Massive sized contact negatives - where to get?

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Perry Way, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    San Luis Obi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm not ready to take the plunge just yet, because I've got other things on my plate at the moment but I'm very curious about how to get a massively huge negative for contact printing. In particular I'm looking at Gum Bichromate. I just saw this video Watch Massimo Attardi print gum bichromate on very large wood and naturally I thought about this before knowing it was possible. Now that I see it's possible, I want to know how to get a negative that size! What are the options? I've been searching for an Imagesetter service local to me (Central Coast, California).. not even sure there are any even in Los Angeles. Would appreciate some insight and ideas as to cost involved. I know the machines cost like anywhere from $1500 to $10,000 used.
     
  2. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    San Luis Obi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    woops I meant to say, I know the machine costs, but I don't want to buy a machine, I just want to get some massive negatives made for me. Also, it would be good to know what kind of negative size to start with. Massimo's example is square so naturally I'm thinking he started with medium format 6x6. But something tells me I'm off base with that thought. That there's no way he could get the kind of quality necessary to derive a print like that size.
     
  3. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,079
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Location:
    Brisbane, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting video. The square image could easily be a crop from a LF neg, or from a square 6x6 neg ... or from a digital file. Either way, the large contact neg was probably produced digitally, which is not too expensive.
    (Given the subject matter, and from what I can see on the video, I would say that the final print quality is easily within the capabilities of MF film.)
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,434
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Photographer's formulary has the materials for doing digital negs at least that big. The details are a topic for www.hybridphoto.org

    Or you could make an interpositive on lith film then use that to make a lith film neg. Freestyle has the film up to 20x24.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2009
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,521
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you need to go beyond say 20x24, your best bet is to have the negs made as inkjet on transparent media. Most good labs/service bureaus can do this for you, but it won't be cheap- just less expensive than trying to do it yourself. You'll probably have to send it out to either LA or SF for that service. I'd get a handle on printing gum bichromate at a smaller size so you know how to handle the variables first, before plunging in to the big stuff, because that gets very expensive very quickly. Smaller than 20x24, you can, as someone else has mentioned, make ortho/lith negs yourself if your enlarger can handle it.
     
  6. Lukas Werth

    Lukas Werth Member

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pakistan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Last time I looked, freestyle carried lith film roles 40" wide.
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,252
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Lukas

    Check mal Deinen Link. Da stimmt was nicht!
     
  8. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,252
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Please let me know if you found an imagesetter service in LA. If so, I can give you the specs to get any size neg you need.
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,101
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    you can always make a paper print, positive, the size you need
    and contact print it to another sheet of paper to make a negative ...
    calotypes were always made using a paper negative ...
    it might take a longer exposure than a sheet of film, but it will still work ...
     
  10. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,252
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Interesting concept! This could work.
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,202
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bergger offers continuous-tone film 1m wide.
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,979
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I'm fairly sure that's an inkjet neg in Attardi's video, based on the color and sheen of the material and the way it flexes. There is a great deal of discussion about making inkjet negs on APUG's sister forum, http://hybridphoto.com .

    If you want to make traditional enlarged negatives and can't find suitable film at Freestyle, try http://www.ultrafineonline.com .
     
  13. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Istanbul, Tu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    David, I'm sure it's an imagesetter negative (with a pretty low screen resolution). See how he develops the print; with gum, fine continuous tone detail won't hold under that much torture... The result he gets and processing style implies a hard dot negative. Imagesetter negatives are much cheaper than inkjet negatives at that size BTW - at least here in Europe.

    Regards,
    Loris.
     
  14. Perry Way

    Perry Way Member

    Messages:
    825
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    San Luis Obi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am liable to agree with you Loris. I remember print shop days. Making plates from negatives. Making negatives intended for making plates from other negatives and using different dot sized filters. When I look at this video again and again, every time something else becomes more clear. Watch the video again and check out the facial detail, particularly the left side of the nose. Those are dots, are they not? Not grain, per se.

    Well, someone who read this thread sent me a link to an preprocessor in Portland Oregon http://www.rgraphics.com/film.html and they do very large imagesetting (35.5 x 44.5). The price seems crazy at first, but then it's way cheeper than shop space and outlay expense for the right machine that will handle that size. I think $159.25 seems reasonable enough. They also do a lot of other services which may interest the lurkers of this thread. You might want to check them out.

    Still looking for someone closer.

    By the way, forgive me for even talking about this on APUG. My immaturity regarding this technique was lacking the intimate knowledge of the use of digital input for imagesetting. Silly me, I thought this was an analog thing, where you send in a negative and they enlarge it and return a very large negative. Actually I would prefer that to be honest. I find film is so much more organic than anything digital. But with this Gum Bichromate technique, so much detail is lost that it almost seems like anything might do. Even 35mm perhaps....

    Anyway, I'm strongly considering sending a few negs to this shop and having them make me a huge negative for each because I'd like to explore at some time making very large bromoil prints. Ahh, but this is also further down the road. Readers be aware please I'm thinking long term, just trying to set some goals and boundaries for the future. I appreciate the feedback here. FlyingCamera, you're right, start small, then work up to the big stuff. But this is my ultimate goal is to create huge mural sized works. Picking Gum Bichromate seems to me to be secondary. I'm exploring all the mediums. Whichever will give me what I want to do ultimately will be what I spend my time with.

    I'm also thinking long term, hand crafted lithographs and also I've been watching some videos and reading other material on making etchings from photographs that are essentially made on copper plates like the kind that comprise circuit boards.

    Anyway, I'm rambling now. Thanks again to the contributors.
    :smile: