11x14 camera to digital negative. Good advice needed

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by GreyWolf, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Member

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    Thanks for your ULF suggestions and sharing your knowledge. :smile:

    I would like to start out by thanking everyone who has offered help in my quest for the proper ULF camera. I started out in another thread seeking advice on whether to go directly to an 11x14 camera or to start with an 8x10 model. Your experience and advice could not have come at a better time or been more helpful. I was on the verge of bidding on a 8x10 last week but held my fingers away from the keyboard during the last minutes of the auction. The wealth of knowledge that you shared has caused me to carefully rethink about my needs, desires and photographic vision.

    You all aptly pointed out that an 11x14 is a BIG camera to be toting around and that possibly a 7x11, 7x17 or perhaps a 8x20 might fit my vision and needs better. I believe that you may be correct so I’ll be looking in the future to learn about possibly aquiring a 7x11 model. Once again my concern was film availability but a couple of you demonstrated that the film can be obtained. Baring that, because of size, film availability and cost of accessories like film holders the 8x10 has gone back to the top of the list.

    Now to change gears…. :upsidedo:

    My real desire is to be able to create Pt/Pd prints. I would like to do this in a more panoramic fashion. This is the driving force for a bigger camera. I started out investigating the possibility of making digital enlarged negatives before I tried to acquire a larger camera. I guess I am back to the digital negative option. The advantage hopefully will be that I can tailor the size of the contact negative a bit more to my liking.

    Another distinct advantage is as William Blunt pointed out to me, I can practice making Pt/Pd prints from my original 4x5 negatives until I learn the basics about the process. This will help to keep my start up costs reasonable. (Please watch for another new thread seeking some starting advice on Pt/PD).

    After my long winded explaining of what I will do before Christmas, I actually do have a question. I have purchased Dan Burkholder’s book for making digital negatives but I see he has additional information on his web site. This is called the “Inkjet Negative Companion”.

    Has anybody actually acquired this update? If so does it really work in helping a relative beginner to actually be able to make a “very good” digital negative for the Pt/Pd process?

    I am quite willing to pay his asking price but I do wish to be successful in my endeavors and the book itself only served to confuse me. In fairness I did learn a great deal in general from his book (after many re-reads) about how these types of procedures work but not quite enough to get me doing it successfully.

    Dan's Site

    If you are interested I have an Epson Expression flat bed scanner with the transparency unit that will do a true 1600 dpi scan. I have bought and tried to use VueScan for my scanning software. I also have very recently purchased the Epson 2200 printer. As you can see I spent enough money trying to do this when I perhaps should have just gone to an 8x10 camera. Well there is no going back now so hopefully I can figure all of this stuff out and make digital negatives.

    Kind Regards,
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  3. rogein

    rogein Member

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    At the risk of being shunned for replying to a 'digital' question on an 'analogue' board.......

    I've been playing around with making negs on the inkjet printer. I wanted to see if I could make a neg to replace the small format (ie. 8x10).

    Here's what I've found for MY situation (2200+OHP):

    - Burkholder's curves are a good starting point but will more than likely need to be fine tuned for your working methods in pt/pd. Keep in mind he uses a specific mix of pt/pd metals, contrast agent, UV lightsource, paper, and developer.

    - Right now I use a 4mp digicam and make 6"x8" negs. I've also scanned a 4x5 neg on a 2450. While many have recommended programs like GF I find that moderate upsizing in 110% increments yields results that are more than sharp enough for alt processes printed on 'art' papers (like Arches, Somerset, Whatman, etc).

    - I'm at the point where the final print is *almost* there. Tonally speaking it is. The problem, at least to my eyes, is that there is a certain amount of 'graining' in the image - and no it's not from over sharpening, etc. I can take an untouched image, make a neg then print it and the 'grain' is still present. It's most noticeable in areas of even tone. This probably would not bother those who are use to working in 35mm and 'old emulsion' high speed films but for LF users who are use to the smoothness that the bigger formats yield it's a bit disconcerting.

    - Because there's no base fog your print times can be short. It's easy to over expose at first which seems to exasperate the grain.

    So that's it - I'm still sitting on the fence until the 'graining' problem can be solved.

    Cheers,
    Roger...
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  5. bmac

    bmac Member

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    The 4MP camera may be the weak link in your setup. We use the Pictorico Photo Gallery Hi-Gloss White Film with the 2200 (as does Dan) and get great results. You aren't going to get largeformat results from a 4mp file, no matter what kind of software you use to enlarge it. The details aren't captured. Our digital negatives are typically from scanned film files upwards of 100 megs each.
     
  6. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  7. roy

    roy Subscriber

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  8. roy

    roy Subscriber

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    There has been such a lot of talk about making negs by other means recently, I am sure there would be a fair bit of interest in how you get on.
     
  9. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  10. rogein

    rogein Member

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    Using GF has no effect. I really think it's a function of the limitations of both the inkjet printer and the medium (OHP) used.

    Cheers,
    Roger...
     
  11. rogein

    rogein Member

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    I can see the 'small' file would come into play but my output size is only 6"x8". I don't see this 'graining' on output to paper - just to OHP. I assume with Gallery White Film you're printing those 'negs' onto silver paper?

    Cheers,
    Roger...
     
  12. rogein

    rogein Member

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    Forgot to mention I also see graining even on 4"x5" prints made from this size file and OHP.

    Cheers,
    Roger...
     
  13. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  14. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Currently printing on Silver, soon working on a new curve for AZO. The tonal range with the white film is smoother than the clear.

    Brian
     
  15. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Could it be an artifact of the printers spray pattern?
     
  16. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Forgot to mention I also see graining even on 4"x5" prints made from this size file and OHP.

    Cheers,
    Roger...[/quote]

    Can you post an example?
     
  17. rogein

    rogein Member

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    Not sure how to post a jpg here but:

    http://www3.sympatico.ca/rogein/test.htm

    The first image is from the digital neg, the second from an in camera neg.

    Both obviously show the surface texture of the paper but the digital neg has an overall 'graining' to the image.
     
  18. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    Are your negatives bitmapped or half tones? Bitmap negatives can show "grain" at about 50%. I can't tell from your scans where your graining is taking place.

    The comment about 4 meg cameras being a weak link depends on the size of the final print. If the final print is a tad smaller than 8" x 10", then there should be sufficient information to make a good silver print.
     
  19. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Roger,

    How are you making your digital negs? I'm using an Epson 1280 and using Keith Schreiber's approach which involves a color table colorization with a color that looks very much like a Pyro neg rather than the orange that Dan uses. I'm getting some very smooth prints from these negs, and you know that my standard for smooth is VERY high.

    Kerik
     
  20. rogein

    rogein Member

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    Hi Kerik,

    Good to hear from you again! Despite the guffaws from my hoser friends up here (you know who I mean :smile:) I've been playing with an Epson 2200 and OHP using all 7 inks. I started with Dan's curves for this setup and have gradually modified the curve to suit my pt mix, paper, uv light source, etc. Surprisingly the negs made this way do have the 'pyro' look (ie. they're yellow-brown in colour). I even showed them to the 'hosers' and they thought so too. I'm wondering if the problem is due to the difference between the pigment inks in the 2200 vs the dye inks in the 1280? I'll try using the colour table method (ie. eliminate the black inks?) to see if this may solve the problem?

    Cheers,
    Roger...
     
  21. rogein

    rogein Member

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    Kerik,

    Can you point me to where I can find out more on Keith's tech? I did a quick search on the web but didn't turn up much. Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Roger...