Black and White Paper Guide


VC Select  
Offering commercial and creative printers a premium quality, high speed variable contrast resin coated paper, VC Select glues the busy professional printer the quality alternative - superb image rendition with high speed emulsion one stop faster than most. By cutting exposure times by 50%, VC Select can significantly reduce valuable production time. Deep, rich, neutral blacks, excellent tonal separation and crisp whites characterise VC Select. VC Select is coated on a thicker base, with an extended contrast range including Grade 00; burning in overexposed skies has never been easier. 
VC Select offers image excellence, high emulsion speed, or-crisp sparkling prints, backed by the quality and consistency of an ISO 9002 accredited manufacturer. 

Product Description 
VC Select is a black and white enlarging paper with a polyethylene coated base, coated with a variable contrast emulsion. Using standard colour filtration or proprietary filter sets such as Ilford Multigrade or Kodak Polymax, contrast grades from 00 to 5 are achievable in half grade steps. The paper is equally suitable for dish and machine processing. 


  • Glossy: This paper has built-in glaze to provide the maximum black density and overall print brilliance. Maximum gloss is achieved through hot air drying.
  • Satin: A semi-matt surface provides a quality enlarging paper with low reflectance properties which facilitates print retouching.
  • Fine Lustre: An attractively textured surface which combines the depth of image and blacks normally only found with glossy papers, with the subtlety and handling advantages of a semi-matt.
Product Identification 
VC Select labelling contains the following information : 
  • Colour coding: Gold for V.C.
  • Paper surface: Glossy, Satin, or Fine Lustre.
  • Paper base weight: M.Wt. (medium weight).
  • Recommended safelights: Ilford 902, Kodak OC or similar.
Kentmere black and white photographic papers are packed in a black plastic envelope, then an outer cardboard box or envelope and finally sealed with a label and tape. The plastic envelope helps protect the paper from humidity and fumes as well as being light proof. Although the black plastic envelope is light proof, we would recommend that it is also returned to the outer cardboard container before exposure to white light as small holes can develop in the plastic envelope with use. 

All Kentmere black and white photographic papers should be stored in their original packaging, including the black plastic envelope. The plastic envelope protects the paper from harmful darkroom fumes and humidity. Ideally the paper should be stored in a cool dry environment preferably at temperatures below 20C. For prolonged storage a freezer can be used. In either case, allow sufficient time for warming up and do not allow condensation to form on the paper. 

Paper Structure 
Paper Base 
The paper is 190 g/m2 coated on both sides with 40 g/m2 of polyethylene giving a base weight of approximately 270 g/m2 and a thickness of approximately 245 m. 

Coated emulsion layer 

The light-sensitive silver halide emulsion layer has a silver content of approximately 1 .5 g/m2. This is covered with a gelatine supercoat which protects the emulsion from stress fogging and physical damage and also contains a developing agent. 
(Not to scale, for information only) 

Spectral Sensitivity 
Sensitivity ISO Paper Speed 
(ISO speed to ISO 6846 - 1 992) 
When exposed to unfiltered white light VC Select has a speed of ISO P 640 and has a contrast of approximately grade 2. 

When exposed using Ilford Multigrade filters grades 00 - 3'/z have the same speed (ISO P 320) and grades 4 - 5 require approximately twice the exposure (ISO P 1 60). 
When exposed using the colour enlarger filter settings for matched exposures (see contrast control) grades 0 - 4 have the same speed (ISO P 320), grades 00 and 5 require approximately /3 of a stop more exposure (ISO P 250). 

VC Select is designed for use with tungsten or tungsten halogen light sources. Cold light source enlargers can be used, but they may limit the contrast range achievable. 

Contrast Control 
Contrast as a range approximately equivalent to grades 00 to 5 is achievable from VC Select by means of colour filters used in the enlarger. Proprietary filter sets such as Ilford Multigrade or Kodak Polymax are suitable, as are modular and automatic enlarger heads featuring proprietary filters; otherwise the magenta and yellow filters of colour enlarging heads can be used. Below are tables of enlarger colour filter settings recommended . for use with VC Select. Filter settings recommended by other manufacturers will also give a similar range of contrasts; there may be slight differences in grade spacings. 
The contrast of the paper is continuously variable so that the grades are fixed only by the filter settings used, and thus fractional grade changes can be achieved. 
Filters of colour enlargers from different manufacturers fall into three categories as follows: 

Dunco, Durst, Kaiser, Keinzle, Leitz,Lupo.
 Beseler, De Vere, Chromega, 
Fujimoto, IFF, Jobo, LPL, Omega, 
Paterson, Vivitar, Simmard. 
Agfa:  Agfa, Krokus, Meopta. 
 Table A shows simply the filter settings for grade selection. Speeds of grades are not the same. 
Grade Durst Kodak Agfa
00 80Y 150Y 140Y
0 40Y 80Y 90Y
1 15Y 45Y 60Y
2 20M 10M 15Y
3 40M 45M 45M
4 60M 75M 75M
5 130M 130M 120M
When exposed with no filter, the paper gives a contrast of approximately Grade 2 and is of high 

Table B shows the combined filter setting which should be used if speed matching of grades 0 - 4 is required. Grades 00 and 5 require approximately /3of a stop more exposure. 

Grade Durst Kodak Agfa
0 40Y 80Y 90Y
1 25Y +20M 60Y+ 15M 75Y+ 15M 
2 10Y+45M 35Y+50M 50Y+40M
3 5Y+50M 15Y+70M 25Y+65M
4 60M 5Y+85M 5Y+85M
Contrast range 
(ISO range to ISO 6846 - 1992) 

VC Select ISO Range 

Filter 00 0 1 2 3 4 5
150 130 110 95 80 70 60
These figures represent an average of the achievable results. A small amount of production tolerance 
is included. Actual results achieved may differ depending on processing, paper age and storage 

Maximum density 
VC Select will achieve the following maximum densities: 
Glossy 2.20
Fine Lustre 2.20 
Satin 1.90
(the Satin surface contains matting agents which reduce the maximum density achievable) 
Results achieved using Kentmere VC Select Plus Variable Contrast Developer at 1 + 1 2 at 20C, as recommended under processing instructions. Other recommended developers and fixers (see Processing) should give comparable results. 

Density/Characteristic curves 
(Glossy surface) 
Results achieved using Kentmere VC Select Plus Variable Contrast Developer at 1 + 1 2 at 20C as recommended under processing instructions. Other recommended developers and fixers (see Processing) should give comparable results. 

VC Select has an orthochromatic emulsion; this requires a dark orange/brown or red safelight to be used. All variable contrast papers are more sensitive to safelights than conventional graded printing papers. Good darkroom practices should be adopted, keeping safelight exposure to a minimum and returning unused paper to the original packaging. 
Box/lantern type safelights using glass filters should only be used with a 15 W bulb or less and should be positioned at least 1 metre from the paper. Filters which are suitable for use with VC Select are : 
Kodak OC or 1A, and Ilford 902. 
Fluorescent safelights are also suitable, these give a brighter, overall more even lighting. Fluorescent safelights can produce a more evenly lit and pleasant working environment, but still be as safe as the conventional lantern type safelights. Fluorescent safelights should be positioned at least 1.5 metres from the paper. Fluorescent safelights which are suitable for use with VC Select are : EncapSulite A 1 0/ND.4 Amber or R 1 0 Red. (EncapSulite International Ltd., Youngs Trading Estate, Leighton Buzzard LU7 8QF. Tel. O1 525 376974). 
Other safelights can be used, but tests should always be carried out first. 
To maximise d. max, grade spacing and tonal rendition, a multicontrast chemical system such as Kentmere VC Select Plus Developer and Fixer, especially formulated to enhance variable contrast emulsions' characteristics, is recommended. Also recommended, in alphabetical order are Agfa Multicontrast, Champion B&W Multicontrast, Ilford Multigrade, Ilford 2000, Kodak Polymax, and Tetenal Variospeed developers, together with their appropriate fixers. Equivalent products from other manufacturers should give similar results. 
We do not recommend conventional manual developers, which tend to inhibit both d. max and contrast. 
Although VC Select does contain a developing agent within the supercoated layer, it is insufficient for use with activation processing. VC Select will produce a poor quality result if used with activation chemistry. 
The following table shows recommended dish processing conditions for use with Kentmere VC Select Plus Variable Contrast Developer and Fixer. If using another manufacturer's chemistry, refer to their instructions for recommended processing conditions, to achieve similar results. 

Chemistry Dilution   Temp. Time
Kentmere VC Select Plus Varaible Contrast 
1 + 6 
1 + 9 
1 + 1 2
60 - 80 s 
90 - 1 1 0 s 
1 00 - 1 20 s
2% Acetic acid stop bath - 20C 1 0 s 
Kentmere VC Select Plus Varaible Contrast 
1 + 4 
1 + 9
60 - 90 s 
90 - 1 80 s
Wash in running water  - - 4 minutes
VC Select can be dried using any standard resin coated paper drying methods, these include: 
  • Warm air drying up to temperatures of 80C.
  • Atmospheric drying, having removed excess surface water using a suitable print squeegee.
  • Warm air drying, as in purpose made print drying cabinets.
  • Infra-red dryers such as the Ilford Ilfolab 1 250 Dryer or similar.
Note:- VC Select, as with all resin coated papers, should NOT be used with a rotary glazing/drying drum or flat bed glazing/drying press. 

VC Select tones well with Kentmere Sepia Toner. Kentmere Sepia Toner offers infinitely variable tones, according to dilution and time. Prints to be toned should be thoroughly fixed and washed prior to any toning. 
Kentmere Sepia Toner comes as parts A + B: a bleach and toner. By varying the dilution of the toner a range of tones can be obtained. Used neat a rich chocolate colour is produced, the colour moving towards yellow/brown with increasing dilution. 


  • l) Immerse print in the bleach 'A' solution until all the black image is bleached.
  • ii) Wash in water until the water is no longer coloured.
  • iii) Tone in solution 'B' diluted as required.
  • iv) Wash for 4 minutes in running water.
Detailed technical sheets covering toning and cross-processing of our product range are available separately. 

VC Select can be mounted using any of the standard methods for resin coated papers. 

  • Cold adhesive films/cold mounting
  • Hot adhesive films/dry mounting
  • Spray adhesives such as: 

  • 3M Spray Mount Adhesive 
    3M Photo Mount Adhesive
Technical enquiries 
Please address any technical enquiries to: 
Kentmere Limited Photographic Division, Staveley, 
Kendal, Cumbria LA8 9P8. Tel: O1 539 821 365 Fax: O1539 821399 

Kentmere Limited will replace or credit the value of any Kentmere papers if found by us to be defective in manufacture, our liability being confined to the value of the paper only. In all such cases, proof that the paper was defective would be required. 


Artzone Index We express our gratitude to * Aris M. Giagtzoglou & Co. distributor of KENTMERE papers in Greece for giving to us the permission to present the above material. 

Concept and Design by Elias Eliadis
Copyright 1998 Black & White Art Zone- Paperzone. All Rights Reserved. 
First published date 15 July 1998 


Paperzone Index
* Aris M. Giagtzoglou & Co.  
5-7 Chr. Lada Athens 10561 Greece   
Tel: +301 3233886 Fax: +301 3229472