i’ve been coating thing with rockland emulsion off and on since i was told about it in 1986. i had never made the investment in a tube of ag+. i’ve always been on the poorer side of the street when it comes down to buying “stuff” so i used the regular old non multigrade emulsion and then most recently someone gave me a tube of their extremely expired VC emulsion. i am fond of making glass negatives and as you probably have read if you poked around this blog i like making ( or trying to make ! ) ferrotypes and glass positives, the ones made with silver gelatin emulsion, not collodion. the emulsion that comes with the rockland tintype parlor is the ag+. it was never enough for me in that tiny tube they provide, so i called bob, the guy at rockland and asked him if i could use the other emulsions ( regular, or vc or ? ) to make the tintypes and he said
“sure! just coat it thicker because it doesn’t have as much silver as the ag+ ”
so that is what i did for a few years, coated things 2x.
now i am out of the other emulsions ( they sort of crapped out on me and turned useless seeing they were so old ) so i cracked open a bottle of the ag+ i bought on a whim IDK 4 or 5 years ago. i chopped some out of the tube and double boilered it to melt it and i painted some on some butcher paper with a brush like i always do. i have a puddle pusher but to be honest i never liked using it, so i never did. the test negative i made came out terrible. well, it wasn’t THAT bad, but it wasn’t as good as i had hoped. i looked at the expiration date on the bottle and it wasn’t too out of date so i coated some more with the same bottle. this time i used the puddle pusher. and boy am i glad i did !
most of the things i coat tend to have brush marks, sometimes it is good and i like that painterly feel, its something extra, a bonus but after i used the puddle pusher i think i might continue to use it and use it often ! the emulsion spread smooth and evenly, no marks, no problems. i stuck a cut piece of 4×5 ( its actually 4 pieces of a little bigger than 35mm ) into my trusty old pentax K1000 and made an exposure out the window. mundane scene, shadow, concrete steps, brick walk, plants. it had contrast and texture and mid-day f16 iso 1 brightness, so i could figure out what the iso was of this now expired emulsion.
1 second hand held then into the soup.
i have my caffneol in a big tupperware tub and i have a small one to scoop it out for trays, like a ladle … seeing i don’t use much besides dektol and caffenol i sometimes have a bit of residual caked on coffee in the small tub. usually it just dissolves with the caffenol i drain out of the big tub, .. i didn’t use the big tub this time. i poured a little dektol into the container and added about 2x that amount of water. the coffee dissolved nicely as i stired it a little bit. the negative went in and i agitated it by flipping it, than by swirling the container and rocking it back and forth. the image slowly appeared as expected in about 30-45 seconds .. i developed to completion until i hit the 2 minute mark then into a water rinse then hardened fixer then i washed and hunt it to dry. i didn’t make a contact print of the small paper negative but i scanned and inverted it. no photoshop but sizing and inverting. i have to say i was happy with what i saw.
i have a handful more papers all coated and ready to expose.