromatic emulsions for you would be that you could do your first experiments in red darkroom lights, at least for now.

Since your project sounds like you're going to need quite some amount of emulsion, that suggestion with a few liters of Foma's emulsion is a lot more realistic than it appeared initially. Ron's book would still be essential reading, since you also need to learn how to handle and coat these emulsions.
 

Nodda Duma

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I'd recommend digging through the Emulsion Making subforum which has tons of info on the questions you ask, and answers to questions you haven't asked yet. :smile:

For sensitizing dyes, this is a good reference amongst many other good references: https://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/ScientificPapers/nbsscientificpaper422vol17p353_A2b.pdf For a start, the combination of erythrosine and pinacyonol chloride is probably a first choice for panchromatic sensitivity.

Out of curiosity I calculated the cost to make a gallon of emulsion, and the pricing would be comparable to the orthochromatic (I think) emulsion you can get here:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1349026-REG/rollei_33351_black_magic_liquid_emulsion.html
and/or here:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod..._Photographic_Extra_Sensitivity_Emulsion.html
 

Lachlan Young

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I should add that I was being a little facetious when I said that Foma might be prepared to make some panchromatic liquid emulsion - realistically, it's probably only possible at a hundred litres & significantly upwards of that.
 

M Carter

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The Foma emulsion is a simply excellent product. I haven't tried Liquid Light, but after tons of forum and blog research, it seemed many people had problems that pointed to QC issues.

The Foma is about a grade 3 - 3.5, but it has deep and silky blacks, really beautiful stuff. Not cheap, but making your own would be expensive and massively time consuming, since most recipes are for small batches and the process doesn't seem friendly to making one big batch (I could be wrong here, but reading even the simple recipes steered me well away from it for doing consistent work without a lot of guessing and hassles).

This image is Foma on canvas, then tinted with oil glazes (I started with a Bromoil print which I photographed 6x7 and then enlarged onto the canvas, that's where the grain and softness comes from).

qCYdr20.jpg
 

Lachlan Young

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The Foma emulsion is a simply excellent product. I haven't tried Liquid Light, but after tons of forum and blog research, it seemed many people had problems that pointed to QC issues.

The Foma is about a grade 3 - 3.5, but it has deep and silky blacks, really beautiful stuff. Not cheap, but making your own would be expensive and massively time consuming, since most recipes are for small batches and the process doesn't seem friendly to making one big batch (I could be wrong here, but reading even the simple recipes steered me well away from it for doing consistent work without a lot of guessing and hassles).

This image is Foma on canvas, then tinted with oil glazes (I started with a Bromoil print which I photographed 6x7 and then enlarged onto the canvas, that's where the grain and softness comes from).

qCYdr20.jpg
The Foma stuff is nice but pretty safelight sensitive in my experience - Silverprint's SE1 is quite a significant step up in my experience. It's made by Ilford (used to be made by Kentmere I'm fairly certain - especially as there used to be an SE2 which from the context sounds an awful lot like it was Kentona in a bottle) & is quite probably based off Kentmere's G2 (G3+ in reality) Bromide emulsion. Very easy to work with, well behaved etc. Significantly more expensive than the Foma however.
 
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jsmoove

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Thanks again everyone. Will be checking out all of what you have linked.
 

M Carter

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The Foma stuff is nice but pretty safelight sensitive in my experience - Silverprint's SE1 is quite a significant step up in my experience. It's made by Ilford (used to be made by Kentmere I'm fairly certain - especially as there used to be an SE2 which from the context sounds an awful lot like it was Kentona in a bottle) & is quite probably based off Kentmere's G2 (G3+ in reality) Bromide emulsion. Very easy to work with, well behaved etc. Significantly more expensive than the Foma however.
That's interesting - never tried the Silverprint, but with the Foma I use those red LED safelight bulbs from Superbright LEDs. No problem, and doing 2 coats with drying in between on 30" canvas, I had the safelight pretty close and raked across to see any issues or brush hairs (it was turned off for drying though) and I got clean whites. I believe they say red vs. amber safelights though? My darkroom is really bright with those LEDs, it's like morning on Mars in there.
 

Rudeofus

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There's a simple explanation for this wildly different experience with safe lights and liquid emulsions, and it has nothing to do with the type of liquid emulsion you have. Note, that it takes quite an effort to make a photographic emulsion sensitive to red light, this is not something which happens by accident.

There are, however, safelights based on red LEDs, and there are safe lights based on some light bulb (standard incandescent, halogen or fluorescent, it doesn't matter). The first produces red light and nothing but red light, and orthochromatic photographic materials are not at all sensitive to that kind of light.

The latter depends on some red piece of plastic to filter out green and blue light components, and cheap incarnations of red plastic don't do a good job at that. Given enough time and proximity to the "safe" light this type will fog orthochromatic photographic materials.

Since LEDs were expensive when most of our (typically donated or bought used for a pittance) current dark room equipment was made, there is an abundance of safe lights of second type out there. These will work fine with the typical short processing cycles of B&W paper, but which tend to fog materials exposed to them for prolonged periods of time at close proximity.
 
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