Creating larger negatives for contact printing.

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by guitstik, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I am at an impasse here as to how to go about creating a larger negative for contact printing from a smaller negative such as a 35mm or MF negs.

    I am wanting to do larger prints in the range of 30x36 in Pt/Pl and gum bichromate but the negs I have are to small and I don't have access to LF or ULF cameras yet.

    The ideas that I have at this point are to use an enlarger to flash a larger negative to a positive from a 35mm or 6x7 and then flash that to another larger negative to form a negative in the size that I want to work with. I have tried looking for printers in my area that can create a large transparency negative but to no avail.

    Any ideas how I can go about this?
     
  2. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I use my enlarger to go directly from 35mm to about 4x5 (considering the mismatch in aspect ratios). It gives me about a 3" x 4.5" negative. I use either color or B&W. I usually start with a 35mm slide though.

    OTOH, I also can go directly to a digital negative of any size, but that is a topic for the hybrid site. So, no more on that.

    PE
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I'm curious about the same thing too..

    PE, is the quality good, and is it easy/repeatable? How do you judge exposure to minimize wasting film. I don't have any dedicated enlarging meter, so what's the best bet?
     
  4. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Ok, I have wondered about 1000 times if it was possible to do that, and I just have to know, how do you get the exposure right to do that?

    Look, someone opened a can of worms.
     
  5. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    So, I am on the right track then by creating a 4x5 positive on emulsion from a 35mm and then creating a larger negative from the 4x5 positive with the enlarger. That takes into consideration that I will have resolution loss from the enlargement of a smaller medium but I plan on doing some touch up to clean any problems that may arise. I appreciate the quick response PE.
     
  6. jerry lebens

    jerry lebens Member

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    How about using Ilford's RC reversal paper to make a contact negative? Or using normal RC paper to make a positive, then contact printing that?

    Regards
    Jerry
     
  7. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    xray dupe film comes in all sizes...try it you'll lkie it!!
    Best, Peter
     
  8. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    contact the negative rather than enlarge twice, will give sharper results.
    remember when making the larger neg the exposure will be super super fast which will limit your creative input into the enlarged neg via dodging and burning.
     
  9. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Actually, if your goal is a large negative, I think that making an 8x10 print and then, as was suggested above, contact printing the paper onto 8x10 sheet film is a great idea. This way, you've got built in ND, the paper, and if the prints are consistent, the overall density range of a print will be confined to a much smaller range than a negative, and at a given enlarger height you'll always have the same exposure (save for some minute adjustments).
     
  10. David William White

    David William White Member

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    I've done this quite a bit, for contact printing (cyano mostly), also to 'fix' weak contrast or to clear up any compositional issues.

    I normally use ortho litho film in 'film strength' soft developer. Arista Premium Halftone Supreme is really cheap, and much finer grain than your original negative. Exposure latitude of ortho litho is fairly forgiving, the speed is close to paper, and the first internegative (interpositive?) you can analyse on the lightbox. Exposure is pegged just like you would with paper i.e. test strips. I'll usually test strip one sheet of APHS and analyse as the positive on the lightbox, then I'm set.

    Ortho Litho is available in many sizes from both Freestyle and from Ultrafine Online.
     
  11. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Another way I made enlarged negs for platinium


    8x10 original neg .> 8x10 FP4 > Scala Drop process to produce soft positive with all the detail you could die for.

    8x10 scala fp4 into enlarger to 16x20 > FP4 16x20 sheet film process Hc110 to taste.

    great neg for platinum.

    HOW I make negs today

    Rollie ISO 25 in HC110 to tasted , red green blue laser exposure.
     
  12. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Printing a paper negative (or positive) gives a rotten result unless you like the paper grain and reduced contrast! I never work with a paper negative if I want high quality results!

    As for exposure, well, working with a 35mm Ektachrome slide, enlarged to nearly full frame 4x5, I use about 1/2" at f22 for a 100 speed negative stock and I pull process to reduce contrast. I've done both color and B&W. With color, I have to use a Cyan + Magenta filter pack to get daylight balance for daylight color films, but otherwise I have had no problems. You will have to determine your own exposure based on magnification and enlarger.

    For scanning, I just scan away and have made 8x10 negatives from 35mm and 4x5s right off with a slight tweak in contrast an density to match the original in tone scale. Pretty much the same as enlarging.

    I have done quite a bit of both of these methods and have folders full of dupe negatives for use in my workshops. The reason is for comparison purposes. I want to be able to compare contact prints with enlargements from the same negative and this is one way to do it. It is also a good way to make B&W negs from good color slides or color negs.

    I should add that to date, I have never been able to get a good slide digitally, but it works fine using analog processes!

    PE
     
  13. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Ok, I take away my paper negative statement then....

    It looked good on paper!

    :D har har har
     
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  15. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I had thought about paper negative transfer but the grain problem was a stumbling block. I like grain but to the extent that I can control that that occurs naturally.
     
  16. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Contact print multiple MF negatives to make a single image...
     
  17. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    Dupe neg. That was what I used to make in the pro labs. Largest was 8x10.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    There is nothing weird about your idea. It is how most people go from smaller film to larger film for contact printing.

    What you need is graphic arts film, A.K.A. litho film. You can get many sizes straight from Freestyle.

    There are two main methods. Both involve the creation of an interpositive. The difference is that in method one, you create an interpositive of an intermediate size. Then you enlarge that interpositive with an enlarger to create your working-size negative for contact printing. The intermediately-sized interpositive is usually made on 4x5 film, since that it the largest size film that your average home enlarger will accept. In method two, you make your interpositive working size, and then contact print that to make your working contact negative. This may be necessary for those with tiny enlargers, and does not require you to buy two sizes of litho film, but it is supposedly not as sharp as doing the entire process via enlargement (i.e. projection). I have used both methods with fine results.

    In one of the less-used methods, you process your in-camera film as a positive, eliminating the need for an interpositive.

    You could also benefit by getting a handful of powdered chemicals to make your own continuous tone developer for the litho film. Litho film is designed for halftone results, meaning that you get either black or clear on the film, with no in-between tones. In lithographic work, the appearance of continuous tone is achieved by way of using tiny dots, not by having true continuous tone on the film. In one the film's purpose-made developers (the most common of which is "A+B"), this is what you get. However, continuous tone developers made for photographic work can pull continuous tone out of litho film. Some people use diluted Dektol. Some use diluted HC-110, Rodinal, or other photographic film developers. Others devise a combination of multiple developers, such as A+B, Dektol, and HC-110. IME, the most effective and controllable results, however, are achieved with a home-mixed developer called Soemarko's LC-1. I would get a copy of the Christopher James alternative processes book. He has a whole chapter on crafting negs for contact printing, and LC-1 is discussed there.

    BTW, you will not need to "flash" the film. You will be able to print onto it almost exactly like you do with photo paper. One difference is that I always line the easel with a piece of black construction paper, to minimize fogging caused by reflection off of the easel. Another is that you will need a red safelight, as litho film is sensitive to yellow/OC.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2010
  20. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Bob, What, what, what, I'm at a brain cell loss this evening, first what is the Scala Drop process, and second can you explain the Rollie ISO 25 in HC110 to tasted , red green blue laser exposure for someone with only a Bachelor of Science degree?

    Thanks very much,
    Curt
     
  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I don't know what the Scala Drop Process is, but Bob is saying to make the interpositive so that it contains all the detail and texture one might wish to print. (Whatever the Scala Drop Process it, it is not the only way to do this.) Then, when making the negative, one can decide which detail to include or exclude, by way of exposure and processing.

    It also sounds like Bob now uses an exposure unit or enlarger head that uses separate R/G/B lights to make white light.
     
  22. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    OK, that makes more sense.
    Thanks,
    Curt
     
  23. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Scala film is basically a negative that is turned into a positive. With that in mind any black and white negative film will work. Drop process is basically telling the operator to cut the development time to retain highlight detail ,

    For the first contact pos step you need a flat original to enlarge onto large film.
    Problem with the Scala method, I do not know anyone still doing it.

    But I am sure the folks at DR5 sure could tell you how to make a pos from a contact neg.

    Re the red green blue laser, sorry I cannot say as this type of discussion is not allowed here. ** hint ** film goes through laser imaging devices, rgb beams of energy do expose film, film taken from the imaging device and processed in a tray. ** but enough about that the mod/Police will be banning me soon.

    I only have grade 10 science so your bachelor of science trumps me by a long shot.
     
  24. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Yes this is correct
    Yes this is not the only way of making a pos
    Yes dodge and burn to taste on the enlarger

    and yes I am making enlarged negs a different way now.
    using both inkjet and lambda onto real film.

    am I still allowed to stay here :munch:
     
  25. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    On page one Peter Schrager suggested x-ray dup film. I second that. I have used that for making enlarged negatives for pt/pd printing and can say that it is excellent. The chemistry is simple Kodak GBX, it is a reversal film so you can enlarge as making a print. Remember to reverse the negative that you are enlarging (emulsion up in the negative carrier) and every thing is reversed so if you burn, the new negative will be "lighter" in that area and the resulting print made from the new negative will be "darker". Dodging will yield a "darker" new negative and a "lighter" area in the resulting print. The film is very slow so when enlarging the exposures will be rather long. The tonal range is great.

    You will probably have to get it through a dental/medical supply or have your dentist order for you. It is not cheap but the results are worth it.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  26. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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