How to shoot/dev paper negative?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by goamules, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. goamules

    goamules Member

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    Hi,
    I've been doing wetplate for a year or so. I've never shot film, and the last time I developed it was a roll of 35mm. But I found an unopened pack of 8x10 Kodabrome II RC paper, and would like to try to shoot a "paper negative" that I've heard about. Can someone help explain?

    I think I get the first part of the process:
    1. load the paper into a holder in redlight.
    2. Shoot some test exposures by pulling the darkslide out in stages.

    - What is a recommended exposure? I could use any lens, but like petzvals at f3.8. Is that too fast without a shutter? Somewhere I read 10 sec at f16 might do..... Very little on this on the web that I can find.

    3. Develop in pan for 2 minutes (again, just guessing. I have Ilfod dev).

    - dumb question, but do I have to be in total darkness after development? I.E. can I turn the redlight on after it's in the stop water? Before? Again, I'm used to wetplate where everything is safe in redlight.

    4. Stop in water? Or stop bath? I have some Ilford of some type.
    5. Rapid fix ok?


    Thanks for any help. The paper is very old, sitting beside me saying, "try me...try me!"

    Garrett
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Rate the paper at ISO 3 or so unless you're preflashing. For most papers.

    You will be developing by inspection with a safelight, so, you can work out the dev time that way. You can use an orange or red safelight with most papers... just not with that direct positive stuff or hyper seagull.

    Let's see, last time I think I used a farily dilute developer, then a warm water bath, then stop bath. And rapid fix is ok.

    Consider overexposing/developing and bleaching back to permit adjustments of contrast.
     
  3. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    2.5: I have calculated that MGIV RC is about ISO3. This is only ballpark though.

    3. sounds fine, but even 1 minute would be enough in normal developer. By using dilute developer you can alter the development SLIGHTLY, but don't yank it too soon after putting it in, or it will streak. You can't save a very overexposed negative by yanking early. You can use the red safelight the whole time, unless kodabrome is orthochromatic, in which case you can't use the red light when loading the holders either.

    4. Whatever you want. I use stop, cause it saves my fixer

    5.I don't see why not but I'm not familiar with that paper
     
  4. goamules

    goamules Member

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    Thanks for the quick responses folks. I'm psyched to go try some! (hey, it's got to be easier than wetplate!).

    G
     
  5. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

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    One issue, doesn't Kodak paper have "Kodak" stamped on the back? I have not done a paper negative for a few years, but I remember using Ilford paper because it had a blank back. If you contact print paper with a label on the back, the label will show up in your final print.
     
  6. goamules

    goamules Member

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    Here...let me open the paper and take a look....just kidding. I'm thinking of just scanning the paper neg, and inverting it on the computer. I just want to get some practice with non-wetplate. Because one day I'd love to shoot some LF film through these cool old lenses!
     
  7. goamules

    goamules Member

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    OK, the first test didn't work. I got nothing to develop, the paper is still white. I did 5, 5sec steps with the darkslide at f6.

    Then I got "smart" and took a piece of scrap paper that had been out in the white light and tried to develop it. It came out white. I'm using Ilford S at 1:9, and tried some handmade ferrous sulfate WP developer on another sheet to be sure.

    Could the paper be bad? It's awfully old looking, has a 80s looking picture of a snow bunny on the envelope.
     
  8. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    That is strange. In my experience old paper gets fogged. I can't imagine it going bad that way.
     
  9. MartinP

    MartinP Member

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    Possibly there are different names used for Ilford stuff in different markets, but is "Ilford S" Ilfosol ? That is a liquid-concentrate film developer, and older versions of it had a limited life once opened. Possibly there is not any development happening ?
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi garrett

    there is a paper negative "group" here
    we make and use paper negatives ..
    fogged old paper can work well, you won't get
    max contrast that way, and sometimes that can be good.
    depending on the paper asa/iso relative to film can vary anywhere
    from below 1 to asa 25+.
    it is sensitive to blue light so if you have a blue filter
    put it over your light meter and guestimate that way.
    i usually use older "experienced" paper and rate it at about asa 6.
    i use older "experienced" developer to control contrast as well, together with a water bath
    to slow things down. i also use a bath of fresh developer to boost contrast if i need to ...

    a very contrasty paper negative isn't always the best kind to print, if you are inverting ( can't talk about that here )
    or making contact prints. paper negatives that look a little "thin" sometimes give a full positive instead of a whitish one.

    good luck! and have fun, paper negatives are a blast

    john
     
  11. fschifano

    fschifano Member

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    Maybe the developer is bad. Get a package of Dektol and mix it up. That'll work and will last a long time too. I've used it at dilutions up to 1+9 for developing high contrast ortho film, which behaves very much like graded papers, and it's worked well for me.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    garrett

    if it doesn't blacken, it might be your developer, not your paper that is bad ..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2009
  13. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I think he already did that.
     
  14. goamules

    goamules Member

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    OK, I'm back ready to try again. Developer is about a year old, I only used it once, and kept it in a cool dark place. I also tried to use my wetplate developer, which is mostly Ferrous Sulfate. Same thing. I guess I could buy some more dev, like you say it's not that expensive.
     
  15. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Your problem is absolutely your developer being bad. Replace with fresh developer such as Dektol and you can get started.

    You can work Kodabromide paper under a Red or Orange safelight, so you don't have to be in the dark at all.
     
  16. goamules

    goamules Member

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    Success! I got an image with dektol. It was definitely as said above, old, bad developer. Cool, and easier than wetplate by far. I'm now working on exposures, I did 5 strips at 3 sec each. The 9 sec looked best. But it sure develops fast; about 10 seconds. From my wetplate background, I quickly stopped it there. Is that right? Or should I work for developing longer, with a shorter exposure? Say, 6 sec exposure, and dev for a min or so? Or dilute the dev more?

    Sorry for the barrage of questions, but this is a great way to test out my lenses, plateholders, etc. And I might get a nice pic or two!
     
  17. goamules

    goamules Member

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    Too much fun. Sorry about the right side blur, my model sat up. [​IMG]
     
  18. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Good job!
     
  19. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Nice image!
     
  20. goamules

    goamules Member

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    Thanks all. I'm doing more with more exotic lenses. It's a lot of fun.
     
  21. Andrew Sanderson

    Andrew Sanderson Member

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    I have been shooting paper negs for many years now and have found that fixed grade papers work much better than variable contrast papers which tend to go a little 'posterised' sometimes.
    One of the best is simply Ilford Ilfospeed RC paper rated 1.5 ISO (ASA) if you are printing in a darkroom and 3 to 6 ISO if you are scanning.
    Website; www.andrewsanderson.com
     
  22. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    Another option is to shoot wetplate - but on clear glass, producing a negative image that you can then contact to paper.