How do you un-large?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by BetterSense, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Suppose you want to make a print smaller than your film, such that even a contact-print would be too large. Like a wallet-size print from large format. How do you go about doing that?
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Re-photograph a large print with a smaller format film camera if you want to keep the process "analog". You could also rephotograph the print with a LF camera and just make the print the right size on the GG and then contact print the resulting neg.

    Or "cheat" and scan a large print and inkjet any size you want.

    Vaughn

    PS...if using 4x5, photograph two copies of the print onto one sheet of film -- then when you contact print the negative, you get two wallet-size prints.
     
  3. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    With a shorter focal length enlarger lens than usual and rack the bellows way out, then lower the enlarger to the easel till it is in focus. It may take a few books under the easel to raise it under the head. This will usually result in an image smaller than the negative.
     
  4. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Some enlargers like the Omega D2 have an auxiliary focusing bellows attachment available for making reductions. It gives about 10 inches more extension than the regular 2.5 in cone.

    Jon
     
  5. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I think you are saying the same thing that I would but I want to rephrase it because it is pretty hard to understand until you've done it more than a few times.

    The odd thing is that you will size the image using the enlarger's focus, then focus by moving the enlarger up and down. It is just reversed.

    I spent a year or two working in a place where we made precisely sized reductions on ektachrome dupe film which were then spliced together into page layouts. The purpose for doing this was that separations were very expensive. Ganging them, the whole page or spread could be separated in one rather than each picture being separated by itself and the layouts assembled later. It saved huge amounts of money. After awhile, one gets pretty good at the reduction thing, but it can be very daunting at first.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    If I can fit the film in the enlarger, then I use the reduction bellows for more extension--it's kind of like doing macro photography in reverse.

    If it's a larger format than you can enlarge, then you can dupe a print with a smaller format camera using a relatively neutral fine grained film like T-Max 100 for B&W or Ektar 100 or Astia 100F for color.
     
  7. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I have an 11x14 color negative that I frequently had to print 8x10. I had a cabinet painted white inside with no doors installed. I lit the inside of the cabinet and made a mask for the negative out of matte board. I would tape the negative into the mask, then shoot it with my 8x10 camera loaded with color paper, using CC filters over the lens. You could do the same thing with 2-1/4 x 2-3/4 or 3-1/4 filmholders in an old baby graphic or as Vaughn suggested above, by shooting 2 - up on a 4x5. Having a reversing or rotating back would be very useful. Instead of CC filters, you'd use Multigrade or PC filters.

    I hope you don't need to burn, but it may be possible to dodge. If you do have to burn, just rethink the problem, exposing more and dodging instead.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    glbeas has the right ideal.

    You can use the focal length lens that matches the diagonal of the reduction. For example, use a 150mm lens to make a 4x5 in reduction from an 8x10 in negative. You don't NEED to do it this way, if you have gobs of bellows draw, but using the shorter focal length lens will help in most cases.

    Also, see this thread: http://www.apug.org/forums/701679-post15.html
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    As David mentions, this process is called reduction and is available on a number of enlargers and copy machines.

    It is nothing special being considered a normal function of lenses.

    PE
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    As normal enlarging is actually macro photography, then macro photography in reverse must be normal photography!

    You need an ensmaller rather than an enlarger for this.


    Steve.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    With most enlargers it's easy, as long as the bellows have sufficient extension, I've been doing this regularly to make small reduction prints from 5x4 negs for hand made books. I've always used my normal 135mm lens.

    Ian
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I am sure Ian is right if you are talking about 4x5 enlargers. The bellows extension available on my Beseler 67 (for example) is limited, so it would be difficult to use it.

    Matt
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    It's something like that.

    About 4x5" enlargers, I find that with an approximately normal lens for the format I'm enlarging/reducing, I can usually manage a reduction of about 25% on my Omega D-II without having to dust off the extension bellows.
     
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  15. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    At last---I've been wondering for a few years when someone else would want to know how to do this. Although the original poster didn't specify how much reduction was needed, I once shrank two 4x5 portraits to about 0.4 x 0.5 so that they would fit into a photo locket for a Mother's Day gift.

    I used a 28mm Nikon bayonet-mount lens, reverse mounted by means of a UV filter screwed into the front element as a retaining ring; the lensboard was a scrap of mounting board trimmed to fit onto the nose of a 135mm lens cone on an Omega D2. It worked beautifully; exposures on Azo paper were a few seconds at about f/8 or so and the images were tack-sharp.

    (I suspect that the Nikon is a reverse telephoto design; the 24mm lens from a closed-circuit television camera vignetted terribly with the same arrangement, even though the focal lengths are comparable. Someone more knowledgeable than myself can explain why, or whether, a very short enlarging lens would be usable.)
     
  16. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Just a matter of coverage. Probably independent of weather it is retrofocus or not.

    It was pointed out that enlarging was like macro photography. Well, reductions are like regular photography. The photographic paper is like the film and the negative is the subject. Focal length can be based on the diagonal of the paper. You can use a longer focal length, but it will require more bellows.
     
  17. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    Hmmm. Since the projected image was about the size of the original CCTV chip, I had assumed that coverage angle would not be an issue. On the other hand, I reversed the Nikon W.A. lens but only tried the TV camera lens mounted on its normal threads, so perhaps there is some optical issue here that is not obvious to me.
     
  18. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Yes that is a little curious. Because since the subject (negative) is not at infinity, the image circle when using that lens for reductions would be bigger than when it was mounted in the CCTV camera with infinity-focus capacity. Maybe the chip in the camera was smaller than you thought?
     
  19. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    Or my memory is garbled...not for the first time. I should try both configurations again, and see if I remember correctly. But the Nikkor W.A. worked like a charm, and I have the (tiny) prints to prove it. It's a bit funny when people who see the prints ask what camera I used, and I tell them that it was a 4x5 view camera!
     
  20. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Find a really long enlarger lens.
     
  21. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i have some reductions i made with 5x7 and 4x5 sheet film
    that are tiny. whenever i show them to people they can't understand
    how such a big negative could be "enlarged so small". :smile:
    i used a schneider 135, and wollensak 210 .. and
    the auxiliary bellows extension for what its used for, on my omegas d + e.
    usually i use the aux bellows instead of dealing with lens cones...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2009
  22. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    One of these days I want to try some reductions of 8x10 to 4x5. The idea would be to see if they would have a quality making them better (more highly detailed) or just aesthetically fascinating, compared to a 4x5 contact.

    When looking at photography books, I am always fascinated by reproductions of that are smaller than the format. They seem to have a precision character to them, even though they are just reproduced at 300 dpi or whatever in the book. Example, reproductions of Adams's 8x10 negative work in books with a picture size smaller than 8x10.
     
  23. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    "With a shorter focal length enlarger lens than usual and rack the bellows way out, then lower the enlarger to the easel till it is in focus."

    We have two opposite bits of advise here. And I must confess I thought that the use of a shorter than normal lens gave a bigger image on the paper. and that a longer lens gave a smaller image. I guess I will have to experiment in the real world.
     
  24. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    A really long enlarger lens might work ok if you had an enlarger with a twenty foot column!

    So look at it the other way around, because that is what you would be doing - the other way around. With a short lens, you can make a small negative into a really big print, if you have the coverage. Just reverse the idea. Think of the negative as being in the easel, being enlarged really big (to 4x5 or whatever) on material that is on the negative plane of the enlarger. The geometry is precisely the same. Just mirrored.
     
  25. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I remember when I first saw Chuck Close's work reproduced in Time Magazine, back in the 60's or 70's. He's a painter who works from small photographs, portraits, and paints them on huge substrates using color separation, which he does entirely manually. Don't ask me how. He is just phenomenal, especially since he is very seriously disabled.

    The reproduction was about 3-14 x 4-14, in color. It looked just like a color Polaroid. The detail was incredible just as it is in his paintings, but even more so due to the reduction. I suspect they reduced it to the size of the original just for fun.
     
  26. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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