View Full Version : Is Kentmere disappearing?

al olson
9-Apr-2010, 13:54
Until now, Kentmere VC RC Select has been my favorite paper for finishing my final prints. For test I use 8x10 Ilford MG IV RC for my test prints because my photo shop carries it in bulk and I can get a good price. However, it does not have the rich blacks and the tonal separation that I can get from the Kentmere when I make final prints. I also prefer the cold tone for my IR and ruins photos.

For the past several weeks I had an order placed with Adorama for 20x24 Kentmere Select. Yesterday I gave up and canceled the order. Today I received my Freestyle spring catalog. The largest size of Kentmere listed is 8x10 and only two different coatings: Kentmere VC RC Select and Kentmere Fineprint VC Double-weight Fiber.

It looks like Ilford is not making any runs of Kentmere at this time. Earlier they did drop a number of coatings because they said that it was too difficult to set up their equipment to run those formulas. I have been hoping that the Select would remain in the sizes I use.

Now I am trying to determine a good substitute that will give me the results that I want. I think my choices are going to be:
1) Adox MCP 310 (sizes to 20x24 plus 42" roll)
2) Fotokemika Varycon RC VC (sizes to 16x20)
3) Arista Private Reserve VC RC (sizes to 16x20) and maybe
4) Fomaspeed Variant III MG-VC (sizes to 20x24 plus 42.5"x33' roll)

Can anyone with experience using the above papers suggest which choice would best give me the results that I am looking for?

Thanks for your help.

9-Apr-2010, 16:17
freestyle's site shows the fineprint fiber in all sizes up to 20x24. Have you called them?

Robert Skeoch
9-Apr-2010, 19:12
I've been able to order Kentmere papers for my retail outlet. Although I don't sell many of the RC products I haven't had any problems getting them in.
I tend to sell more of the FB papers and keep all the sizes in stock, so they are still available.... at least in Canada.
-Rob Skeoch

al olson
12-Apr-2010, 16:47
I have spoken with Freestyle. They currently have Kentmere Select RC VC in stock in the 20x24 lustre, but not in the glossy. I asked and was told that Ilford is discontinuing Kentmere Select in the 20x24 and the roll sizes, but it will still be produced in sheets up to 16x20.

I note in the Freestyle catalog that Ilford's Multigrade IV is still listed in the 20x24 size for fiber base, but only up to 16x20 for RC. So it appears that this discontinuance may be across the board for all of their RC products in the 20x24 sizes.

I prefer the deeper blacks of Kentmere. My original question still holds, can anyone suggest a replacement that is similar to the Kentmere?

Second question, does anyone know who coats the papers for Adorama now?

13-Apr-2010, 08:52
I like MG IV except for the price. I recently compared Kentmere and Adox 310 in 25 sheet batches. I found the Kentmere separated highlight more to my liking, 310 a close second, slightly softer and a teeny bit slower. Blacks are quite black. So I stocked up with 100 shts of each, used mostly Kentmere and now I am a third thru a 250 sheet box. I can envision that the small differences shown by 310 may come in handy. I DID have money when Freestyle remaindered out the 8 inch rolls of Kentmere so one roll is in my freezer for panoramic printing. I may scrape enough together to get a 6 inch roll if iFreestyle still has some- same price as the 8 inch. Last I checked rolls of MG IV were boocoo bucks and min 2 purchase, so I may try its [distant?] cousin MG Express