albumen printing with an enlarger

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by daveandiputra, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. daveandiputra

    daveandiputra Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Jakarta, Ind
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    hi all,

    as i am preparing to build my wet plate camera and start wet plate photography, i got to think why don't do albumen printing as well to completely free myself from manufactured process.

    after much discussion here and other places i decided to build my camera for half plate or 5x7 the largest and then printing it larger. (of course that means building the enlarger as well)

    all the details on albumen that i found always involved it being contact print straight from the plate, that means if i do albumen i can't really print larger than my plates. so i'm curious about the possibility of using albumen with an enlarger? is it possible?

    thanks all,

    Dave
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,981
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Not directly. No enlarger puts out enough UV to expose albumen paper adequately. In theory you could cook up something with a UV light source and quartz lenses and calculate the focus shift, etc., but it isn't likely to be practical.

    What you could do with an enlarger, though, is enlarge your negatives using an interneg and ortho film, for instance, and print those enlarged negatives to albumen using a UV exposure unit or the sun, which is the normal way to expose an albumen print.
     
  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,522
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    David-

    Not to be a total contrarian, but back in the day, studios in the wet plate era had "Solar enlargers" which enabled them to project glass plate negatives onto albumen paper and make enlargements. Granted, the exposure times for these enlargements ran into the multiple hours using direct sunlight, but it can be done. Solar enlargers had special reflectors that rotated to keep the sunlight being passed through the condensors even, which is something that would have to be dealt with in building your own. If you built one, I would think that in Indonesia you'd have a limited printing time given how cloudy it gets during the rainy season. You might not have enough strong daylight every day for several months out of the year.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,981
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The solar enlarger did exist during the albumen era, but was rarely used. One doesn't see many historic albumen prints that appear to be enlargements. Aside from the long exposure times, there was a danger of the thing setting itself on fire if the mirror was not adjusted with the travel of the sun. There was a mechanical device for this purpose, but it was a fairly expensive accessory.
     
  5. degruyl

    degruyl Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Well, that's were an artificial light source would come in. At the same time, you would need a really firm structure and solid easel (as well as a location without buses) to prevent vibrations from making a hash out of your final image. Contact printing (with artificial UV source) can be a 2-10 minute operation. I would expect that to increase for enlarging based on distance from the source and such.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,981
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I like a dense neg for albumen, which usually means an exposure of about 1 hr in indirect sunlight (which is about the same as with UV tubes around 4" from the frame), 20 min in direct sunlight. So figure 2 stops for a 2x enlargement, then you might be stopping down the lens for reasonable results, and the lens might absorb a stop or two of UV, and by the time the exposure is done, you could have made an enlarged neg and a few prints, and subsequent prints will print normally.
     
  7. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Quadrichome Fresson process utilizes an enlarger with a ferocious carbon-arc light source. Exposures can take an hour, and the negative does get rather cooked in the process. It works, but it's not practical for "home" use.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,522
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I never claimed the solar enlarger was a GOOD alternative to enlarging the negatives - just that it CAN be done.
     
  9. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,484
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  10. daveandiputra

    daveandiputra Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Jakarta, Ind
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    thanks david
    wow i forgot about the UV factor, never thought will be that complicated. never heard about the interneg or ortho film, will have to research them first.

    thanks flyingcamera
    yeah that even sounds more complicated, but if there is a problem, the sun wouldn't be it, even in the rainy seasons we've got plenty of sunshine.

    thanks degruyl,
    what i get from your answer is that i can build some kind of enlarger which only consist of the artificial light source and the plate?is it right?

    thanks Ian,
    okay the sentence "not practical" definitely strikes this option out :smile:

    thanks ic-racer,
    i'm not familiar with those x-ray film, can i use them with normal paper development method?

    thanks all for the response, the majority of answers seems to point in the direction of negative enlargement first, will have to research it more, as i know nothing about them, if any of you have more knowledge about them i will be very grateful.

    many thanks, cheers.

    Dave
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,981
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Ortho film is film that is sensitive only to blue light, so you can expose it like photographic paper using a red safelight with an enlarger. You could also use regular panchromatic sheet film, but the exposure times will be much shorter, and you have to work in the dark. You could also make enlarged paper negatives, but the paper base will make exposure times long for albumen printing.

    There are a few different approaches to enlarging negatives. One is to make a small print and photograph the print with a big camera, if you have a big camera.

    The internegative approach usually involves making an enlarged positive transparency (actually an "interpositive") on ortho film (or conventional film) and then contact printing that to another sheet of ortho film to make the enlarged negative. I know one photographer who enlarges in stages, making a 4x5" positive from the smaller negative and enlarging that onto a larger sheet of film to make the enlarged negative.

    There are some direct positive methods, such as using a direct positive film used in the graphic arts, which is available from Ultrafine and other sources, or using reversal processing, where you use the method for making a B&W slide to duplicate the negative in a larger format. dr5 is a lab that specializes in B&W slides, and they can make enlarged negatives in this way for alternative processes. The advantage of a direct positive method is that it cuts out one generation. The main disadvantage is that it is generally harder to control contrast with reversal processes.
     
  12. daveandiputra

    daveandiputra Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2010
    Location:
    Jakarta, Ind
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    thanks a lot david,
    from what i found so far, looks like the most obvious path is the ortho film, as it is the easiest (to obtain i mean)

    but after reading some archive on x ray duplicating film as ic-racer suggested, i became curious, how is it when compared to ortho film?

    based on this thread: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum42/62056-x-ray-film-enlarged-negatives.html i gather that it looks like the better choice is the x ray duplicating film?

    as i'm betting it will be easier to get those x ray films here in Indonesia than ortho film.

    cheers,

    Dave
     
  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,484
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The X-ray dup film can be exposed under an enlarger and processed with Dektol under a safelight just like conventional enlarging paper. This one-step process yields a giant negative, which can be used directly for your big alternative contact process under UV light.

    The LF forum has already been corrupted with so many people making digital internegatives that I suspect they are ignorant of how easy it is to do it the 'correct' analog way. Photoshop can only hope to approximate the analog artist's dodging and burning and development control to make the perfect large-scale internegative :smile:

    Contrast control is a non-issue. Three generations of photographers have been matching camera negative contrast to graded silver paper with various permutations of "N" development and there is no reason why your camera negatives can't be processed to fit the internegative materials sensitometric characteristics.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2011
  14. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

    Messages:
    2,106
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    South Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    But since this is not Pan film, it cannot be used to make a separation from a slide image? Do I understand that correctly? So a separation would require pan film?

    Is this double coated? I picked up a pack of regular blue sensitive x-ray film off eBay some time back, and it is double coated. I use chlorine bleach to remove one side of coating, but it's a lot of work.

    How about the effect of a lack of an anti-halation layer? Is that important?
     
  15. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,484
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm pretty sure the positive dupe film is single sided. I don't know if it has an anti-halation layer or not. I suspect you are correct about the inability to make a good separation negative.