B/W negatives, a slide copier, what film to make B/W slides?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by cmo, May 15, 2009.

  1. cmo

    cmo Member

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    For many B/W negatives a second life as a B/W slide would be desirable. Copying a slide is not too difficult from the point of view of a bellows and a macro lens, but what kind of film and process could I use? Do I need a special film or just a special kind of developer?
     
  2. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    I think that any negative film would do it. If I'm not wrong, the negative image of another negative is a positive. The developer could be any you wish, though maybe fine grain developer would be a bit better for this kind of fine work.
     
  3. cmo

    cmo Member

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    For a good b/w slide I think I will need a lot of contrast - and fine grain. I really wonder what could be a good film/developer combo for this special purpose.
     
  4. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Foma makes a reversal black and white film Fomapan R100...
     
  5. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    oh well, i guess you'll soon wish you never said that--it's getting the contrast down that's tricky :cool:

    the results that can be obtained by merging characteristic curves span a mind-boggling range of possibilities--and only your own judgement can guide you. in any case, here's a good starting point:

    http://www.interfoto.fi/ilfordphoto/pdf/filmit/COPYING.pdf

    some "process" advice:

    batch your originals based on their contrast; the same negative/processing that gives you good results with the muddy ones will produce horrors unspeakable with the contrasty ones

    start with a forgiving film, such as FP4+ or HP5+, pulled two stops

    keep trying, one frame at a time and as long as necessary, until you nail it down; bracket a lot; keep notes

    don't seek perfection; seek interesting reinterpretation :wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2009
  6. Robert Kerwin

    Robert Kerwin Member

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    There is also Adox Bluefire film, which is microfilm stock cut and packaged in 35mm format that, when developed in a low-contrast developer, will produce images with a full tonal range. It is very fine grained and also has a clear base, which is perhaps better if you're going to project the image. Since the film is inherently high contrast, you might have better luck getting the contrast you need for slides.

    Disclaimer: I haven't tried this film, so I can't give any opinion of how it works; I'm just aware of its existence and wanted to pass along the information.
     
  7. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    Ah, but this would a positive of a negative, which is still a negative image.
     
  8. cmo

    cmo Member

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    Probably one more detial will be useful: originals are b/w negatives on traditional b/w films. The resulting slides are for projection.
     
  9. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Kodak 5302 (acetate base) or 2302 (ESTAR base) is what you want. Tech Pan, any ortho film (e.g. ADOX) or very-fine grained films like Efke 25 or TMAX 100, would also work.

    Your negatives must have been developed for projection printing, so they don't have a lot of contrast. To make a decent slide, you need a film that can be developed to a high contrast.

    I use stock Dektol on Kodak 2302 to make slides from normal negatives with a Leitz ELDIA. I found my exposure and developing through trial and error: develop more to augment contrast, and adjust exposure accordingly.
     
  10. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    The usual technique is to print the negative to a motion picture positive release film (which is sort of like photographic paper). I've tried making 35mm contact prints to Kodak 5302 Fine Grain Release Positive, which is a typical recommendation. I was disappointed with the results, but I didn't try very hard. That film is what the majority of black and white movies were printed on, so good results are definitely possible.
     
  11. dr5chrome

    dr5chrome Member

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    The last 2 posts here [before mine] are close so use those suggestions. Basically you'll need to 'print' the neg onto film. You'll just have to find the right developer - film to achieve the right tonal range.

    The absolute best way to do it is to scan the images then output them via a film recorder.

    regards

    dw
     
  12. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    There is a bit of vague-ness about how to make the print on the 35mm print-film. Some time ago, I tried contact-printing in a jig made of some plywood offcuts which worked, sort of. The problem was that there was enough variation over each strip of six negs that the print-time for every one had to be adjusted individually for the best result. Developer was paper-developer (can't remember what exactly) at twice normal strength. (Edit: I forgot to point out the obvious, contact printing needs to be emulsion to emulsion).

    For a different purpose, I have also projection printed 35mm and 120 colour-transparencies on to Plus-X 5x4 film, in DDS holders, in order to make a black-and-white interneg - this worked fine. The same procedure was used with a kodak dupe film for colour internegs. These last two procedures were already standardised in terms of exposure when I started working at that place, so I had no need to figure out things for myself, luckily.
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Kodak used to make a film that was ideal, orthochromatic and very easy to use under safe-light conditions. If you can find an orthochroatic micro-film this will allow you to develop by inspection, however as david Woods says you'll have to see what developer works best. Generally the films are so fine grained the choice of developer makes little difference to the grain size in the copy.

    Ideally a professional slide copier would give you the best results, the one I've used in the past was a Bowens Illumatron, this allowed some degree of contrast control at the copying stage.

    Ian
     
  14. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I don't know how that would help because you still have to figure out which film are you going to put in the film recorder which is right back to where we started.

    I would just try it with any B&W film you have. To find tune things you need to find a film and developer combo that will yield a good d-max but that won't wind up being too contrasty.

    Realize that your negatives will probably have less contrast than the original scene (Gamma probably around 0.65 if they were processed with the original intention of projection printing). So if you photographed them with the same film again (with Gamma 0.65 again) your result will be around 0.42 and they will look 'flat.'
     
  15. Jojje

    Jojje Member

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    In museum we used to contact copy black and white negatives to Agfa's Ortho. Turned out pretty good. Was speedy too.
     
  16. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    Yep 5302/2302 is the way to go, if you can find some friends to split a roll with you, or can find a movie lab willing to sell you a bit of it. Otherwise you have to buy a big roll. The film is blue sensitive so it is easy to handle. It can be developed in normal print developers and has a clear base unlike the other suggestions which have grey dye in the base for antihalation.

    You may find the 2302 easier to find as motion picture release prints almost have to be on ESTAR base to stand up to the abuse they get in theatres.

    The catalogue shows it as although The price may have changed

    KODAK Black-and-White Print Film 2302 / ESTAR Base / SP718 / 35 mm x 1000 ft roll / On Core / BH-1870 CATALOGUE 1279470 $US126.11

    EASTMAN Fine Grain Release Positive Film 5302 / FRP666 / 35 mm x 1000 ft roll / On Core / KS-1870 CAT 1928795 $US138.72
    the 5302 is also made in 65mm but you have to order 18 1000 ft rolls.
     
  17. Jordan

    Jordan Member

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    As cmacd123 says, the standard recommendation for what the OP is trying to do is to re-photograph the negs onto Kodak 5302 (Fine-Grain Release Positive) and develop in paper developer at working strength for 3-5 mins. The film behaves as if it has an ISO of 3-6. You have to bracket, of course... I've used this technique and it works surprisingly well.

    I bought a 100-foot roll of 5302 from an electron-microscopy supply company around 2001 or so. It cost $17 at the time. It goes a long way (I still have at least 30 feet of mine!) I'm sure this film is still available somewhere.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2009
  18. dr5chrome

    dr5chrome Member

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    ..using a film recorder would involve processing the film as a positive.
    you have B&W slide output or E6 output. Either way the result is superior.
    I do it here at the lab every day. www.filmrecording.net


    dw



     
  19. cmacd123

    cmacd123 Subscriber

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    I guess I was not clear, the film is listed as being available in 1000 ft 35mm rolls from Kodak. They most likely will have the ESTAR base in stock (2302) In north america you would call them at 1-800- 621 -FILM to order.

    The data sheets are on the Kodak site, the 5302 family is designed to have the right gamma to make a good print from a normal B&W negative.
    http://motion.kodak.com/US/en/motion/Products/Distribution_And_Exhibition/Print_Films/5302.htm
    or
    http://motion.kodak.com/motion/uploadedFiles/US_plugins_acrobat_en_motion_products_lab_h15302.pdf

    If anyone does order some I would not mind getting 100ft of their roll.
     
  20. Kino

    Kino Member

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    With all due respect, I can't see how taking the negative image through a digital phase will result in a "superior" image; maybe a more convinient process for the lab, but superior? I doubt it.

    Most people have trouble printing good b&w transparencies from still negative images because they are used to the inherent contrast that results from projection printing and the lousy tonal scale of most papers compared to a good film positive.

    As long as the film is in good register, emulsion to emulsion and without slippage during the exposure, you should have fine results. I would suggest a diffuse light source and a thin cover class that is meticulously clean; and I DO MEAN CLEAN.

    Yes, it takes a lot to dial in a system of exposure, but if you are committed and want to do this on a regular basis, you can call the exposure by eye within a 1/2 stop very easily just by looking at the neg (with experience).

    I used to time b&w motion picture film this way; a light table, a pad of paper and a film sync. First answer print was always timed by eye and, more often than not, it was good enough to project and fine tune from the first print.

    No great shakes here, no magic, just lots of experience and lots of printing.

    So, if you don't want to put in the time and effort, and just want a few b&w slides, then maybe the aforementioned method would make more economical sense, but I can tell you with complete confidence, you can make astoundingly beautiful images with a couple of finish nails to register the film, a thin cover glass, a locked down enlarger, time, determination and good note taking.

    Don't be afraid to crank the exposure to the 5302; real timers aren't afraid of the dark...
     
  21. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Ok, I see now.
     
  22. wogster

    wogster Member

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    If I read the Kodak info correctly the 5302 is blue sensitive only, so you could do everything under a red safe light, and then tray develop the stuff just like paper. Seems to be the best method of doing this, take your roll of the 5302 film, cut off a strip, set up to print like a contact print, then process in a tray like paper. cut it about 3-5cm longer then your film strip and you could do a whole 4 exposure strip at once.

    It's too bad you need to buy 1000' of the stuff, I do wonder though if there are motion picture printers in town, if they use it, whether they would be willing to sell a few feet off the end of a roll. For most of us, 5'-10' would probably do for experimenting. Unless you plan on a lot of slides, 50' would probably be a lifetime supply. Any idea if the stuff can be toned?

    As for digital, it would depend on your projection, if the final projection is digital then scan the negatives or regular prints and work that way. If your using analog projection then stay analog.
     
  23. Kino

    Kino Member

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    No need for red; we used the OC equivalent safelight filter. You can easily develop by inspection. While you could go to the trouble of mixing D-97, Dektol should work fine. If you want D-97, the formula is published on the EK website.

    I'd make myself a printing aperture that you can advance the target frame down, so you can do quick exposure tests; a hinged contact glass over a firm back board with a very thin black velvet back and two pins for registration. Since you're working in safelight environment, you can see what you are doing and run less of a risk of damaging your negative.

    Yes it can be toned and tinted; the recipes are quite common on the web for reconstructing silent release prints that were tinted and toned.

    I have several thousand feet of 5302 sitting around here, but finding the time to spool it down is not in the cards for a few weeks as I have a deadline on a film restoration I am doing.

    If you are SERIOUSLY interested, I can spool down 100' for $25 + S&H.

    Its' not a business I really wanted to start, but if you really need it, I can do it.
     
  24. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Don't know if I would want 100', if I were interested in doing this, which really I am not at the moment, I would want 5' to test first. Honestly though, finding a matched pair of automatic analog projectors would be tough, digital projectors are much easier to find, scan the negatives, process how you like, then create a digital movie, using fading, music and all the other crap that would make a slide show interesting, burn the whole thing to a DVD and it's done. Has the other "advantage" that you could mix 35mm, 120, 4x5, 8x10 negatives into the same "movie". Not sure how to reverse enlarge an 8x10 negative to 35mm...... Not that I have an 8x10 camera, but still.....

    Here in town there are several colleges that have motion picture programs, and a couple of motion picture studios. Like I say you could probably get a few feet somewhere easy enough if you ask around.
     
  25. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Well whatever... personally, I wouldn't take the time to cram a beautiful film image down a compressed (no doubt) SRGB digital file and then project it with a 8 bit projector designed for power point slides.

    Crap stew, IMHO.

    Anyway, if anyone is serious about needing the 5302, PM me. My time is more valuable that this sort of speculation.